GM Cadillac 1967-1989 Repair Guide

Wheel Bearings

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REAR WHEEL DRIVE MODELS



Properly adjusted bearings have a slightly loose feeling. Wheel bearings must never be pre-loaded. Pre-loading will damage the bearings and eventually the spindles. If the bearings are too loose, they should be cleaned, inspected, and then adjusted.

Hold the tire at the top and bottom and move the wheel in and out of the spindle. If the movement is greater than 0.005 in. (0.127mm), the bearings are too lose.

Adjustment

See Figure 1

  1. Raise and support the car by the lower control arm.
  2.  
  3. Remove the hub cap, then remove the dust cap from the hub.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and spindle nut.
  6.  
  7. Spin the wheel forward by hand. Tighten the nut until snug to fully seat the bearings.
  8.  
  9. Back off the nut 1 / 4 - 1 / 2 turn until it is just loose, then tighten it finger-tight.
  10.  
  11. Loosen the nut until either hole in the spindle lines up with a slot in the nut and then insert the cotter pin. This may appear to be too loose, but it is the correct adjustment. The spindle nut should not be even fingertight.
  12.  
  13. Proper adjustment creates 0.001-0.005 in. (0.025-0.127mm) of end play.
  14.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Wheel bearing adjustment

Removal & Installation
  1. Remove the hub and disc assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the outer roller bearing assembly from the hub. The inner bearing assembly can be removed after prying out the inner seal. Discard the seal.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Wash all parts in solvent and check for excessive wear or damage.
  2.  
  3. To replace the outer or inner race, knock out the old race with a hammer and brass drift. New races must be installed squarely and evenly to avoid damage.
  4.  
  5. Pack the bearings with a high melting point bearing lubricant.
  6.  
  7. Lightly grease the spindle and the inside of the hub.
  8.  
  9. Place the inner bearing in the hub race and install a new grease seal.
  10.  
  11. Carefully install the hub and disc assembly.
  12.  
  13. Install the outer wheel bearing.
  14.  
  15. Install the washer and nut and adjust the bearings according to the procedure outlined above.
  16.  
  17. Install the caliper and torque the mounting bolts to 35 ft. lbs.
  18.  
  19. Install the dust cap and the wheel and tire assembly, then lower the car to the ground.
  20.  

Packing

Clean the wheel bearings thoroughly with solvent and check their condition before installation.


WARNING
Do not blow the bearing dry with compressed air as this would allow the bearing to turn without lubrication.

Apply a sizable daub of lubricant to the palm of one hand. Using your other hand, work the bearing into the lubricant so that the grease is pushed through the rollers and out the other side. Keep rotating the bearing while continuing to push the lubricant through it.

 
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