GM Full-Size Trucks 1980-1987 Repair Guide

Wheel Bearings

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Four wheel drive front wheel bearing service is covered under 4-Wheel Drive Front Hub removal and installation in Drive Train . The following wheel bearing service procedure is for two wheel drive trucks only.

2-WHEEL DRIVE



See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

  1. Remove the wheel, tire assembly, and the brake drum or brake caliper.
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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of a 2WD knuckle and hub assembly showing inner and outer wheel bearings

  1. 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.
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  3. 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.
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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the old inner bearing seal by prying it free

  1. Remove the outer roller bearing assembly from the hub. The inner bearing assembly will remain in the hub and may be removed after prying out the inner seal. Discard this seal.
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  3. Clean all parts in solvent and allow to air dry. Check the parts for excessive wear or damage.
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  5. 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.
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Fig. Fig. 3: Once the inner bearing is properly packed with grease, insert it into the inner bearing cup

  1. 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.
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  3. Place the inner bearing in the hub and install a new inner seal, making sure that the seal flange faces the bearing cup.
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  5. Carefully install the wheel hub over the spindle.
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  7. Using your hands, firmly press the outer bearing into the hub. Install the spindle washer and nut.
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Fig. Fig. 4: Position the new inner bearing seal into the rear of the rotor

  1. To adjust the bearings, 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 0.001-0.005 in. inch end-play in the bearing. This can be measured with a dial indicator, if you wish. Replace the dust cap, wheel and tire.
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