How to Replace the Wheel Bearings on a 1986 Nissan 300ZX

The wheel bearings in the 1986 Nissan 300ZX are standard, roller bearing, design. These bearings are fully serviceable and should be packed with grease and adjusted from time to time, especially during a brake job, to prevent damage. If the bearings are damaged, due to wear or misadjustment, they should be replaced before damage to the spindle or rotor can occur.

Tools Used: Wheel chocks, Floor jack, Jack stands, Lug wrench, Wrench set, Pliers set, New bearings, Bearing grease, New seals, Hammer, Brass drift punch, Bearing race installer

Replace Wheel Bearings

Loosen the front lug nuts slightly using the lug wrench. Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels and lift the front of the 300ZX, using a floor jack under the front sub-frame, until the wheels are off the ground. Place jack stands under the front lower control arms and lower the car onto the stands. Remove the jack from under the car. Remove the front wheels.

Remove the retaining clip that attaches the brake line to the chassis of the car. Remove the bolts that attach the brake caliper to the steering knuckle and carefully slip it over the brake rotor and out of the way. Remove the dust cap in the center of the brake rotor, using a hammer and drift. Remove the cotter pin and castellated retainer from the axle nut. Remove the axle nut and allow the outer bearing to slide off the spindle into your hand. Reinstall the axle nut. Pull the rotor off the spindle, allowing the nut to catch the edge of the inner bearing, to pull the bearing and seal from the rotor.

Remove the inner and outer bearing races in the rotor by driving them, from the inside of the hub, out of the rotor using a hammer and brass drift punch. Install the new races by driving them into the rotor, using a hammer and race installer, until they seat completely. (The sound of the impact of the hammer will change to a sharp thump when the races are fully seated.)

Pack bearings with grease and install the inner bearing into the rotor hub. Place the new seal in its place in the hub, and tap it around the edges of the seal until the seal seats into place. Reinstall the rotor on the spindle, and slip the outer bearing into the hub. Slide the large washer into place over the bearing, and screw the spindle nut onto the spindle. Tighten the nut to between 18 and 22 foot-lbs. Loosen the nut 60 degrees of rotation, and install the castellated retainer and cotter pin. Tap the dust cover into place in the center of the rotor.

Reinstall the brake calipers on the rotors. Repeat the process for the other side of the car. Install the wheels, pump the brake pedal a few times and test drive to verify the repair.

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