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how to install new wheel bearings, what tools do i need?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 85chevy4x4, May 17, 2002.

  1. 85chevy4x4

    85chevy4x4 Registered Member

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    I need to replace or tighten my wheel bearings on my 85 chevy 3/4 ton 4x4. It has automatic hubs. I can move the tire side to side and when it sits, the passenger tire leans in. Is this just the wheel bearing needing to be tightened? I know there is a clip inside. Is there a tool that I need to fix the hubs? What should I look out for when doing this? I'm hoping I just have to tighten the nut and that will fix it.
     
  2. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Is that a Dana 44 front axle or a GM 10-bolt? If its a 10-bolt, I can help, if not sorry.
     
  3. 85chevy4x4

    85chevy4x4 Registered Member

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    I believe that it's just a gm 10 bolt. What do I need to do?
     
  4. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    If its a 10-bolt, remove the hub locking mechanisms. Then you will see a nut that requires a special socket. I believe this is called a spanner socket? If you go to a local parts store and tell them you need the special socket for removing these bearing, they should be able to help you. It is a large 1/2 drive tool that looks like a huge socket but has "pins" on the bottom of it.

    Use this tool to remove the outer nut. Behind the outer nut is a washer that is keyed on one side to fit in the spindle and has holes in it. Use some needle nose pliers to get this guy out.

    The inner nut should have a pin on it that was sticking through one of the holes in that washer. If it is by chance sheered, your bearings could have loosened up on you. if it is still intact, that nut may simply be loose. But, at this point, I would go ahead and remove that nut.

    With it removed, the hub should come off. As soon as it does, the outer bearing should fall out. Inspect it for its condition. The inner bearing is held in by a seal. If the outer bearing looks suspect, replace both bearings. They only cost about $15 for both bearings and the new seal.

    If you retain the old bearings, clean the outer one with break cleaner. Then you need to repack the bearings with grease. Put some wheel bearing grease in your hand and roll the bearing through it until the grease is coming out all around (you don't want to over grease it). Then reassemble the sucker.

    I usually tighten the inner nut until there is prcatically no slop in the hub but it still spins freely. Then I rotate it as necessary to get the pin to poke through the washer when it is properly seated. Then install the outre nut. I torque mine down pretty darn tight. Then put your hub locking mechanism back on.

    Does this help?
     
  5. 85chevy4x4

    85chevy4x4 Registered Member

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    Yes, that pretty much sums it up. I can actually visualize it inside my head. So basically all I will need is a special socket? It sounds simple enough to me. I might as well replace the bearings anyway. Thanks for the help.
     
  6. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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  7. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    I'd go ahead and replace the bearings if you have no knowledge of them ever being replaced before...
     
  8. barbastard

    barbastard 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like you may want to check your ball joints as well. If you are getting that much play in your wheel and more importantly, if your tire is "leaning in" that is a good sign that your ball joints may be going bad. Also, check your tie rod, it may need to be adjusted.

    A good way to check your ball joints is to jack up one side of your truck up in the front, and then grab the wheel and try and move it. If it's got a lot of play in it (especially up and down) then there's a good chance your ball joints are hashed. But, go ahead and replace your wheel bearings anyway and then check it.

    Hope this helps...

    Barbastard
     

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