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78 W150 Wheel Bearings #2664980
06/12/19 01:12 AM
06/12/19 01:12 AM
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Newport, Mi
Evil Spirit Offline OP
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Friend just bought a 78 W150 and it has the typical front wheel bearing issues. I remember this being a common issue years ago when I used to have 4x4's. Any good long term fixes for the bearings? Like to stay stock bolt pattern if possible. Thanks


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Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: Evil Spirit] #2664981
06/12/19 01:32 AM
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Regular maintenance on the original style wheel bearings gave them long life, but too many people failed to grease them like they were suppose to do. I think the FSM called for the bearings to be greased every 3,000 miles. you had to pull both front wheels off, line up the zerks with the holes, pump in 2 -3 pumps of grease and put the wheels back on. My boss at the gas station had well over 100K miles on his original bearings on each of his 3 Dodge plow trucks.
Greased every 3000-4000 miles and standard offset tires and wheels.

Most guy's that had problems were the ones with the wide offset wheels with monster tires, that never saw a grease gun. They couldn't figure out why the wheel bearings were shot in 50K miles or less. Then after the bearings were shot, they kept driving until the ends of the brake rotors were shot (the bearing inner races ran on the rotor hub). Being the cheap butts they were, most didn't want to but the rotors, so they would throw the new wheel bearings on the wore off rotors and soon the new bearings were shot again. Of course it wasn't their fault, it was all because of Dodges bad bearings. Gene

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: poorboy] #2665009
06/12/19 07:34 AM
06/12/19 07:34 AM
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years ago I bought a '79 W150. With in a week the driver's side failed. Replaced them with Timken's, regular greasing, and ran that truck for years with no more issues.


Dave


1969 Plymouth road runner post 383 4 speed F8
1981 Dodge D150 360 auto
Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: poorboy] #2665122
06/12/19 12:53 PM
06/12/19 12:53 PM
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Newport, Mi
Evil Spirit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by poorboy
Regular maintenance on the original style wheel bearings gave them long life, but too many people failed to grease them like they were suppose to do. I think the FSM called for the bearings to be greased every 3,000 miles. you had to pull both front wheels off, line up the zerks with the holes, pump in 2 -3 pumps of grease and put the wheels back on.


It's been a long time since I messed with this generation of front axle hub units, and I'm not remembering a grease fitting. I pulled up pictures with rotors and hubs with an extra hole in the lug area. Is the grease fitting in the area where the spindle bolts to the "knuckle"? If so, does it feed both the inner spindle roller bearing and the hub bearings?

And I know we are spoiled by todays sealed unit bearings and synthetic lubricants, but I can see why people would balk at regular maintenance like these apparently required every 3000 miles. But I guess that was at the end of the era of "high maintenance" vehicles, where 3000 mile oil changes were the norm, cars actually still had grease fittings, and the bias ply tires needed 3000 mile rotations to last even 20,000 miles. With todays lubes 5000-7500 miles is more the norm for oil changes, and a tire rotation every other oil change.

In this case here - pretty sure a 265/70R16 on a standard centered offset wheel is biggest size tire/wheel it will see. We will probably pull it down far enough to put in new u-joints, spindle/axle bearings/seals - assembling everything with premium synthetic grease. Should cover the bearing issues with a more relaxed maintenance schedule, like every other oil change.

Thanks for the replies.


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Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: Evil Spirit] #2665125
06/12/19 12:59 PM
06/12/19 12:59 PM
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While were on the subject, are there zerk fittings on my '79 W150 from the factory also? I need to do this maintenance before there's a problem.


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Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: Evil Spirit] #2665129
06/12/19 01:04 PM
06/12/19 01:04 PM
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Most folks did not know of the grease fittings in bearing retainer so they jut ran em until they became a problem. They were at 9 or 3 clock position through rotor when factory installed. The ones I recall servicing came in a matched set with spacer for the 2 bearings and all. All still available separately, but matched sets had 2 bearings, 2 cones and spacer.

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: buildanother] #2665185
06/12/19 03:07 PM
06/12/19 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by buildanother
Most folks did not know of the grease fittings in bearing retainer so they jut ran em until they became a problem. They were at 9 or 3 clock position through rotor when factory installed. The ones I recall servicing came in a matched set with spacer for the 2 bearings and all. All still available separately, but matched sets had 2 bearings, 2 cones and spacer.


Yep. that is the way all 3 of my boss' Dodges were, as well as all my 75 to about 81 or 82, unless you got the factory hub that locked and unlocked (not the aftermarket kit). Those had different bearing set ups. I believe all those years of running my Dodge 4x4 trucks, I remember replacing the bearings on one truck I bought used and abused. I also installed the matching bearing sets.

I had a buddy that was a Chevy guy, but for some reason, he always rand Dodge 4x4 trucks. He really had a dislike for the Dodge bearing set up. He always installed the lock out hub set up from the 3/4 ton Chevy trucks on the Dodges when the bearing toasted out. I don't know what was involved with the process, but he sure swapped them out pretty quickly, always said it was cheaper then the Dodge bearings. I'm not sure I believed him though. Gene

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: poorboy] #2665195
06/12/19 03:33 PM
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I put part time kits on 2 of my 79's , was a bit complicated and expensive. If I recall correctly, the big three ALL had manual hubs in 1980, except for maybe those 1 ton full time trucks .The auto hubs that showed up in 1981 were a bigger loser than the dodge 75-79 full times to me.

