removing and replacing C3 rear wheel bearings



removing and replacing C3 rear wheel bearings

Postby grumpyvette » November 4th, 2013, 10:08 am

On a 1974 Corvette with disc brakes, the rear brake rotors roll on bearings that ride on spindles. As these cars age, the spindles can become damaged and require repair. The rear spindles on the Corvette are attached to the drive shaft and pass through a hub in the control arm. This hub can also become damaged over time. If so, the spindle should be replaced during replacement of the hub. Experienced home mechanics can remove a rear spindle on a 1974 Corvette in about two hours. but this is NOT a job a less experienced home mechanic should attempt because it requires a few special tools to do correctly

READS THIS LINK
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Things You'll Need

Jack
Jack stands
Wheel blocks

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Instructions

1

Park the Corvette on level ground.
2

Block your wheels to keep the Corvette from rolling. Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel you will be working on. Place the jack under the differential and raise the car until the wheels clear the ground. Remove the lug nuts and wheel.

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3

Remove the caliper by turning the two mounting bolts counterclockwise with a wrench or socket and ratchet and lifting the caliper off the brake rotor. Suspend the caliper from the spring using a piece of wire.
4

Remove the drive axle. There are two U-bolts securing the U-joints to the outer spindle carriers and differential. Turn the nuts on these U-bolts counterclockwise with a wrench or ratchet and socket.
5

Straighten the cotter pin on the spindle and remove it with the long nose pliers. Use the lug wrench as a lever between lug studs to keep the spindle from turning. Remove the spindle nut by turning it counterclockwise with a ratchet and socket.
6

Pry the flat locking washer off the lug studs using the flat screwdriver, if so equipped. Remove the brake rotor.
7

Mount the slide hammer on three of the lug studs using lug nuts, then tighten the nuts. Firmly slide the weighted slide handle away from the spindle until the inner axle carrier is removed from the spindle.
8

Pull the spindle and inner bearing out of the hub.
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: removing and replacing C3 rear wheel bearings

Postby grumpyvette » November 4th, 2013, 10:08 am

http://www.lbfun.com/warehouse/tech_inf ... ebuild.pdf

http://www.corvettefever.com/howto/36458/

http://www.corvetterepair.org/TA-Rebuil ... uild1.html
Image
Duntov Motor Company

Instructions for Removing and Reinstalling
65-82 Corvette Rear Spindles

The following Special Tools are all but REQUIRED to do a proper job:

Spindle Knocker (spindle removal tool)
This threads onto your old spindle and protects the threads while you beat on it to break it free from the housing. Even though you may be planning on replacing the old spindle, if you beat on the spindle without the tool, you will very likely mushroom it to the point where you can’t slide the bearings off the end.

Spindle Set-Up Tool
This allows you to slide the bearings on a mandrel instead of the spindle itself to check the endplay of the assembly. The final installed endplay must be between 1 and 8 thousandths. The old shim will only be correct if you are very lucky. Chances are you will have to try one, measure the endplay with a dial indicator, then figure the correct shim and try it again. If you use the spindle as the mandrel for these tests, you would have to do it through the installed pre-greased outer bearing and seal. It’s much preferable to check it dry before installing anything permanently.

Spindle Installation Tool
This tool threads onto the new spindle and allows you to torque the spindle into place. The problem is the outer bearing has to be greased and placed in its race before the grease seal is installed. The spindle then has to be pulled through the outer bearing, and the bearing will have to slide onto the thick shoulder of the spindle where it rides. The installation tool makes this a snap. Without the proper tools, this is tougher.

Assuming you have the right tools, the following is the proper sequence. Without the right tools, you will have to follow along and improvise. The tools are available from Mid America new for about $185 including freight, or you can rent a perfect used set from us for $174 (freight free), use it and return the still perfect used set for a refund of $125. I will also refund $1 for every unused new spindle shim you return.

