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Wheel Bearing Adjusting Nut Torque Specs

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by johnny reb, Dec 13, 2000.

  1. johnny reb

    johnny reb 1/2 ton status

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    Repacked my front wheel bearings yesterday on my 86 K5 with auto hubs. Couldn't find the torque spec. for the wheel bearing adjusting nut. Haynes listed the ft./lbs. for the outer locknut but not for the adjusting nut (the one with the little pin on it.) I put this on pretty tight, and now I'm concerned that I put it on too tight. When I got everything back in place, I could turn the rotor by hand but it had a good bit of resistance, it doesn't spin freely. Any advice?
     
  2. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The adjusting nut shouldn't be very tight. Typically what I do is torque the adjusting nut fairly tight to set the bearings (spinning the entire hub at the same time), and then back it off until you can spin it with your hand. I then slowly tighten it back up while checking how much resistance there is while spinning the hub and if there is still any play (or wobble). On mine, once all of the play is gone I usually tighten it about another 1/4 turn to get the right "feel" while spinning the hub. I would guess the total torque on the adjuster to be no more than maybe 20 ft-lbs.
    I know this isn't a real definite answer, but I could never seem to get the right tightness by following the service manual directions and the specified torques.
     
  3. Wheels

    Wheels 1/2 ton status

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    Here's the proper torque spec for the adjusting nut. While spining the wheel, torque the nut to 50 ft lbs. You'll need to do this several times until the 50 ft lbs is held with no more adjustment. Back off the nut about 3/8 of a turn then readjust the torque to 35 ft lbs while spinning the wheel until the 35 ft lbs torque is meet. Back off the nut "less than 3/8 of a turn". I found that a 1/4 turn lines up the holes in the lock spacer perfectly (if it doesn't, turn it slightly or flip the lock spacer to line up on the pin, but don't loosen more than 3/8 of a turn). Then put the lock nut on and torque it to 50 ft lbs.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    Wheels is right, 50 while spinning, and then back off then back to 35. The outer depends on the year model you have according to the Haynes manual. I have a 90 and it says the outer is torqued to 80 ft lbs. I did notice that some year models are different. But I personally don't see that the year model makes any difference, 10 bolts have remained the same throught the years, if Im not mistaken. But for the outer, 80 is a good ball park anyway. The outer is not putting any more pressure on the bearings, it keeps the inner from backing off.

    I miss my Ex, but my aim is getting better!
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  5. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    On another note, if you wanna do it by feel. It best to do it with the wheel on. Its hard to get a good feel for wobble with just the hub. You don't have much leverage with just grabbing onto the hub. By feel, just preload it tight, then back it off, then tighten while spinning the tire, until you meet some resistance, then grab the wheel and try to move it up and down. Do this until there is no play up and down and then snug it up a little more while still being able to grab the tire and give it a spin, if it spins one good rotation, then your set. I personally trust the specs more than feel, cause Im not a front end expert. You make the call. Hope this helps.

    I miss my Ex, but my aim is getting better!
    http://mccordhouse.freeservers.com
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Make darn sure that you tighten that locking nut well. I had one back off on a Ford many years ago after the dealer did some warranty work on the front end. Since I was wheeling when it decided to come loose I didn't notice anything unusual, at least until the left front wheel dropped over to about a 20 degree angle!!! The only thing holding the wheel on the truck was the caliper.

    The bearings had ground themselves into a fine dust that was mixed in with the grease. Had to replace the locking hub, rotor, hub, bearings, seals, spindle and outer axle shaft. The shaft looked like it had been machined. The splines were worn away as was the groove where the c-clip goes on the end of it! [​IMG]

    Sold that POS and bought a '72 K5. Been a K5 guy ever since!

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com
     
  7. johnny reb

    johnny reb 1/2 ton status

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    How can you tighten it while spinning the tire? Don't you have to have the whole enitre hub on before you can put the wheel back on? I don't have a torque wrench, so I'm going by feel. After I had the whole hub back together I could still turn the rotor by hand, but it was pretty tight. Should I loosen it up a bit?
     
  8. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    You just leave the locking hub off and bolt the wheel in place. Finish up with the wheel bearing adjustments and then install the locking hub.

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com
     
  9. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    I was going to make a comment about that. Thats the fun part, trying to spin the tire while at the same time turning the wrench. You have to get the spindle socket on the inner nut, ready to turn, and once your ready to go, turn the wrench and with the other hand turn the tire. Its tricky if you have wheel bearing grease all over everything, as I normally do.

    I miss my Ex, but my aim is getting better!
    http://mccordhouse.freeservers.com
     
  10. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I would invest in a torque wrench!! You need one!
    I doit exscatlly like Wheels said and my bearings allways run the same temp to the touch. Speaking of temp, if your allready driving with your current adjustment then put your hand on your hub and compare the temp feel from one side to the next after you drive for a good distance. They should be the same luke warm to cool feeling if they are super warm to hot then yer too tight!!
    Good Luck

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com
     

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