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Front Wheel Bearing-Repack/Replace/Tools/Etc

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by k20, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Ok, gonna repack or replace my wheel bearings next weekend. Aint never done it before, have paid to have it done, but I aint never done it. Anyway, the bearings that are in it are probably the originals, should I go ahead and replace them? What would the approximate cost for them be, and what other parts would? I know there are seals etc in there, which ones do I need to replace when I do this? Also while I have it apart, may as well go ahead and have the rotors turned for an approaching brake job. While I am that far in what else should I go ahead and do? The U-joints are probably the originals, how much more work to go on in and replace them or should I just wait till they break? Also, what should I look for to tell me to replace them instead of just repacking? The races I assume show wear like a main bearing from a motor, so I think I can figure that one out.

    Ive never even had the locking hubs off of the truck, so I dont really know what Im getting into lol, any tips or pointers are appreciated, but I have some mechanical knowledge lol. Now on to the realm of tools. At pep-girls They have the hub sockets w/ the little prongs. I assume this is the tool I need for the hub nut(probably not the right term haha) and they have two that could possibly work. One is a half ton from 73-90 fullsize chevy's etc. Since I have the 8lug 10 bolt this will probably be the correct one. The other is a 3/4-1 ton from 73-90. Its visibly larger, but 1 tons have D60's and 3/4's D44's or 10 bolt's. Which is it? The larger or the smaller? Any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks. Chris.
     
  2. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    I would think it would be the 4 prong half ton one. Considering its only the hub and rotor that is different. /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  3. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    The socket you need is probably the one from the 1/2 ton. It should have 4 prongs on it. D60 stuff has 6 prongs I think.

    If your wheel bearings show any kind of discoloration, burrs, wear, etc then replace them. They are like $10-12 each I think. If the races have any grooves, discoloration, nicks, etc then replace them too. If you are in that far I would replace the axle ujoints. It is only 6 more bolts to get to them. Also you need to check and grease the spindle bearings on the inside of the spindle.

    I wouldn't have your rotors turned if they are not grooved or warped. If you are going to have a brake job in the near future then you might as well do it now. If the rotors need turned then turn them. If the pads need replaced replace them. That is a brake job. You shouldn't even have to bleed the brake system unless there is poor pedal feeling.

    You need a 3/8" allen key to get the brake caliper bolts out. You need a 4 prong D44/10 bolt spindle nut socket to get the spindle nuts off. You need to read the CORRECT way to retorque the spindle nuts when you reinstall them. You can read this in the Chilton's manual in the local Autoparts store.

    The seals that are in there are axleshaft seal & wheel bearing seal. You must remove the wheel bearing seal to get to the inner wheel bearing. Be careful when you pry the seal out or you will damage it and need to buy another. It might not be a bad idea to replace them anyway even if you don't damage them.

    The axle seal may need replaced too, visually inspect it and decide for yourself.

    Also check out the outside of the spindle and look for wear. It has a bearing surface on it. If it is grooved, nicked, bronze, etc then you might think about finding some new spindles. One trick to getting by if the spindle is in semibad shape is to flip it 180* when you reinstall if so the other side is more of the bearing surface.

    Harley
     
  4. scoutillac

    scoutillac 1/2 ton status

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    Since you are down that far you may as well do the diff seals(federated PN# 5131). Then work your way out. I just did all of this in about 5 hours last Thursday. I paid 225 for seals, spindle bearings, bearings, races, u-joints, and ball joints. Regular price for the average Joe was 432. I would also get the Haynes manual for your truck. It gives a complete step by step break down with proper toque methoids and everything. I thought I knew what I was doing, but still learned a few things from the manual. The spindle bearings are going to be the biggest PITA!!! I probably should'nt have, but I used a torch CAREFULLY cut down one side of the bearing. Then you pop a screw driver between the bearing and the spindle right near the cut. Walla!! It will pop right out then. If someone knows a better easier method for this operation please give it up so I can try it next time. As far as tools you will need the smaller 4 prong sppindle socket, allen wrench, scribe, torque wrench, 5/8 socket, 9/16 socket. The only special tool is the socket. Don't put the spindle nuts on backwards like I've seen some other people do. Have fun. If you have questions post up. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
    P.S. You should use a brass punch to replace the races.
     
