Can someone explain to me repacking bearings?

Joined
Jun 22, 2018
Messages
19
Location
Wasatch Front
I have been reading a bunch of threads, because my front brakes need done, my local shop quoted me a pretty high $ to do this and it looks like I can do it myself. Consensus seems to be to repack the bearings while you're at it, but most of the threads I see don't mention what exactly that means other than the needle bearings tool from Slee. Can someone link me a thread where this is described? Or what tools I'm going to need? Sorry if this is already an easy to find thread, but I've read quite and I'm itching to get my rig ready for the road again.
 

2001LC

 
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
8,231
Location
Colorado
I've rotors (aka disk) machined (aka turned) or installing new rotors when replacing pads. Machining can be done on the vehicle with specialized lathe, that most Dealership have. For DIY when replacing rotor because out of limit or just upgrading, say too slotted and drilled rotors. Or turning rotors off the vehicle to prep for new pad. It is indeed best to do a front wheel bearing service at same time.

The Slee spindle tool, is a nice method to pump grease through spindle around axle getting grease into back of steering knuckle to axle brass bushing and needle bearing.
Some just press new grease in from back of knuckle while steering knuckle in place. Very difficult to actually get grease into the needle bearings this way. But does fine job of greasing brass bushing, provided no dirty gets in area.
Many on mud have made their own spindle tool for greasing, with plumbing supplies.
Slee tool on and ready to pump grease to axle needle bearing and brass bushing.
Slee spindle tool 3 (1).JPG

Personally I like pulling the steering knuckle the first time in on any 100 series wheel bearing service. It's and extra that does really add to time to a wheel bearing service. But this allows me too properly inspect all ball joints. Additionally I recondition and inspect steering knuckle, brass bushing, needle bearings, de-rust, rust prevent, recondition, seal and pack in grease by hand. It does requires a new seal be installed in back of knuckle. This is a one time service I do. After which I use the Slee tool each 30K miles when doing PM wheel bearing service.

Here is a rather nasty looking view of back side of steering knuckle (seal, brass bushing and needle bearing).
DS wheel bearing and knuckle tear down 064 (4).JPG

Here's a steering knuckle all ready to be installed.
DS Axle hub, wheel bearing and knuckle Final cleaning 257.JPG


Old school method to repacking takes some patience and practice to pack the bearings fully with grease. I prefer to use a press that pushes grease into the rollers and cages: faster and ensures grease is deep into the cage.


Amazon product
View attachment 2087951
You have near every useful & cool tool there is. When you going to become my neighbor... ;)
Once I had a grease press at a shop I worked in as a teenage. It was free standing with a 12" handle. Made the job fast and easy.
Anymore I just pack bearings old school, by hand. It doesn't take long, but cleaning & inspecting does.

Properly packing wheel hub cavity with grease during assembly, is very important. Failure to do so will result in bearing burning up.
Side Note: Loose wheel bearing can result in chatter (vibration) creating damaging heat. If so loose wheel hub wobbles, the wheel speed sensor may get bad reading. Wheel speed sensors reads the area circled.
DS Axle hub, wheel bearing and knuckle Final cleaning 245.JPG

Typically a shop, INDY or Dealership does not do a proper wheel bearing service. Reason; it's a ~3 hour book rate job (~$350). To get the job done and make within book time or sooner; they don't clean, (which means they can't inspect properly among other things), don't replace grease in hub, just press old grease out of wheel bearings with new grease (mixing greases), don't set BP preload, don't replace or check snap ring gap, don't grease axle bearing & bushing.
Not very good video angles of wheel hub. I was just really after showing how it pack bearings by hand. You'll get it when doing the job.

After packing axle bearing and bushing with grease. Pull axle out by hand will not settle the grease. So the snap ring gap will be larger than first reading indicates. One can assembly drive to settle and come back and replace snap ring and set gap. I just grabbed up some tools and made a puller. Some in mud have fashion a real simple tool for this.
01 LC wheel hub flange 002.JPG


I must apology for my videos. My camera shuts off after 7 minutes. So one must watch many, to see how to assemble steering knuckle and wheel hub. I just started doing some videos and posting upon a request. They just helpful, but not a step by step how to. Taking pictures adds a lot of time to my jobs, videos adds even more time. So it is limited as to what I show. They only video of dis-assembly is remove cone washers. This was the very toughest hub flange removal I'd every done. Someone used FIPG and glued it and cone washer in. Other than cone washers it just take it apart, nothing special. Just don't pound on parts with steel. Don't pound I hub flange itself either, unless replacing it!
 
Last edited:

2001LC

 
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
8,231
Location
Colorado
o_OThat's too kind of you. Thank you so much!
I'll put to used the day they get here. I CAN'T WAIT! You always have the best tools, so I know these will be so much safer..
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
404
Location
Phoenix
I once knew a guy who built an elaborate, totally over-built, concrete trench in his side yard, just for working on his cars. I asked him about it and he said that he had personally known two people who had died under their cars in jack stand failures. It happens. I wouldn't get under a car on the best of jack stands.
 

