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 Post subject: Loose spacer in new drum
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:03 pm 
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Location: Tacoma, WA
I had a broken inner bearing on the rear left side. Upon diassembly I found I couldn't get the outer race out. Also the drum was severely damaged from driving it over 2,000 miles on the freeway to get home in ~4 days.

Anyhow, I got a new brake drum as well as new inner and outer bearings. I used accurate sized sockets and a relatively small ball peen hammer to drive the bearings (by the outer races) into the new drum. They went in smoothly. However, the spacer inside is staying loose. I ended up pulling the drum of several times due to spring connection errors on my part. The spring issues have been fixed but in the course of double checking my work, I also pulled off the right side drum again and found that the spacer on that side is NOT loose.

Could it be that the new bearings aren't fully driven in, namely the outer bearing? The new drum has a bit more clearance between it and the back plate. When installed, the nut seems to lock up the drum sooner than the right side with old (but still good) bearings and it doesn't seem as "free wheeling". There is no play in the drum when installed, however. I read that it may be preloading the inner race on the outer bearing.

Does that bearing require true pressing in to keep that spacer from moving about or something?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:33 pm 
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Location: Brainerd Minnesota
After market drums do not appear to be as precision machined as the originals. It's not the bearings, it's the drums. I had this problem, will my Becky Arnley aftermarket drums.

The bearings can not have Any pre-load. My first set of bearings, with aftermarket drums, burned up in less than 200 miles.

I dissected one to see what was up. Notice the races and what pre-load does to the ball bearings?

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The solution is to use a bearing spacer "spacer". These machine washers can be picked up at your local hardware store.

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Press the inner bearing first into the hub. Then install the spacer and machine washer.

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Then use a Real bearing tool to install outer bearing.

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A socket will create pre-load. Not good. A bearing tool applies force across the entire bearing. When the bearing engages the center spacer, and machine washer, you'll feel & hear it. Stop and check the spacer. It should be pretty solid. The spindle nut will not go on as far as the stock drum. But it will "feel" like the stock drum. Should only take about 1/2 turn +/-, from hand tight, to bring it to 74ftlbs. Stake it, and done.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:48 am 
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Location: Tacoma, WA
Which side of the spacer does it need to go on? That's the big question. It looks like you put it between the inner and spacer. Oddly enough, I did notice that the drum sticks OUT from the backing plate further on the new drum than the old but that may be to other differences. I'd be concerned that putting the washer on that side might cause it to stick out even further.

Edit: Looking again, i think you put the washer between the *outer* bearing and the spacer?

Did you torque the nut any before you tried with the washer? (edit: I need to brush up in my reading comp; or at least read entire posts word for word before I reply.) The manual says something insane like 125 ft lbs, but I went up to about 70 as I recall, the drum was still able to turn (with considerable resistance), backed it off so it turned more freely, then staked. I tried up to about 50 then pulled it and it was still loose. Once I went to 70 I was totally sick of the whole thing and I quit checking it.

However, the new bearings & drum doesn't spin NEARLY as freely as the side with the old (still good) bearings and drum.

I still have the damaged drum from the broken bearing but the outer race from the inner bearing is stuck in. It would have to be turned probably to it's spec'd limit and I'd have to have to have that race cut out somehow, so it's probably not worth the money. I could probably find a better assembly on a junk yard car for less money. That has also crossed my mind.

I did go in to O'Reilly and fuss a little about the spacer. The older guy tried to say the spacer was probably part of the broken bearing and that he's never heard of such a piece. :roll:

I wonder if they will take back the used drum (only had it a week so far) if I raise enough stink about it not fitting my car properly. I'd probably rather go find a junkyard drum instead and be done with the whole thing. I went with theirs because I kind of HAD TO on such short notice, even with the spacer loose. I've driven it less than 50 miles so far, so maybe the new bearings aren't damaged yet heh. I bought them pretty cheap on RockAuto so at least I can get more for a cheaper price than retail if they do become damaged and I have to resort to more bearings for a junkyard drum.

