wheel bearings going out, second time less than 2000km's...

1994 GMC 2500 base model, does not have free floating axels or anything, just standard rear wheel drive.

Had bearing problems last year on the right side, so I replace the bearings and used the same rotors and changed only the outer race (could not get inner race out, but it looked good). Packed the bearings by hand with penzoil axel grease (707L) and just loaded up the inside of the rotor with grease.

Fast forward to this feb and the same bearing is making noise again, so this time I go all out and get myself new rotors with races, pads and bearings and pull out the haynes manual.

Followed it to a T, packed the bearings with 707L, lubed up the inside of the rotor, installed the dust seals on the rear, lubed the spindle. Put the hub on with the bearings and torqued the nut to 13 foot pounds like the manual says. Then I spin it, then I loosen the bolt, and finger tighten and then put in the cotter pin.

Now not even 2000 clicks later, I can hear that ******* squeeking/rubbing noise that is a classic symptom that I'm all to familiar with that's a bad bearing.

Am I doing something wrong?

Is penzoil 707 crap or what?

I use it on my bike and it seems that if any water gets into my linkage bearings this grease doesn't hold up at all. I'm suspecting that it's just no good for wheel bearings...

Maybe I'm not packing them right? I do the typical hand palm treatment until I can see grease starting to push out on the top of the cage. Any packing tips that you think I need to know :thumbsup:

I remember checking the spindles on both wheels and they looked great with no visible scoring, but maybe they weren't?

Today I bought some premo bearing grease, lucas xtra heavy duty wheel bearing grease. I read the tub and it says that it exceeds marine specs so I'm assuming that it will hold up to moisture well.

Any tips for this backyard mechanic?

Wish I had a pro to show me how to do shit right the first time, my first mistake was that I did not torque and re-tighten the bolt the first time, I just torqued it down and was told later that the bearing must have a little play.

Tomorrow I'm going to get the truck up on jackstands and pull of the wheels/rotors and take a look at the grease and see how it's holding up. Hopefully I can re-pack them and things will be ok until I get a new truck in a few weeks here.

Thanks for any and all advice!

1994 GMC 2500 base model, does not have free floating axels or anything, just standard rear wheel drive.

Had bearing problems last year on the right side, so I replace the bearings and used the same rotors and changed only the outer race (could not get inner race out, but it looked good)....

Ok, no full floating axle, you have the lighter duty 2500. I'm not sure how this is set up, you said left the inner race, I assume this is on the axle? I'd say you need to replace all parts of t hat bearing. You cant have a failed bearing and a good race. If the bearing fails, it has galled or pitted the original race, even if its just barely. But parts need to be replaced. Where is the inner race located? I can give you ideas on removing it.

Also, what type of bearing, ie ball bearing, or is it a roller bearing? If its a roller bearing, is it a tapered roller bearing. If its tapered, then preload is also critical.

I should have been more clear, but I was referring to the outer and inner race that are located inside of the brake rotor itself. Bearings ride on the spindel, then the outer part of the bearing rides on the race located inside of the brake hub. There are two bearings, one near the rear and one near the front of the brake rotor.

OK, I have looked into the Motors Alldata and there is no such thing as a Chevrolet or a GMC in 2500 2WD that isnt a full floating rear axle (its either a Dana/Spicer or a Saginaw, but its a full floater). You mention brake hub, I suspect you do in fact have a full floating axle, and in that case, replacing the inner and outer wheel bearings is actually much easier.

OK, I have looked into the Motors Alldata and there is no such thing as a Chevrolet or a GMC in 2500 2WD that isnt a full floating rear axle (its either a Dana/Spicer or a Saginaw, but its a full floater). You mention brake hub, I suspect you do in fact have a full floating axle, and in that case, replacing the inner and outer wheel bearings is actually much easier.

I do believe he is speaking of the front brakes on a 2wd truck.

In 1994, the 2500's had drums in the rear.

Brentn-I pack my bearings the exact same way you have described. I've never found any grease to be "bad" that wasn't contaminated, just some are better than others. Any grease that is rated for "disc brakes" should do just fine. Myself, I use Mystik JT6, but that's cuz I get a good price and buy it in 35 gallon barrels.

Don't despair yet, it could be a brake indicator (those little metal tabs) scraping, a stone behind a brake pad, a caliper hanging up, the dust shield being bent into the rotor, I've even seen a wheel seal squeak like a bearing going bad before.

...and changed only the outer race (could not get inner race out, but it looked good)

problem. rematching a new bearing to a worn race (might have "looked" good but it's certainly no match to the new bearing) is a disaster waiting to happen. ALWAYS replace bearings and races as matched sets. It's also possible the races are not seated correctly causing premature wear.

Yea your absolutely right there redhurricane, but that was before and the bearing did go out. I mentioned that I replaced the whole rotor with races and bearings after that just the last time, so they are now matched.

Update, I took the wheel off (Damn, I love these electric impact guns, just amazing!) and pulled the dust cap and peeked inside. Grease was still very red and not dirty at all and there was plenty of it as far as I could see. Dust seals seem to be working or else it would be just black and dried out.

Decided to take this in steps, so instead of repacking again cause the grease looked good I decided to re-torque the nut. Tightened to 13ft lbs and spun the rotor quite a few times, forward and back to seat the bearing like the manual says. I then very very carefully loosened the nut just a c-hair and finger tightened it. The castle nut hole for the cotter pin would not line up so instead of tightening the nut any further (manual specifically says NOT to tighten any more than finger) I backed it off just a few degrees more to match up the castle nut with the spindle hole.

Put it all back together and took if for a drive.

No noise at 10km, which was great, vibration at 60kph was also gone. Went another 50 clicks and no noise or anything.

Drove the truck another 100 clicks yesterday and today and on the drive home still nothing, quite as could be.

Looks like it's fixed, I must not have seated the bearing properly the first time (spinning the hub while torqued) and it came loose, or something.

Any ideas why this would happen?

Hopefully this is the end of this fiasco.

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