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12/31/09 9:38pm - Original Message: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
redzr
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Morgantown, WV - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Pace Car 2008 Corvette Z51 Coupe

Joined: 12/31/2009
Posts: 2
Hello,
 
I was wondering if anyone had experiences with greasing the rear wheel bearings with the spiffy GM took. I am thinking about doing it on my 25k mile 78. The car has little to no play in the rear bearings, but its 30 years old and I was thinking that a little grease would not hurt anything.
 
Thanks.
Dan
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12/31/09 10:25pm - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19457
That tool that just fits onto the rear side of the spindle, where the axle flange is, is really only designed to grease the inner bearing. It doesn't get much, if any, grease to the outer bearing. It's better than nothing, for sure, but not exactly the perfect "fix".

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1/1/10 12:06pm - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
VetteSpecialties
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Mounds View, MN - USA

Vette(s):
70 LT1 coupe, 69 350 HP coupe, 69 390HP 427 coupe, 71 LS5 convert, 85 coupe, 93 coupe

Joined: 5/24/2007
Posts: 1031
I am of the belief that you don't take any of the rear spindle assembly apart unless you have to.  I think there is more chance of creating a problem than preventing one.  Since the assembly is sealed, all of the factory grease should still be in there, and every time it gets warm, it flows into all the places it is needed.  I would leave it alone.

Larry


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1/1/10 1:38pm - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
I am with Larry on this one.
I am think about a trick we used to do on VWs.   When we did take apart the rear wheel bearings, similar set up to our vettes, we instaled a "Cheat".   With the bearings apart we drilled a 1/8 hole in the center of the hub, cleaned it, and installed a grease fitting on the outside.  Once reassembled just one squirt from a grease gun kept plenty of grease in the rear bearings.  Neat trick.
 
My concern is someone overgreasing the rear bearings and blowing out the seals, creating more problems that what was solved.   I don't know if there is room for the fitting on the rear of the C3s, but when I do mine I am going to look at this and think about it.   No recommendation for this at this time until I get into mine and check it out.
 
If you use the tool and only grease the one bearing, which is the case,  it is still leaving the other bearing to chance until the grease evens out during use,  If you have enough grease in there to do that.


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1/1/10 3:11pm - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
CeeDee
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, - New Zealand

Vette(s):
Silver '81 mostly original C3. Silver interior, bilstiens, big sway bars, headers.

Joined: 3/26/2005
Posts: 231
Interesting topic this one. Having recently seen a dissassembled 1979 C3 rear spindle, I can't work out why this tool would only grease the inner brearing. As far as I could make out visually, grease pumped into the spindle from the flange side would flow into the inner brearing, out the other side, through the hub cavity that exists between the two bearings, and into the outer bearing. And out through the outer seal if over zealous...    where have I got this wrong ??

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Kiwi Chris

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1/1/10 3:59pm - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
Nope,  you got it right.  But not all grease will migrate that well, and the outer bearing could miss out.  If you put lots of grease in there, you could cause the same problem by the grease fitting trick I used on VWs, and when it gets hot could blow a seal.
 
Some greases will migrate over if there is enough there, without causing a problem.  Don't use a grease to thin so it will move, but not supply enough pressure and heat support to protect the bearings.


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1/2/10 10:39am - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
tuxblacray Lifetime Member
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Greensburg, IN - USA

Vette(s):
Previous: 1984 Silver / Charcoal Coupe, 1988 Maroon Coupe / 1989 Artic White / Mod. Red Int. Coupe, Present:1976 Stingray Black / Black, Auto, 350 slightly modified (355 hp) Luxor Wires Redline Tires. / 2001 Speedway White Vert, Torch Red Int, LS1, Auto.

Joined: 9/24/2003
Posts: 5174
Ahhhh Zin Master Ken you open a new Pandoras box...... what is the reccomend grease to use?

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1/3/10 10:22pm - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
I love the wheel bearing grease that actually has a bit of fiber in it.  Sort of looks like duraglass before it's mixed up.  BUT while this stays on a wheel bearing very very well, it won't migrate, so no cigar for this operation.   If you are taking the bearings out to repack, it's the hot ticket.
 
But for migrating, you need a smooth grease.  Pay close attention to the drop point.  The drop point is the temperature where the grease will thin out and start to flow, and drop off of device.   A really good grease has a drop point of 500 deg F.   IF the drop point is too thin (low deg F.) the grease will run out of the bearings, and perhaps through seals and leave what ever it is you are trying to lube lacking grease.   Too low of a drop point will allow disc brakes to heat the hub and empty it.   Drum brakes could use a lower drop point than disc.
 
So you don't really want it to migrate due to a low drop point.  It defeats the purpose.   You want it to migrate from flow caused by volume, rotation, and centrifical (sp?) force.   Most quality wheel bearing grease will do this.   Do not use conventional chassie grease.   It's water resistance may be excellent, but the drop point is too low for bearings.  It is possible to get a grease to do both jobs, but be carefull selecting them if this is what you want to do.  I prefer to use two different greases.
 
Most synthetic greases work quite well, but still pay attention to the specs.  Some are specfic purpose, and are not sutable for bearing use.   Let me clarify, high speed, high pressure bearing use.  Some bearing grease works very well at low rpm even under severe load, but won't do for a wheel bearing.  Perhaps a truck 5th wheel.   Read the labels.
kstyer2010-01-03 20:24:31

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On the "Tail of the Dragon"
(some day, no strike that, October 2008 it turned red, still in progress!)

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1/4/10 11:47am - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
sfindlan
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Badin Lake, NC - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Red L-48 Corvette with Doeskin interior, 3-speed automatic, 3.55 rear; 1986 L-98 Coupe, 4+3 Manual - Satin Black and Purple (SCCA TT/Hillclimb Car); 1993 White LT-1 Coupe, Black Interior, 6-speed

Joined: 4/21/2004
Posts: 101
This might be a bit simple - but the usual recommendation for wheel bearings is to use a grease labeled suitable for disc brakes. I use a Valvoline synthetic grease and it works well even in racing/track day use. 


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C3: 1979 Corvette Coupe, Auto, L-48, Red/Doeskin (my wife's fave);
C4s: 1986 C4 coupe (SCCA road race car), satin black, 4+3, Z51 package, L-98;  & 1993 C4 coupe, white, 6-speed, LT-1.
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1/4/10 9:18pm - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
ossw1
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Rocklin, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1970 T-Top350/350hp numbers matching 4 speed. It's a mess and 1970 Convertible 4 speed.

Joined: 4/2/2005
Posts: 484

Hey my mechanic says he has a tool that can replace the rear bearing without dropping the whole arm? Is there such a thing? He does it for 150 per wheel.

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1/4/10 11:08pm - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19457
You can absolutely replace the bearings without removing the t-arms...I've done MANY of them like that. It's sure easier to just get the whole thing off and work on a bench, tho.
There are also spindle supports that have grease zerks in them now. Some of the reman folks are doing that. It's just a simple drill/tap, and put in a zerk. Problem with those is, most folks will over-grease, and blow grease out thru the seals....which damages the seals, and then you get to start all over even sooner!


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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1/5/10 8:15am - Reply: 'Rear Bearing Lub Tool'
manchestershark Lifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.

Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 1900
 Food for thought.  When I did my T-Arms on a 72' I used the high pressure silicone gray colored grease.  Does not seem to be as sticky as the fiber grease I have used for many years, but it sure is slippery.  I packed the hub as full as I could and put it back together, no zerk.  Take it out of the car and work on the bench. MUCH easier and you can see what your doing.  The set-up tool is a good thing to have in the tool box, get one. 

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