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63 Rear wheel bearing??


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Thanks to Bernie for his thoughts on a rear wheel bearing possibly being a cause of driveline vibration.  

 

I pulled the axles today and found one bearing spins freely and sounds dry.  The other was not quite so free and did not sound dry.  Neither feels like there is a rough spot, but that can be hard to find simply turning by hand.  Both will be off to the driveline shop tomorrow along with the driveshaft to be rebalanced with the new transmission yoke.  Not sure if this is the source, but I have found a number of questionable issues along the way- see other thread.

 

Question for the moment is where to source the bearing and retaining ring, assuming the ring has to be replaced.  I will ask the shop to do the work as my press isn't big enough to deal with pressing the bearing on and off.  CARS doesn't list either part, although I got the seal and gasket from them.  Is the bearing and ring a common part, or am I on another parts chase here?

 

 

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If you can't find the bearing as a Buick part, look at it.  It should have a number stamped on it.  With any luck, that number will provide you with a cross-reference and/or replacement.

 

The retaining ring is usually cut off and replaced.  Make sure these guys don't get overenthusiastic and cut down into the axle.  It's usually cut most of the way then split with a chisel to remove it.

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Rock Auto is great for cross referencing part numbers. I then use those numbers to find other brands. 

 

They sell a SKF 88128R bearing and retainer kit, and is a very common bearing from a bunch of GM big cars, and big fords. Looks to be a common 9" Ford bearing.

 

Inner Diameter (in)1.5312

Outer Diameter (in)3.1496

Width (in)1.083

Alternate/OEM Part Number(s): 12336103, 208HLKK, 391740, 391745, 8M1225B3, 907380, 954848, 954855, 954948, C1SZ1225A, C1SZ1225B, C6AW1225B, C6AW1225C, C7QT1225B, C9AZ1225A, CC5MW1225A

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2 hours ago, Zimm63 said:

Thanks to Bernie for his thoughts on a rear wheel bearing possibly being a cause of driveline vibration.  

 

I pulled the axles today and found one bearing spins freely and sounds dry.  The other was not quite so free and did not sound dry.  Neither feels like there is a rough spot, but that can be hard to find simply turning by hand.  Both will be off to the driveline shop tomorrow along with the driveshaft to be rebalanced with the new transmission yoke.  Not sure if this is the source, but I have found a number of questionable issues along the way- see other thread.

 

Question for the moment is where to source the bearing and retaining ring, assuming the ring has to be replaced.  I will ask the shop to do the work as my press isn't big enough to deal with pressing the bearing on and off.  CARS doesn't list either part, although I got the seal and gasket from them.  Is the bearing and ring a common part, or am I on another parts chase here?

 

 

 

A couple of years ago I took my 63 in to have a front wheel bearing replaced. We decided to replace all 4 wheel bearings. They did not have a problem finding  any of them. I think they got them from NAPA. Replacement decision, part procurement and installation all occurred between 8:00 and 4:00 on the same day.

 

Bill

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The ring is usually split with a chisel to remove it.

 

The last rear wheel bearing I did was on my '60 Electra maybe 10 years ago. Since the equipment was available we cut off the outer race and then machined the inner race down to paper thin in a lathe. It slid right off with the tool tip. The new bearing was set on a bearing heater for an hour. While still hot it slid right into place on the shaft. A little budge with a press was used just as a gesture. No risk was taken that might have caused excessive pressure or misalignment. Maybe it was overkill, but I tend to be like that.

 

I believe that when you have the option, use a business dedicated to the hobbyist. Even when parts are available locally or at a lower price supporting the specialist will keep them in business for the time you really need them.

Bernie

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Thanks for the input Bernie.  I just heard from the shop and they can't do the bearings.  Apparently, the assembly won't fit into their press.   I will have to see if I can set it up in my lathe when I pick them up.   Possibly my press is an option, but its a simple H frame.  If the shop Can't take it apart, I doubt I can. 

 

Time to look for a better equipped shop.  

 

BTW, what is a bearing heater?  Never heard of such a thing.  How hot does the bearing get?  Did you use it on a sealed bearing similar to what is on the Riv?

 

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FWIW, you can get a 12-ton press from Harbor Freight for ~$100 (using one of the endless 20-25% off coupons).  It should have plenty of reach; I used mine to remove and install axle bearings on a similar configuration.  For $100, you own the tool and save the time and aggravation.

