Rear Wheel Bearing Set-Up on 1980 Corvette
Hi, I'm replacing the passenger wheel bearings and getting one of the kits that includes the new inner & outer bearings, races, crush sleeve, shims and castle nut. I also bought a 12-ton press so I can do it myself plus its a good tool to have around. My question is that when I'm putting everything back together can I use the same size shim that was on the original set-up or just start from scratch by putting it together with no shims and working until I get the proper .001-.007" of end play? I have a dial indicator with magnetic base so I would be checking everything but I was just curious how close I might be assuming that all the other parts are VERY close to the OEM parts and what is the best way/tool to use to remove the inner bearing off the spindle? Thanks!
You need a checking tool. It is basically just a rod that you can put the inner and outer bearing on with the stock spacer and do the checking. You do not want .007 clearance, try for .001. Do all checking with the bearings dry or light oil, no grease and no oil seals.
I am a believer in slip fit inner bearings, I polish the inner part of the axle so the inner bearing is just a light slip fit.
Anyway you can make a checker tool by either using an old axle and polishing it until both bearings slip on freely, this is used to test fitting, you could also just use a threaded rod and big washers to clamp the bearings and spacer.
After adjusting the spacer for .001 clearance, and remember this is checked dry or light oil.
Install the seals, bearings and grease. The axle will hardly turn and seem too tight but after a few miles everything will loosen up fine.
This is also a good time to use the dial indicator and shim the rotors for under or around .001 or .002 runout.
Do not go with the .007 bearing clearance, that is too much.
If you want to email me with questions I can offer advice
Norval is very correct. a slip fit will make servicing much easier in the future. i highly recommend the extra time to prep the axle shaft for the slip.
and the tool is a must. i made mine by copying the inner races on a piece of aluminum and stacking the thickest possible shim in the stack up demension. worked like a dream and saved lots of time on and off
Bubba, shade tree extraordinaire
Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
If you're interested in knowing how to properly set up C2/3 rear bearings, see:
Thanks a lot guys. This will help me alot when I actually get around to doing it. I'll post back when I get er' done. Thanks.
Could be too late, post if you got a problem so we can help.
Originally Posted by zackm58941
I ran into problems with twisting the stock axles so I built myself an indistructable set complete with all parts from 4340 so I have a pretty good idea on how they should be set up.
Be careful using the press on the end of the spindle, it mushrooms easily. I use a spindle-knocker screwed onto the end of the spindle from Mid America. It seems that the very sharp, hard blows do better than the steady pressure, but I guess you could use the press on the end of the spindle knocker.
They also have a bearing setup tool that works well. It's not cheap at $99 though.
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