Service Info: 1992 SSEI front wheel bearings (hubs) - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat
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1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-27-2003, 10:08 PM   #1
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Default Service Info: 1992 SSEI front wheel bearings (hubs)

I do all my own work, and hope my experience will help others.

When I got my SSEI, it had a very subtle wheel bearing noise when turning to the right. I knew it was up front, but it was hard to tell what side. Everyone told me that noisy in a right turn means that it is the left wheel bearing, because the load is shifted to the left.

I waited about a year, and the noise got progressively louder, until it was noisy even when not turning a corner. After a while it was roaring at me, and I had to turn up the radio so I couldn't hear it.

I finally changed the left hand bearing, and guess what? Wrong side. It was still noisy. You CANNOT tell which side is bad, and if you put the car up and run it, you will not hear anything.

Well after shelling out $210 (discounted) for the genuine AC bearing, I let the other go for a while. I hoped it would be very apparent that it was the front bearing, and not a rear. Well, that bearing got pretty noisy, and I finally had to change it or go mad. But, crazy thing.... as loud as that bearing was, when I finally had it in my hand it was not the least bit loose, just somewhat rough turning. Boy those bearings are one tough assembly.

The bad news is now that the car is so quiet, I can hear everything else that is wrong. haha.

Changing the bearing is not too difficult. I followed the manual with success. Hang up that brake caliper with some wire. One of the bearings was hard to get out of the knuckle, because the ABS sensor was rusted to it, and the bearing actually came out without the ABS cover. I had to pound that out of the knuckle later.

The manual says to hold the hub to remove the large nut, I say remove the large nut while the car is still on the ground !!!!!! Ditto on installation.

I used a new nut with the new bearing, because it is a type of lock nut and you are supposed to change it. I am sure most do not.

Oh, some other tips. My new bearings had a slightly different flange that went against the knuckle. Because there was rust on the knuckle where the old flange was NOT, I was afraid it might not seat properly, so I used a file to flatten out the area on the knuckle before installation. Same with the rotors. They were quite rusted where they meet up with the hub. Make sure you smooth this area on the rotor, and put the rotor on so that it lines up with the correct holes in the hub, so that you don't have a big rust bump up against the new hub. I thought of painting all this stuff but I decided that it would still rust anyways.

The new hubs had an added benefit, the studs were longer than the old ones. They didn't have any more thread, but they did have an extra unthreaded portion. I always thought they were too short, it is hard to put the wheel on and actually have it stay on there long enough to get a nut on it.

Anyways, that is my bearing story, hope it is helpful.

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