Video: How To Service Front Disc Brake Wheel Bearings

Posted by David Alkire on Mar 3rd 2021

How To Service Front Disc Brake Wheel Bearings

Today David shows us you how to properly grease and adjust your new front disc brake rotors on the project 69 big block Chevelle that we are restoring. The process shown will apply to the installation of new disc brakes or the maintenance of your current disc brake set up. In this video we are going to assume that you already have the front rotors off your car. If not, removal is easy and is the reverse of the installation procedure shown. Just know that your old parts won’t be nearly as clean as the parts we are going to show you!


The parts shown are included with every Right Stuff front Disc brake kit offered by First Place Auto Parts includes new front brake rotors, Hi-quality Timken inner and outer wheel bearings, inner wheel seals, thrust washers, a castle nut, cotter pin and dust cap to keep the grease in and water and dirt out of your bearings.


Tools and supplies that you will need for this process include a supply of wheel bearing grease rated for disc brakes, a can of brake cleaner, a 1 1/16” wrench to tighten the castle nut, a rubber or dead blow hammer to install the grease seal into the back of the rotor and install the dust cap and a pair of needle nose plyers to install and bend the cotter pin. Also, because we will be working grease into the wheel bearing before installing them, a set of throw away latex gloves will make clean up easier.


The first step is packing your new roller bearings with grease. What we are working to achieve is to literally fill the open spaces between the bearing races and rollers with the disc brake bearing grease.

Start by placing a generous amount of wheel bearing grease in the palm of your opposite hand, take the bearing, and I like to start from the back, and we will work the grease into the bearing through the gaps between the inner and outer races by pressing the grease in there. Next I will flip the bearing in the palm of my hand and force the grease through the front of the bearing… and the roll it, front to back, side to side until all the voids are packed with grease. Next I will wipe off the excess grease and set it aside for installation on the car on a clean place. Next, I will go ahead and grease the outer wheel bearing using the same procedure, being sure that it is packed with grease too. Add more grease to the palm of your hand if necessary to ensure each set of bearing is completely greased. Set the bearing aside on a clean surface and the bearings are ready to be installed in the rotor.


The next step is to install the inners wheel bearing and wheel seal. Note that the new Rotors will already have the outer race installed into the rotor so you will not be using the one included with the Timken bearings.

Start by applying a generous coating of disc brake grease to the outer race of the rotor. To eliminate the possibility of corrosion, I also apply a light coat of grease to inner hub area of the rotor located in between the inner and out bearing races.

Next we insert our previously packed inners wheel bearing which is the larger of the two bearings. Lightly wipe any excess grease down onto the back side of the bearing surface.


The next step is to install the inner grease seal into the rotor. Start by placing the oil seal flat side up into the end of the rotor. You can use a large socket the same diameter of the seal or a seal driver, or a block of wood to seat the seal into its recess. Making sure the seal is square in the bore, gently tap the seal evenly into place being careful not to damage it. Inspect the seat after installation to ensure the rubber lip is in good condition and that the seal is seated evenly all the way around.


The next step is to slide the rotor onto the spindle and insert our already packed outer wheel bearing into the rotor, followed by the thrust washer, followed by the castle nut.


Next we are going to adjust the wheel bearing pre-load by tightening the castle nut. The General Motors Factory Service Manual for Camaro and Chevelle recommends turning the rotor while tightening the castle nut to 12-foot pounds and once you feel the castle nut get snug, you want to back the nut off counterclockwise one flat of the castle nut in relation to the hole for the cotter pin.

Next, check that your rotor spins freely and does not have any rough spots and your ready to insert the new cotter pin.

To find the largest selection of classic car restoration and performance car parts for your American Muscle Car go to First Place Auto Parts. The web site is easy to navigate, has thousands of name brand parts at competitive pricing and is powered by car enthusiasts just like you!

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