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Thread: Rear wheel bearing clunk

  1. #1
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    Rear wheel bearing clunk

    I think this is a fairly common problem with our cars, my car has had the issue ever since I bought it in 2005 and I've seen threads pop up from time to time about it. It's the problem where you turn one way and one or both wheel bearings shift slightly in the rear hub carrier until you turn the opposite direction and they bang back to the other side. The sound is quite loud. I've heard of a couple solutions proposed over the years. When I spoke to Don Stegar about it a long time ago he mentioned they used to machine shims to take up the slack but the shims are not easy to produce. I think it was Rob Grady that once suggested using red loctite, but apparently it gives way after a while. After some research I came upon Loctite 609, which is a specialized bearing retaining formula specifically for this purpose. It's green in color. It seems like a better choice over regular red threadlocker. I installed my new bearings with it and have been clunk free for the first time in 17 years. Time will tell if it'll hold up but so far so good after 100 miles. Just an FYI for anyone looking for a possible solution.

    Here's a link to the product https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07BCDYD...roduct_details
    Todd, VIN 1561

    http://1561project.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member 82DMC12's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Olathe, KS

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    The bearing is held in place by the snap ring in the front, and the outer axle in the back. If the axle nut is properly torqued (I think it's over 200 lbs), the bearing "shouldn't" be shifting in the carrier. Do you think that is possible since you were just recently in there looking at it?

    I agree, if you can keep the bearing from shifting in and out of the carrier, the Retaining Compound 609 should do the trick. I've used the same stuff before, most recently inside the manual transmission where the bearings lay in the casing.
    Andy Lien

    VIN 11596 Jan 1982 build - owned since Nov. 2000!
    Total frame-off restoration completed 2021-2023

    Photography and Backpacking is life.

    Was Fargo, ND
    Now Kansas City

  3. #3
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    The tightness of the nut has nothing to do with the bearing moving within the hub carrier. A loose hub nut would potentially allow the spindle to move within the inner race, but that’s not the issue here. The outer race of the bearing is slapping around between the snap ring and the back casting on the hub carrier. The general consensus I’ve read is this is due to the snap ring groove being machined too far out creating a gap that allows movement. Personally, I think that’s just half the problem. I did note that the old bearing was removed with surprising ease using my threaded bearing press and just a ratchet. Pressing the new one in required a 3’ cheater bar and a lot of huffing and puffing. Needless to say the new bearing seemed to be a much better fit. This should inherently allow for significantly less movement, if any. But I’d say the use the retaining compound is cheap insurance.
    Last edited by todd1561; 11-01-2022 at 10:27 PM.
    Todd, VIN 1561

    http://1561project.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member 82DMC12's Avatar
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    Ah I see. Thanks for the correction. I was in there last year but I let a machine shop deal with it LOL.

    Sent from my Pixel 6a using Tapatalk
    Andy Lien

    VIN 11596 Jan 1982 build - owned since Nov. 2000!
    Total frame-off restoration completed 2021-2023

    Photography and Backpacking is life.

    Was Fargo, ND
    Now Kansas City

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 82DMC12 View Post
    I let a machine shop deal with it LOL.
    Then you’re a lot smarter than I am haha
    Todd, VIN 1561

    http://1561project.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by todd1561 View Post
    I think this is a fairly common problem with our cars, my car has had the issue ever since I bought it in 2005 and I've seen threads pop up from time to time about it. It's the problem where you turn one way and one or both wheel bearings shift slightly in the rear hub carrier until you turn the opposite direction and they bang back to the other side. The sound is quite loud. I've heard of a couple solutions proposed over the years. When I spoke to Don Stegar about it a long time ago he mentioned they used to machine shims to take up the slack but the shims are not easy to produce. I think it was Rob Grady that once suggested using red loctite, but apparently it gives way after a while. After some research I came upon Loctite 609, which is a specialized bearing retaining formula specifically for this purpose. It's green in color. It seems like a better choice over regular red threadlocker. I installed my new bearings with it and have been clunk free for the first time in 17 years. Time will tell if it'll hold up but so far so good after 100 miles. Just an FYI for anyone looking for a possible solution.

    Here's a link to the product https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07BCDYD...roduct_details
    Are you sure it’s the bearing? There are body bolts in that area that will create a similar knock during turns if they are loose.

  7. #7
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    Yep definitely the bearings, this has been a well established problem with our cars for at least a couple decades. It doesn't affect all cars and there are other sources of "clunks" but this was definitely my problem. It presents itself in that very unique way I described where it'll only happen once when you turn hard in one direction and won't happen again until you turn hard again in the opposite direction.

    Many of the long timers in the DeLo community have recognized it and/or offered solutions over the years (Dave Swingle, Don Stegar, Rob Grady, Marty Maier to name a few). Years ago I even had Swingle drive my car at a tech event and he confirmed the problem. I'm just throwing this out there as a potential solution in case it might help someone down the road.
    Todd, VIN 1561

    http://1561project.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member 82DMC12's Avatar
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    My understanding is there are two versions of the rear carrier but it is not documented or noted in the parts manual or any of the technical bulletins. At least one difference is the top link bolt has to be longer in order to get the nut on, on one version of it.
    Andy Lien

    VIN 11596 Jan 1982 build - owned since Nov. 2000!
    Total frame-off restoration completed 2021-2023

    Photography and Backpacking is life.

    Was Fargo, ND
    Now Kansas City

  9. #9
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    Interesting, I've never heard that. I have an earlier VIN so if there were improvements made during production I likely don't have them. Do you remember where you heard/read about there being a difference and what problem they were trying to solve?
    Todd, VIN 1561

    http://1561project.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member 82DMC12's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Olathe, KS

    Posts:    1,605

    My VIN:    11596

    Quote Originally Posted by todd1561 View Post
    Interesting, I've never heard that. I have an earlier VIN so if there were improvements made during production I likely don't have them. Do you remember where you heard/read about there being a difference and what problem they were trying to solve?
    I have heard this in a couple places but for one, I know a guy who ordered new top link-to-carrier pivot bolts from a vendor and he got the wrong length. He asked why they don't fit and they informed here there are two types of carriers and thus two lengths of bolts. They then sent him the correct bolts. I can't remember where else I heard it but I've been in the forums since 1999. I've heard a lot of shit, right or wrong!
    Andy Lien

    VIN 11596 Jan 1982 build - owned since Nov. 2000!
    Total frame-off restoration completed 2021-2023

    Photography and Backpacking is life.

    Was Fargo, ND
    Now Kansas City

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