Bad Spindle bearing symptoms -
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-03-2021, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
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Bad Spindle bearing symptoms

Alright so while I'm digging into my front hub to replace my barely existing inner and outer wheel bearing I figured I'd check on the spindle bearing. Issue is I gotta purchase a spindle puller and a slide hammer, which I can not really afford right now. I'm hoping to get an idea of if it needs to be replaced before I go and spend some money I don't have.

What are some symptoms of a bad spindle bearing? My axle shaft moves around inside of the spindle so I'm guessing its bad, but I've never messed with this before so I don't really know what to look for.

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post #2 of 5 Old 08-03-2021, 07:26 PM
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1933 CJ5 
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If you have a Oreillys or auto zone near you, you can use their tool rental program. Leave the price of the tool as a deposit, then get it all back upon return of the tool.

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-03-2021, 07:51 PM
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Usually you'd pull them to inspect visually...look for scarring, pitting, discoloration, etc.... Someone else might chime in on how you'd check it without pulling the spindle. Your axle shaft will move some, but if I remember correctly that movement should be forward and back and is actually in the diff.

That spindle bearing is one of the most ignored parts on a Jeep...Most people will change wheel bearings etc and never mess with the spindle bearings. That being said they also don't go bad a whole lot either since they're not spinning full time. Once you remove them if they look fine and spin freely you can probably get away with regreasing them. Other option is to of course change them while you have it all apart. They're not that pricey but you may need a bearing puller. If you have any doubts about them now would be the time to check and or change them while you have it all torn down.

Your other option is to pull the spindles and walk in to an automotive repair shop (preferably someone you kinda know or have been to) and show them the spindle and bearing. Most mechanics will look real quick and tell you. They'll probably also tell you you might as well change them if you're that far into it.

As Nick said, most of the major parts houses will "rent" you a spindle nut and slide hammer. Which means you buy it and then when you bring it back they give you your money back. I usually do that too if I don't want to buy the tool.

Definitely don't forget to change out the rear seal on the hub and make sure to pack the bearings well before install, as well as proper preload when you put it all back together.

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-04-2021, 06:04 AM
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As techlight stated, they are the most ignored bearings on the vehicle, mostly because folks don't know they are there.

Bad bearings are obvious. rusted, rollers missing, pitted, etc. If they are ugly, depending on your amount of wheeling, you can clean them up and rerun them, as they only rotate when the front axle is engaged and carry very little weight. Don't forget to clean up the stub axle as well.

Visual inspection is the best. Inspection should happen every time you service your wheel bearings.

If they are bad or have obvious signs of rust/water, you will have to replace the seals at a minimum.

Lube with the nastiest, stickiest grease you can find. Chevron used to make a red waterproof grease that is great for the application.

Don't forget to check the U joints while you are in there.

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-04-2021, 06:03 PM
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I think every parts store except Napa rents tools (you basically buy it and return for refund when finished). The bearings are common. I think there's a dust shield on some models too (like my D30). Napa sells a kit of 5 pieces (I think), it's for the whole hub. (edit) BRG BK1 "spindle bearing kit".
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