Chrysler Full-Size Vans 1989-1998 Repair Guide

Wheel Bearings



See Figure 1

Sodium based grease is not compatible with lithium based grease. Read the package labels and be careful not to mix the two types. If there is any doubt as to the type of grease used, completely clean the old grease from the bearing and hub before replacing.

Before handling the bearings, there are a few things that you should remember to do and not to do.

DO the following:

Remove all outside dirt from the housing before exposing the bearing.
Treat a used bearing as gently as you would a new one.
Work with clean tools in clean surroundings.
Use clean, dry gloves, or at least clean, dry hands.
Clean solvents and flushing fluids are a must.
Use clean paper when laying out the bearings to dry.
Protect disassembled bearings from rust and dirt. Cover them up.
Use clean, lint-free rags to wipe the bearings.
Keep the bearings in oil-proof paper when they are to be stored or are not in use.
Clean the inside of the housing before replacing the bearing.

Do NOT do the following:

Do not work in dirty surroundings.
Do not use dirty, chipped or damaged tools.
Do not work on wooden work benches or use wooden mallets.
Do not handle bearings with dirty or moist hands.
Do not use gasoline for cleaning. Use a safe solvent.
Do not spin dry bearings with compressed air. They will be damaged.
Do not use cotton waste or dirty cloths to wipe bearings.
Do not scratch or nick bearing surfaces.
Do not allow the bearing to come in contact with dirt or rust at any time.

The front wheel bearings require periodic maintenance. A premium high melting point grease meeting NLGI Grade GC or GC-LB or equivalent must be used. Long fiber type greases must not be used. This service is recommended every 22,500 miles (36,000 km).

For information on Wheel Bearing removal and installation, refer to Suspension & Steering of this guide.

  1. Remove the wheel bearing.
  3. Clean all parts in a non-flammable solvent and let them air dry.

Only use lint-free rags to dry the bearings. Never spin-dry a bearing with compressed air, as this will damage the rollers.

  1. Check for excessive wear and damage. Replace the bearing as necessary.

Packing wheel bearings with grease is best accomplished by using a wheel bearing packer (available at most automotive parts stores).

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Packing the wheel bearing by hand

  1. If a wheel bearing packer is not available, the bearings may be packed by hand.
    1. Place a "healthy" glob of grease in the palm of one hand.
    3. Force the edge of the bearing into the grease so that the grease fills the space between the rollers and the bearing cage.
    5. Keep rotating the bearing while continuing to push the grease through.
    7. Continue until the grease is forced out the other side of the bearing.

  3. Place the packed bearing on a clean surface and cover it until it is time for installation.
  5. Install the wheel bearing.