Only the front wheel bearings require periodic service. The lubricant to use is high temperature disc brake-rated wheel bearing grease meeting NLGI No. 2 specifications. This service is recommended at 30,000 miles or every 36 months or whenever the truck has been driven in water up to the hub.
WHEEL BEARING SERVICE PRECAUTIONS
Before servicing wheel bearings, observe the following:
REMOVAL, PACKING, AND INSTALLATION
2-Wheel Drive (2WD) Vehicles
- Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle on safety stands.
- Remove the wheels.
- Remove the brake caliper from its mount. Use stiff wire to suspend it out of the way; do NOT loosen the brake hose at the caliper. Remove the brake pads.
- Remove the grease cap. Remove the cotter pin and locknut. Use a socket of the correct size to loosen and remove the axle nut.
- Remove the hub and brake disc together with the outer bearing and thrust washer. Use your thumbs to keep the pieces inside the hub as the unit is removed. Be careful NOT to drop the outer bearing.
- Use a small prying tool to remove the inner bearing seal. Once the seal is out, remove the bearing from the hub.
- Place all bearings and nuts, caps, etc., into a wide container of cleaning solvent. Cleanliness is essential to wheel bearing maintenance. Use a soft bristle brush to clean every bit of grease from every component. Place each cleaned component on a clean, lint-free cloth and allow them to air dry.
- Inspect the bearings for pitting, flat spots, rust, and rough areas. Check the races (inner surfaces of the hub) for the same conditions. If any damage is seen, the components must be replaced. As a general rule, if either a bearing or race is damaged, the matching part that contacts it should also be replaced. Replacement bearings, seals and other required parts can be bought at an auto parts store. The old parts that are to be replaced should be taken along to be compared with the replacement part to insure a perfect match.
- Pack the wheel bearings with grease. There are special devices made for the specific purpose of greasing bearings, but if one is not available, pack the wheel bearings by hand. Put a large dab of grease in the palm of your hand and push the bearing through it with a sliding motion. The grease must be forced through the side of the bearing and in between each roller. Continue until the grease begins to ooze out the other side and through the gaps between the rollers; the bearing must be completely packed with grease.
- Coat the inside of the hub and cap with grease, but do NOT pack it solid. Remember that the spindle (axle) has to pass through the center.
- Clean the spindle thoroughly and inspect it for any sign of damage. Coat it with a very light layer of bearing grease.
- Install the inner bearing into the race. Use a seal driver of the correct diameter to install a NEW grease seal over the bearing. Reusing the old seal may cost more money than it saves; if the grease leaks out and the bearing fails, the wheel may seize while in motion.
- Place the hub and disc onto the spindle. Install the outer bearing and the flat thrust washer.
- Install the locknut and use a torque wrench to adjust the nut to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm).
- Turn the hub in each direction several times to seat and snug the bearing. Loosen the locknut until it can be turned by hand without the wrench. Do NOT loosen it any more than necessary to be finger-loose. (Loosening the nut takes the pre-tension off the bearing.)
- Install the locknut, cotter pin and grease cap. Make certain the cap is NOT crooked or loose.
- Install the brake pads and caliper.
- Install the wheel and lug nuts (hand-tight). Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the lug nuts.