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Front wheel bearings OK?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by e9999, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    jacked the rig up.
    (Thank goodness for my new 12 ton jacks... what a pleasure. No, actually, a must!)
    Wanted to see if there is any play in the bearings.
    Per earlier posts, I tried to rock the wheels back and forth.
    On PS, not play detected at all.
    On DS, when I hold it at 3 and 9, no play. But when I hold it at 12 and 6, every so slight, barely perceptible, play is noticeable.
    What does this indicate? Any special part to look at? Urgent intervention needed or no hurry?
    thanks
    Eric
     
  2. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

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    The correct amount of play is zero. Slight play like clicking, means the pre-load is incorrect. Most likely wheelbearings but with the play you describe, it could be knuckle bearings. I would pull the wheel and caliper, and check the wheelbearing condition. This is a good chance to regrease and get familiar with the operation.
     
  3. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Time to repack those bearings there Eric.


    Since you're going to be in the neighborhood I'd suggest pulling the spindles and visually checking the knuckle. It's only 8 more bolts from having the hub off to taking the spindle off. Good experience and since you just got the thing a good benchmark of how they are doing.
     
  4. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    hmmm.... seems like I may have to have this thing apart completely soon, eh...?
    Records show front wheel bearings repacked 20K ago. That a normal interval?

    I'm afraid to open the front end up. Knowing myself, once I look inside I'll have to do a full Birf job... Yikes! :eek:

    geez... and to think I got a really good shape truck... Sure glad I didn't get the fixer upper...

    E
     
  5. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Personally I'd rather opener up and KNOW than bury my head in the sand and WONDER
     
  6. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

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    Doing a "birf Job" doesn't take much longer than wheel bearings. I say go for it, but arm yourself with the paper gaskets for the knuckle. CDan can get them for you-there are 3 on each side, including the one under the drive plate. The knuckle itself is more involved, but not particularly hard. Also-get one of those monster bags of red shop rags at Costco-you'll be glad you did, trust me.
     
  7. ppc

    ppc M Go Blue

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    I say take the wheel and caliper off and check or reset the preload. Before major surgery get to know your newly purchased cruiser better. There are a bunch of other things like plugs, wires and rotor, transfer case and transmission fluids that would be higher on my list. More than likely it is preload and not the kingpin/trunion bearings. This is something than can be done in an hours time and will be a good learning experience for a future birfield repack. Only special tools will be the hub socket and fish scale. The birfield repack is going to be about 8 hours per side to clean up everything properly and I would do them as a pair and also change the diff fluid at the same time. If you still have movement after properly setting preload then considering your other posts about adding grease and still looking empty I would then properly plan the the birfield job gathering all the tools, lubricants, seals, bearings, rags and #6's and if possible organise the party to get it done as a group.
     
  8. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    hmmm.... only on hour to do preload only. No repacking etc I take it?
    That sounds good since these should have been repacked 20K ago and that grease should still be good, I would think. Maybe they messed up the preload?
    Not eager to get into the Birfs yet since there does not appear to be any leak and I hear no clicking.
    Now, if we have a Birf party, do we have the #6s before or after? It'll be more fun if before...
    :D
    thanks
    E
     
  9. MoJ

    MoJ Moderator

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    While on the phone with C-Dan ordering brake pads he convinced me I should tackle the wheel bearings myself so the necessary goodies are on the way. Hmmm now that I think about it, sounds like a good way for him to get the sale on the parts I jack up when I don't do the bearings right..... :doh: :cheers:

    I'm going for it this weekend. Prepare to rescue me. :slap:
     
  10. otis22

    otis22

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    Keep us posted. I'm looking at tackling that myself sometime in the near future. Especially the preload and fish scale process. Good luck.
     
  11. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    I have to tell ya that a *fish scale* does not sound very serious for the MOST FORMIDABLE 4X4 EVER.... (ooops, got ahead of myself there for a sec)
    sounds kinda wimpy, really.
    Nothing digital instead?
    sheesh...
    :p
    E
     
  12. MoJ

    MoJ Moderator

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    Fish scale would work if you could verify it was accurate and repeatable.
     
  13. ppc

    ppc M Go Blue

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    Just to be honest, I've done a lot of bearings over my lifetime and experienced enough to make the adjustment by feel. If I fished, then I still wouldn't use a scale because everyone knows a good fisherman is also a good liar!
     
  14. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    Most fish scales start out at around 24 lbs, don't they? ::)
     
  15. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    I agree with just checking the preload first. No need to pull the wheel bearings to do that. If that doesn't do it, move on to check the wheel bearings, and then if that fails you may as well do a full repack if you are going to go all the way down to the kingpin bearings. Remember to have a bucket or similar under the kncukle housing when you remove the spindle in case you have birf soup in there.
     
  16. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    As I've stated before I'm not a fan of the preload adjustment. But for it to stand any chance of getting the hub adjusted properly the bearings need to be washed out and repacked with fresh grease. Otherwise you'll get false readings on the scale from old contaminated grease dragging more or not enoug grease dragging a little which would produce bad results.

    So you've jacked up the axle, removed the tire, removed the end cap from the hub, removed the snap ring, hammered the hell out of those cone washers and removed the drive flange, removed the outer locking nut, removed the locking ring and the only thing stopping you from removing the hub is 2 bolts on the caliper and you stop there? You've done 90% of the work but are going to be satisfied with only getting 10% of the job done.

    You found play in the wheel and those bearings need to be inspected. If they are bad and all you do is reset the preload you've accomplished nothing other than making more work for yourself later on and setting yourself up for a road side failure.

    What is the sence of spending the time looking for potential problems if your not going to follow through with the needed service.

    Not meaning to be a jerk, just some tough love. Order up some flange seals, hub socket and inner grease seals from Dan and buy a tub of grease and a scale. We're all here for ya. You won't fail and you'll feel great about yourself when your done.
     
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