 

Throw your bearings in a toaster oven at low temperature (200°).  If you're hard core, soak your axle in ice water at the same time.

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I used a 120V cone type bearing heater, probably goes to about150-160. My hands used to be able to hold 145 when I was working with steam all the time, about 135 now. Heat sticks were used to test the temperature. It was hot enough to use channel locks. I would say over 160 would be a risk. Don't remember the specific specs of the options. It may have been permanently lubed with a double seal, no shield.

 

I did it at the local Rolls-Royce shop where collateral damage is strictly avoided. On a routine job a $2500+ axle could have been at risk. A good place to treat all jobs the same, just do the best.

 

My preference in changing U-joints is a large machinist's vise. My '94 aluminum driveshaft was in a shop where the owner usually did it with a big hammer. Because he knew me he used a press, which he never did. He ended up pinching my bearing mounts closer together and actually split the end off a bearing cap. Don't try to tell a shop to do something they aren't used to. Let them do it their way or do it yourself at home. It's that "teaching old dogs" thing. Try teaching a new trick and you get bit.

Bernie

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You can pick up a hot plate at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for <$20. It will get a bearing hot enough to expand it enough for a slip fit.  To really make it an easy slip fit, put the other piece in the freezer for a while.

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You gotta be careful using a hot plate -- you can overheat the bearing.  That's why I suggested a toaster oven with a (hopefully somewhat) accurate thermostat.  If you don't care about that, just put it on a stove burner. ;) 

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I checked our oven last night and its lowest settting is 170, which is too high.  

 

Should have the new bearings in hand shortly and will retrieve the axles from the can't do it shop tomorrrow.  Between my lathe, milling machine, and press I am confident I can figure out a way to get it apart.  

 

A thought does occur to me that the bearing can be heated to about 125-140 degrees, but the ring could be higher as its solid steel.  I'm thinking of turning a sleeve that fits over the axle and pushes on the inner race.  That may be overkill, but if I keep the inner diameter a close fit to the axle it should help  keep it square as its assembled.  

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Zimm,

 

   As far as I'm concerned you are going to drive yourself nuts & with the possibility to overheat the bearing & melt the seals & grease in the process.  The retainer ring you split with a chisel.  Put the axle on the floor with a rag under the splines of the axle & give it a few good wacks with a big hammer.  The ring should split & come off easily.  DON'T slip as the hammer will hurt.  Maybe for safety sack use a pair of Vise Grips to hold the chisel.

       You have an H-Frame press already so just try your press & use the proper bearing tool to press the bearing off. Line up the bolts in the bearing remover with the steel plates so the bolts don't get bent & press the axle off.  Most times the axle will be clean when you press off the bearing. IF not you can use a little fine wet-r-dry very fine grit sandpaper like around 600-1000 grit. You just DON'T want to make the O.D. of the shaft smaller.  It would take a bit of sanding to accomplish that.Turn the axle around, put some Anti-seize on the axle & inner I.D. of the bearing. You DON'T need a lot, just enough the cover & help slide/press the bearing on the shaft.  My favorite Anti-Seize is the Copper & NOT the silver.  Use a stout tube that you know is square & press the bearing into place.  They normally WILL go on straight & square.  You can definitely tell if it isn't square.   DON'T use any anti-seize on the retainer as you WANT a tight fit.

 

   Just my dimes worth.

 

Tom T.

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  I`m not recommending this but just thinking back to the good `ol days...when I was a kid, as in high school age, we would use a torch to remove the old bearing. To install the new bearing we would warm up the inside bearing race with a propane torch and use a long length of common steel plumbing pipe as a slide hammer to install the new bearing on the axle. Of course the trick is to use a pipe diameter that just slides over the axle and is the correct diameter to contact the inner bearing race of the new bearing and the pipe needs to be long enough to have some weight. We didnt have access to a press..at least not that I can remember...and the oxy-acetelene was a tool sent from above and a highly coveted wonder!!

Tom M

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Tom- Now that I have the axle back in my hands, it looks like the bearing splitter goes under the retainer as opposed to just the bearing.  Don't see room to get a splitter in there between the two.   It also needs to be big enough to make sure the pressure is on the body of the splitter, not the bolts as you pointed out. 

 

I spoke to a guy in the business who told me that he uses a zip wheel to cut almost to the axle and then knocks them off.  Not sure i am that confident of getting that right and not hitting the surface.  Will get deeper into this over the weekend.  If i use the press, it may require that the lower brace be relocated to get enough reach.  Thats not that hard.  I built it, I can modify it.  