  5. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I haven't done the spindle bearings on my 10 bolt yet but this is how I did them on my Jeep CJ5 with a D30 front which is very similar to a D44 & 10 bolt.

    take the whole assembly apart down to the bare knuckle. Take the axle shafts out too. Go to Checker and rent there 3 jaw slide hammer thingy.

    install the spindle on the knuckle BACKWARD. It should fit threw the axleshaft hole. Put the 6 nuts back on the bolts on the knuckle just enough so they are all threaded flush with the end of the nut.

    Take the 3 jaw puller and get it in behind the spindle bearing and tighten it up so the jaws grab behind the bearing. Use the slidehammer and smack that sucker out. Worked like a charm once I figured out how to do it.

    My spindle bearing were 30 years old and completely trashed from lack of maintanence.

    As for you "Diff seals" are you talking about the seals for the outer stub axle? Or the seals that are in the axle tube? Cause the Diff seals are on the inside of the axle by the carrier aren't they?

    Harley
     
  6. spearchucker

    spearchucker 1/2 ton status

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    You guys are making this poor guy completely tear down his axle on his first bearing repack? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/shame.gif

    Jack the tire up and see if there's any play in it, top to bottom (bad ball joints) or side to side (bad bearings). If the ball joints seem okay then just repack the bearings or replace them if needed (determined by previous post). You have to take the brake calipers off to do the bearings so replace the pads if they're worn out.

    Tools:
    small allen wrench for hubs
    3/8 allen wrench for brake caliper bolts
    needle nose pliers
    4 prong hub socket
    brass drift to remove races
    bearing packer & grease gun

    If you can't remember the last time the bearings have been serviced then go ahead and get new bearings/races/seals. You can get them online from autozone for about $75 (timkin bearings).
     
  7. scoutillac

    scoutillac 1/2 ton status

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    I'm talking about the seals behind the gear set inside the diff. They are a PITA, but I don't have a seal driver kit. I pulled the gears out. Then used the long side shaft to drive the seals out. Then I used a hammer and piece of pipe the exact diameter as the widest part of the seal ridge( about 2"-2.5"). I slowly tapped them in. Then reinstalled the gears. Then started on all the other stuff. That puller and reversing the spindle sounds pretty slick.
     
  8. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    You guys are making this poor guy completely tear down his axle on his first bearing repack? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/shame.gif



    [/ QUOTE ] lol thats what I was thinking, after all this ill prob stick with just the bearings for the first time around, as the balljoints are ok, checked for wheel play last time had tires up. Thanks guys, ill go get the socket tomorow, and start on it next friday...
     
  9. scoutillac

    scoutillac 1/2 ton status

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    How long have you been running 35's on those original ball joints? That is alot of abuse on those poor things. Ball joints are easy as pie. If you still short cut it make sure to torque those bearings properly. Have fun.
     
  10. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    You guys are making this poor guy completely tear down his axle on his first bearing repack?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    It is only 6 nuts to pull the spindle off once you tear everything apart to do the bearings. So why not pull them? You NEED to grease the spindle bearing at the very least, and check to see if the ujoint is bad in the axleshaft. You don't have to replace them but you should at LEAST check.

    If you are to lazy to pull 6 nuts off and at the minimum check to see if the ujionts are ok and grease a bearing then you have a major problem and probably don't have any business working on your truck to begin with. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif It might cost you another 10 minutes per side to do and SHOULD be done. At worst you may have to replace the ujoint and spindle bearings. It seems to me that spending another hour or two replacing those while your in there would be better then having to tear everything apart again later.

    10 minutes is worth knowing that they are ok. It reduces your chance of ruining good parts and breakage.

    If that ujoint is bad and you offroad on it and it goes. Best case senario. You break the joint. Worst case, you blow the joint, ruin both axleshafts, stub blows and destroys the spindle, spindle bearing, wheel bearings, the ears on the axles take out the ball joints, shear the knuckle off, tire falls off, and the inner shaft breaks in the carrier. Sound like a fun thing to you? All because you were to lazy to spend some time on maintanence.

