can't say about a Camaro but with two GMC Jimmy's in my drive both had front
wheel bearings replace around 80,000 miles. First one took me about 5 hours
but after that learning experience and getting a hub puller I was down to
about 2 1/2 hours for the last one. Not something I want to do again.
My 89 Z- 24 made noise in 1996 at 32,000 miles. $279 for the hub
You never know when they'll start making noise. If your not the original
owner maybe some curbs were hit by the previous owner which tends to
speed up the wearing process.
I'd replace only one at a time.
1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE
3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey
~~~The Former Fleet ~~~
89 Cavalier Z 24 convertible
78 Holiday 88 coupe
68 LeSabre convertible
73 Impala sedan
Guys, just my 2 cents: I've had noise problem and was thinking - because of
bearing(s). In fact the real root cause was due to unbalanced tires and as a
result of it - improper wear (both rear tires were "wavy"). I've replaced
both tires (they were old) and no problem.
I have a question: What are the factors causing premature wear of bearings?
As per Pouta's message, it happened at about 43K miles and it really
Here's a list, I'm sure others can add to it.
1) Too small a bearing used for the stresses involved.
2) Frequent immersion in water that washes out the libricant and replaces it
3) wrong kind of grease used in the bearing.
4) accident, pothole, or other stress on the axle.
5) bent wheel or other suspension part out of tolerance used for a long
6) defective from the factory bearing
7) Improper procedure used to install replacement bearing.
First off, thanks to all who responded!
With a front-wheel-drive or 4WD/AWD vehicle, I could reconcile "early" failure.
My vehicle is rear-wheel-drive...
Yes, the prior owner told me he hopped a curb once. The mechanic gave me what
I thought was a silly analogy: when one sneaker wears out, you don't replace
just the one, right ? You replace both." I too feel that only one needs
And, is it a good rule of thumb that the faulty one always makes more noise
when you make an opposite side turn ? i.e. if you hear noise when making a
left, then it is the right-side that is bad (since that side is getting the
load), and vice-versa.
Ted, great list! One comment:
But with these late-model cars that use bearings integrated into the hub
assembly, I reckon there's no path into/out of the bearing housing...
To further confuse things, someone today told me it my be a pinion bearing in
the rear axle making the hum :(
I don't think so, my experience with the few vehicles I've had that had
bearings is that it sounded the same despite which way you turned.
I think that the majority of axle bearings are manufactured and sold as
"sealed" bearings, where there's a rubber seal that is supposed to
keep water out. But this is a terrible environment, dirty, hot, gets wet
a lot, you get some end play in there where the seals move back and forth
on the shaft, add water and start slightly pitting and corroding the axle,
the seal slides over this and it's like sandpaper.
I also forgot to add to the list - bent axle. Sometimes happens after a
And of course, needless to say, once the bearing starts grinding, it will
heat up really hot - nearly red hot - quite hot enough so that all the
liquifies and runs out of the bearing and of course the disintegration then
happens at lightning speed. One time I had a front axle bearing in my
68 Ford that I let go (starving student) and by the time I got at it, the
bearing had heated up so hot that it had literally welded itself to the
axle shaft. I was pounding on the front drum with an axle puller for an
hour and I was afraid the suspension would give way, finally the bearing
separated and the drum came off. I then had to take a bench grinder,
remove all the safety shields, and hold it against the bearing to grind away
enough of the bearing so I could hit it with a chisel and sledge and
it. Even then, only half the bearing came off, I had a half-moon left on
the axle which required more pounding with the sledge and chisel. When
I got that off there was a nice raised ridge of bearing metal welded all
the axle. I ground that down. Amazingly, the bearing half in the drum
hadn't welded itself to the drum so I was able to remove that one and
reuse the drum.
So, don't let this go too long!
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