Gears & Axles - Rear wheel bearings
04-13-2012, 12:22 PM
So I have a 2002 Camaro convertible with the 3.8 V6. I'm planning to change out the rear wheel bearings tomorrow and have been doing some research. I believe I have the job mapped out but I'm a little confused about one point.
My question is: do you need to pack this type of bearing with grease prior to install? Some of the 'how-to's' specifically call out to do so and others say just to splash some gear oil on the bearing before install. Which is right?
04-13-2012, 03:07 PM
both are right and either will do as the rearends' case gear lube(when properly filled) will travel down the axle tubes to continuously lube the bearings.
04-13-2012, 04:40 PM
Thanks for that feedback.
Also, is there any advantage with going with a combined bearing/seal unit? It's quite a bit cheaper to buy the bearings and seals separately (~$32) versus buying the combined units for $30 each (~$60).
04-13-2012, 09:30 PM
if you're talking about what is termed/considered an axle 'saver',AVOID !!!
do a 'search' in this rearend forum for 'axle saver' and you'll find nothing but negative.
trouble installing axles to proper depth and then impossible to remove.
04-13-2012, 11:58 PM
Firstyear is right. It wont hurt to put wheel bearing grease on them during the initial install but in the end the gear oil will lube them. You will need a wheel bearing puller and matching slide hammer. They can be tough to get out. One set I did wouldn't budge so I heated them with a small propane torch then tried again and managed to get them out. Broke my puller in the process. :bang:
04-14-2012, 08:42 PM
Thanks for the additional feedback.
I did find the same info with a Google search and was really hoping I wouldn't have to go the route of the axle repair bearing.
I did the job today and it went very well. The axles were in good shape. I couldn't feel any ridge on the shaft where the old bearing was riding. I did have one of the spider gears fall out and I got a little nervous about putting it back properly. The old bearings were clearly worn compared to the new ones. The old ones rattle when you shake them and are quite loose and easy to spin. The new ones were tight and didn't rattle a bit if you shook them. I did decide to slather some grease onto them. I used the same water-proof marine grade grease that I use in my polyurethane bushings.
My findings are that it is quieter and seems to feel somewhat smoother. I definitely noticed a reduction in general rattling sounds when going over a bump. I didn't expect that to be affected. Overall it was an easy job with good results.
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