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Rear wheel bearing advice

 
Old 06-16-2019, 02:45 PM
  #1  
ukjohn
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Default Rear wheel bearing advice

As part of my body off restoration, I've just taken off the trailing arms and started investigating the rear wheel bearings. Drivers side has virtually no end float and runs smoothly, so seems good. The passenger side though had around 50 thou end float and grease coming out of both inner and outer bearings. Looked like I needed to overhaul this, so I removed the cotter pin and went to undo the castellated nut, expecting it to be fairly tight. However, it was only hand tight! Out of interest, I tried tightening the nut, the end float disappeared and the bearing runs smoothly. My first question is, could the grease have been leaking out because the bearing was loose, or should I assume that the grease seals have failed ? Second question is, if I strip it down and replace seals and bearings, do I really need to purchase a bearing setup tool? Why couldn't I just assemble the bearing with a suitable size nut and bolt to find the correct size shim?
Thanks in anticipation. John
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:47 PM
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MelWff
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send a PM to GTR1999, Sat in on a 3 hour seminar yesterday presented by him on rebuilding trailling arms and he is an excellent source on this topic..
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:03 PM
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BLUE1972
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My thoughts - send them both out for rebuild, that's what I did, If one fails you will be doing a frame off again, not worth the "savings".

I would also rebuild all the universals..
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:25 PM
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bazza77
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If your attempting a frame off , then doing the rear bearings yourself is just a technical part of that whole process.

Just wondering to whom you could actually send it out to in the UK that wouldnt charge you a kings ransom for "special corvette system" work . If you can get hold of a small press and some basic tools for pressing bearings and measuring run out then the job is very straight forward. The cost of this might be close to a quote to get them done, but after you have done an arm (or both ) , you will wonder what the fuss was all about.

Looking up what gtr1999 has done to document on line these processes with great pictures and wording was enough for me to do these arms at home . I have now done a few for other people and never had any problems .
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:10 AM
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sug
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Get the bearing set up tool ,do both sides and trailing arm bushings ,u joints, parking brake shoes or you have to rip your rear end apart again .Do it once and do it right
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:27 AM
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before

after
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:39 PM
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ukjohn
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Thanks for all your thoughts. You've confirmed what I should have known all along, that I do need to change the bearings. My problem is that I spent all my working life in a major US car company, where saving time and money was always the holy grail (that or I'm just a cheapskate!)

Bazza, as you've replaced your bearings, can you think of any reason why I have to have the proper set up tool to clamp the bearing assembly together. Seems to me that I could achieve the same thing with a big bolt and some bits of tube. For me, finding ways to do things myself with simple tools is half the fun.

Sug, your "after" photo looks mightily impressive, definitely a step above what I'm aiming for, but then as you can see I'm starting from a somewhat lower "before" position.

Before
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:35 PM
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L-46man
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SUG...GREAT before and after! Terrific!
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:40 PM
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Sayfoo
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There's nothing wrong with being frugal.
Do you have any idea when the bearings were last serviced or replaced?
I would try to disassemble them and look at them. If good, grease and replace the seals.
I was told that I would need special tools to do mine and that I should just send them out. Well, I did it my self with no special tools and it's worked well for 50k miles and 11yrs. There is plenty of info on line on how to do this.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:39 PM
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I have to watch what I spend especially with the shipping to Aus ,so you have to plan ahead and get small parts in one order to keep shipping costs down ,8 years later its getting there
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:43 PM
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The image in post #7 indicates you may have some time before you need the trailing arms back. I sent mine out, and I'm happy with the results. I'd probably insist on doing the rotors myself (per the @GTR1999 ) were I to do it again. I realize that it is not cheap send these across the pond and back, but still worth considering.

CF user @mobird rebuilt his trailing arms himself, and documented the process in his build thread,
starting at post #82.

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...-thread-5.html

Last edited by Bikespace; 06-18-2019 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:46 AM
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ukjohn
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In case anyone is interested, I've realised why I will need to use the setup tool. If I just use a bolt to clamp the assembly together then I won't be able to ensure that the inner and outer bearings are concentric, this would then affect the end float measurement. So it's now a case of buying the tool or seeing if anyone in the UK owners club can lend me one. It's certainly something I will do myself, because the whole point in taking on this restoration was to end up with a car that I have built myself (with the exception of a small amount of welding and spraying the body itself, where the investment I'd need to make in practice time and equipment to do a decent quality job just doesn't make sense).
Thanks to you all for your thoughts, I'm sure I'll be asking for more help later.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:09 AM
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Yes you answered your own question to me .


If you look for Gary,s ( GTR 1999 ) thread on trailing arm rebuilding , you can get a very good tutorial to follow .

I had Gary build me a differential and freight it to Australia, freight was $500 Aus from L.A to Perth.

Last edited by bazza77; 06-18-2019 at 04:13 AM.
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