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[42.5]Rear Wheel Bearings

R & R
From: Kevin - Burlington VT
Year(s):  All
Model/Type:  Vanagon
Bentley Page(s):  42.5
Symptom(s):  Loud hot noisy bearings

Hi Everyone,

Here is a step by step of the rear bearings for the archives. You should
still have a bentley and be familar with packing bearings and such. It's a
big messy project and I wasted alot of time noodleing checking the archives
calling my mechanic so I hope to save someone that leg work. I did this on
my 2wd Vanagon. Now would also be a great time to renew your CV Joints and
Rear Breaks. Please feel free to email me your comments and I'll keep them
all so I can post this on a site a some point.

R & R of Rear bearings for VW Vanagon

Tools needed:
46MM Socket and driver I like the sears ¾ inch drive (slide) for this
13mm socket
7/8 socket
17mm socket
Cheater bar good 3ft would be great.
Good size punch
Big hammer like 2 ½ pound mini sledge works great
Internal hog ring pliers
6mm Allen socket for CV bolts
Jack / Jack stands
Flat head Screwdrivers
Bleeder valve wrench (sorry I forgot the size)
Torque wrench
Brake bleeder
Lug wrench
Mechanic’s wire
Bentley Manuel pages 42.2 42.4 42.5
Seal puller
Cv joint pin spreaders

Inner and outer bearings
Inner and outer seals
Bearing grease high temp, choose your flavor there’s a lot but DO NOT USE
2 Rolls of paper towels
Box of rubber gloves
PB Blaster
Brake Cleaner
Brake fluid
Lock tite (blue) medium
Old clothes they will be garbage at the end of the job
Anti seize
Simple Green or Degreaser
Old toothbrush
Shopping Baggies
Zip lock type sandwich Baggies
CV boots and grease
Bearing spacers
Slotted Axel nuts (A must if yours are rusty and worn)

Work Sequence:
1. Remove the cotter pin on the axle nut.
(If you have alloys you may have to take the wheel off if you do then put it
back on and put the bus back on the ground)
Spray the axle nut with the PB Blaster

2. Loosen axle nut you will need a big cheater and chock the wheel.
3. Chock front wheels fore and aft, put bus on jack stands and remove wheel.
Put your lug nuts in a baggie.
4. Remove 2 little Drum bolts then remove drum with hub (you may need to
knock the drum with the hammer a little)
5. On the back of Backing plate on top remove Metal brake line and tape up
so it does not spill brake fluid.
6. Below where the line was remove the 13mm bolt
7. On the front of backing plate just below the hub remove the 2 lower bolts
8. On the backside of the backing plate you will see a metal rod that goes
through the backing plate to the brake shoe holder. Use your big hammer and
punch and from the back knock it out away from the bus. It takes a few good
whacks to get it started. Don’t knock it all the way out just past the
bearing box.
9. Now the backing plate is loose remove it with ebrake cable attached and
wire it to rear trailing arm. (From under the bus you can pull the slack
out of the cable so you can get it to the trailing arm and out of the way of
the bearing box.
10. Now clean the cv bolts on the transmission side with the tooth bush and
degreaser. Then remove the bolts and spacers don’t loose them put them in a
bag. Rest the drive shaft on your extra jack stand so you don’t hurt the cv
joint also cover the exposed cv joint with a plastic shopping bag to keep it
clean and so you don’t get grease everywhere yetJ.
11. You will see 4 7/8 inch bolts around the bearing box remove them (use
a socket) and put them in another baggie
12. Here’s where a friend would help but I did it alone, as you pull off
the bearing box the drive shaft will come with it and out of the trailing
arm be careful of the cv boot that you don’t rip it on the trailing arm box
it’s a little sharp. Don’t worry if the stub axle separates from the bear
box cause you are going to do that soon anyway.
13. Now clean out your trailing arm at least where the cv joint sits simple
green and a rag worked for me. I then spray the entire inside with Krown
oil just to be safe and protect against rust.
14. Go to your workbench and lay the bearing box and driveshaft flat. If
you can vise the shaft and prop the box up on something it will be easier.
Then remove the CV Bolts and cover up the exposed cv joint with another
shopping bag.
15. Now put your bearing box in the vise facing up. See that little hole
in the end of the stub axle? Put your punch in there and gently tap out the
stub axle you will have to move the bearing box so the stub axel can come
all the way out.
16. Here’s where you are going to get messy J put on some rubber gloves.
17. Remove the inner and outer seal with your seal puller or flat head
18. With a paper towel try to clean out some of that grease so you can see
what your up against do it to both top and bottom.
19. Now with the bearing box in the vise face down you will see a retaining
clip or Hog ring. Put on your safety glasses! Take that out with your
internal hog ring pliers. Careful mine shot across the room J don’t loose it
either cause you will need that later.
20. Now you can see the 2 bearings and the spacer. With the box still face
down push the spacer to one side so you can get to the edge of the bearing
on the other side. Carefully knock that bearing out with your punch. Don\’t
scratch or chip the bearing housing or spacer. The bearing will most likely
break but that’s okay cause that’s what the new one is for, just get it out
of there without hurting anything.
21. Now you should have one bearing and the spacer out, flip the box around
and pop out the other bearing. Now throw away your old bearings and seals
you don’t want to confuse your new parts with the old.
22. See all that grease on the spacer and in the bearing box? Clean it with
paper towels and brake cleaner. Make it spotless!!
23. Some listies say always replace spacer. I inspected mine after I
cleaned it and it looked good, if it looks like a burnt bearing race (purple
or blue tie died) replace it. Mine looked almost new so I kept it.
24. Okay clean off your workbench so it’s spotless any dirt that goes in
your new bearings will shorten their life span!!

