Rear Wheel Bearings....DIY job?

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by ag90fox, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. ag90fox

    ag90fox New Member

    Howdy, I've got a 1995 Chevy K1500 Z-71, 167K mi, and I've got the typical speed dependent roaring noise from the back wheels, so am going to replace the rear wheel bearings.

    I'm confident about pulling the axles without a problem (and have the Haynes manual), but am thinking that I may not have the tools necessary to get the bearings off the axle (or new ones on). Is a press HIGHLY recommended, or can I do it with hand tools?

    I realize I may have to buy a wrench to get the axle off the vehicle, but I'd like to save the $225 quoted for labor if possible.

    Thanks for your advice/experience!

    San Antonio TX
  2. GaryL

    GaryL Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Hey Joe, welcome to the sight.

    If you can pull the axles yourself, you can take them to a shop, or maybe even an auto parts store and have the bearings pressed off and back on (should save you a significant amount on the labor). I'm not sure you can do it without a press. Good luck and keep us posted.
  3. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Because it's a K1500, can I assume it's a 10 bolt semi-floater? Open or G80 or other aftermarket carrier? I haven't done this job on my GM, but I did replace one of the rear wheel bearings on my Explorer 8.8, which is a similar semi-floating design. From that experience and reviewing the DIY manual, it shouldn't be overly difficult for someone reasonably mechanically inclined with hand tools. The biggest hang-up I ran into was finding the right bearing puller. I fought for a couple of days with it using the wrong pullers, and took 5-10 minutes after I got the right puller. Look for a T-shaped "foot" that attaches to a slide hammer; they're usually sold in sets of three different sizes. After you get the axleshaft out, the "foot" slides into the axle tube behind the bearing and slides up against the bearing races. A few good wacks with the slide hammer should pull the bearing out.

    Be sure to inspect the axleshafts carefully. If the worn bearings have damaged the axleshaft, you'll need to do something to fix/replace the shaft.

    On the off chance you have a 14 bolt FF (full floater), I don't know, because I haven't ever dealt with a rear FF.
  4. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    A bearing press is required to seat the new bearings and remove the old, the rest of the job can be done with common hand tools. Be careful with the seals this part gets a lot of beginners, make sure they seat flat and you dont tear them putting iin the axle. A seal tool is recommended and can be bought cheap.

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