C3 Rear Axle Bearings

I was going to replace the rear axle bearings on my 1975 Vette. Has anyone out there ever tried to do this on their own and what is involved in doing this. I wanted to try to do this on my own but I'm
not sure if I can without buying the expensive tools. Thanks
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i can tell u its quite a job easist way is with a axle press to get them apart. im considering just replacing the complete trailing arm on the 72. tricky part i dont understand is when the axle goes in to check for shim size how do u get the outer bearing seal in place to check the shim clearance and if its not right u damage the seal when u take it apart to adjust the shim thickness good luck anyways
Im sorry if you dont like my attitude but its the only one i have
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The shop that replaced the bearings in my '77 took almost three weeks. They had to send the units out to two other shops before they got a shop with a big enough press to get the bearings off. That was just the beginning, since then nothing much seemed to go as planned, but just getting the bearings off could turn out to be a job that the home mechanic isn't equipped to do. You could send them out yourself. Just know that they may have never been changed before and it could take some real beef with a lot of experience to get it done and done right. By the time mine was finished, it was the usual thousand bucks which seems to be a constant if/when you take the car to the shop.
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The last price I saw to do the rear bearings was around $299 from Van Steel in Florida, Baer in Pennsylvania, and there is another shop I can remember right now. They advertise in most Corvette magazines. That is $299 per trailing arm.
For comparison, if you mess up the spindle while trying to remove the bearings on your own, the new spindle is $140.
The bearings and seals are $60 for both sides about the best price anywhere and if you buy them local, expect to pay about $75 per side.
You will need a spindle press. The bolt-on ones sell for around $150 and usually work if the bearing hasn't melted as far as getting the spindle out. IE, you are doing preventive maintenance, not repairing one gone bad.
Then there is set up. It is critical. You really need a setup tool so you can put bearings in with shims, check, then re-shim until you have the proper clearance.
Getting proper clearance is an art. I could tell you, but I would write a book with directions. It is time-consuming.
You really need the trailing arms out to do it right, so by the time you get them out, you might as well send them out to be done right by the experts.
However, if you are an above average mechanic, you can do it. I'd recommend going to the Corvette Forum and searching on wheel bearings. One guy had a very detailed and photographed journal of his trials.
BTW, ignore the grease fittings installed in the back or between bearings option. It doesn't work. It is a recent fad by some places claiming you never have to take them apart. There was a guy here who figured that out 30 years ago, and never took a patent, since it didn't work. You know that if it had, he would have because of the money in Corvettes and Corvette ideas.
Good luck.

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Tom in Missouri wrote:

I agree that they aren't worth doing by yourself unless you are willing to pay dearly for the experience. Without the proper setup tools you must assemble and disassemble the pressed-in parts multiple times to get the clearances right, and the chance of damaging the new parts during that process is very high. Not worth it unless you are going to be doing them as a business. Let Van Steel do them: http://tinyurl.com/o3uc7 http://tinyurl.com/pbyat http://tinyurl.com/s6smo
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Here is a link on Corvette Forum to a guy doing it now.
63-64 trailing arm http://forums.corvetteforum.com/showthread.php?t 59359
C3 trailing arm http://forums.corvetteforum.com/showthread.php?t 29686

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I'd go with new Offset trailing arms and complete new spindle, axle etc Looks like Van Steel is $1044 Check Vette brake and parts too http://www.vbandp.com/detail.aspx?IDY6
kickstart
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Shades of yesteryear. I had the rear wheel bearings go out on both sides on a 71 Vette with just over 12,000 miles on -- catastrophically at about 50 mph. Took the Chevy dealer a month to fix it. Was out of warranty by around 300 miles and cost over $500.00 back then. Right after I got the car back the power steering went out.... for another $300.00. The rear wheel bearings were a real problem with the C3. BTW mine went out again at around 60k miles.
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Ghee.... I currently still own 3 C3's ... all now have over 100,000 miles on them all have had engines etc rebuilt... BUT I really can not say that the rear wheel bearings were a "real" problem.. I do grease the inner rear bearings every spring on each car as part of my normal maintance but I do wish I could get to the outer bearings ..
Power streering ?...LOL all of my cars leak every darn spring, until I drive each about 200 miles...then the seals swell up and they stop leaking for the rest of the summer...
Bob G. 64 72 76 79 & 98 Corvettes
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