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: buildanother] #2665244
06/12/19 06:18 PM
06/12/19 06:18 PM
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I need to get on this. I read it when I first got my truck, then got so busy on re-gasketing engine and many other projects, and it slipped my mind!


Facts are stubborn things.
Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: buildanother] #2665482
06/13/19 12:15 PM
06/13/19 12:15 PM
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Newport, Mi
Evil Spirit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by buildanother
Most folks did not know of the grease fittings in bearing retainer so they jut ran em until they became a problem. They were at 9 or 3 clock position through rotor when factory installed. The ones I recall servicing came in a matched set with spacer for the 2 bearings and all. All still available separately, but matched sets had 2 bearings, 2 cones and spacer.


I've seen references to a "spacer". Where does it go, and what does it do?


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Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: Evil Spirit] #2665617
06/13/19 08:07 PM
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Goes between the two bearing "Cones" as they fit into knuckle. Kind of assembled together and put in together as assembly. If you can find shop man etc, it will show it.

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: buildanother] #2665697
06/14/19 01:57 AM
06/14/19 01:57 AM
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Newport, Mi
Evil Spirit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by buildanother
Goes between the two bearing "Cones" as they fit into knuckle. Kind of assembled together and put in together as assembly. If you can find shop man etc, it will show it.


Looks like the spacer sets bearing preload.

I watched this video and got reminded why I avoided working on these! Just shows rotor replacement, but it shows some of the
reasons why people avoided taking these jobs on. A lot more labor complicated than the typical front 4x4 spindle/bearing set-up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=kOQPQfKAuHU


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Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: Evil Spirit] #2665762
06/14/19 10:05 AM
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I am mis-speaking by calling the bearings "cones", which is what they are. But the bearing "cups" are what the spacer fits between. The bearing retainer(6 bolt thing), secures the cups as it is tightened to knuckle.

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: Evil Spirit] #2665797
06/14/19 11:54 AM
06/14/19 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Evil Spirit
Originally Posted by buildanother
Goes between the two bearing "Cones" as they fit into knuckle. Kind of assembled together and put in together as assembly. If you can find shop man etc, it will show it.


Looks like the spacer sets bearing preload.

I watched this video and got reminded why I avoided working on these! Just shows rotor replacement, but it shows some of the
reasons why people avoided taking these jobs on. A lot more labor complicated than the typical front 4x4 spindle/bearing set-up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=kOQPQfKAuHU


That video is not the way its done period.

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: NITROUSN] #2665977
06/14/19 08:29 PM
06/14/19 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by NITROUSN
Originally Posted by Evil Spirit
Originally Posted by buildanother
Goes between the two bearing "Cones" as they fit into knuckle. Kind of assembled together and put in together as assembly. If you can find shop man etc, it will show it.


Looks like the spacer sets bearing preload.

I watched this video and got reminded why I avoided working on these! Just shows rotor replacement, but it shows some of the
reasons why people avoided taking these jobs on. A lot more labor complicated than the typical front 4x4 spindle/bearing set-up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=kOQPQfKAuHU


That video is not the way its done period.


That sure is the hard way to do the job. I couldn't watch the whole video, when he said they never pull the 5 bolts, I knew that was some BS! Gene

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: poorboy] #2666029
06/14/19 10:19 PM
06/14/19 10:19 PM
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Newport, Mi
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I've seen bearing "kits" with 2 cones, 2 tapered roller bearings, and a spacer that appears to be sized the cones diameter.

I also see kits with the same 2 cones, 2 bearings, and a spacer that is wider and the size of the bearings inner race.

I guess dis-assembly will tell me what kit to buy.

Looks to me that these a basically the original "unit bearings", where a housing, bearings, and hub are installed as a unit.

The way I see this - install the bearings, cones, spacer and seal in the (bolt on) housing, press the axle flange hub/rotor into it, and bolt the assembly on, accessing the bolts thru the extra hole in the hub/rotor. I see premium synthetic grease being our best friend here. LOL

I can see that keeping a close eye on brake pads is a must, to avoid pulling this cluster apart for rotor service.

Thanks for the info. Willie


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Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: Evil Spirit] #2666478
06/16/19 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Evil Spirit
I've seen bearing "kits" with 2 cones, 2 tapered roller bearings, and a spacer that appears to be sized the cones diameter.

I also see kits with the same 2 cones, 2 bearings, and a spacer that is wider and the size of the bearings inner race. [As far as I know there is only one style bearing,cup,spacer.]

I guess dis-assembly will tell me what kit to buy.

