Sign in to follow this  
drtidmore

Front hub center nut question

Recommended Posts

Today, I replaced the Driver's side hub on my '89 Reatta as it was getting noisy. FYI, the test documented on the ROJ works perfectly to determine which side is causing the rumble.

My question is the result of something I ran into when starting my teardown. I had gotten a loaner 36mm (six point) socket from my FLAPS and the instant I placed it on the center spindle nut, I knew that something was VERY wrong. The socket had a lot of slop and as I could see that there was a fair amount of rust on the spindle threads, I knew that I did NOT want to invite rounding off the nut attempting to remove it.

Even though the loaner socket did NOT look worn, I suspected it and returned to my FLAPS. We took a brand new 36mm (six point) off the wall and it too had the same sloppy fit. Then we tried a 35mm (six point) and it fit PERFECTLY. Absolutely ZERO slop. As I am the original owner of this Reatta, I know that my hubs and half shafts are factory original. The spindle nut is a six point design that did NOT rust one iota over the years. Pic is after I replaced the hub.

So my question to the group is has anyone else noted excess slop when using a 36mm socket on that nut and has anyone else tried a 35mm as I did. Even though I allowed penetrating oil to soak the threads for a period before attempting to remove the nut, even with a 18" breaker bar, it did NOT budge, so I am sure that I would have rounded over the nut with the 36mm socket. I wound up using my electric impact wrench (425ft lb) to not only break loose the nut, but to remove it as there was a huge amount of resistance between the nut and the spindle threads (it did NOT allow the impact wrench to spin at high speed during the removal)

post-95875-143142230451_thumb.jpg

David T

Edited by drtidmore (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unsure on the size disparity but to my knowledge those nuts are "stiked" (I think that's the correct term and spelling) meaning they have indents that purposely make them stubborn to turn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shouldn't be, would be very hard to torque properly. Just checked with a new nut and two 36mm impacts. little loose but across flats the nut measured a touch over 35 so a 35 would need to be loose to fit. OTOH if the nut were a metric thread but 1 3/8" on the hex then 35 would be right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the original owner of this Reatta, I am absolutely sure that that nut had never been removed (ie potentially replaced) prior to Saturday, so it was factory original. If I had persisted in using a 36mm socket, I have no doubts that I would have rounded over the nut. As I stated, I suspected the loaner socket, but a new, off the wall, 36mm gave the same loose fit while a new, off the wall, 35mm, 6 point, socket fit completely onto the nut without ANY force (ie the face of socket bottomed out on the washer behind the nut) and had NO play. I know all too well to never use an improperly fitting socket or wrench.

I certainly don't doubt that the collective experience of this forum as well as all the documentation available, supports that the nut should be a 36mm, which makes this a bit of a mystery. If GM used a 1 3/8" nut on my Reatta (late summer '88 build as an early '89 model), then the odds that there are more like mine, exists.

I have yet to compare the passenger side nut as my focus Saturday was replacing the noisy hub on the driver's side, but I will do so at my earliest opportunity. Next time I am by my FLAPS I will ask to do a quick check with a new 1 3/8" socket (largest I have on hand is 1 1/4") as a sanity check.

David T

Edited by drtidmore (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unsure on the size disparity but to my knowledge those nuts are "stiked" (I think that's the correct term and spelling) meaning they have indents that purposely make them stubborn to turn.
You are basically correct. The nut is not staked in the true sense but it is purposely deformed to make it hard to turn to prevent it from backing off easily. That is why no locking safety mechanism such as a cotter pin is needed.

If you remove the nut several times, or force it off rusty axle threads, you may lose some of the friction provided by the deformed nut defeating it's purpose. Using a new nut each time the hub is removed is recommended. Some new hubs come with a new spindle nut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rummaging I found three 36mms and no 35s. A 1 3/8" (34.925 mm) socket wasn't even close for the nut I have and one of the 36s fit tight, The others allowed a few degrees of rotation but no chance of rounding (six point).

