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Still not sure if I installed front wheel bearings correctly

80convertible

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416
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Asheville, NC
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1973 converted to 1980 custom convertible
I repacked my front wheel bearings while replacing entire front brake system. I have never worked on the bearings before, so I read about them and consulted with my local parts guy who use to work for Chevy. I did not have a torque wrench, but my parts guy said I did not need one but to tighten nut just past finger tight while spinning the wheel. Then back off until finger tight and install cotter pin. I did this and to date no noise or problems. I am just concerned that I still did not install them correctly. I guess the worst that would happen is premature failure? I used the best quality Amsoil synthetic racing grease on the bearings as well. As long as there is no noise from the bearings and I did not install the bearing nut past finger tight, should I worry?

Regards,

Jim
 

Yoda

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Amarillo, TX
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Quick Check every so often..

Jim,
I.M.H.O. .. From the sounds of what you did, I would say you did it RIGHT.. If you want to do a quick check.. jack up the front.. grab the wheel at 12:00 and 6:00 wiggle then at 9:00 and 3:00 and wiggle if you have any play it will show up as movement as you "wiggle" the wheel back and forth ;)

BudD
:w
 

Hib Halverson

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71 04 12 19
As is common, the parts guy doesn't know the proper procedure.

In reality, wheel bearings having spindle nuts only finger tight will have too much play and will wear quickly.

The correct procedure is to:
1) pack the bearing properly
2) look up the proper torque specification in the factory service manual.
3) while spinning the wheel and using a torque wrench tighten the nut to 25 ft/lbs. This seats the bearing and the races.
4) loosen to figer tight
5) retighten to the torque spec. listed in the manual
6) back off just enough to install the cotter pin
 

80convertible

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2001
Messages
416
Location
Asheville, NC
Corvette
1973 converted to 1980 custom convertible
Hib,

I have an original 1980 GM Corvette shop manual which says to initially tighten to 12ft/lbs while turning the wheel versus your suggested 25ft/lbs. The book then goes on to say to back up nut until just loose then "snug up" and then loosen nut until hole in spindle lines up with slot in nut and install cotter pin. Can you elaborate on the 25ft/lbs? Is this new info since my shop manual was published? I guess the end result is I need to find a dial indicator to measure end-play to be sure!

Regards,

Jim
 

Yoda

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Racer78 said:
It's more of a feel thing for me after 25 years of building cars and stock cars. spin the wheel tighten , then back of till she spins right and has no play. Hard to explain :) The 12 ft/lbs sounds about right, though i have never used a torque wrench on a wheel bearing. Never had one fail either :)
I would think just a tad loose is better than to tight.

Keith

Yep me too ;)
BudD
:w
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
80convertible said:
Hib,

I have an original 1980 GM Corvette shop manual which says to initially tighten to 12ft/lbs while turning the wheel versus your suggested 25ft/lbs. The book then goes on to say to back up nut until just loose then "snug up" and then loosen nut until hole in spindle lines up with slot in nut and install cotter pin. Can you elaborate on the 25ft/lbs? Is this new info since my shop manual was published? I guess the end result is I need to find a dial indicator to measure end-play to be sure!

Regards,

Jim

Well, as I said before the initial 25 ft/lb. number is only to seat the races and spread the grease. After you tighten to 25 you loosen to finger tight then retighten to the 12 or 15 ft/lb. number then go through the cotter pin insertion procedure.
 

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