2001LC

 
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
8,231
Location
Colorado
I've been bugging you on this for a couple of years. So I've sent you a belated B-day present that should be a substantial improvement. My thank you for all the how to threads contributed here.
They're here thank you my fiend you probable saved my life. :)

Now how do I assemble, where's the safety pin or do I use my nails from old jack stands;)
001.JPG
:)
 

abuck99

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 8, 2015
Messages
3,274
Location
ATL
😎Safety Third- now lets see them under the truck in place of the old ones😏
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Austin, Tx
I've rotors (aka disk) machined (aka turned) or installing new rotors when replacing pads. Machining can be done on the vehicle with specialized lathe, that most Dealership have. For DIY when replacing rotor because out of limit or just upgrading, say too slotted and drilled rotors. Or turning rotors off the vehicle to prep for new pad. It is indeed best to do a front wheel bearing service at same time.

The Slee spindle tool, is a nice method to pump grease through spindle around axle getting grease into back of steering knuckle to axle brass bushing and needle bearing.
Some just press new grease in from back of knuckle while steering knuckle in place. Very difficult to actually get grease into the needle bearings this way. But does fine job of greasing brass bushing, provided no dirty gets in area.
Many on mud have made their own spindle tool for greasing, with plumbing supplies.
Slee tool on and ready to pump grease to axle needle bearing and brass bushing.
View attachment 2088618
Personally I like pulling the steering knuckle the first time in on any 100 series wheel bearing service. It's and extra that does really add to time to a wheel bearing service. But this allows me too properly inspect all ball joints. Additionally I recondition and inspect steering knuckle, brass bushing, needle bearings, de-rust, rust prevent, recondition, seal and pack in grease by hand. It does requires a new seal be installed in back of knuckle. This is a one time service I do. After which I use the Slee tool each 30K miles when doing PM wheel bearing service.

Here is a rather nasty looking view of back side of steering knuckle (seal, brass bushing and needle bearing).
View attachment 2088627
Here's a steering knuckle all ready to be installed.
View attachment 2088632


You have near every useful & cool tool there is. When you going to become my neighbor... ;)
Once I had a grease press at a shop I worked in as a teenage. It was free standing with a 12" handle. Made the job fast and easy.
Anymore I just pack bearings old school, by hand. It doesn't take long, but cleaning & inspecting does.

Properly packing wheel hub cavity with grease during assembly, is very important. Failure to do so will result in bearing burning up.
Side Note: Loose wheel bearing can result in chatter (vibration) creating damaging heat. If so loose wheel hub wobbles, the wheel speed sensor may get bad reading. Wheel speed sensors reads the area circled.
View attachment 2088634
Typically a shop, INDY or Dealership does not do a proper wheel bearing service. Reason; it's a ~3 hour book rate job (~$350). To get the job done and make within book time or sooner; they don't clean, (which means they can't inspect properly among other things), don't replace grease in hub, just press old grease out of wheel bearings with new grease (mixing greases), don't set BP preload, don't replace or check snap ring gap, don't grease axle bearing & bushing.
Not very good video angles of wheel hub. I was just really after showing how it pack bearings by hand. You'll get it when doing the job.

After packing axle bearing and bushing with grease. Pull axle out by hand will not settle the grease. So the snap ring gap will be larger than first reading indicates. One can assembly drive to settle and come back and replace snap ring and set gap. I just grabbed up some tools and made a puller. Some in mud have fashion a real simple tool for this.
View attachment 2088636

I must apology for my videos. My camera shuts off after 7 minutes. So one must watch many, to see how to assemble steering knuckle and wheel hub. I just started doing some videos and posting upon a request. They just helpful, but not a step by step how to. Taking pictures adds a lot of time to my jobs, videos adds even more time. So it is limited as to what I show. They only video of dis-assembly is remove cone washers. This was the very toughest hub flange removal I'd every done. Someone used FIPG and glued it and cone washer in. Other than cone washers it just take it apart, nothing special. Just don't pound on parts with steel. Don't pound I hub flange itself either, unless replacing it!

@2001LC - Thanks for the write up. Can you give me a little more info on replacing the seal on the back of the Knuckle? DIfficult to remove and replace?
 

2001LC

 
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
8,231
Location
Colorado
I just attach vise grips (VG) to lip of seal, butt VG onto the side of knuckle and roll VG outward pulling old seal off.

I then clean the rust found just inside rim of seal seat. Using a wire brush or even better a ploy rust remove wheel. Once done inspecting, de-rust and condition of knuckle which may included replacing needle bearing & brass bushing (not often). I grease the inner lip and shelf where seal seats. Makes install easier and helps prevent future rust. I do same with all bare metal of knuckle.
DS Axle hub, wheel bearing and knuckle Final cleaning 030.JPG

After grease seat area were seal will sit. I then place seal squarely into seat, and starting by pressing in with fingers. Then with a piece of wood flush on seal, I give a tap or two on the wood. Once I can see it's going in squarely. I give a good wack or two on wood, drive in seal. I come back with my brass dowel and hammer. Tapping down on first inner shelf of seal to make sure it bottomed. When done the seals lip will stand about 4mm above knuckle.

Tips:
  1. I've learned it best to grease the needle bearing & bushing after seating the seal in, or cover them if greased. Reason is; my wood sometimes drop contaminants (wood or dust) into bearings. If not greased yet, I can just blow out any contaminants.
  2. Also the wood needs to fit flush on seal at all times. If piece of wood too large it will hit a casting protrusion on knuckle, preventing wood from riding flush all the way down.
  3. Using a hard-wood works best. Soft wood splinters and breaks.
DS Axle hub, wheel bearing and knuckle Final cleaning 263.JPG

DS Axle hub, wheel bearing and knuckle Final cleaning 266.JPG

DS Axle hub, wheel bearing and knuckle Final cleaning 255.JPG

 
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