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Old 11-01-2011, 10:34 PM
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Okiespaniels Okiespaniels is offline
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I just did the bearings for the 2nd time in the last 5 years, along with my ball joints. When I did them 5 years ago, I replaced the axle U-joints and they were still good partially because I could grease them.

The first time was done in a apartment building parking lot. I and another more experienced friend did the job in a day, most of which was spent pounding out the rusted wheel bearings. We also broke a 3/4 breaker bar getting the hub nuts off.

We had to bust the hub mounting bolts loose with a 14mm wrench and 24 oz ball pien. I pretty much exhausted my vocabulary of under the breath cursing and invented some new terms as well. Thankfully my wiser friend brought lots of never sieze, which we coated upon every mating surface and bolt thread.

Present tense...I started 4 days early by pulling my caps off and spraying down my hub nuts and most everything else.
This job was done in my driveway. The new hd air wrench zipped off the hub nuts with only a bit of protest. I had plenty of jacks and stands and room to work.
The air wrench zipped off the hub bolts and and everything pretty much popped out in my waiting hands, thanks to all the never sieze. Unlike the parking lot where I had to hurry I proceeded at a leisurely pace, always rechecking my work, because I had no help...and I'm a whole lot older. I also changed out all the front brake system and had to wait for parts.
I torqued everything back into place as required, and painted a few parts and tapped the steering stop holes...but I degress.
My point is, there are two ways to do this job. If you don't have the proper tools lined up or have to do it by hand it is a difficult process, especially if you've never done it. But it can be done.
On the other hand, having a few luxuries can make the job easy. Especially if it was done right the first time.

I woiuld test your ball joints by prying on your spindle casting to check play. If there's any movement you can see they are toast. You can knock off your spindle and if you can rotate or easily move your bottom joint shaft around your lowers are toast. Remember they are holding the entire weight of the trucks front end on them!

Wheel bearings can be checked while the tires are on. Before removing the tires, grab them at 12:00 and 6:00 and try to wriggle them. If you can move them more than a hair, your beairngs are on thier way out. If the tires yaw and weave more than a 1/16 inch, I'd replace the bearings.

Last edited by Okiespaniels; 11-01-2011 at 10:41 PM.
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