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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It started with a grinding sort of noise from the rear right- unknown area though- couldnt tell but assumed from the wheel area. Then came accros an article from Mustangs plus that got me thinking. They stated that rear wheel bearings go bad, and a symptom is initally a grinding sound, which then can progress to the bearing failure and your tire flying off down the road as your driving(since the bearing is what essentially holds the axle to the car). I knew that i had replaced the third member, but re-used the axels, and didnt know the history of the rearend. I initially did the bearing test before re-installing the axle(the spin the bearing around, if it makes more than a revolution its bad) and it tested ok in this test. Installed the axle, no problems for a few hundered miles. About a few weeks ago I was driving, got this grinding unspecific noise, which increased in pitch as i went faster. Later in the week, i was flagged down by a lady who was driving behind me, who said my passenger rear wheel was doing something "funny". Immidiately i thought of that mustangs plus article, and how they talked about the bearing, and it clicked maybe this was my problem and my wheel was going to fly off at any moment- so i very lightly drove the car home. This weekend i pulled my brakes appart to get to the axle, pulled the axle out, and the bearing "appeared" to be fine. Did the same bearing "test" mustangs plus said to do- spun bearing, and its has a good amount of resistance and didnt spin completely around. Im at a complete loss now- should i take the axle and get the bearing and retainers pressed off and then get a new bearing and press it on. Seems like a shot in the dark since the bearing appears fine- any other suggestions?
 

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My advice is...

1) Forget what Mustangs Plus says.... Stop reading any tech tips in their catalog... they run a great shop, but just buy parts from them, no tech advice.

2) Replace BOTH rear wheel bearings.

::
 

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Dude, you can replace both rear bearings, pulling the axles yourself and having a shop press the new ones on, for less than 100 for both sides.


It's cheap insurance.
 

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When checking a rear wheel bearing, it's not how far around it will go but whether or not it there is ANY roughness when you rotate it. Absolutely smooth is the order of the day. As far as bearing apperance, a visual inspection can only validate a bearing that has turned blue from overheat or there is evidence the grease seals have failed.

By the way, assuming your runing drums on the rear, save yourself some work. It is not necessary to take the brakes apart to remove an axle.

Like roadracer said, change the bearing.
 

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I agree change out the bearings and don't forget new seals.
 

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The theory on the bearing turning more than one revolutions is whether or not there is sufficient grease left in the sealed bearing to properly lubricate it. It should also spin smoothly and not have excessive play in it. I agree, replace them, it's cheap insurance.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
someone told me it may also be a bad pinion bearing, the noise that i hear may be from that- because the axle bearing seems to turn smoothly...
 

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Dude, listen to everyone. Replace both bearings now, no matter what else you do. I used to have a 68 Ranchero, I put some used aluminum rims on the back, didn't know that one was out of round a bit. Lost one rear tire/axle during a highway curve doing about 60 mph. Got lucky-didn't hit anyone or anything, just had to replace the rear end. Put the same used rims on the replacement rear. Few months later lost the other side tire/axle, this time with my wife in the car, again going around a curve at 60mph. Got really lucky, car didn't hit anything, but it didn't clear the highway completely. Could not move the car because of the missing tire. Came close to causing several accidents because of this. Replaced the rear again, figured out why it was happening, and tossed both rims and tires. I never felt safe in that car again.
You lose the bearing, you WILL see your tire and axle bouncing down the road. You MAY NOT be as lucky/blessed as I was and kill yourself or more importantly someone else.

BTW, the axle coming out WILL ruin your housing.

Very cheap insurance. Screw the noise issue. Do it for safety of everyone. If I had been on a surface street instead of the highway, that tire and axle could have killed several people walking along the street.

Russ
 
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