As it stands how, it looks like I'll be doing the job **again** but thank goodness I did order an extra pair of new nuts. However, the new ones aren't as good as the old. I was able to reuse the old by swapping sides but they've been re-staked so much, I pretty much need to use the new crappier ones now. A first i was using a screwdriver but then I finally bought an $8 cheap set of punches at O'Reilly when I got the loaner slide hammer and axle puller for the second time to go back and fix a spring I realized I put on wrong. The punch works MUCH better, that's for sure.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:38 am 
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those rear drums can be a pain....new ones don't fit quite right....last new set I installed, the studs I pressed in spin in their holes....took them back, and they said it was my fault :huh:
74 lbs is the max I would torque them...any more and bearing death will happen. I think 50 or 60 would be better, check for play, DO NOT STAKE THE NEW NUT, then drive on them A LITTLE BIT, (around the block) then re-torque and stake the nut.
maybe one of the bearings is to thick (wide) and is not letting the drum go all the way on?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:47 am 
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Location: Tacoma, WA
The old studs went in the new drum fine, I didn't have an issue there. I put them in by hand then use a lug nut tightened down to pull in the stud. I used that same method on my 78 Dodge 1 ton van's 8 lug drums on both sides and it works great. I had access to my small air compressor and impact wrench when I did the van's, but a breaker bar worked fine for the Metro.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:33 am 
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Location: Tacoma, WA
I went and got "machine bushings" from the specialty drawer at the nearby Ace Hardware. They are 7/8" x 1-3/8". I got both 14 gauge and 18 gauge since I don't know what it's going to take thickness wise. It was only $2 total for both gauges anyway. I took in the old outer bearing with me for comparison and these should work perfectly. I opened one of the packages to be sure when I got home.

It's probably going to be next weekend before I get to it, although I might sometime this week in the evening since it's really not going to take that long to knock out the outer bearing again and figure out which washer I need.

I guess I should go get the Harbor Freight set of bearing driver set. With the 20% off coupon, it'll be around $31 with tax.
http://www.harborfreight.com/10-piece-b ... 95853.html

However, I'll still have to just use a hammer with it since I don't have a press. It stinks since I really only need the 44.5mm one in the set.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:17 pm 
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Location: Tacoma, WA
Ohhh... look what I found. A loose, single bearing driver from Napa (Part Number: SER 41633) for $7.79. It is 1.75" (44.45mm)
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Catal ... 0060787270

I'd still need the handle. It runs $11.69 (Part Number: SER 41631)
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Catal ... 0405868135

Unless I use a socket with it, which might work actually. But then again, for about $10 more, I can have a whole set from HFT. Anyhow, I figured I'd post those finds for anyone who might be in need of them in the future.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:33 pm 
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those bearing shims are available at large ag/ heavy equipment stores...saw a ton of them when I was getting parts for a skid-steer last week :wink:

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3 tech 6*gear
3 tech turbo grind cam
3 tech cylinder head/w/port,polish,blend,oversized s/s valves
gti brake swap
89 white gti twincam....need I say more?
92 metro aka ''blue lump of coal''
92 white metro lsi vert
91 blue chevy sprint (gas sipper)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:57 am 
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Cubey, you're on the right track, Sir. :thumb2: Getting the full set, of the bearing & seal drivers, would be money well spent. You'll be glad you did.

Another thing, be sure to grease the new bearings. They tend to ship them dry, or with a very, very minimal amount of grease.

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I remove the inner bearing seals and fill the entire center cavity.

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This provides a two fold benefit. First is obvious, addition grease for what got missed during hand packing. Two, no air means no moisture, which means no rust. :cheers:

Press inner bearing first. Make sure it's seated all the way. Then add the spacer and machine washer. Press outer bearing until it's solid with the spacer & machine washer. Then double check the inner bearing to insure it's totally seated again. Spacer will be solid. Install and enjoy years of problem free driving. :thumb2:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:26 am 
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too much grease may cause the bearings to not roll easily....

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3 tech 6*gear
3 tech turbo grind cam
3 tech cylinder head/w/port,polish,blend,oversized s/s valves
gti brake swap
89 white gti twincam....need I say more?
92 metro aka ''blue lump of coal''
92 white metro lsi vert
91 blue chevy sprint (gas sipper)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:34 am 
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I didn't check the inner since it had the seals. The outer had a seal on only one side and i could see it had a small amount so I left it alone too. I did roll the bearings a lot by hand first to make sure it was spread out though.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:55 pm 
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blueturbofly wrote:
too much grease may cause the bearings to not roll easily....

