Removal & Installation
Damaged wheel bearings produce noise and vibration. The noise often changes when the load on the bearing changes. A road test (in an empty parking lot, for example) would involve veering sharply left and right. If the noise level changes, suspect the wheel bearings.
The removal procedure often damages rear wheel bearings. Removal is not recommended unless the bearings are going to be replaced. New seals must always be used.
- Support the rear of the vehicle in a safe manner.
- Remove the rear wheel.
- Remove the brake drum.
- Remove the differential cover.
- Remove the axle.
- Pry out the wheel bearing seal with a suitable tool.
A clue to bearing condition can be obtained without removal. Check for obvious signs of damage, scoring, cracked rollers, blueing, etc. Rotation must be a smooth and without binding. Damaged bearings must of course be replaced.
NOTEWheel bearings are lubricated by the oil in the differential. If damage is noted, insufficient or inadequate lubricant may be the cause. The differential should be thoroughly cleaned and filled to the proper level with fresh lubricant. In this case, it would be best to replace the wheel bearings on both sides.
The factory removal/installation tool set is designed to install the bearing in the tube to the proper depth. If this is not being used, measure the distance from the end of the axle tube to the bearing so that the new bearing can be installed to the proper depth.
- Use a slide hammer and suitable internal fittings to pull out the wheel bearing, or the factory tool, if available.
- Clean the inside of the axle tube before installing the new bearing.
Drive the new bearing straight in until it reaches the depth measured in the removal steps. In the absence of the factory tool, a large socket can be used. Apply force only to the outer race.
NOTEInstall bearings with the part number facing outwards.
- Press in a new seal. Apply some oil to the lips of the seal before inserting the axle shaft.
- Don't forget to refill the differential with the right grade and quantity of oil.