The following procedure is intended for front wheel drive vehicles only. The front wheel bearings of all vehicles along with the rear wheel bearings on All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicles are sealed units which do not require periodic removal, inspection and relubrication. For replacement procedures of all other wheel bearings, please refer to Suspension & Steering of this guide.
The rear wheel bearings on all front wheel drive vehicles should be inspected and relubricated a minimum of every 22,000 miles (although it is probably a good idea to check them anytime the rear brake drum is removed). Vehicles used in any form of severe service should be checked and repacked more frequently, as-often-as every 9000 miles.
See Figure 1
Sodium-based grease is not compatible with lithium-based grease. Read the package labels and be careful not to mix the two types. If there is any doubt as to the type of grease used, completely clean the old grease from the bearing and hub before replacing.
Before handling the bearings, there are a few things that you should remember to do and not to do.Remember to DO the following:
Do NOT do the following:
The rear wheel bearings should be inspected and relubricated whenever the rear brakes are serviced or at least every 30,000 miles. Repack the bearings with high temperature multi-purpose grease.
Check the lubricant to see if it is contaminated. If it contains dirt or has a milky appearance indicating the presence of water, the bearings should be cleaned and repacked.
Clean the bearings in kerosene, mineral spirits or other suitable cleaning fluid. Do not dry them by spinning the bearings. Allow them to air dry.
- Raise and support the vehicle with the rear wheels off the floor.
- Remove the wheel grease cap, cotter pin, nut-lock and bearing adjusting nut.
- Remove the thrust washer and bearing.
- Remove the drum from the spindle.
- Thoroughly clean the old lubricant from the bearings and hub cavity. Inspect the bearing rollers for pitting or other signs of wear. Light discoloration is normal.
- Repack the bearings with high temperature multi-purpose EP grease and add a small amount of new grease to the hub cavity. Be sure to force the lubricant between all rollers in the bearing.
- Install the drum on the spindle after coating the polished spindle surfaces with wheel bearing lubricant.
- Install the outer bearing cone, thrust washer and adjusting nut.
- Tighten the adjusting nut to 20-25 ft. lbs. (27-35 Nm) while rotating the wheel.
- Back off the adjusting nut to completely release the preload from the bearing.
- Tighten the adjusting nut finger-tight.
- Position the nut-lock with one pair of slots in line with the cotter pin hole. Install the cotter pin.
- Clean and install the grease cap and wheel.
- Lower the vehicle.