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Replace wheel bearings?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by jb1390, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Background:
    1998 chevy 2500 8600 gvw. All I do is tow, plow, and otherwise abuse it. truck has 182000 on it, brand new transmission, just replaced engine (infamous intake gasket leak), so I'd like to keep it for at least a few more years. Frame is good, airbags in the back, strong truck as soon as I cut the cats out.

    Question is:
    The truck shakes a lot when braking, especially when towing and the brakes get hot, so it is time for new rotors. i got the new rotors, but they need to be pressed onto the wheel bearing assembly. Since this is some work, and I need to pay someone to do it, should I spend another 400 on new wheel bearing assemblies-or are they fine as is? I don't want to spend more money than I need to, but I want to do the job right, and all else being equal I'd rather not have a front wheel come off during a storm.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Where's your sense of adventure LOL.

    If you have the money, I would probably do the bearings to. If you have an honest shop, you should save a little labor because they won't have to take your old hub apart. Might as well put new studs in too.
     
  3. Rubicon 327

    Rubicon 327 Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    I would say yes to the bearings also,would have to think their time has come.:D

    One question I have is are you using a brake controller for your trailering or does your trailer have brakes? Sound like you should have if your brakes are getting that hot when you tow.
     
  4. Seaway25

    Seaway25 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

  5. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    The brakes get hot even without a load-I do use a brake controller, but it still adds to what the truck has to do. I also notice a difference when I have a load in the back (spreader loaded), and a brake controller isn't an option there. Sounds like i should do the bearings-thanks seaway, that find will save me 100 bucks.
     
  6. I did my wheel bearings,rotors and axle shafts all at once. Good insurance. The wheel bearings are fairly easy to do yourself if you have a good air hammer. Buy some extra studs and lug nuts. Some machine shops will recommend that you turn the new rotors after assembly, I didn't and had no problems.
     
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I have a 97 like yours. I had my brakes done (rotors&pads) at a garage a couple years ago. They airhammered the old studs out, put them back in. Used Napa Heavy Duty pads, which I didn't like. I have AZ's cheapies in there now. Good feel to the brakes, but you can tell they can't take the heat. Need to find something in between. Partsguy08's reccomendation is really the best. Do it all now, have it over with. If you find you need ball joints, I have been having good luck with the Napa Heavy Duty/Lifetime.
     
  8. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

  9. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Ok I am convinced-I just bought the kit for the wheel bearings online, should get to them next week. I will probably do the ball joints too, just because it is already mostly apart. The boots on the cv's look good, and they aren't making noise, so they can stay. Those can be replaced pretty easy though, I did it on my 93 without removing the ball joint, so I'm not too worried.

    On another note-anyobdy elses truck make noise in 4hi from the differential? It is not loud, but it whirrs. I don't remember it being like that on my 93-but they are a pain to rebuild so i don't wanna do it if i don't have to. Is a little noise normal?
     
  10. Seaway25

    Seaway25 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    They cover most all years. They were by far the cheapest for my truck. (2001 2500HD)

    http://www.1aauto.com
     
  11. overtime

    overtime Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    When we do brakes in shop we don't always replace it depends on the sound of them. If you brakes are getting hot is it just one side or both? One side could be caliper and or hoses
     
  12. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    I just did this on my 98 K3500. My rotors were shot and I ended up replacing both hub/bearing assemblies, rotors, pads, calipers, brake lines, and the passenger side CV shaft assembly. My passenger side caliper locked up and is why I ended up replacing the brake lines and calipers. I replace the hub/bearing assemblies pretty much for the same reason you are thinking about replacing yours.

    I used Timkin hub/bearing assemblies from autozone and they came with new wheel studs but they also were $254 each. Just lets say I have quite a bit of money in the front end now.

    Wayne
     
  13. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Yeah I have quite a bit of money in there too now. Tie rods were all shot, and I melted a hole in one cv boot:yow!: However, I am committed to this truck mostly because parts are cheap, most of them are replaced now, I can fix it myself, and if it works for Alaska Boss it should work for me.
     
  14. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    Thats why I had to replace the one CV shaft. It got melted when we had to torch the head off one of the hub/bearing attachment bolts. That was a fun ordeal.

    Wayne
     
  15. overtime

    overtime Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    You know if that happens to anyone else. You can buy rebuild kits for the cv shafts. All you doing is replacing grease and the boot a lot cheaper then the shaft if you can take them out there real easy to do or just take to a shop. Just to save everyone some money
     
  16. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I actually bought a replacement boot but changed my mind. The whole axle was only $60 at napa compared to a 20 dollar boot. It was really easy to change the axle while it was all taken apart, and I trust the clamps more from the factory. The boot kit says use a strapping tightener to install the clamp, which I don't have. I figured the extra 40 was worth the peace of mind that comes with the new axle.
     
  17. overtime

    overtime Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Aww yea those clamps are bad I hate them. I thought the shaft would be more then that I'm use to hondas that the shaft it over 150 which is nuts
     
  18. 70monte

    70monte Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    I knew you could just replace the boot but I also didn't have the tool to put the clamp on and I figured it was easier to replace the whole shaft and it had 99,000 miles on it anyway and the other side had just been replaced when I bought it.

    Wayne
     
  19. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    It's not really practical to repair just the boots on these trucks. The CV shafts are cheap, and we're pretty hard on them. Mine could stand to be replaced, the joints themselves have some play. But the boots are good, so I'll run them till they start clicking.