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Mule 550 front wheel bearings

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I think the front wheel bearings need replaced. Lately i've noticed some noise from the front end while driving.. jacked it up and both sides have considerable play. The passenger side more so. Kawasaki 92045-1170 replaces the bearing. its 2 per hub. which is 4. it's 25 bucks PER BEARING. which is $100 and some change for both sides. Kawasaki lists that the bearing used  is a  60/22 2RS ball bearing. i can find them anywhere from $5 to $10, BUT i question the quality, no country of origin is disclosed.

 Pivotworks.com has a front set but its $42 for each side. 42+42= 84, so thats better than 100..... any one ever bought anything from pivot works?

 I checked the local auto parts stores for the bearing but nada.


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I found 2 grease zerks I never knew it had,... They are On the front end, back side of where the tie rod comes from the steering, and it lubes  the shaft that pivots the spindle and wheel to turn it.... And they are in the hardest place to see.,  Never mentioned in the owners or Service manual.



wheel bearings are supposed to be delivered this Saturday. 


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i used PIVOT WORKS  part number,  PWFWK-K36-000

Okay, first step.....

 Remove the wheel.... 4 lug nuts. then jack the front end up and support it with jackstands and chock the rear wheels.

remove the axle nut mud cover.

get a 1 1/6" socket to remove the axle nut... Don't forget to remove the cotter pin! you can use a breaker bar or impact to remove it.

there is a spacer behind the axle nut, remove it also.

now pull the drum off. sometimes it can be stuck on so spray some penetrating fluid between it and the backing plate, and tap it with a hammer while spinning it . you may have to use a 3 leg puller.



Now that the drum/hub assembly is off, this is what you should see.   the drum houses the bearings. there are 2 bearings, 1 spacer and 1 seal. the seal goes on the back of the drum, facing the brakes. the spacer goes in between the 2 bearings.


Now, my manual and also my common sense told me to PRESS  the bearings out. You CAN NOT press them OUT. there are 2 ridges that control the depth at which they are installed and you CAN NOT press them out.. you must use a slide hammer puller.

and you have to do it 1 bearing at at a time. Don't worry, the spacer is supposed to move freely in the drum.

I used the 3rd biggest puller attachment in the set.1766953717_IMG_20200506_1116451.thumb.jpg.d1fae08b06bc944c197573e8d9723f16.jpg

now that you have the old ones out clean the bore out with parts cleaner and a clean rag, and do the same to the spindle shaft on the mule., time to install the new ones!!! i recommend putting them in the freezer for about 30 minutes or more for ease of installation. they go in easier when cold.

i used a flat piece of wood to drive them in straight and then a 13/16" socket to drive them into the ridge, they are about 3/8" below the surface.

remember to do one bearing, install the spacer, then the other bearing, then the seal. the oil seal goes on the back side of the drum that goes against the backing plate on the mule. I recommend lubricating the seal lips and outer edge when installing into the drum assembly.468929302_IMG_20200506_1258321.thumb.jpg.53c8010d29f6dfb82c66d49e253783a6.jpg


now that the bearings are in time to Reinstall the drum!

just slide it back over the spindle shaft until fully seated... install the axle nut spacer, axle nut and cotter pin. before you install the cotter pin, torque the axle nut to 110 ft lbs.  reinstall the dust cap, tire, and lug nuts. lug nuts are torqued to 25 ft lbs, remove jackstands, let jack down, un chock the rear wheel. YOU ARE READY TO GO!




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Travis, very good pictures and tutorial. However I am wondering about one thing. With the hub off, is there no clearance at all to get a drift inside and knock the bearings out??  Good point about putting them in the freezer before installing, I usually leave mine for a couple of hours though, really helps. You must not have a small shop press, mine is over 30 years old, but it really works well for pressing in bearings and seals.  I hope I don't have to do that job anytime soon!!!


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oh ,we've got a 20 ton press, but you might could get a drift in their to knock them out... didnt think of that!

Can't press them out due to the ridges they bottom out on. once the first one was out of the way the 2nd was easy peasy.



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  • 2 years later...


Thanks for this.  I just finished this job on my 2001 mule 550.  Regarding the bearing removal:  If your bearings are in bad shape, skip the slide hammer and just punch them out with a hammer & screwdriver.  The slide hammer may be futile if the bearings are trashed and stuck like mine were.  For replacing the new bearings, O'reilly, Napa and Autozone  loan out a "Bearing race and seal driver set," which works great.    https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/c/evertough/rental-tools-evertough-bearing-race-and-seal-driver-set/ren1/67034/v/a/18312/automotive-truck-2005-chevrolet-silverado-2500-hd?q=loaner&pos=7

Easy job other than getting those old bearings out.

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