Key word being "May". In 45 years, or real world wrenching, I have never encountered bearing failure due to too much grease. Cars, trucks, snowmobiles, ATV's, etc. Only failure has been from "minimum requirement" greasing. The small amount of grease gets dirty fast. The open ended bearing, with no grease in the center cavity, gets diluted with water. The open center hub will condensate. Grease gets contaminated and you're back in there again. Worse case, you do a bearing job every 30,000 miles. I prefer to go close to 100,000. Either way, you're project should last a long time. Three, to four years, is actually a pretty long time. My oldest Metro bearing job is on year 10, and still going strong, doing it the way that I described. Your call.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:00 am 
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Bearings are an important 'first step' in making sure your car is reliable.
Getting the whole mess to roll properly and easily makes for a quiet and economical ride, or a mean race competitor.

Last August I picked up some cheapo $3 ish Chinese bearings and I think I even posted a heads up in case someone else wanted to save a few bucks.
Here it is:
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=59357
Guess I exaggerated.
They were only $2.48 USD each shipped.
I've heard from some corners that the Chinese bearings are inferior, but maybe it is the way they were installed, because I haven't had a bearing fail in over 30 years.
But lately I've upped my game, thanks to Uncle Fainya's advice.

Here are 8 bearings with the dust covers removed CAREFULLY using a pair of dental picks on the 4 left ones.
The 4 on the right are probably done or about to get some minor surgery. 8)
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Actually, if you STUDY the picture you'll see the tools I'm about to use:
-small screwdrivers
-dental picks
-leather working tools
-COLD Saki (optional)

This is what I call 'benchwork'. You buy new bearings. Take them apart and grease them. Then they are ready when you need or want them.

Snowfish lives in an area where there is a LOT of water.
So he has a LOT of experience with what works up there.
I live in a place with very little of the stuff.
Lately, they're saying we've actually got a shortage...whatever.

Back to the wheel bearings:
In our climate, you want to have them lubed, but too much grease (outside the bearing) can actually migrate onto the drum in our hot weather.
I put them on a Church Bulletin
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so that they get a little good luck
and grease them with a small spatula.
Other people have fancy grease packers but you can get by without one, cheap as they are.
Grease has a tendency to last a long, long time when I do it this way.

But before I put the covers on, here's what I've got:
Image
And remember a while back I said I upped my game?
It's that red stuff.
They call it Mobil 1 wheel bearing grease.
I might not be using it in the right place, but there you have it.

After greasing them all, I slap on the covers again and put them in as dry as a bone (on the outside).
No more grease.
No more fancy water repellant.
Again, I'm not saying my way is better or worse.
It's just the way that I've been doing it lately.

On older stuff I do put a bit of grease in the hub, but that's for fronts and some stuff built a long, long time ago.

Once the covers are on, they go in their little boxes, or plastic bags, or whatever I've got and put into a place where I can FIND them when it is time to do wheel bearings.
:thumb2:
It doesn't do any good if you do all this bench work and then LOSE the parts in that mess we'll call your garage.

In recent memory, the only bearings that have failed me were ones which I inherited when I bought the fixer upper cars.
One really screwed me up. It was a front right on a Swift GA.
It started howling in Vegas and I drove it home 4 or 5 hours with the noise getting louder and louder.
We got in around 2 am and you could hear that car coming for several blocks.
That was at the beginning of a long vacation.
It set me back 3 days.
I had to run the hub into L.A. and use a big press so that the spindle wasn't scored.
Long story short, it is fine several years later and I don't expect it to fail anytime soon.
Whoever worked on that before me forgot some basic things.
Like greasing the splines before putting the new drive axle in through the hub.
But that's a story for another time.

Fronts are more difficult to install correctly but you have to pay attention when you do the rears.
Recently, Paul V. in San Diego screwed up a set by not following this DIY thread more carefully:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=29003
Paul: we all have problems with cars. That's why we're on this forum. To share the knowledge.
Being 'poor' isn't a crime. But if you use the help here on the forum, you won't be poor very long.

The thing about wheel bearings is:
if you take your time and do them right...you end up doing them once and once only.

Once in a while a rear set can give a guy a headache, and I'm guessing for Cubey it is ALL about that spacer.
However on rear disc brakes you can have problems as well, increased if in the rust belt.

Our cars are so light in the rear it is almost impossible to have problems unless it is a service issue.
Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Malaysian, Brazilian, or wherever they are made, rear wheel bearings have very little failure rate unless you are overloading your car or not install them correctly.
These cars weren't manufactured as tow trucks. I realize people put tow hitches on them.
Heck, I've even got one with a tow hitch.
But seriously, you'll end up frying your rear wheel bearings if you overload the rears.
Don't believe me?
Ask xrw44.

