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Rear wheel bearing setup

Ol Blue

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2000
My memory is failing me a bit. Several years ago I purchased a tool to set up rear wheel bearings off the spindles.

I can't remember if they were supposed to be set up dry to get the proper clearances, or set up greased. I believe when doing in on the spindles the book says to have them greased. Has anyone used this tool and remembers if it's a dry setup?

This will be on a 68 ex-IMSA racer that's entered in the Monterey Historics. Chevy power says to set clearances at .001, where regular Vette settings are from 1 to 8 thousands.

.001 seems a little tight to me, but that's what the race settings were recommended to be.
Ol Blue
End play must be between .001 and .008, greased, same as they would be in the car. I would lean toward the smaller dimension as normal wear would cause an increase in clearance over time. .001 seems a little tight, but that is the range given by the factory manual. :)
Yep, and at the tightest setting, you have to have a NASA approved clearance micrometer gauge to read that kind of end play!

He is exactly right. I know two guys that race/raced C3s. Both of them had the axles machined down a tad so that they would slip fit exactly like your front wheel bearings do. There are tons of opinions on this. Most tell you not to do it. However, for racing purposes a slip fit is perfect because you will be able to clean, inspect, regrease, service and do anything you need to do to that rear assembly quickly and easily.

Dave Bacher (TZracer) here on the forum campainged a 68 Corvette through some extreme racing with slip fit axles and had no failures.

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