Lets Begin:

1
The day before you get started, put the car on jack stands, remove the rear wheels and hose down everything you are going to take apart with Liquid Wrench.
2
Remove the rear brake caliper and place a socket between the pads to position them properly. You don’t want to have to bleed the brakes when all this is over!
3
Remove the rotor. If it is riveted to the spindle, the rivets have to go.
4
Separate the halfshaft flange from the spindle flange.
5
Remove the cotter pin from the spindle castle nut. Often you have to drill it out.
6
Using a 1-1/16th inch socket, remove the castle nut from the spindle.
7
Remove the washer and pull the spindle flange off the spindle.
8
Screw on the Spindle Knocker all the way on and hit it squarely and sharply until the spindle lets go. You may have to beat the hell out of it.
9
Using a long punch, tap the bearing races out of the bearing support housing.
10
First clean the grease out of the bearing support housing with a rag, and then scrub it thoroughly with Brake Clean. It can’t be too clean.
11
Assuming you are not reusing the old spindle, you can just set it aside. Removing the old bearing from the shoulder of the spindle is a problem you don’t have to deal with now.
12
Install the new bearing races. Be careful not to deface the bearing surface! Make sure they are ‘home’; nestled all the way into the housing to the stop.
13
Using the Spindle Set Up Tool, place the outer bearing on it all the way onto the shoulder. Stack the spacer and the thickest shim you have onto the mandrel and place it into the housing from the outside. From the inside, place the inner bearing on the tool, and using the thick spindle washer and the nut and sleeve from the installation tool, torque to 100 Ft. Lbs.
14
Measure the endplay with a dial indicator. If you used a .145 shim and the endplay is 17 thousandths, you know that if you replace that .145 shim with a .133 shim your endplay will be 5 thousandths. Remember, the minimum endplay according to GM is .001, the maximum .008. You are better off to be on the tight end of that spec, as in .001 - .004.
15
Repeat the process with the correct spacer and confirm the correct endplay. Its time to pack the bearings. Use a high quality Moly-Graphite grease rated for Extreme Pressure, or better yet, do as we do and use Mobil 1. Pack the bearings by hand and pack the housing with a lot of grease. It doesn’t have to be absolutely full, because the spindle is going to take up some room in there, but it needs to be completely full when you are finished. You don’t ever want to do this job on this car again.
16
Now the tricky part. Put the outer bearing onto its race and install the outer grease seal. Insert the spindle from the outside through the grease seal and the outer bearing, and then from the inside slide on the spacer, the correct shim, the inner bearing and install the inner grease seal.
17
Slide the spindle flange onto the spindle flutes and screw the Spindle Installation Tool on to the end of the spindle. By tightening the nut on the end of the tool, you will draw the spindle into place and into the outer bearing. Torque to 125 FT LBS and make sure the spindle is properly seated. When properly seated, the gap between the spindle and the head of the ¾ inch bolt head that is at the top of the parking brake assembly should be about 300 thousandths, plus or minus. You will notice when more torque yields no more spindle movement.
18
Remove the Spindle Installation Tool and place the washer with the concave side down and thread the nut on the end of the spindle. Torque to 100 FT LBS.
19
Check the endplay again by hand. It will probably be 1 thousandths less than you had with the set up tool if you did everything correctly, and that will be just fine!
20
Put the cotter pin through the castle nut and bolt everything back together.
21
Check the runout on the rotor with your dial indicator. There are 5 possible positions of the rotor on the spindle, and you should pick the one with the least total runout.
22
Ship your spindle tools back to us, along with all your unused shims for a credit of $100 plus $1 per shim.

Congratulations, you are now a qualified Corvette mechanic!
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: removing and replacing C3 rear wheel bearings

Postby gtr1999 » November 4th, 2013, 3:08 pm

I have read some of the list procedures on this job and just want to point out some options.
First off I recommend removing the arms from the car completely so a full repair/rebuild can be done. I don't recall if that was mentioned but the old manuals and some shops will do a bearing change on the car. This is not as accurate and does not address the front bushing.

