GM Full-Size Trucks 1970-1979 Repair Guide

Wheel Bearings


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.


2-Wheel Drive
  1. Remove the wheel, tire assembly, and the brake drum or brake caliper. See Brakes for details.
  3. Remove the hub and disc as an assembly. Remove the caliper mounting bolts and insert a block between the brake pads as the caliper is removed. Remove the caliper and wire it out of the way.
  5. Pry off the grease cap, remove the cotter pin, spindle nut, and washer, and then remove the hub. Be careful that you do not drop the wheel bearings.
  7. Remove the outer roller bearing assembly from the hub. The inner bearing assembly will remain the the hub and may be removed after prying out the inner seal. Discard this seal.
  9. Clean all parts in solvent and allow to air dry. Check the parts for excessive wear or damage.
  11. If the bearing cups are worn or scored, they must be replaced. Using a hammer and a drift, remove the bearing cups from the hub. When installing new cups, make sure that they are not cocked, and that they are fully seated against the hub shoulder.
  13. Pack both wheel bearings using high melting point wheel bearing grease. Ordinary grease will melt, and ruin the pads. High temperature grease provides an extra margin of protection. Place a healthy glob of grease in the palm of one hand and force the edge of the bearing into it so that the grease fills the bearing. Do this until the whole bearing is packed. Grease packing tools are available to make this job a lot less messy. There are also tools which make it possible to grease the inner bearing without removing it or the disc from the spindle.
  15. Place the inner bearing in the hub and install a new inner seal, making sure that the seal flange faces the bearing cup.
  17. Carefully install the wheel hub over the spindle.
  19. Using your hands, firmly press the outer bearing into the hub. Install the spindle washer and nut.
  21. To adjust the bearings on 1970-71 models, tighten the adjusting nut to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) while rotating the hub. Back the nut off one flat ( 1 / 6 -turn) and insert a new cotter pin. If the nut and spindle hole do not align, back the nut off slightly. There should be 0.001-0.008 inch end play in the bearing. This can be measured with a dial indicator, if you wish. Install the dust cap, wheel, and tire.
  23. To adjust the bearings on 1972-79 models, spin the wheel hub by hand and tighten the nut until it is just snug (12 ft. lbs.). Back off the nut until it is loose, then tighten it finger tight. Loosen the nut until either hole in the spindle lines up with a slot in the nut, and insert a new cotter pin. There should be 0.001-0.008 inch end play in the bearing through 1973, and 0.001-0.005 inch 1974 and later. This can be measured with a dial indicator, if you wish. Replace the dust cap, wheel, and tire.

4-Wheel Drive

Refer to Drive Train of this guide for removal, installation, adjustment and repacking procedures for 4 x 4 trucks.