 

The torch is always there and I have used it in a lot of applications over the years, but not sure I want to try it here.  Perhaps if the retainer wasn't so close and the thing didn't have grease in it.   Got chisels, hammers, and an anvil to beat on things as needed.  

 

As previously stated, I will probability turn a sleeve to push the bearing/retainer on.  Something that has the same inner diamater as the seal with a chamfer to take into account the slightly larger diamater that the bearing mounts on would help make sure its pressed on square.    Pretty sure I can assemble it with the press in its current configuration, not as sure I can get it apart.  

 

Updates to follow.

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Zimm,

 

   Your not trying to get the chisel in between the bearing & the retainer.  Your hitting the outside diameter of the retainer which will crack it after a few heavy wacks.  Then it will slide right off.  Getting the bearing off is another matter.  The correct way of course is to use the bearing remover tool along with your press.

No removal tool use a torch as Tom M. mentioned.  When you get the outer shell cut off & the parts & pieces inside fall apart you can again use the chisel.  Since the inner shell is now hot it may just pop off with a little couching.

Then use your press to 1st. press on the bearing & then the retainer OR you could use a piece of heavy pipe like Tom M. mentioned as a slide hammer.  Believe me it's pretty hard to start these things cockeyed.

Been doing this stuff for 60 years & have a good idea what the average person runs up against.

 

You are more fortunate than others as it appears you have the skills just not the confidence needed to go forward. There's ALWAYS more than one way to skin a "Cat"..

 

Tom T.

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Old bearing off, new bearing & ring installed.

 

Thanks to Tom Telesco for the kick in the butt to get me to just move on and get the job done.   Did the blacksmithing on the ring and used a bearing separator to pull that off.  Bearing would not come, so torched the outer race.  Inner bearing then saw the light and came off with the separator in the press.  

 

Axle assembly is ready to install and I note the manual says to drive it into place.  That would appear to mean apply a BFH and try not to hit a wheel stud.  Need to think on that.  

 

Have another bearing coming next week for the other side.  With any luck, will have the car back together next weekend.  

 

 

DSCN2685.JPG

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40 minutes ago, Zimm63 said:

That would appear to mean apply a BFH and try not to hit a wheel stud.  Need to think on that.

 

Or maybe an axle slide hammer in 'push mode'...  ;)

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
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6 minutes ago, EmTee said:

 

Or maybe an axle slide hammer in 'push mode'...  ;)

 

Well, that's today's duh moment on me.   

 

Sounds like the best approach.  Slide hammer gives a long handle to use in guiding the axle into place as well.  I have just the implement.  

 

Can I claim Christmas light hanging exhaustion?  This elf of a wife I got is wearing me out.  

 

 

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Zimm,

  Just push the axle home by hand. The axle is much more stubborn when coming out as compared to going back in. Make sure the retainer is aligned with the studs to fully seat the axle. If it is a little stubborn give a whack or two with a hammer. Sometimes you can pull if fully "home" with the nuts of the retainer.  The shop manual makes things sound alot more complicated than they are.

Tom Mooney

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Zimm,

 

   Clean the housing where the axle sits of ALL rust & debris.  Be careful not to get any of the rust/dirt in the housing.  Put a rag in the end of the seal. Your using new seals right???   When assembling use some grease on the OD of the bearing & housing. Not a lot just enough to make installation easier. They will usually slide in. It should NOT have to be hammered hard.

   ALSO don't forget to install the retainer plate BEFORE installing the bearing.   Ask me how I know!!!

 

Tom T.

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Hey everyone,

   Glad you're all assisting Joe Zimmerman in making his 1963 Buick RIVIERA road worthy again.....

    He found one N.O.S. U.S.A. rear axle bearing from an old school parts store -- and I supplied him with the 2nd.... He has N.O.S. U.S.A. rear axle seals -- so Joe is not cutting any corners with Chineseum garbage.

   Joe is also a very pleasant person to deal with -- so I am especially glad you guys are helping.. because your knowledge on the "workings" are far superior to mine.... I am just a N.O.S. U.S.A. parts man!!

           Yours, Craig.......

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2 hours ago, mobileparts said:

He has N.O.S. U.S.A. rear axle seals -- so Joe is not cutting any corners with Chineseum garbage.

