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Thread: Non-destructive rear whell bearing removal

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    Default Non-destructive rear whell bearing removal

    Is there a way to remove the outer(?) rear wheel bearing that is pressed onto the shaft without destroying it? I'm refreshing my 280z's suspension and want to clean it and grease it again.

    I don't have a press, I went to a shop but they told me that if they took it out, it'll break.

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    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    First, don't go back to that shop. They were just not interested in helping you.

    You have three options.

    1 Find a real shop with a bearing puller and person who knows how to use it.

    2. Go buy a long bearing puller and do it yourself. You need a bearing splitter, and a puller with long bolts. Princess Auto Bearing Separator/Puller Set | Princess Auto is what I'm talkiing about with you going to buy a 3 foot piece of 3/8 threaded rod to extend the length between the splitter and puller.

    3. Try freezing the whole thing, then heating just the inner bearing race and see if it will come apart with just a little prying.

    Remember that while you have it this far apart, you are MUCH better off putting new bearings in there than trying to cheap out and just re-pack the old ones.

    You will also have the issue of having to re-press on the new or old bearing, unless you again freeze the shaft and heat the bearing, then just gently tap it down in place with a pipe that fits over the shaft and contacts the inner race only. (don't pound on the outer race, it will destroy the bearings).

    Do you have the torque wrench to put that back together properly to 200-250 ft-lbs? And a new nut?

    You can refer to http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/r...ngs/index.html for additional help
    Last edited by zKars; 07-04-2014 at 06:58 AM.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

    www.zKars.com
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    That's what I thought! Thank you for the info. I was planning on replace the bearings, but they are $45 each. The front ones were much cheaper.

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    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenaud View Post
    Is there a way to remove the outer(?) rear wheel bearing that is pressed onto the shaft without destroying it? I'm refreshing my 280z's suspension and want to clean it and grease it again.

    I don't have a press, I went to a shop but they told me that if they took it out, it'll break.
    In theory, "No".

    Reason being, there's no way to get the outer bearing off the shaft without putting force on the balls. You see, when you install bearings, you're never supposed to use the balls as part of the force path to install them because you run the risk of damaging the balls or the race. You're supposed to only press against the race that is being forced into place so that no force goes through the balls.

    In other words... When you install that outer bearing onto the shaft, you're supposed to press only on the inner race as it slides against the shaft to it's fully seated position. Works fine for installation of that outer bearing, but you can't get around to the other side to grab the inner race when trying to disassemble.

    HOWEVER!! When you pull that stub shaft out of the housing, you'll be looking right at one side of the balls of that outer bearing. You should be able to get most of the old grease out replace with fresh without ever taking that bearing off the shaft.

    (And as a side note - At least on my car, that outer bearing is not an incredibly tight press fit against the shaft and mine came off easier than a lot of other bearings I've messed with in the past. With the relatively small amount of force I had to use to get it off the stub, I would have been willing to put it back into service without fear that I dented the races.)


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    You should be able to find the bearings cheaper that $45 each. Once the bearing is off and clean you can read the bearing number that is stamped on one side of the outer race. With that number you can buy from a bearing supplier rather than a auto part store. Generally the pricing is better this way. Even at $45 each it is cheap compared to the labor cost of replacing the bearing later.

    Also, the outer bearing has a built-in seal on the outside. You can't really clean and grease it any better when is off compared to on the axle. If you are going to reuse the bearing there is no reason to remove them. Clean and grease them the best you can while on the axle and run it.

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    I've wondered about the side loads put on the bearing when the axle is installed. They should be comparable to the loads seen when a puller is used to remove the axles. Seems like the design leads to high loading on the balls during installation, but the races seem to survive it. Even the use of the car puts a high load on them although that's a rolling load. Spinning the axles while removing the bearing might save them.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed Head View Post
    I've wondered about the side loads put on the bearing when the axle is installed. Seems like the design leads to high loading on the balls during installation, but the races seem to survive it.
    Agreed. And that also falls in line with what I mentioned about the races being press fits, but not as tight of a tolerance as other bearing press fits I've messed with in the past. It's clear that they designed the system with the intention that you could do things your not normally supposed to do (like apply force through balls) without destruction.

    That said... When I put mine back together with my new bearings, I worked up this weird fixture contraption with custom ID tubings and drifts, etc. that allowed me to press the assy together and still follow traditional "don't put force through the balls" rules.

    Was it a pain in the arse? - Yes.
    Was it worth it? - I wouldn't if I was on the clock. I would just do it simple like they say in the manual.
    Would I do that again on my own car? - Probably not.

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    Thanks for you inputs everyone. I've decided to bite the bullet and replace them.

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