Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Rear Wheel Bearings

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REPLACEMENT



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

Do not use old bearings with new races or vise versa. Only use bearings in a matched set.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle, then remove the rear wheels.
  4.  
  5. On drum brakes, insert a small pry tool through a wheel bolt hole and push up on the adjusting wedge to slacken the rear brake adjustment.
  6.  
  7. On disc brakes, remove the caliper.
  8.  
  9. Remove the grease cap, cotter pin, locking ring, axle nut and thrust washer. Carefully remove the bearing and put all these parts where they will stay clean.
  10.  
  11. Remove the brake drum or rotor and pry out the inner seal to remove the inner bearing.
  12.  
  13. Clean all the grease off the bearings using solvent. If the bearings appear worn or damaged, they must be replaced.
  14.  
  15. To remove the bearing races, support the drum or rotor and carefully drive the race out with a long drift pin. They can also be removed on a press.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Carefully press the new race into the drum or rotor. The old race can be used as a press tool but make sure it does not become stuck in the hub.
  2.  
  3. Pack the inner bearing with clean wheel bearing grease and fit it into the inner race. Press a new axle seal into place by hand.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Thoroughly pack the bearing with fresh, high temperature wheel bearing grease before installation

  1. Lightly coat the stub axle with grease and install the drum or rotor. Be careful not to damage the axle seal.
  2.  
  3. Pack the outer bearing, then install the bearing, thrust washer and nut.
  4.  
  5. To adjust the bearing pre-load:
    1. Begin tightening the nut while turning the drum or rotor.
    2.  
    3. When the nut is snug, try to move the thrust washer with a screwdriver.
    4.  
    5. Back the nut off until the thrust washer can be moved without prying or twisting the screwdriver.
    6.  

  6.  
  7. Without turning the nut, install the locking ring so a new cotter pin can be installed through the hole in the stub axle. Bend the cotter pin.
  8.  
  9. Pack some grease into the cap and install it.
  10.  
  11. Connect the battery cable.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Apply a thin coat of fresh grease to the new axle seal



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Once the bearings are adjusted, the thrust washer must still move slightly without prying

 
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