Looks to me that these a basically the original "unit bearings", where a housing, bearings, and hub are installed as a unit. [No these never were a unitized bearing. all components]

The way I see this - install the bearings, cones, spacer and seal in the (bolt on) housing, press the axle flange hub/rotor into it, and bolt the assembly on, accessing the bolts thru the extra hole in the hub/rotor. I see premium synthetic grease being our best friend here. LOL [ You are on the right path. Put a new seal in the retainer and install it into the hub. Then press one bearing in place, then cup, spacer, cup and press the other bearing on. There is another 3 piece seal on the axle. That's another subject all on its own. Thin bead of rtv silicone around the knuckle where the retainer fits, install assembly grease fitting facing foreward 3-ocolck right 9-oclock left. Tighten the retainer bolts cris-cross to maybe 30 foot pounds ant torque the axle nut to maybe 150 foot pounds do not back the nut off tighten to the next hole. verify the torque specs I just gave you]

I can see that keeping a close eye on brake pads is a must, to avoid pulling this cluster apart for rotor service. [WELCOME TO Dodges wheel bearing nightmare]

Thanks for the info. Willie

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: NITROUSN] #2666495
06/16/19 12:40 PM
06/16/19 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by NITROUSN
Originally Posted by Evil Spirit
I've seen bearing "kits" with 2 cones, 2 tapered roller bearings, and a spacer that appears to be sized the cones diameter. I also see kits with the same 2 cones, 2 bearings, and a spacer that is wider and the size of the bearings inner race.
[As far as I know there is only one style bearing, cup, spacer.]

It looks to me like the bearing kits for full time hubs have a bearing cup outer diameter of 2.875 and use a spacer between the roller bearings on the axle. The bearing kits for units with factory locking hubs have a bearing cup outer diameter of 3.542 and use a spacer ring between the cups. This info comes from the info charts on Rock Auto parts listings.



Looks to me that these a basically the original "unit bearings", where a housing, bearings, and hub are installed as a unit.
[No these never were a unitized bearing. all components]

I realize you need to assemble the unit from individual parts - I just meant you installed the housing, bearings, hub, and rotor as one big unit.



The way I see this - install the bearings, cones, spacer and seal in the (bolt on) housing, press the axle flange hub/rotor into it, and bolt the assembly on, accessing the bolts thru the extra hole in the hub/rotor. I see premium synthetic grease being our best friend here. LOL
[ You are on the right path. Put a new seal in the retainer and install it into the hub. Then press one bearing in place, then cup, spacer, cup and press the other bearing on. There is another 3 piece seal on the axle. That's another subject all on its own. Thin bead of rtv silicone around the knuckle where the retainer fits, install assembly grease fitting facing forward 3-o'clock right 9-o'clock left. Tighten the retainer bolts cris-cross to maybe 30 foot pounds ant torque the axle nut to maybe 150 foot pounds do not back the nut off tighten to the next hole. verify the torque specs I just gave you]

Great info - thanks


I can see that keeping a close eye on brake pads is a must, to avoid pulling this cluster apart for rotor service.
[WELCOME TO Dodges wheel bearing nightmare]

Thanks for the info. Willie


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Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: Evil Spirit] #2672612
07/01/19 04:36 PM
07/01/19 04:36 PM
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yes you service the bearing as a unit. the rotor,retainer,bearings/spacer all pressed on to the hub. then it all goes into the knuckle with 6 bolts for retainer.

zerks= driver side @ 9 oclock pass side @ 3 oclock

brake caliper mount needs removed to slide inner/outer axle out of housing to service u-joint = constant velocity joint = order the spicer super joint from napa

IIRC the rule of thumb on the bearing and hub longevity was greese and keep torqued to specs as bearing wears. = servicing often. the bearing unit will only torque up so far and then you are out of threads on the stub axle ** that's when it got over torqued and stripped.

another rule of thumb was if you removed the rotor/hub and only 1/2 of the bearing comes out with the spline hub = spline hub needs replaced. it is press fit and should R&R as a complete unit same as it went in new.

also with tire 2" off the ground a tire iron under outer edge of tire to check the slop in the bearing or ball joints is good practice to keep them torqued.

20 yrs ago it was 100$ per side to do a bearing not counting the seal. 25$ to press it off, 25$ to install seal press rotor/studs/retainer/bearing on the hub and you need to make sure they pack it with grease before installing on hub.

you line up the gap in the middle spacer ring with the grease zerks @ 9-3 oclock when you slide bearing unit into the knuckle cup. that is the only way it will grease the bearing completely.

IIRC you can not find new replacement spline hubs or the short stub axles any more. but good luck hunting.

I know I ran a 12" rim 4.5 backspace 17/40/15 ground hawgs 440 granny 4 speed full time 203 and never broke anything other than drive shaft u-joints. I did do a couple front wheel bearings due to worn out hub/knuckles mud/water not much grease and hammer the hell out of them.

Re: 78 W150 Wheel Bearings [Re: scratchnfotraction] #2672617
07/01/19 04:41 PM
07/01/19 04:41 PM
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when you buy the bearing it comes with the 2 races/bearings/spacer as 1 bearing and fits either side. around 50$ last I did one another 50 for press work.

should be same bearing/retainer for the 8 lug full time bearing hub/rotor as well.

Last edited by scratchnfotraction; 07/01/19 04:44 PM.
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