~~What do I fix first? Help a girl out please...~~

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by gfam, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. gfam

    gfam New Member

    There just isn't enough paycheck to pay someone else to do this work. We've got to try this on our own and my hubby is so dang busy right now so I'm trying to help him out.

    We've got a 1990 suburban. 4x4. 140K miles. I took it in for an alignment today & the guy said he couldn't do it b/c they bearings needed to be repacked & possibly replaced. He said the tire wiggled when up on the lift. I have not had any noise or problems except vibrating when I brake. We just replaced the brake pads, but did not machine the rotors as they looked fine. I know you are supposed to, but we didn't. We have replaced the bearings on another same year suburban before, but it has been 10 years or so & we don't remember a whole lot.

    So my question is this. Do you think it's likely the bearings need replacing or just repacking with these symptoms. If replacement do we need the bearings, cup & cones like Napa guy said? I don't remember buying anything more than the bearings & seal last time.

    Also can you link me to any directions? I've been looking at the service manual & it is very unhelpful for novices like us.

    Lastly, does the vibrating upon braking sound like a rotor problem and which should we address first?

    I am NO mechanic, but I'm dang good at following directions. I've done oil pumps, starters, alternators, water pumps, brakes etc before. I would appreciate a little guidance and advice.

    Thanks. If there is a more appropriate forum to post this to please let me know.

  2. jim1958

    jim1958 Member

    On your burb you don`t have typical bearings and cups as you think, you have a wheel bearing hub assy and this is all one unit and about 250.00 so make sure thats where your vibration is as it`s kind of pricey
  3. ct9a

    ct9a Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Lift the truck up on a jack and stands, then push on the side of the tires north and south, then east and west. If you're getting play in any of those directions, then you probably need new bearings. If the alignment guy said that he was getting enough wiggle out of it to not be able to do the alignment, I would guess they need to be replaced. Yes, bad bearings can cause a vibration, though so can warped rotors.

    AutoZone's website seems to be down right now, but they have pretty good instructions to most repairs/replacements for most makes and models.
  4. lvz2ryd

    lvz2ryd Rockstar

    This is a test used to feel movment indicating worn ball joints. U would need to take the tire off and do this and try and look and feel if and where there is any movement. Use long pry-bars against the floor or somthin and do it to try and more accuratly simulate the weigh of the vehicle on the suspension. look at ur tire wear for uneveness. Bad hub assy are usually loud.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2009
  5. dwill3015

    dwill3015 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Welcome to the site! We have a very handy thread to give you access to most repairs for your Suburban. Go to THIS LINK and follow the instructions. Once you get to your year, model, then Repair Procedures, there is a Search function and you just have to type in "Wheel Bearings". It will open a list and scroll down to "Removal, repack and replace" and it will give you step by step instructions with diagrams. If you need help with this, let us know.
  6. ct9a

    ct9a Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I'd always been told to do this for wheel bearings. Interesting, thanks for the input.
  7. gfam

    gfam New Member

    I'm not sure about that b/c this is what I remember replacing on the exact same year burby that we did several years ago. Just bearings was all we did, not cups & cones and all that. We did not do a hub assembly. At only 10.99 each it would be very inexpensive to just replace the bearings & seal.
    Napa guy said we had to replace cups & cones as well. I'm wondering if we either did it wrong 10 years ago on the other 90 burby we had or he's trying to sell us something we don't need.
  8. gfam

    gfam New Member

    Thanks!! I"m checking that out now.
  9. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Is your other 'burb 4x4? The bearing assembly on 2wd vs 4x4 are completely different.

    this is a 4x4 hub/bearing assy(these do not disassemble for repair):

    This would be the bearing assy for 2 wheel drive burb:

  10. tbplus10

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

    If theres play in the assembly chances are very good you need new bearings, the play is caused by wear of the bearings, repacking the bearings and tightening the preload on the axle stub nut will only be a stop gap method that could possibly lead to further issues later, this isnt a correct fix.

    The 90 model Burb is a solid front axle and takes the parts the Napa guy recomended. One reason Napa recomended all the additional parts is because most times rebuilding a hub those parts need replacing (they may not look like it to the naked eye but they probably have miniscule cracks and wear spots). People have replaced only the bearings, but if you have tolerance or material problems with the other parts you'll be rebuilding the hubs again soon. It just makes good sense to replace the pieces the first time your in there.

    Bearings can be checked somewhat in the method MrShorty recomended, what your looking for is an in and out movement of the wheel assembly, sometimes you'll hear a muted click or thump when rattling the wheel.

    And as stated bad wheel bearings or a warped rotor could cause the vibration your getting.
    Bearings wont always make a noise before they self destruct.

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