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Old 01-28-2007, 02:07 PM
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Proper Front wheel bearing torque

I have seen many different recommendations on the web on this subject . I believe you need to seat the bearings with ~ 50lbs of torque while spinning the rotor. Then back off the nut 1 flat .. Am I in the ballpark here ? BTW, it is for my new 32 ford front end ....

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Old 01-28-2007, 02:16 PM
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I'm thinking, that you dont need to go to 50.....I figure 20 should seat it.......just my 2 cents
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Old 01-28-2007, 03:59 PM
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Most of my books say 12lbs spin the rotor in forward direction. Back of and get the nut as tight as you can with your hand (no wrench) and then check for any slop.
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:11 PM
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The bearing(s) is tightened as you spin the hub/rotor to rid/distribute the bearing cages of excess lubricant so that final torque can be applied and have the proper bearing pre-load as a result.

After torque setting (with torque wrench), one may loosen the retaining nut enough to align for key but in no circumstance tighten the nut beyond torque figure for inserting key.

The above procedures listed above are akin to hydraulic tappet adjustment, i.e. tighten rocker until drag is felt while spinning pushrod. Not very exact.
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:17 PM
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Many years ago my old Highschool auto shop said that Wheel bearings should be "neither tight nor loose"

45 years later I still go by that. Tighten the nut to seat everything. back it off and just take it up untill it is snug then back it off to the first slot.
I did it this way all the time I did brakes and front end work for a living and ever since and I have never had wheel bearing problems with customer or my vehicles.
You need to pack the bearings correctly but there is plenty of info on packing bearings.

You may have read 50 inch lbs but I don't think anyone would recomend 50 ft lbs.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:19 PM
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Ford recommends about 4 lb/ft final rolling torque.
Rmember when some cars had castleated pal nuts to hold the exact tension?

GM never did.

Years ago when I did alignments, GM cars would change toe 1/16+ per side just from loose wheel bearings.

Most of the bad front wheel bearings were on GM cars too.
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:03 PM
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The torque spec for 55-64 Chevy front bearings is 33#. This done while rotating the wheel.Then a fairly complex illustrated view of how to select the proper slot depending on where the slot appears in relation to the hole in the spindle.

Here is early Ford shop manual "When reassembling or adjusting, the adjusting nut should be run up tight (don't use a wrench-the handle of which is more than 12" long), and then turned back approximately 1/4 turn and the cotter pin replaced."

1957 Motors repair manual repeats the above under Mercury with addition of "while rotating wheel back and forth until there is noticeable drag or bind. This assures the bearing cones are properly seated. Then back off the spindle nut to line up to the nearest cotter pin hole which will allow the hub to rotate freely with no perceptible end play."


1957 Motor manual listing for Dodge and other Chrysler products. "To adjust the front bearingd, turn the bearing nut up tight. Then back it off one slot and the additional amount necessary to line up the slot with the hole in the spindle."
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:28 PM
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Great info guys .. Thanks !
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