Replacing the rear wheel bearings on the Valiant

Replacing the rear wheel bearings was something new to me as I hadn’t attempted such repairs in the past. A mechanic once told me it’s a big job to tackle as you have to have the required bearing puller tool to remove the bearings off the axle shaft. I did some research on the Internet to see if I could find out any extra useful information in removing bearings off axle shafts. This proved a worthwhile exercise as I found out that you can use an axle grinder with a cutting wheel and cut into the bearing and remove them that way.

Valiant AP5 Rear Axle diagram

Valiant AP5 Rear Axle diagram

The other problem was working out how to fit the new bearings onto the axle shaft as they have to be seated on the axle with force so they don’t dislodged when the car is running at high speeds. This was achieved by buying a 1 meter hollow steel pipe that could slip over the axle shaft and act as a hammer to hit the new bearings into place evenly onto the axle shaft. I found by standing the axle shaft vertically resting on a piece of solid timber enabled me to use the sleeve hammer to fit the new bearing into place.

Rear axle pipe sleeve

Rear axle pipe sleeve

Once I figured all that out I could go ahead with the repair of replacing both rear wheel bearings. When it came to using the axle grinder with the cutting wheel you just have to be patient and go slow to ensure you don’t cut too much at a time as you don’t want to cut the axle shaft itself. I just cut as much as I could, and then used a cold steel chisel to break off the bearing which worked okay for me. The following YouTube clip shows how to use an angle grinder to cut into the old wheel bearings on the shaft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQdb5it7eJQ

The end result was positive in that the car now sounds quieter and smoother when being driven compared to how it was. My next job will be to inspect the front wheel bearings and put some new grease around the housing. 

Rear Axle Bearing

Rear Axle Bearing

All is good…catch up next time.

Peter

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