It's not clear when those NOS seals were made, but there's a point at which you're rolling the dice with old rubber.

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OK, second bearing is in hand.   Its in a Federal Mogul box and appears to match the other one I got in a GM box.   Neither matches the original bearing in that the outside diameter of the inside race is 2 1/8" and the original one has the same dimension equal to 2 1/2".  That isn't a critical dimension, but the original locking ring outer diameter matches the inner bearing race, and the replacement does not.  

 

The locking ring (middle) is very different than the original and the GM replacement part, shown on the right.   The thickness is 11/16" vs 3/8".  Diameter is 2 5/16" vs 2 1/2"

 

The additional thickness of the Federal Mogul ring would appear to be enough to interfere with the seal.  My thinking is use the original GM ring and that the mismatch between the outer diameter of the ring and the inner race is not an issue.  

 

Am I overthinking this, or is there something I am missing?DSCN2722.thumb.JPG.3bbe09de377aef2786f60d8442e9e87a.JPG

Edited by Zimm63 (see edit history)
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Take some measurements.  The bearing presses against a shoulder on the axle.  The ring presses against the bearing.  IIRC, the section on the axle where the seal contacts is smaller diameter than the area where the bearing and ring are pressed on.  So, take the aggregate thickness of the bearing and ring and see if it's greater than the length of axle on which they sit.  If it's not, you should be good.  If it is, you may be able to press the seal in further, turn down the ring, or source a thinner ring (GM part # 567105).

 

What are the numbers stamped into the inner ring on the bearing?  88128?

 

FWIW, there doesn't seem to be any shortage of these bearings available, as they were apparently used for decades across a number of makes and models.  They seem to come with retaining rings of various thicknesses.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)
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One thing that has been bugging me overnight, and I want to recheck before road testing is axle end play. 

 

When putting things together yesterday, I noted a minor amount of end play in the left axle.  Thinking about how this thing is put together, there should be no opportunity for end play except in the bearing itself.  Inner race is pressed to the axle shaft and secured with a locking ring.  No opportunity for movement there.  Outer race is tight in the axle housing and retained by the plate.  

 

I checked the manual and don't see a spec for end float on the axles.  If it was a TR3, it would be dealt with using shims.  

 

More later.  

 

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OK, test drive done and improvement noted.  Still not perfectly smooth, but with the cam in the motor I'm not sure it ever will be.  What is gone is the vibration in my butt that was bothersome.  

 

I did check the endplay on the axles and got 14-15 thousands of movement on each side.  Only theory I can come up with is that's in the bearing for reasons stated above.  I wasn't able to feel anything in the bearing before it was assembled, but the axle gives more purchase and leverage to detect movement.  

 

Chasing this down involved a couple little things beyond the driveshaft.  None of them may have been the problem, but its good to have them fixed.  To recap:

 

  • Center bearing was bad- replaced in revulcanized mount from Steele.  
  • Found bad yoke on rear driveshaft- yoke replaced with used one and rear half balanced.
  •  Drove the car for several months and was noticing vibration at 50-55
  • Changed out 8 year old tires- no improvement in vibration, but it was time for them to be gone.
  • Rebalanced drive shaft as a unit- no help.  If anything that made things a bit worse.
  •  While pulling the driveshaft back out, noticed there was play in the front yoke to the transmission.  Measured out at 20 thou +
  •  Replaced front yoke with new, replaced rear bushing in transmission.  
  • Rebalanced driveshaft with new yoke.  Tech noted that there was movement in the rear section that he had to resolve.
  •  Had trans mount revulcanized by Steele.  Refurbished one was 1/4" thicker than the oily squished looking original. 
  • Pulled rear axles to check bearings- right one was dry, noisy, and had detectable movement with finger pressure.
  • Replaced both rear bearings with NOS parts.

That brings me to today.  

 

All of this took a number of weeks as parts were sourced, Steele did their thing with the mount, etc.  The trans yoke even had a brief trip to Hawaii thanks to the USPS.  

 

I may still set up the tools and measure the alignment of the driveshaft as described in the manual.  I have the tools, so why not?  May as well take some time to see if I can get this thing dead nuts on.  Buick obviously didn't think much of the set up as they changed it in 64.  Wonder why the 3 U Joint shaft was Riviera only to start with?  Probably never know.

 

Thanks for the help and advice.  Couldn't have gotten this done without it.  

 

 

 

 

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