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When to change the spindle bearing ?

shamal

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Guys: I'll post this one in the right forum ,,,
I'm rebuilding my front end, and am looking for info on changing the spindle bearing and seal..
Some guys are calling the inner rotor bearing, the spindle bearing, but I'm referring to the one on the inside of the spindle. Is this pulled with a bearing puller??
I've also seen threads on removing the whole knuckle, with the spindle on it, and ones where the spindle is removed first. I take it it's easier to work that spindle off when the knuckle is still on the vehicle?? Or do I remove the whole knuckle and go from there?

Thanks
 


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RangerX

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Definately easier with the knuckle still on the vehicle.

Are you wanting to get the race out? Cuz the bearing should just fall out.
 




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If you mean the one inside the spindal I used a bent punch and it came out, and it is easer to take the spindal of the nukel to do this.
 




RangerX

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You're right. I'll edit my response to say, it's easier to have the knuckle attached if you're removing the spindle from the knuckle. :)
 




shamal

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No I haven't got anything off yet, just gathering all the parts 1st! Thanks for the notes!! I'll change the bearings and seals too!
 




ThreeQuarter

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I replaced my spindle bearings a few weeks ago. Here's what I learned:

1) Two words: slide hammer! Use it to pull the spindle off the knuckle, and then the bearing out of the spindle. Harbor Freight has a 5-lb set that works great. I bought that set used at a pawn shop for $15 (some parts missing) and it worked like a champ.

2) There are two bolts on the backside of the ABS sensor & guard. One is (I think) an 8mm, and the other is waaaaay back in there--supposedly a 12pt 6mm head. Find a 12pt 6mm socket (good luck) or drill those bolts out like I did. I replaced mine with hex cap bolts. Search this site for details of removing the ABS sensor.

3) I think the seals have been redesigned since mine was last serviced (factory?). The ones I bought at Napa went together like this: The outer (smaller) seal that presses into the inboard end of the spindle is slightly redesigned, but installs the same as the old style. The inner (larger) seal is flexible rubber and fits tight around the axle shaft itself, spinning with it. It has a flange that hugs the face of the inner seal to keep dirt & water out. (The old style inner seal appeared to press into the back of the knuckle somehow and seal to the axle shaft, but mine were so far gone I can't be sure.)

Good luck!
Ben
 




shamal

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Thanks for the notes 3/4 ! I'm checking for a slide hammer set up here in Canada. Did you grab the inside of the spindle and use the hammer to pull back, or use it to wedge between the knuckle and the spindle??
I'm checking the seals that I bought to see if I got 2 part units or one. I think mine were one part.
 




ThreeQuarter

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Point the slide hammer's claws inward. Thread the nut onto the spindle and hook the puller on it.

Then point the claws outward and slip them inside the bearing. You'll need a slide hammer set that has some small claws for this part.

The seals I bought were NAPA part numbers NOS13144 (inner?) & NOS22311 (outer?). Can't find these on their website, the guy at the counter came up with them.
 




shamal

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ThreeQuarter: You're an ace ! Makes sense and seems a whole lot easier then banging away with a hammer and screw drivers. I'll lay on some solvent as well before I pull. Thanks for the tip about reversing the claws to get it in position. I'll check out the Harbour freight one, but it's real expensive to get that stuff into Canada. I can rent one somewhere. I've got their ball joint kit, and it's a good tool to have.
Happy New year, and all the best!
 




pugsy

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With regards to the spindle bearings...how do you know when they're shot and need to be replaced. I don't want to go through all that work of removal to find out they're good still. Is there signs of wear, ie. noise, friction, etc.?
Thanks...
 




DeRocha

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With regards to the spindle bearings...how do you know when they're shot and need to be replaced. I don't want to go through all that work of removal to find out they're good still. Is there signs of wear, ie. noise, friction, etc.?
Thanks...

Spindle bearings only move when your in 4x4 or your HUBS are locked; the rest of the time (ie 2wd) they don't move at all. Because the spindle bearings only come into play when 4x4 is active it maybe hard to hear/feel any issues with all the other noises going on. IMO if you're going to replace your ball-joints you should spend the extra few $ to replace the spindle bearings and seals..
 




pugsy

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Well, my balljoints are okay, but it does seem kinda rough in 4x4...I fixed the 4x4 so who knows how long it was inactive before I got the truck. Maybe the spindle bearings have dried up....or maybe not.
I'm not planning on doing the balljoints, but was thinking about replacing spindle bearings. How much more work is it to pull the axels out once the spindles are off (ie. u-joint replacement)? I know the drivers side is a bit easier but haven't been able to find a good link to the front end removal. That sweedish article had good pics, but I need the verbal to go along with it!
 




DeRocha

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Well, my balljoints are okay, but it does seem kinda rough in 4x4...I fixed the 4x4 so who knows how long it was inactive before I got the truck. Maybe the spindle bearings have dried up....or maybe not.
I'm not planning on doing the balljoints, but was thinking about replacing spindle bearings. How much more work is it to pull the axels out once the spindles are off (ie. u-joint replacement)? I know the drivers side is a bit easier but haven't been able to find a good link to the front end removal. That sweedish article had good pics, but I need the verbal to go along with it!

Once the spindles are off the stub axles will just pull right out (you will 1st need to remove the metal clamp on the the passenger side's rubber boot @ the axle shaft's slip joint).
 




pugsy

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Right on...that doesn't sound too bad.
Now, I might undertake this partial rebuild once the winter is over and it's warmer and I get my summer rig back on the road.

Can you let me know if any special tools are required for the below or can this be done in the garage on jack stands with normal tools (no impact wrench or air tools). I know a u-joint tools is needed, and possibly a slide hammer....anything else?
This is what I want to do:

- new u-joints at front wheels (the interior one on the passenger side axel looks good still)
- new spindle bearings (assuming they need it)
- re-pack wheel bearings
- resurface rotors
- new calipers/slide pins and pads
- will keep auto hubs for now until they detonate, then will switch to manuals...just use 4x4 in the snow a few times per season.

Pretty sure the balljoints and tie rods are ok still (no clunks, pulling, or uneven tire wear), but will double check once the truck's in the air. I don't really want to have to pull the knuckle off.

Thanks for the help!
 




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