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
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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
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...
64 72 76 79 & 98 Corvettes
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