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(1) 2 »

1951 wheel bearing
#1
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Soybeanfarmer1
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Hi all,

I was taken my 51 touring sedan for a cruise last weekend when I started to hear a metal on metal grinding sound. I drove back and checked the rear end oil and was at the correct level. I took it back for a another 20 minute cruise and it continued so I'm thinking it could be the rear driver wheel bearing has gone bad. Are these easy to change or a more complicated procedure? Also does merrit carry these or would I have to go to Napa and find a match? Please let me know if anyone has any insight on this.

Thanks Nathan

Posted on: 9/19 13:40
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#2
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Packard Don
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Be sure to find the problem before throwing parts at it as it could be any number if things making the sound, such as the generator or water pump. Even possibly a u-joint although they tend to grumble. As for the bearings, the outer ones can be replaced easily but the inner ones require a press to do the outer race.

Posted on: 9/19 16:50
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#3
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DavidPackard
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Soybeanfarmer1:

Wheel bearings do not normally make a ‘metal to metal grinding sound”. There are several items associated with the drum brakes that may make such noises, but you need to do a bit of diagnostic investigations to figure out what’s going-on. Get the car on jack stands and start rotating the wheels trying to get more detail on what’s making the noise.

dp

Posted on: 9/19 19:07
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#4
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humanpotatohybrid
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Agree with David 100%. Surely if it's that loud while driving, you should be able to hear or at least feel something wrong when turning by hand.

Posted on: 9/19 19:11
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#5
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Soybeanfarmer1
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So when the car is in motion for every rotation of the wheel it makes a grinding noise. I've also jacked the car up and haven't seen anything apparently bad, but when the wheel is off the ground and spin it it makes no noise. On the ground it makes a grinding noise. So I thought it might have been a bearing.

Posted on: 9/19 19:16
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#6
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humanpotatohybrid
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Does the wheel spin roughly and is there excessive shake when you try to rotate it side to side? If the wheel spins perfectly smoothly then the bearing should be fine.

Posted on: 9/19 21:24
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#7
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DavidPackard
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“Wheel off the ground” also means more tire to wheel well clearance, so you might remove the wheel and look for witness marks. The last forum member that had a one per rev noise in a rear wheel it ended-up a brake drum with a bend (repairable) in the diaphragm, so with the wheel off look for a ‘true-running’ drum. Actually, before you remove the wheel let’s go with your first instinct and grab onto the tire and try to feel any ‘slop’ in the bearing.

To answer your first question changing an outboard rear axle bearing is quite doable, but sometimes getting the hub to release from the axle can be challenging. R&R of the bearing itself requires a shop press. I believe the axle bearings are different junior to senior, and also believe both are available from Timken. Even a simple brake inspection requires the hub/drum to be removed. I suggest you use the ‘Advanced Search’ feature to read a few threads on the subject. If you find a failed bearing and replace it, you will become a student in the subject of ensuring the correct bearing clearance has been achieved. This site has a lot of documentation on the subject, and the job itself is quite straight forward.

dp

Posted on: 9/19 21:30
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#8
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Soybeanfarmer1
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Thanks guys for your input I appreciate it, I'll have to do some more investigating this weekend hopefully I'll find a answer.

Thanks Nathan

Posted on: 9/21 6:58
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#9
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Soybeanfarmer1
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Quote:

humanpotatohybrid wrote:
Does the wheel spin roughly and is there excessive shake when you try to rotate it side to side? If the wheel spins perfectly smoothly then the bearing should be fine.


It does spin smoothly and doesn't have a shake. So ill have to tear it apart and see what else could be causing the noise

Posted on: 9/21 7:00
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Re: 1951 wheel bearing
#10
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Fish'n Jim
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I have to surmise that it was sitting for a while as the onset of a grinding noise without some degree of failure is not likely.
Probably time for a bit of old fashion rolling stock maintenance, pull the wheel bearings, inspect the brakes, and lube the chassis, etc. What we keep records for. Instead of going by mileage for maintenance, go by "years/months" when cars sit a long time before we take them out.
We tend to forget that lubricants break down over time and may not be providing their function properly.
In order for a wheel bearing to "grind" all the grease would have to be gone and the balls on dry races. You'd also hear that when the tire was off. A hung brake pad or worn pad that's loose and rubbing. Hand brake stuck, etc.
There's a common mystique with classics that they need to be "original" and as factory, and regular maintenance is neglected. I hear this all the time on other brand sites, too. One guy was wanting to preserve a worn out factory wheel cylinder which he could buy new???? There's a disconnect there.

Posted on: 9/21 10:00
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