On that 'too much wheel bearing grease can screw it up' - I never heard that until I joined Teamswift, but who am I to say what is too much?
The old wheel bearing packers we used packed that old bearing solid.
Much better than my bench top technique.

I think the first wheel bearing I packed was for a 40's Ford or Chevy.
And I've packed 'em by hand like the fellows on You Tube.
Years ago you'd lift the tire, spin it and tighten til the wheel wouldn't spin freely.
Then loosen it a small amount and set your cotter key.
These days, the torque wrench seems to be King, but common sense should prevail.
If you are tightening the wheel nut and the wheel won't spin...maybe something isn't right inside - just sayin'...
So watch out BLINDLY tightening a center nut with a torque wrench and then having a problem 10 miles down the road.
Once that nut is torqued, you should be able to spin that wheel and tire, especially on the backs.
And while we're on the subject, you should grab the tire top and bottom and check for free play as well.
Hopefully you know what I mean.
From our lowly Suzukis to the 'Big Diesels', it's the same.
Once you tighten up that hub, the tire still rotates when you spin it.
And LISTEN.
It shouldn't grab or grind when you spin it.
Especially if you've just put new wheel bearings in it.
So listen while you spin it.
If it is making noise with the tire in the air, it will make more noise going down the road.
Common sense, right?

Back to this thread: Cubey did your spacer become loose after the work you did or was it loose to begin?
Second question: Did you try to source a new one if it was worn.

Here's how you could tell if it was worn: You remove both sides and compare.

Good luck with this project.
Hope you provide better follow up than you did with the transmission repair thread.
I still haven't figured out what happened with that transmission, but I guess it's OK since you've moved on to wheel bearings.
You left a lot of loose ends in that thread.

Now Cubey
This is a lot to take in.
But if you read it a few times you'll begin to get the idea how all the guys who do this for a living operate.
No one wants a car to come back with failed wheel bearings.
We try to do them once, do them right and move on to the next thing.

Not one single picture old buddy?
Are we getting lazy?
Letting all the old timers do all the work?

I hope you have long ago replaced your passion for saving a buck to a passion for doing the best job money can buy.
Especially on that nice car of yours!
These cars are gradually becoming collectables.

Good luck!
:)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:31 am 
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Location: Tacoma, WA
pacapo wrote:
Now Cubey
This is a lot to take in.
But if you read it a few times you'll begin to get the idea how all the guys who do this for a living operate.
No one wants a car to come back with failed wheel bearings.
We try to do them once, do them right and move on to the next thing.

Not one single picture old buddy?
Are we getting lazy?
Letting all the old timers do all the work?


I am super lazy about taking pictures, but also it's not practical when working with greasy parts. I don't want to muck up my phone or camera.

Call it lazy, call it sick of working on it at the time.. but yeah, it is what it is. I will be going back and redoing things better (grease, spacer washer, bearing driver set). I'll go back and add some grease the passenger side too (maybe... if the bearings will come out easily) since I'll have the slide hammer anyway for the driver's side. If I have to replace bearings again, oh well. But I've been trying not to drive it anymore than I have to.

The inner is what suffered last time. The outer that ran with the badly broken inner is actually still in amazingly good condition. I kept it as an emergency backup since it's not broken and not noisy.

I'll just have to wait and see how things look and sound when I get it apart again. It may be later rather than sooner due to expenses this month, unless a few more things on ebay sell. ;)

Oh, and the spacer isn't what killed the first bearing. I don't know for sure what did. Maybe just age. Maybe a bad pothole. Maybe water contamination. Who knows for sure? It only got the inner on that wheel, despite being busted up badly and driven as far as it was. (I didn't know it was AS BAD as it was..). Unless of course... the bearing was killed from someone who did a bearing and didn't do the spacer right before i got the car? Put I had put about 4,500 miles on it before it went bad, in that case.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:20 am 
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fsm calls for 40% grease fill capacity of bearing cavity....nothing on adding extra grease to bearings...
maybe they expect it to ''migrate'' outwards once warmed up, flowing into bearings....IF the inner seals are removed :lol:
some of my cars, I have never done rear bearings...only with one did I have issues, 3 sets of bearings, about 4,000 miles....previous ''farmer'' mechanic did rear brakes, re-used stake nuts, just put them on tighter (impact gun) and staked them....BEARING FAILURE! it became noisy on a road trip, when I got home I jacked it up, and pulled the whole assembly off (basically fell off)
new bearings, brakes,(damaged from loose drum) and stake nuts. spun fine, but a few months later it was noisy again.
found out that there was a large batch of defective bearings.....skf brand...
this time I went to a bearing shop, got new bearings, re-did the whole procedure, and the car has been fine, 12 years later and no issues.
....cant recall how much grease I put in there... :-P

