Wheel Bearings

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Daddyof4, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. Daddyof4

    Daddyof4 Well-Known Member

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    I've done many car repairs but never replaced wheel bearings. What is involved and how do I do it. Usually, I download a "how-to" sheet from the Autozone website and it always works well but I thought you guys could enlighten me a bit. I have a 99 Dodge 2500 Passenger Van. :confused:
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Assumeing your speaking of front wheel bearings, take off the cap that covers the main axel nut by tapping it sideways gently. Now remove the locking device after removing the cotter pin. Unscrew the nut, take off the washer, the entire wheel should now pull off, that is if you remembered to jack up the wheel!!

    The outer bearing should fall in to your hand at this time, the inner bearing will have to be pressured out by pushing from the inside of the hub with something that will reach, tapping lightly helps. The bearing seal will also have to come out and be replaced for best options. Clean the bearings in solvent until they are grease free. Now with two fingers in the center hole spin the bearing and listen to the sound. If the sound is a single swishing the bearing should be all right to reuse. If the sound is a pitch changing, coarse sound the bearing should be replaced. Also the bearing race, the portion that the bearings touches should be replaced if the bearing is replaced.

    After reassembling with way too much grease, tighten the nut all the way and back it out just the tinyest bit, pack the inside of the hub, pack both bearings fully. Use a new cotter key, the old one has been stressed from bending.
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't forget to check the spindle .To ck for roughness,And you can use A emery cloth for light scrathes on the spindle.Otherwise Do what Mitch informed you that needs done.
     
  4. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    The procedure is differant for cars with disk brakes. You must remove the brake caliper in order for the rotor to pull off. Not lucky enough to do the whole tire/wheel/hub assembly like with drum brakes
     
  5. Daddyof4

    Daddyof4 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like something I can do.

    The symptoms are a high pitched whine on the right front that changes levels as the speed changes. I had the tires rotated to see if the pitch was from the tire and it wasn't. It's still the right front.

    So the only other thing I can think of is the bearings and based on the advice above, I believe it should be fairly easy. I"ve replaced starters, radiators, alternators, power steering pumps, did drum brake shoes, and even assisted in disc brake repair. This sounds like it isn't as hard as that. Thanks. :D
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Wheel bearing failure is not very common, but it could be a possibility. Usually you will hear a bad wheel bearing when you load it by turning and forcing the weight of the vehicle to that side. Weave back and forth and listen to hear if the noise changes when turning from side to side. A left turn would load the right frt. wheel bearing.
    The first step to remove the bearings is to remove the brake calipers. Then remove the cap, cotter pin, nut and outer wheel bearing. I usually then reinstall the nut and pull the rotor off hard and the inner bearing and seal will remain on the spindle. Inspect the bearings but also be sure to inspect the races (the part that the bearing rides against). If either part looks pitted or chipped you must replace the bearing and race as a set. The races are driven out of the hub and then you can drive the new one in with a brass punch.
    The bearings have to be packed with special wheel bearing grease. Packing means actually forcing the grease into the bearing. you place a glob of grease in your palm and work around the edge of the larger part of the bearing forcing the grease in until it oozes out of the smaller edge of the bearing. I have never put anymore grease anywhere than into the bearing as it serves no purpose other than to be a mess to clean up. The only grease that will lubricate the bearings is the grease you pack into the bearing. If the grease in the center of the hub ever got liquid enough to flow into the bearing it would usually only occur if the wheel caught fire.