Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 06, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

Happy New Year!

Recently heard a chirping in front wheel - driver's side. Opened up to find a spent outer wheel bearing - metal shavings in the rollers. Replaced both bearings & pressed new races into hub. Took her for a cruise, and the chirp is still there...Grrrrr!!

Tire chirps when car is in park, and I rock the wheel hard axially with my hands. I re-installed bearings to the factory spec.

What could this be? Worn spindle?? Have taken a good look at brakes (disc) - they look good, no squealing.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 06, 04:21 AM
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

The spindle area where the inner race of the bearing seats/rides should be of the same diameter as the unused portion of the spindle.

A rough troubleshooting tool to determine the bearing fit with the spindle is raise the tire off the ground. Place your finger at the junction of the caliper/caliper bracket and the rotor. Now, rock the bottom of the tire in & out, any looseness will be felt with the finger.

If really loose, you might tighten up on the spindle nut and "feel" accordingly.

Also, the bearing grease used has to be high-temperature. Synthetic grease is good and is water resistant. Most greases are too hard and ball up.

If the spindles prove to be of good repair, lube the spindle well. Check the inner most shoulder where the inner brg

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 06, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

OK, thanks!
I'll take a look at it later this week. Will repack and tighten up until play has been reduced.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 14th, 06, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

Well, I tightened it up pretty good until play was gone. Also lubed up spindle well with wheel bearing grease. Bearings and spindle condition all look good. Bearings packed with grease.

Took her out for a test spin and the squeak is still there!! Same squeak sound and just as often.

Note it will not squeak until I get about 2 miles down the road. This happens everytime I take it out. Only squeaks when it's warmed up.

I thought it may be something else with the suspension, or bearing under the hood, but squeak goes away when I hit the brakes, so I'm thinking it MUST be that darn wheel bearing.

Any other ideas? I tight can I go on the nut?? I went about 1/4 turn past finger tight. I'd guess I was at 30 ft. lbs.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 14th, 06, 02:02 PM
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

if it goes away when you hit the brakes, i would think it is your brakes
you might check the little warning tab, that thing rubs and make noise until the brakes are applied
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 14th, 06, 06:31 PM
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

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Originally Posted by The Beerboy
Any other ideas? I tight can I go on the nut?? I went about 1/4 turn past finger tight. I'd guess I was at 30 ft. lbs.
You're eating up the new bearings with that torque! Wheel bearings must have ZERO preload, and .001"-.008" end play. The correct procedure is to spin the wheel, torque the nut to 12 ft-lbs. while spinning the wheel, then back the nut off one flat (1/6th of a turn) and insert the cotter pin. Note that there are two cotter pin holes - one vertical, one horizontal. If neither hole lines up with the nut slots after backing it off one flat, back it off no more than another half a flat (1/12th of a turn) and insert the pin.

Pull it apart and check the bearings and races for spalling, and make sure the races are seated dead square in the hub.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 06, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

I did the bearing adjustment as you have prescribed, John Z, but the steering felt loose when driving. So I tightened the nut up 90 degrees to the next hole in the spindle. Steering play went away (at least feels like it)...but squeak is still there.

I have a pic of the spindle...if I can figure out how to post I will.

I've checked the brakes each time I've pulled this apart. Chamfered the front of the pads, lubed back of pads with anti-squeal compound, etc. Pads have a lot of meat left on them. Maybe I got a bum pair of pads??

you might check the little warning tab, that thing rubs and make noise until the brakes are applied

Where is this tab?? I thought it was internal in the brake pad? And was only exposed when the pad is worn??

Also, bearings are brand new. Races are new too and were just pressed, and *are* seated correctly. No spalling.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 06, 12:03 PM
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

ya my car never had stock disc brakes, so i didnt know there was no warning tab, so nevermind
you said you chamfered the pad, so its a long shot but could glazed rotors still cause a squeek, even though you scuffed the surface of the pad?
sorry if thats not even close
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 06, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

OK. I am now sure it is not the brakes, and it has to still do with the wheel bearings. Squeaks when I drive straight. Turn right, no squeak. Turn left, and squeak continues, plus I get a little grinding feeling. Not good.

There is very little play in the wheel that I can feel. I did the "rock the wheel" test.

I guess my only option left is new spindle? Anyone have one laying around they can a pair of calipers to get an inner and outer bearing shaft OD?? I can use these #'s and compare to mine to see if it's shot.

This squeak is driving me nuts!! Sounds like a canary with a megaphone!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 06, 06:03 AM
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

I once chased a squeak around and finally learned it was the wheel trim ring moving on the wheel. Could this be your problem too? Do you have trim rings on the car?

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 06, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

No wheel trim rings...I have the TTII's on there. They look sweet!!
But one is squeaking still!!
Could this be part of the control arm bushings/suspension? Doesn't make sense if it's quiet for the first mile or two until it heats up.
I got out of the car the other day and rocked the wheel hard, and it made a good couple squeaks.
I'm thinking it may be new spindle time. What is involved with changing this out? Working with jackstands only.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 23rd, 06, 03:56 AM
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Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

Take along a can of WD40. Drive the car till it squeaks. Stop the car, raise the hood.

With WD40 in hand, spray the bejesus onto the upper control arm bushings. Close hood.

Drive car, listen for squeaks. If squeak is present, then pull car off onto parking lot, spray the bejesus onto the lower control arm bushings and retest.

If squeak is not present, you found the problem, upper control arm bushings needing replacement.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 06, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Re: Wheel Bearing/Spindle Trauma

Success!! Took the wheel off and tool a real good look around at the front suspension. Noticed a small area on (the front of) the spring up top that indicated interference with the frame. Took a file to it for a while. Squeak is gone!!

Am guessing it would rub the frame and squeak, then disappear when I hit the brakes as the body would lurch forward. Thanks for the help!!
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