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89 1.0 turbo firefly
2"exhaust,no cats/resonator
3 tech 6*gear
3 tech turbo grind cam
3 tech cylinder head/w/port,polish,blend,oversized s/s valves
gti brake swap
89 white gti twincam....need I say more?
92 metro aka ''blue lump of coal''
92 white metro lsi vert
91 blue chevy sprint (gas sipper)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:34 pm 
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Location: Tacoma, WA
After careful consideration, I ordered the Lisle 12600 bearing driver set on Amazon. It has less pieces and no case like HFT one, but it costs about the same and it's made in USA. :thumbsup:

It's supposed be here on Friday, so perhaps I can get it done this weekend.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:57 pm 
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Upon disassembly today, I found that the "new" inner bearing was feeling a little rough. The "new" outer also felt a bit rough, but the drum was still well tight prior to taking it off, so it hadn't gotten "wobble" yet.

As previously mentioned, I saved the old outer bearing and oddly enough it felt better than the "new" one that was run with the loose spacer. Since the inner bearing is the cheaper one ($6+tax) I replaced it with a new-new one and put the old-old outer bearing back in with the 18 gauge washer. Now it has another brand new inner bearing with zero miles, plus the OLD outer bearing since it didn't feel "gritty" when being spun like the "new" one that got run 100+ miles with the new drum and loose spacer.

I also bought a can of O'Reilly brand hi-temp bearing grease and hand-packed in some extra grease on both sides of both bearings, especially the inner, and put the seals back on it which squeezed out the excess. I also packed in extra at the outer bearing at the dust cap before I put the cap on, smothering the nut and end of the spindle shaft. I meant to add some in the spacer but forgot. It has more than it did though, so it's probably fine.

At first it seemed the spacer was still loose and I knocked out the outer again and I thought I put in two 18 gauge washers but then once it was TOTALLY put back, I found the other one still laying there. *grumble* Something distracted me I guess.

Part of the problem I was having was that when I would pound in the outer, it was pushing the inner bearing back OUT a tiny bit. Then I'd pound it back in and the outer would push back out some; or at least the spacer would be very loose again. I was going back and forth between them for some time, until I pounded in the inner bearing last and left it like that with minimal looseness of the spacer.

When I was torquing the nut, it felt like it had squished together a little more, so I think it's fine now. I didn't pull it back off to check, though that might not have been a bad idea. It didn't even occur to me to check that until after the nut was staked, the wheel on and the car lowered back down. :?

I torqued the nut to 70 and the wheel was still spinning freely like it SHOULD, not feeling unable to move. Then I went to 75, same thing. Then 80, same thing. That's a good sign! The bearings aren't getting preloaded by the spindle nut anymore!

I left it at 80 since it was torqued good and the drum still spins without any resistance issues. Plus I was still reusing the same nut; and at 80, it was in a place on the nut where it hadn't been staked before. I didn't even need to back the nut off any to allow the wheel to spin freely so it's obviously not having bearing preload problems anymore.

Hopefully now the new inner plus the old outer will last another 20 years; although that outer one is the old-old one that was in when the inner bearing broke apart. However, it was still well greased when removed, it's not noisy, not loose and it spins without resistance issues. I added more fresh grease to it also after wiping away as much of the old as I could with a cotton rag. In any case it has more than factory-supplied grease and has no rust, so it should be good to go.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:20 am 
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Congratulations! You did good. And you're fine with the one 18ga washer. That's all it needs. Now sit back and enjoy the ride. :thumb2:

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Extreme Make Over....SnowFish Addiction

1991 Metro Xfi Sport, Crower F12142 Cam, +2 degrees on adjustable sprocket, .020 Over, Balanced & Blue Printed, 3.79 final drive, WhiteLine Bushings Everywhere, 185/60R14's, TBI Bridge Delete, Edelbrock Air Cleaner, Stainless Header, 2 Inch Exhaust, Magnaflow GlassPack, Swift Twin Exit Muffler.


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