With that said, removing arms from a vette that is 30-50 years old can be a real treat if they are rusted. Typically when exposed to moisture and salt as many drivers were in the mid west, Northeast, other 4 season areas, or along the shoreline the front bolt will seize up about the center of the steel sleeve in the rubber bushings. Some times you can shock them out but most times they are in for life and you will have to remove the Toe shims on both sides of the arm and use a long- (9") sawzall to cut both sides of the bolt going thru the bushing. This is not fun and is probably the hardest part of the job. There is a steel washer under the crimped end of the bushing, under that is a hardened steel cup the rubber bushing sits in. If your blades runs up along the hardened bushing or into it then you will rip out all the teeth on the blade and have to start over with a new blade. I have also burnt them out but that is dangerous and not recommended, remember the fuel line runs down the RH kick up of the frame.

Before you start cutting look over the above procedures. Get the car in the air, yes this can be done on jack stands. Unload the rear spring, you don't need any tension on the arm. The calipers are plumbed with hard brake lines, I don't like bending them around so I just disconnect them and bleed the system when I'm done. Mark the camber position on the camber bracket so you can get the camber back into close position. Replacing the front rubber bushings will change the toe setting so you are going to have to get an alignment anyway. But if you are just replacing the bearings and not the bushings then you should not need an alignment. Remove the shock mounts from the supports using a shock knocker tool and 5 lb mini hammer, if they are seized up leave them on and if you are sending me the job I'll remove them without wrecking the support. These sometimes seize up like the front bolt does. With the spring disconnected and the strut rod/shock mount out, the only thing holding in the arm is the front bolt and 1/2 shaft. At this point you need to address the bolt, when that is near out or cut support the arm, I made a wood cradle to hold the arm in place so it doesn't fall out on you. Then you can remove the 1/2 shaft and the arm.

Look it over for dents and dings usually from previous alignments, same with the rods, they should be straight- no bends in them. If the rotor is still riveted on - leave it on. If the rivets are gone then remove the rotor before removing the arm. Mark which side it came off and put it aside to mic up later.

At this point you are ready to take the arm apart or ship it to me. I will build it better then new and machine fit the parts and bearing setup. There are a couple of ways I see people list on how they setup bearings, from slip fitting to "seating" them like the fronts are, I elect to fit them the correct way by machine fitment using procedures approved by Timken directly. An old school toolmaker will know how to but a car mechanic or body man will not and you WILL NOT get the best job.

If you would like my help just ask me,shoot me an email gary.ramadei@radiall.com and I'll go over your questions.
Gary Ramadei
67 coupe- gone- '80
69 vert- SB 4 spd 373's
72 coupe- SB TH400,336's
75 L82- Kids car now- 375 hp, 4 spd,FE-7,411's
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Re: removing and replacing C3 rear wheel bearings

Postby grumpyvette » November 4th, 2013, 3:32 pm

gtr1999 ?? since your obviously knowledgeable, in this area and do this work,most of the guys would much rather have the job done by someone that knows whats involved and want the job done correctly, especially if theres no local shop they trust,
If a reader of this thread has a c3 corvette and they remove there 1968-82 corvette trailing arms, then remove the brakes from the assembly and other easily removed components and ships the remaining assembly to you, whats the approximate costs involved and time frame?
assuming EVERYTHING BUT THE BRAKES that wears is in need of replacement?
assuming the axles are re-useable THE BRAKES were removed, but the rest needs replacing ?
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: removing and replacing C3 rear wheel bearings

Postby gtr1999 » November 21st, 2013, 12:48 pm

Hi Grumpy
Sorry for the delay to your question but I just didn't see this and I'm not here much.

With any vette job that I work on it really depends on the condition of the parts as they come in. Unlike places that have several guys touching and rebuilding arm, diff's, boxes, etc I am the only one so that could add to lead time but it also leads to much better quality control and accountability. No passing the buck here, just the best service and parts available.

