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How to Assemble a Rear Axle Bearing

Importance of Rear Axle Bearing

Vital for allowing the wheels to freely turn and maintaining proper alignment while cornering, replacing the rear axle bearing is an important repair job. If the rear axle bearing goes bad, it can cause the brake drum to be in constant contact with the brake shoes. This sustained contact causes excessive heat which can result in the premature failure of the brake shoes. Don’t put off this important job, follow these steps for a successful repair.


How to Tell if Your Rear Axle Bearing is Bad

When your rear axle bearings are failing you may notice one or more of these symptoms.


Grinding noises

Due to components rubbing metal on metal, grinding noises are a common occurrence.



As the bearings fail and cause increased friction in the wheels, you can experience vibrations as you travel down the road.


Shaking in Steering Wheel

Failing bearings can cause your steering wheel to shake at low speeds.


Installation Procedure

Step 1

Make sure that the bore is clean and free of burrs.

Step 2

Ensure that the axle housing (if applicable) is clean and free of burrs.

Step 3

Lubricate the bearing using the manufacturer’s recommended grease or lubricant.

Step 4

Using the proper bearing installer, install the bearing into the axle.

Step 5

Grease the lip of the new axle shaft bearing.

Step 6

Using a seal installer, install the seal into the axle shaft.

Step 7

Inspect the axle shaft bearing area looking for any nicks or burrs. Clean if necessary.

Step 8

Lubricate the axle seal area with axle oil.

Step 9

Install the shaft.

Continue the assembly per service manual.


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The content in this article is for informational purposes only. You should consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have questions relating to any of the topics covered herein. Tenneco will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.