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damesta

How much free play should there be in wheel bearings?

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Quick question, this is for a 72. I have no clue when or if these bearings have been changed. Car tracks slightly to the right when I release the wheel and I'm planning on taking it in for an alignment but want to make sure I do any repairs needed first. Checking free play all 4 of my wheels it seems like they all will rock a tiny, tiny bit, like maybe 2 millimeters from the top to bottom of the tire if I rock it at 12 and 6. No free play any other way, up/down or in/out. No other reason to think the bearings are bad, just checking over everything. Is this normal for a 240z or does a tiny bit of rocking mean this needs to be looked into further and all of these wheel bearings and potentially front ball joints need to be replaced? 

Edited by damesta

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The front bearings are tapered roller bearings.  They should have no play at all and actually have a little bit of preload.  You can reset tapered bearings if they're not too worn.  When the front bearings get loose the Z's tend to wander, follow road ruts, and have loose feeling steering.

 

The rear bearings are ball bearings.  Wear on those is usually determined by how "grindy" they feel when rotating.

 

Of course, the Axle chapters in the FSM have the official factory methods for determining if replacement is needed.  The front bearings are fairly easy to replace, the rear bearings take some work.

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That's what I originally thought but then found several websites (not z websites) that said a few mm of play in the wheel is expected, especially with tapered roller bearings on the front wheels of rwd cars. No grinding anywhere. FSM doesn't seem to have an methods of checking bearings with everything still assembled on the car unless I'm just missing them.

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3 hours ago, damesta said:

That's what I originally thought but then found several websites (not z websites) that said a few mm of play in the wheel is expected, especially with tapered roller bearings on the front wheels of rwd cars. No grinding anywhere. FSM doesn't seem to have an methods of checking bearings with everything still assembled on the car unless I'm just missing them.

 

I would suggest following the FSM instructions for cleaning, repacking and reseating the front bearings. 

 

God only knows how long it's been since that's been done, if ever.  It _was_ supposed to be a regular service item, as I recall.

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