I see arms come in that may appear to be good overall but once they are cleaned up they often show signs of wear or abuse from a previous rebuilder. One set I'm working on now has a bad spindle because someone hammered it and peened it over, then ground a tapered end on it. I tried to save it but it is not safe to use so that adds to the cost. The arms many times are bent in alignment shops or rotting from the inside out, again this adds to the cost. I don't like to advertise a price like you see all over because of this. If I said an arm cost between $285-$350 each I now most times that is just not the case and the owner would be upset thinking he is getting the best build arm set for under $700 when many times he won't. It just doesn't happen unless part quality is cut or some common parts that typically are replaced are reused. I can say I doubt any of the rebuilders are going to cut their labor so you have to wonder where the savings difference is between them? Imported parts, cheap labor, "cutting corners" I have seen all of that many times and continue to when guys send me in "rebuilt" units. Arms, diff's, and boxes are all of what I see I can only imagine about engines or bodywork.

Hope this helps out but if not just call me and I'll be glad to help any way I can. 203-776-2813 x139 Gary
Gary Ramadei
67 coupe- gone- '80
69 vert- SB 4 spd 373's
72 coupe- SB TH400,336's
75 L82- Kids car now- 375 hp, 4 spd,FE-7,411's
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Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 8:17 am
Location: New Haven CT

Re: removing and replacing C3 rear wheel bearings

Postby grumpyvette » November 21st, 2013, 1:18 pm

thank you for the reply,
its my brother-in-laws car that I'm concerned with currently and Ill let him know and make any decisions than call you!
thanks for the reply!
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: removing and replacing C3 rear wheel bearings

Postby grumpyvette » March 15th, 2014, 6:28 pm

gtr199 wrote:65-82 vettes had disc brakes using 4 piston floating calipers. Corvette brakes are very good and were ahead of their time back in the 60-70's compared to other domestic cars.
The problem with brake arose after they were first worked on, many times as part of a brake job the rotors were drilled out and turned on a lathe. The finish was great except it wasn't concentric with the centerline of the axle, that is why they were riveted in the first place so they could be turned as a unit and runout wasn't an issue.
Once the rotor was turned or replaced then runout became an issue as the typical spec of 005 runout or over would often cause the caliper to become air vacuums and draw in air past the caliper piston seals, lip seals. These seal act like piston rings in a sense.
Then when vettes became "collectible" people started to store them for months at time or during winter months. The DOT 3 fluid will absorb moisture as well and become acidic. This dirty fluid would sit in the cast iron caliper bores and M/C wells and slowly eat away at the iron. Causing leaks past the seals in time, especially the first time the brakes were pumped after long storage.
This is when corvette brakes started to get a bad rap because many didn't understand what was happening and would often throw new parts at the problem without correcting it.
By the mid 70's companies sprang up that machined the caliper bores & sleeved them with SS, then rebuilt them. This solved the pitting issue but not runout or bearing endplay which both contribute to soft pedals and lost brakes.
The solution is so simple yet continues to be a problem for new owners and even long time owners. If you want solid brakes that will work on the street and even the track this is what I do:
1- Use DOT 3 fluid, change it once a year using a Motive bleeder
2- use SS lined calipers and soft pads(street use)
3-Change out the rubber hoses and copper washers with a brake job or every 7-10 years. These will close up over time just like your arteries will. They will cause the caliper to lock up and could start a fire. I know of a 69 coupe that burned up the 1/4 panel from this.
4-Check the bearing endplay and if it's over 004" correct it.
5-Check the rotor runout and keep it under 002". There are several ways to do this; face spindles, shim rotors, turn rotors on the car. I don't lilke removing material and can shim them to under 002 bolted on so that is what I do and have for years. My brakes are rock solid and use them on drag cars without a problem.

Vette rotors seldom warp or spindles get bent. Some rebuilders use those statements to sell new or used spindles/rotors to customers. Unless the car was hit on the wheel you should not need a spindle because it is "bent". I would say just about all new rotors are chinese made now, they come in to vendors for about $10, some are machined here and called USA made and cost more, there may be some left actually made here but very few.

So did I answer your questions?
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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