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Hi, I'm on 07' Mazda 3s HB and my wheel bearings have worn out. Especially feel it back out of the parking space. I'll ask here if there are any special tools or tricks that I should know before taking things apart. Can anyone guide me. Thanks!
 

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You should get a slide hammer to pull the hubs out, and a bearing press kit or shop press to press the new ones in.
 

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No need for a slide hammer if the knuckle is going to be removed from the vehicle. One really good thing to do beforehand is get a couple of axle nuts from a U-pull, which go on the C/V axle to allow it to be hammered out of the hub, if the axle is stuck as it so often is. And the axle nuts can also be used for knocking the hub out of the knuckle (if it's going to be removed from the vehicle). Since the inner race will remain on the hub, an angle grinder or Dremel, along with a cold chisel or puller tool will be needed to get the race removed from the hub (if not replacing it with a new hub). A 250 ft-lb torque wrench is a must have as well.
 

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Slide hammer kits usually have a pressing tool to push the axle out of the hub, so just get one, you won't regret it. Also it is much easier to replace the hub with a new one than wrestle with the inner race being stuck on the old hub. It's your choice.
 

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Getting the inner race off isn't really all that hard. You simply score it with a cutoff wheel, then hit it with a chisel and BFH. It'll crack in two, then slide right off.
 

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A decent slide hammer kit costs about $65. A good bearing press kit is about $70-100, although most of these have a fairly low quality forcing screw. Regardless the usual mechanic charge is about $500-600 per wheel bearing, so purchasing your own tools is a drop in the bucket in comparison.

It is also necessary to have good breaker bar. An impact wrench can be used, but will wear out the forcing screw quickly.

I upgraded my HarborFreight bearing kit with a forcing screw from the Hub Grappler. The screw and coupling nut were pricey at $70, but well worth it.
You’ll also need a good torque wrench to reassemble everything, and a new axle nut.
 

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@jasonwebster How did you diagnose that your bearings were bad? I'm curious about what symptoms indicate that. I have an 07 hatch also and have issues, but still trying to figure out what is happening with it.
 

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I have done four clutches, and two engine swaps with almost all tools from Harbor Freight, with only the forcing screw in the bearing press kit needing an upgrade. Sure if you can afford $200 ratchets from SnapOn, go for it. But for that money I have six or seven HF ratchets and complete sets of impact and regular sockets, extensions, pliers, etc. They have served me exceptionally well, and no worries about them wandering off.
 

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$200 Snap-on ratchet
Dude, I've only ever bought one ratchet new from Snap-on, my TLLF72, and it was $99. And yeah, that SUUUUUUCKED paying $100 for a ratchet. But it's unlike any other 1/4" drive ratchet on the market. 72 teeth, flex head, with a 12" handle. It's SWEEEEET. And, as it turns out, that is absolutely one of my very most used tools in my box, so I consider it worth it. Use one even once, especially being a guy that wrenches as much as you, and you'll understand.

As far as my other Snappy stuff: hand-me-downs, Craiglist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and pawn shops are you friends. You'd be amazed at the absolute deals you can get. FLF80 3/8 flex head for $30? Yup, that one is mine.

You don't have to spend a weeks pay for a set of screwdrivers. Buy them one at a time from various second hand sources, and soon you'll have the whole set for not much more that the Horror Fraught stuff.

And I'm not saying that HF is trash, not at all. I have both the 1.5T aluminum "racing" jack and then big daddy yellow Daytona, and absolutely LOVE both of them. I used to use their jack stands, but you know how that went. OOF. (I have American made US Jack ones now, my life is worth it). Most of my impact sockets are Pittsburgh Pros. Most of the Braun lights are good too, once you mod them with good batteries. The little $5 one I threw in the trash though.

But, you have to admit, some of their stuff just ain't good. For example, I've used HF screwdrivers before, and even the Pittsburgh Pros are just plain garbage. Japanese made Vessel screwdrivers are only $10-ish each brand new from Amazon, and they are straight up amazing. Tekton, Sunex, and Gearwrench also make terrific lower cost tools. My sockets and wrenches are a complete mis-mash of Blue-Point, Mac, Craftsman, Gearwrench, Matco, and Snap-on. When I find a name brand socket or wrench cheap, I pick it up.

It's just when it comes to screwdrivers or ratchets, I refuse to compromise. ESPECIALLY with screwdrivers. You kinda get sick and tired of stripping out screwheads after a while.
 

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The reason HF screwdrivers would strip a screwed on a Mazda is that the screws in Mazdas need a JIS screwdriver to fit properly. Nothing inherently wrong with HF screwdrivers if used on the correct screw. That said I just bought a set of screwdrivers from Tekton. I mean that ratchet you mention sounds fine, but I've never felt the need for a 12" quarter inch ratchet, just have never needed that type of leverage for any fastener that I removed with a 1/4" ratchet. And since it retails for $142, which is more than my entire set of 1/2", 3/8", and 1/4" ratchets cost I think that I'll pass.
 

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The reason HF screwdrivers would strip a screwed on a Mazda is that the screws in Mazdas need a JIS screwdriver to fit properly. Nothing inherently wrong with HF screwdrivers if used on the correct screw. That said I just bought a set of screwdrivers from Tekton. I mean that ratchet you mention sounds fine, but I've never felt the need for a 12" quarter inch ratchet, just have never needed that type of leverage for any fastener that I removed with a 1/4" ratchet. And since it retails for $142, which is more than my entire set of 1/2", 3/8", and 1/4" ratchets cost I think that I'll pass.
HF screwdrivers strip all screws! And that's assuming the tips even survive in the first place. They're just plain junk. As for JIS screws, yes, I'm fully aware. That's why I have my Japanese made Vessel's, which are very inexpensive, and excellent. Tekton, as I mentioned, also makes a quality tool for sure.

The reason you've never felt the need for a 12" long 1/4" drive flex head ratchet is only because you've never used one. I'm telling you, it's one tool that changes the game for sure. It's one of those things that you didn't know you needed in your life until you experience it first hand. For instance, after you break bolt free, you just flip the handle up towards you, and now you just turned the ratchet into a speed handle. It's fan-freaking-tastic how it just makes you work just that more efficiently. Of all of the ratchets in my tool box, I use that one twice as much as all of the others combined, no lie. And of my other 1/4" ratchets? Even though those are also Snappy's, they hardly get used at all. Finally, I didn't pay $142, I paid $99 when I saw them on sale straight from S-O via their website, free shipping.
 
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