P30 bearing repack, should I do it?

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P30 bearing repack, should I do it?

Postby patricksmith » Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:32 pm

OK guys, latest question. My 85 Winnebago Chieftain is in a Chevy P30 chassis. On my last long trip I heard a howling from the front left but it only lasted about two minutes. I think this is normally a wheel bearing sound. It's got about 50k miles on it and seems to have been serviced VERY well before I bought it.

I'm heading to the Smoky Mtns. on Saturday, it will be a 1000+ mi. round trip. Should I repack the front wheel bearings before I go? If so, do I need any parts to do this? Would hate to tear it all apart and then need some parts I don't have or can't get.

Thanks,
Patrick
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Postby Russ Chastain » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:04 pm

I would say that yes, the bearings should at least be checked - and might as well re=pack 'em.

If you want to get both bearings out to inspect them then you will probably have to pull a seal out of the inside of the hub, and that would have to be replaced, so you might want to have a couple of those on hand.

Plenty of grease! Grease is cheap, use plenty of it, don't be afraid to pack a lot of it in there. The only failed bearings I have seen were not sufficiently greased, and there is a school of thought that under-greases bearings on purpose.

And a couple new cotter pins. If the bearings are bad then you will want to replace 'em, but if not them just clean, re-pack, and re-assemble. So Either buy the bearings ahead of time, or hope for the best and go buy them if you need 'em after you have pulled the hubs.

- Russ
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Postby patricksmith » Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:30 pm

OK, how do I remove the hub to get to the inner bearing? I expected to remove the caliper and it to be held on by two bolts. But there are no visible bolts anywhere on the caliper front or back, and the outer hub is held in place by about 8 bolts threaded in through the back if the inner hub. But I can't see the heads of those bolts from the back. I got the outer bearing out, the grease is very black and looks kind of thin so I want to get the inner one too.

Help?

Thanks,
Patrick
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Postby patricksmith » Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:57 pm

Well, I got the caliper off, there was a wedge between the caliper and the spindle arm that must be removed. Never seen that before. New problem: I have everything greased up and put back on the spindle, however the castle nut won't go on far enough to put the cotter pin in one of the holes. I'm torquing to 12 ft/lbs, backing off and hand tightening like the book says. Am I doing something wrong or do need to do something different?

Thanks,
Patrick
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Postby Russ Chastain » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:23 pm

That sounds odd. Did you replace the bearings & races with new ones? If so they may not be just the right size... or perhaps a race isn't fully seated in the hub. ???

I had a 1985 Ford Ranger and the calipers were held on with pieces of spring steel sandwiching a chunk of rubber... a real pain in the rump to deal with. Dad had the same setup on his 1986 F150.

- Russ
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Postby patricksmith » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:33 am

Thanks Russ. I got it figured out. The rear of the disc wasn't fitting correctly into the spindle seat. I got it lined up right and it went in perfect. Funny, I had everything apart pretty quick (once I figured out the brakes) but putting it back together took forever until I found the trick. Then it took 10 minutes to have both sides done. Next time I could probably do the whole job in an hour and half, start to cleanup.

Next up is the airbag in the left front coil spring...

Thanks for the help.

Patrick
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Postby Carl » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:05 pm

Patric. I have a 85 on a G30 chassies and being used to Ford, I had a heck of a time figuring the wedgie thing out. Now I can do a wheel in about 15 min. Did you replace the rear seal? If not, I would recommend the next time you do it, replace the seal. Carl
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Postby patricksmith » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:14 pm

I did replace both seals. I figured for $4 ea it was cheap insurance. I just took off the calipers one more time and it went very quickly. Nothing like experience! :)

Thanks,
Patrick
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