Chrysler Colt/Vista 1990-1993 Repair Information

Wheel Bearings


See Figure 1

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Fig. Fig. 1: Front wheel drive rear wheel bearings and suspension

The following applies to the rear wheel bearings of front wheel drive cars.

The wheel bearings for the rear wheels should be repacked with Multipurpose Grease NLGI Grade #2 E.P. grease every 2 years or 30,000 miles. The best way to accomplish this is to combine the repacking operation with brake repairs. In other words, if brake linings require attention, always repack the wheel bearings associated with the repair at the same time to avoid repeating the operation at the specified interval. Of course, if brake linings last longer than this interval, wheel bearings should be repacked as a discrete operation.

Before handling the bearings, there are a few things that you should remember to do and not to do.

Remember to DO the following:

Remove all outside dirt from the housing before exposing the bearing.
Treat a used bearing as gently as you would a new one.
Work with clean tools in clean surroundings.
Use clean, dry canvas gloves, or at least clean, dry hands.
Clean solvents and flushing fluids are a must.
Use clean paper when laying out the bearings to dry.
Protect disassembled bearings from rust and dirt. Cover them up.
Use clean rags to wipe bearings.
Keep the bearings in oil-proof paper when they are to be stored or are not in use.
Clean the inside of the housing before replacing the bearing. Do NOT do the following:
Don't work in dirty surroundings.
Don't use dirty, chipped or damaged tools.
Try not to work on wooden work benches or use wooden mallets.
Don't handle bearings with dirty or moist hands.
Do not use gasoline for cleaning; use a safe solvent.
Do not spin-dry bearings with compressed air. They will be damaged.
Do not spin dirty bearings.
Avoid using cotton waste or dirty cloths to wipe bearings.
Try not to scratch or nick bearing surfaces.
Do not allow the bearing to come in contact with dirt or rust at any time.

  1. Elevate and support the vehicle on jackstands. Make certain the parking brake is released and the rear wheels turn freely.
  3. Remove the rear wheels.
  5. Remove the small center cap, the cotter pin, the castellated nut and the lock nut.
  7. Remove the drum, holding the outer bearing in place with a thumb as the drum comes off.
  9. Remove the outer bearing. Turn the drum over and use a seal remover to remove the grease seal. After the seal is removed, the inner bearing may be lifted out.
  11. If the bearings are in good condition, free of flats, gouges, scores etc., they may be cleaned, repacked and reused. If the bearings must be replaced, the bearing races must also be replaced. With a brass drift and hammer, knock out the outer races for both the inner and outer bearings. In doing this, work from above and knock the bearing out the bottom of the hub; then turn the hub over and repeat the process for the other bearing.
  13. Use a bearing driver of the correct diameter and press each bearing race in from the top with the appropriate tool. The wider part of the race goes upward and the contour of the race fits that of the special tool. Races must be pressed in until the lower surface contacts the ridge in the hub designed to retain them.
  15. Pack the bearing with grease meeting SAEJ310A NLGI grade #2 EPA standards. Use a liberal amount of grease and occasionally press the bearing into the palm of your hand to make sure that the grease passes all the way through. Also pack the inner contours of the hub. Fill the small cap about half full of grease.
  17. Install the inner bearing into the race. Press fit a new seal into the inner diameter of the hub with the a seal driver of the correct diameter. Use the FLAT surface against the outer surface of the seal. The seal must end up flush with the inner surface of the hub. Apply grease to the lip of the oil seal.
  19. Install the outer bearing in the race. Hold it in position with a thumb and fit the drum and bearing assembly onto the axle.
  21. Install the slotted washer onto the axle and install the lock nut. As the lock nut contacts the washer, make certain that the bearing is firmly seated in the race.
  23. Tighten the lock nut to 20 Nm (14 ft. lbs). Turn the drum 2 or 3 turns in each direction to seat the bearing.
  25. Release the locknut to 0 Nm; then retighten it to 10 Nm (7 ft. lbs). Turn the drum 2 or 3 times.
  27. Set the locknut to its final torque of 10 Nm (7 ft. lbs) and install the castle nut and a new cotter pin.
  29. If the holes of the castle nut do not align with the holes in the axle, simply reposition the castle nut; the holes are not evenly spaced and should be able to align with the axle. In the unlikely event that no holes align, the lock not may be loosened by no more than 15° of rotation.
  31. Reinstall the rear wheels.
  33. Lower the vehicle to the ground.