    Sure all of the probably won't happen, but I do remember a truck on the cover ov Peterson's with a 10 bolt front & 36's that sheared the ball joints because of the ujoint going out. His truck was missing the passengers front tire after if fell off. Have fun trying to repair that on the trail. Hope you brought alot of spare parts. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    Harley
     
  11. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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  12. scoutillac

    scoutillac 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    If that ujoint is bad and you offroad on it and it goes. Best case senario. You break the joint. Worst case, you blow the joint, ruin both axleshafts, stub blows and destroys the spindle, spindle bearing, wheel bearings, the ears on the axles take out the ball joints, shear the knuckle off, tire falls off, and the inner shaft breaks in the carrier. Sound like a fun thing to you? All because you were to lazy to spend some time on maintanence.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Been there done that. Good point to bring up. I had to grind around the bottom of the upper ball joint on the passenger side to get it out this time. From being beat up by exploding axles.
     
  13. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    How long have you been running 35's on those original ball joints?

    [/ QUOTE ] About 3 months 31's before that. Ok does anyone have the pn's from NAPA, Autozone, Advanced Auto, or Pepboys, for the seals that I may end up needing assuming I go in as far as the U joint? I think any idiot working at the store will be able to look up a Ujoint, but some of these people have a hard time finding sparkplugs so I dont wanna get this deer in headlights look when I ask for a spindle bearing seal, or a wheel bearing seal (etc etc) for my truck. A p/n is always useful lol.
     
  14. GMCLegacy

    GMCLegacy 1/2 ton status

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    i would check your unjoints and if they need replacing use spicer 5-760x (non greasables).

    each side you will need a wheel seal, and a spindle bearing kit. if you replace any bearings, replace the corresponding race also. dont just replace the bearing and us the old race.

    what kind of lockouts are you running? inspect the orings on them also, and look replace if needed. warn sells a "rebuild" kit, personally i think you are better off buying the o rings you need, compared to buying their $25 kit that doesnt come with much. (4 orings, 12 allen bolts, and 2 stickers, and instrucions with chinese and english)

    also buy some brake clean and rags to clean everything. i would recomend using a red grease to replack everything. and it sounds like a chiltons manual would be a good thing for you to buy.
     
  15. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The only thing I can add to this topic is to check the hub and make sure the part the bearings outer "cup" fits into is tight,especially the inner bearing--I've had several that had the bearing "spun out"in the hub,making a sloppy fit,had to either get a new hub or try to save it by using a center punch and ding up the inner hub surface,and using locktite "quick metal"stuff on it (I prefer new when its my life riding on it!).I dont know about ball joints or U-joints yet--they can be difficult the first time,I had a real hard time getting the spindle off after the 6 bolts were off,even soaking it with penetrating oil and beating it with blocks of wood and hammers,I finally used a large chisel like a wedge to get it off,I think they make a puller that goes on the spindle threads,but once you do a few you'll find its not that bad even with crude tools.But the wheel bearings are pretty easy really,the locking hubs and the nuts are the hardest part of the job,and a picture of them helps (exploded veiw helps alot)--and snap ring pliers are a blessing too--beats using your test light or small screwdriver! /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  16. GMCLegacy

    GMCLegacy 1/2 ton status

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    also i would recomend buying a bottle of anti seeze. it will make you life so much easier next time. use it on your spindle, caliper bolts, caliper brackets nad every bolt you take out.
     
  17. scoutillac

    scoutillac 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I had a real hard time getting the spindle off after the 6 bolts were off,even soaking it with penetrating oil and beating it with blocks of wood and hammers,I finally used a large chisel like a wedge to get it off,I think they make a puller that goes on the spindle threads,but once you do a few you'll find its not that bad even with crude tools

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I use a piece of wood and a BFH to pound down on the spindle. When a gap is created at the top mating surface I put the tip of a screwdriver in that gap. Hold the screw driver in and then smack the bottom of the spindle with a dead blow hammer or get a third had and use a block and BFH. It usually pops right loose. Just a tid bit from a dumb hick.
     

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