That said I seem to have a vague memory of one that was smaller but was about 5 years ago.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stand corrected. Dorman lists two different spindle nuts for the Reatta. One is referred to as "staked". The hex size is not specified for it but the thread size is different from the 36mm version. Here are the specs for it.

  • Spindle Nut M24-1.5 Staked
  • Front
  • One-Time-Use Spindle Hardware - It Is Recommended To Replace Every Time They Are Removed

Here is the specs for the 36mm nut:

  • Distorted Thread Spindle Nut M24-2.0 Hex Size 36mm
  • Sold Individually
  • Front
  • One-Time-Use Spindle Hardware - It Is Recommended To Replace Every Time They Are Removed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had the chance to pop the center cover on the passenger side to verify that the unmolested, factory nut and my new, used once, 35mm socket fits perfectly. I am NOT arguing that the vast majority, if not virtually ALL other Reattas use 36mm front center hub nuts, but there is ALSO no doubt that MINE are NOT 36mm, but rather 35mm. Here is a pic of the socket as well a video of it fitting onto the nut showing that it easily fits and has NO play.

Here are pics of the socket showing its size as well as the passenger nut and finally a link to a youtube video showing the ease to get the 35mm socket to slip onto the nut as well as the lack of play.

post-95875-143142234487_thumb.jpg

post-95875-143142234491_thumb.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIlrqnKd9kg

David T

Edited by drtidmore (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David,

I just replaced my drivers side wheel bearing on my 89 yesterday, and I did use a 35mm socket to break it free. I hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi David,

I just replaced my drivers side wheel bearing on my 89 yesterday, and I did use a 35mm socket to break it free. I hope this helps.

Yes, at least there are now two of us with 1989 models that have found that 35mm fits perfectly on the wheel nut. Curious, did you replace the nut or reuse it? If you replaced it, did the new nut require the 35mm or the 36mm socket to torque it back down?

Have you run the build date on your Reatta? Mine was late August 1988, so an early '89 model. If your was the same time frame, maybe ours ARE anomalies.

This whole thing is more of a mystery than anything else and where forums like this one really can bring clarity.

David T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello David,

I reused the nut since it was in good shape. I'll have to check on the build date on the car though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can confirm that my 1990 Driftwood Reatta has original 35 mm front axle nuts. With 167K miles, the bearing noise was loud going straight and turning left, but quiet when turning right. The forum was correct in that the passenger side bearing was the bad one when turning right is quiet. My local AZ only had 34 mm and 36 mm impact sockets to rent out, so I had to purchase their non-impact Great Neck OEM/35 mm axle nut socket, part number 25153 for $17. Here is a link, and it is also available on Amazon.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/OEM-35-mm-axle-nut-socket/_/N-255s?itemIdentifier=864642_0_0_&target=shelf

In summary, here are the primary tools you will need to replace the Reatta front hub/bearing assembly:

1. 35 mm axle nut socket (1/2" drive) for front axle nuts.

2. 18 mm socket for two caliper bolts.

3. T55 bit (3/8" drive) for three front hub bolts.

I did reuse my front axle nut, so hopefully there won't be any issues in doing that.

Regards,

Rich

Edited by rguard (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dads is a 91, 184000 mls, original owner and neither side has ever been replaced. I hear the bearing when going straight and turning right which tells me it's the drivers side bearing(same on my corolla I replaced 2yrs ago) bcoz more weight/pressure is being put on the drivers side bearing by the car leaning left as your turning right yet neither side is hot when after I get home like it did on my corolla. Am I wrong about that which side is bad, or is something else making this noise?

 

I went to AZ and got a 35mm socket, tried it while in the parking lot and it would not go on, tried a 36mm and it's sloppy. These were both new off the shelf. Does anyone make a 35.5mm socket? BTW rguard, my caliper bolts are 14mm, not 18.

Edited by yobry1 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum!  I'm surprised the 35mm won't fit.  Are the sockets you are trying 6 point sockets? If so even a sloppy 36mm should work if the 35mm won't fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe QUALITY CONTROL is lax at the socket manufacturer???  Where are they made?  China? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this