Is it possible to grease front bearings without dissassembling everything?

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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    1972 Newport.
    I'm fairly sure that my front wheel bearings are in need of grease. Is there any possible way to add grease without taking all of it apart? Would a grease gun with a needle make it possible?
     
  2. 69 300 vert

    69 300 vert Active Member

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    Nope, disassembly is the only way.

    The modern version of my "EZ Squeeze bearing packer":



    I got it some 45 years ago when I was a mechanic, it's made a tedious job a lot easier / quicker.

    Robert
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  3. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    It needs to be disassembled, the old grease cleaned off and a new hub seal installed. Bearings should be inspected at this time for scoring, pitting, etc.

    Dave
     
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  4. 413

    413 Active Member

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    Be glad it does come apart with simple tools and can be regreased at home. Nothing wrong with old bearings, cleanup and inspect them though. The new China bearings are worth avoiding.

    These new cars with press on lubed for life bearings are not that great really.
     
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  5. fury fan

    fury fan Senior Member

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    Jon O -
    I see you are in Indy -- me too.

    What makes you think your bearings need grease? If you're getting audible symptoms that they need grease, they should probably be replaced.
    If there's some looseness, it probably means they weren't pre-loaded properly - and if properly greased, they'd possibly just need tightened.
    But if you've never been into these bearings yourself (meaning, you don't know the history) then you really need to get in and verify everything for yourself.

    If you're in a semi-emergency situation (meaning, to get it to a repair shop before the bearings disintegrate) then greasing the outer with a needle would help. Getting to the inner requires removing the drum or spindle to take the outer bearing out, so you're 1/3 of the way there to 'do it right'.
     
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  6. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    AND . . . being it's a 1972, it probably has power front disc brakes? Which also means the caliper might need to be removed to get the rotor off to "do the deal". Which will also need the tool to keep the brake pads in place while the rotors are off? THEN, when the caliper/pads are put back on, you'll probably need to stomp the brake pedal to "reposition" the pads against the rotor? Otherwise, that first brake application can be "interesting", even just backing out of the garage!

    There is a tool you can buy that will allow you to grease both bearings at once, from the auto supply people. Then, no need to put the grease in the palm of your hand and work it into the bearing (after cleaning and drying/inspecting the bearing. As was done for decades!

    THEN, you'll need to learn how to seat/adjust the bearings upon reassembly. This is one of those things where experience and "feel" can be important. Or you can use a torque wrench and follow the FSM instructions. PLUS a few new cotter keys, for good measure. When done, grab the top and bottom of the wheel and check for "play" and spin the wheel to look for "resistance" as the wheel spins-down and stops.

    I'd also recommend the Ford-spec Disc Brake chassis/wheel bearing grease. It has "moly" in it. Valvoline also makes a synthetic version of it, too.

    I believe there is a factory-recommended service interval for greasing the front wheel bearings? In any event, if you have any concerns, best to do it rather than wait.

    This can be a good stress relief exercise, too! Put the front of the car on jack stands, loosening the lug nuts before the wheels leave the ground. Assemble the tools and lay them out for easy grasp. Take your time, learn how it all goes together. When done, reassemble and adjust.

    Enjoy!
    CBODY67
     
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  7. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for correct information. It is disc brake. I am getting audible rubbing type noise every once in a while on turns. The car sat for eons, and has been driven 11,000 miles since sitting. has not had bearings greased since the late 80s. Rear ones made loud airplane type noises, and i replaced them with china bearings 1,000 miles ago. I just had to replace the chinese ones with Timken.
    And since i don't want to mess with bearings again, you all suck. :lol:
     
  8. mrfury68

    mrfury68 Well-Known Member

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    Ah yes, packing wheel bearings. The grunt work of auto mechanics but an important job nonetheless. Always an important (and often overlooked) part of a brake job. If you are getting an old car back on the road after several years you want to make inspecting and repacking your wheel bearings a priority such as brakes, belts, hoses, gaskets, fluids etc.
     
  9. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Chinese bearings are made from peanut butter.

    Dave
     
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  10. fury fan

    fury fan Senior Member

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    They're self-lubricating, then.
     
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  11. Trace 300 Hurst

    Trace 300 Hurst Professional Tinkerer FCBO Gold Member

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    That's not true!


    Wood chips, possibly, but not peanut butter.
     
  12. 413

    413 Active Member

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    Nope. There chunky!
     
  13. fury fan

    fury fan Senior Member

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    Jon -
    LMK if you need some help, or want to drop by and do it, I would have all the tool you'd need. I'm on northside.

    On the rear bearings you need to re-replace - is it an 8-3/4" axle? 72 was a changeover year to the 8-1/4" in C-bodies, but yours with a 400 might've still been 8-3/4". 8-1/4" rear axle bearings lube via gear lube in the axle, 8-3/4" bearings get lubed via grease like the fronts. Sometimes folks forget to grease them. Doubt yours would've lasted 1000mi if dry, though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  14. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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    I just did the chinese rear bearings with Timken this week because of emergency. I am in Tennessee and need to get back home. Front will just have to survive the trip, thats my only option.
     
  15. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    You can pull the dust cap off and remove the spindle nut. The outer bearing can then be removed. Usually the outer bearing, since it is smaller will show the most distress from lack of lubricant and it can be repacked in this way. With the outer bearing out, you can probably force some grease into the inner bearing with a point greaser if you can find one long enough. Tennessee is a long way to run on a potentially failing bearing, but getting some additional grease in there might be enough to get you home. If you try this method and everything quiets down, you will probably make it home. If the bearings are still noisy it is any body's guess.

    Dave
     
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  16. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    The only bearings I ever lubed myself on my Camaro were the outer ones. Reason? The inside of the hub's diameter increases to accommodate the larger diameter inner bearing. Therefore, putting some loose grease inside of the hub, it will migrate to the inner bearing via centrifugal force . . . I was told. Apparently it works that way. Never pulled it apart to lube the inner bearings myself. But I probably had others do the inner bearings a few times over the years.

    Just curious, where is the seal that keeps axle grease out of the 8.75" rear axle's outer wheel bearings?

    CBODY67
     
  17. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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    There is a seal on each side of the bearing. bearing rides in its own thick grease.
     
  18. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    Are these seals visible in the FSM pictures of how to dismantle the bearings for replacement or the picture of pressing the new bearing onto the axle shaft? Is the maintenance mileage listedin the FSM?

    Thanks,
    CBODY67
     
  19. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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    Both visible on dismantling picture. Only outer seal is visible on the second picture. Inner seal is pressed into the differential. Originally there was no designated time to grease rear. I believe 24,000 miles under high stress or towing conditions.
     
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  20. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Front axle was to inspect and repack bearings on a front brake job or 24,000 mi. Same interval was also recommended for severe service applications on the rear axle. This was on the 8.75 rear axle only. The 8.25 and 7.75 rears are lubricated by differential oil. A quality shop would usually pull the rear axles on a rear 8.75 brake job and replace the inner seals and inspect/repack the bearings. If this was done, the bearings were pretty much good for the life of the car. If it was not done, bearings on the rear would go south at about 75k.

    Dave