Mazda 323/626/929/GLC/MX-6/RX-7 1978-1989

Rear Wheel Bearings

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Maintenance in this section covers the rear wheel bearings on front wheel drive cars. These are the only wheel bearings which require periodic lubrication on most front wheel drive vehicles covered by this information. (Mazda does not require periodic lubrication of the rear wheel bearings on rear wheel drive vehicles covered by this information.) For drive axle bearing information, please refer to Drive Train for rear wheel drive models or Suspension & Steering for front wheel drive models.

Applicable rear wheel bearings should be repacked with lithium grease (NGLI No. 1) every 30,000 miles (48,309 km) or 30 months, whichever comes first.

END-PLAY ADJUSTMENT



1983-89 626 and MX-6
  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely. Remove the rear wheel.
  2.  
  3. If so equipped, disconnect and properly support the caliper assembly.
  4.  
  5. Position a dial indicator gauge against the dust cap. Push and pull the disc brake rotor or brake drum in the axial direction and measure the end-play of the wheel bearing.
  6.  
  7. End-play should be 0.008 in. (0.2mm). If necessary, correct by replacing the wheel bearing.
  8.  
  9. Using a small cold chisel, stake the locknut tab so that 0.08 in. (2mm) or more protrudes from the end of the spindle groove.
  10.  

Do not use a pointed tool for staking.

  1. If applicable, install the caliper assembly.
  2.  
  3. Install the wheel.
  4.  
  5. If necessary, remove the other rear wheel and repeat Steps 2-7 for that side.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  

PRELOAD ADJUSTMENT



323
  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely. Remove the rear wheel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the dust cap and torque the locknut to 18-21 ft. lbs. (24-29 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Turn the wheel assembly to seat the bearing properly. Loosen the locknut slightly until it can be turned by hand.
  6.  
  7. Hook a spring seal to a wheel lug stud in order to measure the oil seal drag. Pull the spring scale squarely.
  8.  
  9. Note the oil seal drag value (when the wheel hub starts to turn) and record this measurement.
  10.  
  11. Add the oil seal drag value to the specified value of 0.6-1.9 lb. (2.6-8.5 N). This sum should represent the standard bearing preload of 1.30-4.34 inch lbs. (0.15-0.49 Nm). Turn the locknut slowly until the standard bearing preload is obtained while pulling the scale.
  12.  
  13. Using a small cold chisel, stake the locknut tab so that 0.08 in. (2mm) or more protrudes from the end of the spindle groove.
  14.  

Do not use a pointed tool for staking.

  1. Insert the dust cap, then install the wheel.
  2.  
  3. If necessary, remove the other rear wheel and repeat Steps 2-8 for that side.
  4.  
  5. Lower the vehicle.
  6.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear wheel and the grease cap.
  4.  
  5. Using a cape chisel and a hammer, raise the staked portion of the hub nut.
  6.  
  7. Remove and discard the hub nut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the brake drum or disc brake rotor assembly from the spindle. Please refer to Brakes of this repair guide.
  10.  
  11. Using a small prybar, pry the grease seal from the brake drum or rotor and discard it.
  12.  
  13. Remove the snapring. Using a shop press, press the wheel bearing from the brake drum or rotor.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Using a shop press, press the new wheel bearing into the brake drum or rotor until it seats and install the snapring.
  2.  
  3. Lubricate the new seal lip with grease and install the seal, using a suitable installation tool.
  4.  
  5. Position the brake drum or rotor onto the wheel spindle.
  6.  
  7. Install a new locknut and tighten to specifications.
  8.  
  9. Check the wheel bearing end-play as follows:
    1. Rotate the drum or rotor to make sure there is no brake drag.
    2.  
    3. Install a suitable dial indicator and check the wheel bearing end-play. End-play should not exceed 0.008 in. (0.2mm).
    4.  

  10.  
  11. Using a dull cold chisel, stake the locknut, then install the grease cap.
  12.  

If the nut splits or cracks after staking, it must be replaced with a new nut.

  1. Install the wheel and tighten the lug nuts to 65-87 ft. lbs. (88-118 Nm).
  2.  
  3. If necessary, for the other rear wheel and repeat Steps 2-14 for that side.
  4.  
  5. Lower the vehicle.
  6.  

 
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