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Old 06-17-2011, 01:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Packing wheel bearings...

Ok guys this is how I pack my wheel bearings or did. Any comments or advice is welcome. (front drums) Got me some Timken bearings from Auto Zone. I put the races in the freezer overnite. I got some high temp wheel bearing grease and put it in the palm of my hand. Pushed the outer edge of the bearing into the grease to pack it in till it oozed out the opposite side. Done this on both sides all the way around. I then put the bearings in. Packed the inner hollow area with grease. Do I really need to do this hollow area? Installed the new seal. Put the drum on. Rotated the drum while I torqued to 20 ft lbs. Backed off the nut then tightened hand tight real good with a socket. Then installed the castle and cotter pin. Adjusted the brake shoes till I just could barely feel them contact the drum. This is how I do it. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well...

I don't see any harm in the way you did it...

But I've packed a lot of bearings by hand and I've never put them in the freezer. Nor have I ever seen any shop do this. Nor have I ever heard of this. I'm going out on a limb and saying you probably don't need to do this. ;-).

And although the petroleum companies will love you, if I understand correctly and you are packing the centers of the hubs with grease, you might as well just throw that grease in the trash.

There is an actual inch/pound torque setting for the spindle nut after the initial pre-load, but your hand tightening is probably just fine.

Good luck,
-Rory

P.S. I have always washed the bearings off with solvent or carb cleaner and thoroughly dried them before packing them to remove any wax/rust inhibitor that may have been left on by the manufacturing process...
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Last edited by 2ndGen; 06-17-2011 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Added P.S.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think he put the races in the freezer to shrink em a little, not the bearings themselves
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnutz View Post
I think he put the races in the freezer to shrink em a little, not the bearings themselves
I too think this is why he did it; but I've never done it, I've never seen it done in the shop or dealerships, and I really don't think it is necessary for normal installation of wheel bearings on a Ford Mustang of this vintage. But I don't think it hurts anything either.

-Rory
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnutz View Post
I think he put the races in the freezer to shrink em a little, not the bearings themselves
Yeah I put the races only in the freezer overnite. It does help them go in easier. I do this alot with pilot bushins or bearings that go in the back of the crank. Shops dont do it because time is money. So you guys think its a waste of time to pack the hollow area between the bearings? Does the grease not work its way to the bearings or does it just sit there?
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I did look in my service book. It says to tighten the bearing to 15 inch lbs then instal the cotter pin. Ive always just hand tightend them good with a socket. I pack my wheel bearings on the car hauler and camper this way. Havent had any problems as of yet. I use bearing buddies on both the camper and car hauler thou. They work really well.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobra460jet View Post
I did look in my service book. It says to tighten the bearing to 15 inch lbs then instal the cotter pin. Ive always just hand tightend them good with a socket. I pack my wheel bearings on the car hauler and camper this way. Havent had any problems as of yet. I use bearing buddies on both the camper and car hauler thou. They work really well.
As I said, there is probably nothing wrong with your method (although the hand tightening is subjective). I grew up in the service area of a Ford dealership and worked summers there through college in the late 70's. I can tell you that many professional Ford mechanics performed the job without breaking out the inch/lb torque wrench. But there IS a specification if you are concerned.

A final note on the tightening: I would not blindly trust either hand tightening nor a torque specification. After the wheel is back on IMO you MUST check for play. If a race is not fully seated it can appear to have torqued/tightened correctly.

There is a slight flaw in your time is money argument... if it were necessary the dealers would just stock a freezer with bearing races. Unless there is damage to the hub, pre-shrinking the race for this vintage car is just not necessary . It may make it easier; it just isn't that hard to begin with.

And the grease in the center of your hub is just sitting there.

About the only thing that is of any concern at all to me is that you never mentioned cleaning the new bearing prior to installation. IMHO all parts should be cleaned prior to installation. Even new ones.

Good luck,
-Rory
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Last edited by 2ndGen; 06-17-2011 at 02:45 PM.
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