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More bearing issues. Somebody just shoot me now


curtis73

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Referencing this thread: Brake job gone wrong

94 B4000. Manual hubs from a 92. Quick synopsis of the above thread. Bought the truck with 80k on it a couple years ago. It developed a front bearing growl so I replaced them with Timken stuff. Drove it for a few months and took it for safety inspection and they mentioned one was loose so they reset it. This spring in the above thread I was doing a brake job and found that the threads were messed up on the spindle and the retainer ring wouldn't stay in its groove.

Now this week I came back from a 250-mile trip and the front sounded like it was rubbing something and sure enough, both front bearings are toast. As in, it's a miracle I didn't lose both front wheels.

Someone suggested Stage 8, so I ordered them. Nice pieces. Not an ice cube's chance in hell they will work. I have no idea how they would fit behind any hub, so I sent them back. Massive.

bobbywalter suggested "ratchet nuts" from an F150. That's not something I'm familiar with, can someone enlighten me?

Bobby... if you're reading this, you also mentioned you might have a source for spindles from a 'yard. I'm not too keen on paying $100 each for chinese knock-offs.

Can someone help me figure out why my bearings keep coming loose and self-destructing? How do I fix it for GOOD?
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 7FA902352B4C01: April 5th, 2021

ericbphoto

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This spring in the above thread I was doing a brake job and found that the threads were messed up on the spindle and the retainer ring wouldn't stay in its groove.
Which retaining ring are you talking about? Are you really trying to say that the washer between the locknuts rotates because its tab doesn't lock it in place? If so, that is the problem. If that washer rotates around the spindle, you will never keep the lockouts where they belong. You can get new washers.
 

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From what I hear the factory washers are better than the aftermarket ones for grabbing the notch in the spindle, I haven't tested this theory since mine are working, and my junk is a MESS so I honestly don't know or remember if I have spares in the 10 years I've had a Dana 35, I likely do since I have a couple sets of hubs but where? I have no idea...
 

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A good discussion here on the spindle nuts


If you get Spicer nuts and tighten the outer one to 200+ ft-lbs they shouldn't come loose. Other options are the blitzkrieg nuts or making a copy of the warn nuts like I did, which I posted about in the thread I linked
 

curtis73

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Thanks for the link
 

curtis73

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Which retaining ring are you talking about? Are you really trying to say that the washer between the locknuts rotates because its tab doesn't lock it in place? If so, that is the problem. If that washer rotates around the spindle, you will never keep the lockouts where they belong. You can get new washers.
Correct. On the driver's side, the retaining ring with the keyway and holes doesn't stay in place because it just gouged out the threads. Take a look at the thread I linked for pictures. I solved that issue temporarily by using an additional spacer between the bearing and inner nut. This spaced out the retainer ring to a spot on the threads that wasn't damaged.

Still doesn't account for the passenger side. Truth be told, the whole setup is crap. The spindles seem to stretch. You get the perfect preload on the bearings, set your retainer on, and when you torque the outer you have too much preload. The whole bearing setting process is trial and error more than a slam dunk.

The whole process (for me) goes like this. Replace bearings. Set proper preload with the spacer and inner nut. Add retainer. Torque outer nut. Repeat 342 times until you end up with the correct preload after torqueing the outer nut. Check play = zero. Check spinning = free spinning. Drive truck for 8000-10,000 miles and discover that the bearings are wasted. Right now if I jack up the front of the truck, I can rock the wheel up/down 1/4" at the treads. Both sides exactly the same.

I need a reliable way of setting the nut permanently and properly. The factory setup has failed me 3 times in 30k miles, twice when I did it, (pretty seasoned pro myself) and once when I took it to a 4x4 shop and they did the work. I figured that it was something I was doing wrong, but twice? And a pro shop did the same screwup? And always exactly the same outcome and the same on both sides? Mystery.
 
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BlackBII

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Did you read through the thread I posted? There's a couple solutions in there.

The tab on the washer and the pin on the inner nut are the problem; the tab is too small and the pin likes to shear off. You can weld some additional material onto the tab so that fits better in the keyway, or use jeep washers like I did.
 
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curtis73

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I did read through the thread. Most of the nut solutions in it won't fit behind my manual hubs.

I took it apart yesterday. The keyways are intact, the pins are intact, but everything is loose. Almost as if the bearings wore out and allowed play. Just trying to figure out why three sets of bearings done by two pros keep getting destroyed every 8000 miles or so.
 

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How much torque are you able to put on the outer nut when you tighten it? Next time you do the job, try this. After the second locknut is tight, clean the nut and threads real good. Then dab some nail polish or paint on the side of the nut and the threads to make a witness mark. Then, next time you check on it, if the paint on the nut and the paint on the threads is still lined up, you know the nuts didn't turn and there must be some other mysterious thing happening.

Only other thing I can say is " Bring it over and I'll take a look at it."
 

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*Bang*. Sorry, couldn't resist :)
 

Eddo Rogue

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I always put in bearings just a little bit loose, factoring in that the locknut will cinch it further, and heat will expand them.

As mentioned, there's a touch to it. In the end, free spinning and no slack. Maybe a ball hair of slack if you want to err on the side of caution.

Also really mind the small stuff like washers and tabs etc, they can bone you.

Ideally when possible, I drive around to warm em up, then immediately jack it up and give the tires a spin and jiggle while its all still hot.
 

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Here's my advice, simply based on what I've repeatedly seen in the field and here on TRS:

1. Absolutely NEVER, under any circumstance, use the bearing races that come pre-installed into new brake rotors. Such mismatching of races and cones (cones have the rollers) I believe is a prime reason why we see so many loose bearings and bearing failures on these frontends (why rotor manufacturers provide a race but no cone to go with it is way beyond me).
Hammer that (usually chinese) race out and replace it with the race from a quality matched bearing set (such as Timken pt# SET-37).

2. Tighten the inner bearing nut to 35 ft-lbs while spinning the rotor back & forth (this seats the bearings and distributes the grease). Loosen the nut and (without moving the rotor) retighten it to 15 inch-lbs (basically, just lightly snug it down by hand using the socket). Install the locking washer (flip the washer over if the pin doesn't line up with a hole, don't turn the inner nut). Tighten the outer locknut to 225-250ft-lbs.

Doing it this way I've not had a bearing fail or come loose in two decades, even with large heavy 35" tires.


Welding of the tab on a washer that doesn't fit within the groove well is mentioned in the link BlackBII posted above, but I'll mention a slight variation on it here:
Add a small speck of weld material to the inner edge of the washer opposite the tab with your welder. Grind it down on both sides (if needed) so that the washer lays flat, then grind the weld down just enough so that the washer fits over the spindle and the tab into the spindle groove. Doing it this way I feel better avoids losing the heat temper on the tab, making it less likely to deform while you're tightening it.

If you don't have a welder, another way to do this is to bend the washer into a very slight oval using a vise so that the tab reaches further down into the groove. A caveat: I have seen an instance where the washer broke while trying to do this (apparently they are somewhat brittle). Do this at your own risk.

Pic showing the washer I did on a friend's '91 after welding & grinding it:
IMG_0015.jpg
 


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