Replacing wheel bearings and rotors, any advice?

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by McClintoc, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    My truck finally passed 150,000 miles and it's starting to show, or sound. This past December I put new wheels and tires on it then took it for an alignment. The alignment shop told me my front bearings/hubs were just starting to come loose. A couple of months ago it started making some nasty screeching noises that persist as long it's rolling. It's time to replace my bearings. I plan on replacing the brake pads, rotors and wheel bearings.

    My question is, since I'll have the wheel/brake/suspension area torn down, is there anything else I should replace while I'm in there? Tie rod ends, any bushings, anything else I should replace along with the rotors or bearings?

  2. nonnieselman

    nonnieselman Member 1 Year

    yea thats a good start.. mine lasted till 230k before i had to put wheel bearings on it and i just did tie rods at 275k miles.
    They can be a big pain to break loose to be prepaired.

    check your swap bar end link bushings and ball joints.
  3. Lerch98

    Lerch98 Member

    My buddy at the city garage told me that the GM 4x4 trucks need wheel bearings (hubs) every 100,000. As for my trucks this is true. My 2001 at 100k needed hubs (as they started 'growling') and my 2005 (at 95K) has one of the hubs starting to growl.
    The hubs are a bitch to get out. This is Wisconsin the home of the rust belt. On my 2001 they were so hard to get out that I thought (for a while) that I was going to have to remove the knuckles and have milled them out, but I got them out with an air chisel, patience, attitude and a few Pabst Blue Ribbons. If you don't have an air chisel, it is unlikely that you will get them out (unless you're lucky) or use a hub buster. It seems that no amount of hammering and swearing can get them loose.
    When you do get them out, clean all the rust out of the bores. I used emery cloth medium and fine. And coat every thing in anti seize compound. I can imagine that things in Texas are better then in Wisconsin and You (hopefully) won't have as much trouble as working on the rust country (Wisconsin) truck.
    Also clean and coat the axle splines with heavy machine oil.
    I now have the same project set up for my 2005 Silverado WT. A complete brake job, hubs (right and left), and shocks. The roads up here are bad (pot holes and busted concrete). My front end is good (tie road ends, center link, pitman and idler arm), But my buddy with a 2001 had to replace those parts. He could not get the pitman arm off of the sector shaft and ended up messing up his steering box (hammering, and swearing). If you have this same problem be careful.
    Also, when purchasing hubs, shop around, there is a 4-1 price variance for the same bearing.
    Good luck, and hope to hear how your project goes. Maybe send us northern boys some pictures of a clean southern truck.
  4. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    [MENTION=52149]Lerch98[/MENTION] Some good info there! When I do this, I'll be going down to my dad's place for a long weekend. He's retired and has a shop and just about every tool you can think of. I'll take some pics as the project progresses. And I will definitely shop around for parts. I don't plan on doing this for super cheap. I like to do a lot of things myself (build my own computers, do my own home repairs, etc) and I learned long ago - buy cheap, buy twice.
  5. shibby2oo8

    shibby2oo8 Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    I live in northern ohio and have done quite a few. Trick is to use an air hammer and "spin" the hub on the knuckle by hitting the 3 sides until it loosens up. Byfar the easiest way. Also check the inner tierods as they get loose from time to time.
  6. TimTom64b

    TimTom64b Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    My thing is when I have it apart... might as well replace anything that's replaceable.... don't want to do it twice. If it were me I'd add ball joints and calipers to what you've already listed.
  7. stchman

    stchman Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Are the wheel bearings built into the rotor on your 2001? My 1998 Chevy truck the bearings were in the rotor. I know on the NNBS trucks the bearings are in the hub and are much more difficult to replace.

    I just checked and the 2WD model truck in the NBS do not have the bearings built into the rotor. I did note that you do not have to take apart the suspension to change the wheel bearings.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  8. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    That I don't know; I haven't researched that far yet. I do know that I plan on replacing just about anything in the wheel/suspension area that has to do with the rolling of the truck: rotors, hubs, bearings, etc.
  9. nonnieselman

    nonnieselman Member 1 Year

    on the 1999-2007 classic the wheel bearings are easy to change. Remove caliper, remove 3 bolts on rear side of knuckle. Push bearing assembly out, insert new and tighten the three bolts.
    Be careful with the ABS sensors on them.
  10. shibby2oo8

    shibby2oo8 Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    2wd are much easier as the cv is not in the way. To add to what i said before get a 6 point socket and hammer it on to thr bolt because if you round that head you are boned. If it is 4wd i recomend pushing the axle in and wedging another socket inbetween the cv and the back of the knuckle to give you more room to the bolts. Even if you dont have and air hammer take heavt pin or punch and spin the hub flange to free it up. Trust me once i learned this it makes it much much easier then just trying to pry it out. If you want more to do you can just take the knuckle off and press in some new ball joints that would also make the wheel bearings a breeze. Just make sure to support the lower control arm or the suspension will unload and you will have a bad day.

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