See Figure 1
Once every 30,000 miles, clean and repack wheel bearings with a GM Wheel Bearing Grease No. 1051344, No. 1052497, or equivalent. It is wise to perform this service more often if the vehicle is subject to heavy use such as towing a trailer. Use only enough grease to completely coat the rollers. Remove any excess grease from the exposed surface of the hub and seal.
It is important that wheel bearings be properly adjusted after installation. Improperly adjusted wheel bearings can cause steering instability, front-end shimmy and wander, and increased tire wear. Properly adjusted bearings have a slightly loose feeling. Wheel bearings must never be preloaded in service. Preloading 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 loose and must be adjusted.
- Raise and support the vehicle safely using a jackstand under the lower control arm.
- If equipped, remove the wheel/hub cover for access, then remove the dust cap from the hub.
- Remove the cotter pin and loosen the spindle nut.
- Spin the wheel forward by hand and tighten the nut to 12 ft. lbs. (16 Nm) in order to fully seat the bearings and remove any burrs from the threads.
- Back off the nut until it is just loose, then finger-tighten the nut.
- Loosen the nut 1 / 4 - 1 / 2 turn until either hole in the spindle lines up with a slot in the nut, then install a new cotter pin. This may appear to be too loose, but it is the correct adjustment.
- Proper adjustment creates 0.001-0.005 in. (0.025-0.127mm) end-play.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 2 through 18
If the bearings are to be replaced, the following procedure recommends the use of GM tools No. J-29117, J-8092, J-8850, J-8457, J-9746-02 or equivalent.
Before handling the bearings, there are a few things that you should remember to do and and few things you should not.Always remember to DO the following:
There are also a few things NOT to do:
- Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
- Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
- Remove the brake caliper mounting bolts and carefully remove the caliper (along with the brake pads) from the rotor. Do not disconnect the brake line; instead wire the caliper out of the way with the line still connected.
- Carefully pry out the grease cap, then remove the cotter pin, spindle nut, and washer. Remove the hub, being careful not to drop the outer wheel bearings. As the hub is pulled forward, the outer wheel bearings will often fall forward and they may easily be removed at this time.
- If not done already, remove the outer roller bearing assembly from the hub. The inner bearing assembly will remain in the hub and may be removed from the rear of the hub after prying out the inner seal with a small prybar. Discard the seal after removal.
- Clean all parts in solvent and allow to air dry, then check for excessive wear or damage. Inspect all of the parts for scoring, pitting or cracking and replace if necessary.
DO NOT remove the bearing races from the hub, unless they show signs of damage.
- If it is necessary to remove the wheel bearing races, use the GM front bearing race removal tool No. J-29117 or equivalent, to drive the races from the hub/disc assembly. A hammer and drift may be used to drive the races from the hub, but the race removal tool is quicker.
If the bearing races were removed, place the replacement races in the freezer for a few minutes and then install them to the hub:
- Lightly lubricate the inside of the hub/disc assembly using wheel bearing grease.
- Using the GM seal installation tools No. J-8092 and J-8850 or equivalent, drive the inner bearing race into the hub/disc assembly until it seats. Make sure the race is properly seated against the hub shoulder and is not cocked.
When installing the bearing races, be sure to support the hub/disc assembly with GM tool No. J-9746-02 or equivalent.
- Using the GM seal installation tools No. J-8092 and J-8457 or equivalent, drive the outer race into the hub/disc assembly until it seats.
- Using a suitable high melting point wheel bearing grease, lubricate the bearings, the races and the spindle; be sure to place a gob of grease (inside the hub/disc assembly) between the races to provide an ample supply of lubricant.
To lubricate each bearing, place a gob of grease in the palm of the hand, then roll the bearing through the grease until it is well lubricated.
- Place the inner bearing in the hub, then apply a thin coating of grease to the sealing lip and install a new inner seal, making sure the seal flange faces the bearing cup.
Although a seal installation tool is preferable, a section of pipe with a smooth edge or a suitably sized socket may be used to drive the seal into position. Make sure the seal is flush with the outer surface of the hub assembly.
- Carefully install the wheel hub over the spindle.
- Using your hands, firmly press the outer bearing into the hub.
- Loosely install the spindle washer and nut, but do not install the cotter pin or dust cap at this time.
- Install the brake caliper.
- Install the tire and wheel assembly.
- Properly adjust the wheel bearings, then install a new cotter pin and the dust cap.
- Install the wheel/hub cover, then remove the supports and carefully lower the vehicle.
Clean the wheel bearings thoroughly with solvent and check their condition before installation.
Apply a sizable dab 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.