In Reply to: should i repack my wheel bearings? posted by tim on March 10, 2000 at 14:25:45:
: not sure if i'm biting into something best left alone so thought i'd seek advice from the more experienced of the 02 hands. bought a 72 tii a few months ago. changed most of the fluids (haven't gotten to the brake fluid yet). one of things i noticed was a low whistling (sort of - hard to describe) that seems to come from the rear passenger side. could be just normal but i'm not sure. used to have a 74 automatic and don't remember such a sound. only occurs with the car accelerating and moving - don't notice it when slowing down and it definitely doesn't do it with the car idling - even if i rev it. intend to put it up on jack stands this weekend, run it and see if i can find the source. after all that here is my question - if the noise doesn't seem to be coming from the bearings then should i repack my wheel bearings anyway. also si there any way to check if the bearings don't really require repacking short of tearing open the rear wheel to get at the bearings and eyeballing them (seems if you get that far you might as well repack em anyway). did the front in my 74 several years ago and that didn't seem too hard. however, reading the archives on rear wheel repacking gives me some second thoughts. the majority of opinions seems to be that it's a very difficult job (or that sure seemed like the tone). as with everyone else, i don't want to start a job that turns into a nightmare especially if it was unnecessary in the first place. got a haynes and shop manual so i've got the book steps to follow. sorry for the length of this post but wanted to paint an accurate picture. TIA, tim
Chances are way to good that the rear bearings have never received any attention. Accordingly my answer would be to REPLACE the bearings. I've seen several rear hub failures, one of which resulted in the car rolling over. Failure of the rear hub is at the very least expensive since there is normally damage to parts other than the bearings. So don't take the risk either with your wallet or your life and that of passengers.
Replacing the bearings is involved (so is repacking), but the parts are not expensive. Time, patience and attention to detail (being certain the hub is properly shimed) are the key ingedients. If you are uncertain, seek professional help.