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Old 10-08-2015, 01:47 PM
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:48 AM   #1
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Default wheel bearing replacement?

Over the last couple days I have successfully performed the Shelby drop on my front suspension using the template and bit from Dazecars.com. I also prepped my frame rails for the Tin Man subframes which I will hopefully have welded in tomorrow. As instructed, I took my car to an alignment shop to have the front wheels aligned after finishing the modification using the provided specifications and after looking at my car the shop told me that an alignment would not be possible until I had my wheel bearings replaced. Brakes are one of the last systems I have not tried to meddle with or take apart myself so I have no experience with wheel bearings. I have searched the forum and the FAQ and can't find a wheel bearing guide to replacement. Anything with instructions or pictures. I'm willing to take my front hubs apart and try and figure it out, but as this car is my DD I prefer not to fly blind if I can. Does anyone have a how-to guide to wheel bearing replacement?
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:55 AM   #2
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do they need adjusted or just replaced?
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:03 AM   #3
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How do you 'adjust' wheel bearings?

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Old 01-08-2010, 01:24 AM   #4
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the man definitely said replace, and gave me a quote that reflected as much. The cost of the bearings isn't that much, its the $100 labor cost to install them that I would like to save myself.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:27 AM   #5
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It's not too comlpicated if you are comfortable with a wrench. I don't have pics but let's see if I can make it understandable.

1) lift vehicle and put on jack stands

2) remove wheel

3) if you have disc brakes, remove calipers and brake pads...if not skip to 4

4) remove "bearing cap"

5) remove cotter pin

6) remove retainer nut (1 1/16th or 1 1/8?), washer, and outer bearing. Notice that washer has a machined looking surface, while other side is "smooth".

7) remove hub assembly (or hub and drum)

8) Place hub "outside" down and remove inner seal and bearing.

Note: new bearings will come with new races so, take a punch and drive races out from opposite side of hub.

Clean everything up....get the old grease out of the hub, and drive the new races into the hub (pay attention to which way they are facing)

Now, clean the new bearings with a little "brake clean". Let them dry and then, "pack" them. Put some grease in the palm of your hand and work it into the bearing from the "big side" until it starts coming out the other end. Once you get both bearings packed, put a little on the races...then, put the inner bearing in place and tap the seal (new) back in place.

9) Clean the spindle and put a light coat of grease on there too.

10) reinstall the hub assembly onto the spindle. (make sure it is fully seated by spinning it a bit)

11) install outer bearing, washer (remember which side was towards bearing?) and nut.

12) there are many opinions here, but, I torque the nut, while spinning the hub, to 25-30 lbs....basically, you want to make sure that the bearings are "seated". Then I back the nut off 1/4 turn. (check for end play after this.....if too much or not enough, you can adjust)

13) install cotter pin and bearing cover.

14) install wheel and put car back on ground.

....Someone jump in if I forgot something....
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:14 AM   #6
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Only thing I'd add is that you should get the car aligned after you install the subframe connectors, not before. Even putting the car on a lift can shift the alignment before the connectors get installed.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:23 AM   #7
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that should be the lot.

as to step 8, I learned a nice trick that Denis from discbrakeswap had in his manual (if i remember correctly). Get a small plastic bag, shove grease in there, throw the bearing in and knead from outside the bag. this way you won't have that much of a mess oin your hands

to step 12,
make sure you're spinning the hub while torqueing. don't put on the nut, torque. That's why Tad pointed out fully seated. turn while you close that nut to make sure it's right.

further, getting that cap off the middle of the hub can be a huge PITA, getting it back on is even worse.
for removing I usually try to get a biug flat screwdriver under it and try to pop it out a bit, turn the wheel a bit, do that again. slowly but surely it will come out. for getting it in it must be dead straight. I usually try to find anything that will just fit over the edge so i can tap it in. like a piece of metal tubing that just fits around the cap sitting on the edge of the cap

Last edited by kalli; 01-08-2010 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
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Adjusting the bearings properly would have the same effect as installing new ones. Looseness in the wheel is eliminated by setting the proper preload on the bearings. Often modern cars have sealed bearings, with no provision for tightening. Unless your bearings have failed and become rough, with damaged races and rollers, there is no need to replace them, just adjust them as per the manual, which has been described here.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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i just hope that those people who advised found them to be rough. But yes. 2+2 is correct. adjust them and check them if they're rough, maybe there's no need for new ones.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:20 AM   #10
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I did my bearings when I installed disc brakes on my 69 and it was not hard at all. I agree with what was already said but will add:
use good quality grease on the bearings. Don't cheap out on it.
the dust cap was the biggest pain for me. a hollow tube makes it alot easier.
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