Reassembly time!!

1. Now pack your new bearings with grease.
2. Let’s install the outer bearing first That’s the one with the removable
inner race. With your bearing box in the vise face up rest the bearing in
place. With your 46mm socket (or anyone that only touches the outer part of
the bearing )LIGHTLY tap the bearing in it’s new home and put the spacer in.
(you can use a flat piece of metal to get the bearing started if the socket
keeps slipping)
3. Flip the box around and pack the center part of the bearing housing with
grease evenly and more than was in there when you cleaned but not too much
or you’ll blow out the seals. Install the spacer and make sure that it is
lightly covered in grease inner and outer parts.
4. Now install the inner bearing the same way you did the outer but make
sure it goes in past the groove for the hog ring, and put some more grease
on the outer edge of the bearing. (I forget if I used the 46mm socket or a
different one just make sure it only touches the outer edge of the bearing)
You can use a flat piece of steel to get it started.
5. Put your safety goggles back on. Install the hog ring and put in some
more grease again not too much or you’ll blow the seal.
6. Now you cleaned your stub axle right? Lightly coat it in grease in
slowly install it. It’s a PITA cause that removable inner race keeps trying
to pop out. Don’t let it. You will need to use your hammer to GENTLY
install the stub axle (by taping the bearing box down) while pushing down on
the inner race with your punch (big end facing the race) with your hand not
hammer you don’t want to mess up your new bearing right? If you never let
the race pop out it will be easy but it took me a few tries to figure it
out. Make sure the stub axle is all the way in there will be some space
between the stub axle and the bearing housing. DO NOT HAMMER ON THE INNER
7. Put in a little bit more grease on the outer bearing and install the
8. Now is a great time to service your CV joints with new grease and boots
see the vanagon BTDT site or Ben from Canada’s site for great step by step
with pics.
9. Now clean your CV joint washers and reinforcement things and bolts if you
’re not using new ones. Lots of brake cleaner, paper towels and an old
toothbrush work great. Make sure your have enough washers for every bolt.
10. Install the CV joint to the stub axle. It’s a balancing act but if your
vise is tall enough is should hold it pretty good and be careful not to
contort your CV joints while you do it. First get them all tight then
Torque the bolts to 33ft pounds
11. Now your exposed CV joint is covered with a baggie right? Get your
friend again and have them help you install the bearing box again. Don’t
let your drive shaft hang in the breeze support it with your extra jack
stand. Make sure the part of the out side bearing housing with the 3 holes
is facing down. Use some locktite on the bolts to hold them in place and
torque to 101ft pounds per Bentley 42.2
12. Now take off your baggie on the CV joint and install the CV joint.
Again torque bolts to 33 ft pounds.
13. Check the torque on the bearing housing bolts again cause once the
backing plate is back on it is not accessible.
14. Install your backing plate top bolt that holds the wheel cylinder on is
tightened to 14ft pounds (I used a little locktite) then in stall the brake
line. Bottom 2 bolts are tightened to 47ft Pounds I used a little locktite
on those as well.
15. Use your punch and hammer to install the rod on the bottom of the shoe
holder. It should be about flush with the brake shoe holder after you knock
it in.
16. Install drum with hub.
17. Lightly coat stub axle with anti seize and tighten slotted nut to firm
18. Tighten the 2 drum bolts to 7.4ft pounds.
19. Bleed rear brake. See archives if you don’t know how.
20. Put on rear tire and put a thin coat of anti seizes on the lugs tighten
them up then lower bus and properly tighten lugs.
21. Now tighten you slotted axel nut to 360 ft pounds. 360 Divided by your
weight = how far away to stand on your cheater. Example I weight 190 so I
need to stand 18.2 inches from the center. Proper torque is essential. You
may want to pay a place that works on big rigs to double check you torque
should only cost $10 or 12 cold buds at the end of the day.
22. Remove your wheel and install the Cotter pin in the Slotted nut. (NEVER
23. Put wheel back on and tighten you’re your lugs to proper spec.
24. Now with your bus jacked up again check the rear wheel and make sure
there is almost no play if there is play you gotta go back and figure out
what’s wrong.
25. Time for a Beer you're done

Hope you enjoyed,
87 Westy
Burlington VT

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