Sunday, October 26, 2014

Changing a Chevy Silverado's 1500 HD wheel bearing/hub.

Saturday I had a chance to change the hub on my friends Silverado. He failed safety inspection for his drivers side wheel bearing. It's a 4 wheel drive so the only way to change the wheel bearing is to change the whole hub. It's not a bad job to do but does require a big torque wrench a good breaker bar and a impact gun helps. Start off by jacking up the truck and supporting it with jack stands. Then remove the wheel. There is a dust cover that you need to remove to gain access to the spindle nut. I have already removed it in this picture. Here is where an impact gun comes in handy. It's takes a 36mm socket. I haven't had much trouble getting these off with an impact gun.
 Loosen the nut and remove it along with the washer. This is a 1 time use nut and they are only available at the dealer so if you are going to do this job on a Sunday, make sure you pick up the nut beforehand.
 now you need to remove the caliper and the caliper bracket. the hardest part of this job was removing the caliper bracket bolts. They take the most torque out of all the bolts that are removed for this job and they have thread locker installed on them from the factory.
 Here are the 2 bolts for the caliper brackets. You can see the yellow thread locker on them from the factory. I had to use my biggest breaker bar with a 2 foot cheater bar to get these loosened. They are in an area that is impossible to get an impact gun into. You can see my breaker bar and cheater in the picture.
 Now remove the 2 little retaining rings shown in the picture that are on the studs if yours are still there. Chances are that if your rotor has been changed they are probably not there.
Now you can remove the clips that hold the wheel speed sensor harness in place. There are 4 of them. The new hub should have all new clips so if they break, that's OK. The plug is on top of the frame rail. You can get it through the wheel well but I found it easier to unplug it from the engine compartment side.
 If you look closely, you can see the plug down on the frame.
 After the harness is unplugged and unhooked, move it out of your way.
 It's time to remove your rotor. You can spend time beating on it trying to get it freed up from years of rust buildup, or you can just find 2 bolts that thread into the holes that GM put into the rotors and make your life easier. It pops them right off.
The hub is ready to come off now. Remove the 4 bolts in the back side of the hub and then you can remove the hub. It takes a little persuasion but it's not too bad to get off.
 Make sure you can push the axle back and forth before removing the hub to make sure it's loose. You also need to protect the boots so they are not damaged while you are removing and installing the hub.
 The backing plate will come off with the hub. Just make sure you put it back on when you install the new hub.
 Here is the backing plate.
 On 1500 HD's to 3500 silverado's there is an o ring on the hub housing. You can inspect it and make sure it's ok or you can just replace it like I did. Pick one up when your at the dealer getting the nut.
Here are the 3 parts you will need to change the hub. The hub itself, a new spindle nut, and the o ring.
 I prefer moog parts so that's what I installed.
 Clean up the bore of the hub and install the o ring with some lubricant. Vaseline will work.
 Everything is ready to put the hub back on.
 Don't forget the backing plate!
Install the hub with the 4 bolts. Torque them to 133 foot lbs. make sure the axle lines up when you install the hub.
 Install the caliper bracket with some loctite on the bolts.
 Here is one of the caliper bracket bolts. These 2 bolts get torqued to a whopping 221 foot lbs. for the 1500 HD up to the 3500's
 Re-install the calipers. These 2 caliper bolts are torqued to 80 foot lbs. make sure you lube them up with caliper grease. It will help the calipers to move back and forth when braking.
 I removed the bracket for the caliper hose so if you did also, make sure you re-install it now.
Just about done now.
 I temporarily installed the wheel so I could torque the spindle nut. It gets torqued to 177 Foot lbs. Make sure you torque this nut. If you don't you can have your wheel bearing fail prematurely.
 Make sure your speed sensor harness is run correctly and plugged in and then you are ready to re-install your dust cap.
 Install your wheel, torque it to 140 foot lbs. and your set to go. Take it for a test spin and make sure your speed sensor is working and your done.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fixing a VW bugs odometer.

My bugs speedometer worked fine but the odometer never did work when I got it. I track all my maintenance and gas mileage with my odometer so it was driving me crazy! I decided it was time to see if I could fix it. The first thing to do is open the trunk and get access to the back side of the speedometer. I had to loosen and move my fresh air box out of the way and remove a brace that covered the speedometer. This is the time to take some pictures, then take some more pictures and again take some more pictures. Unless you want to label all the wires. You can do that but I find it is faster and easier to just take a bunch of pictures from all angles so you can get all the wires hooked back up correctly. Just make sure you don't delete or forget what file you put the pictures in. Here are all my pictures. I added them all just in case someone could use them on their own project someday.

 OK after you have all the wires disconnected, disconnect the speedometer cable and loosen the 2 screws that hold it in. You don't have to remove the screws, just loosen them and turn the speedometer counter clockwise to remove it. Pull it out carefully and this is what you have.
 Make sure you don't loose the rubber gasket. You then need to uncrimp the bezel slightly to remove the glass. When the glass is off be careful not to damage the speedometer needle.
Next, flip the speedometer over and remove the 5 screws on the housing. Once these screws are out, ypou can remove the gas gauge. I left the vibrator hooked to the gas gauge.
 I heard something rattling around in the speedometer when I was handling it and this was what I found. It's the gear for the odometer. It had busted in half and that was the reason it did not work. This is fairly common on later style bugs and it is fixable. Some people have success using super glue on their gear but mine was not so lucky. It was missing some pieces so I decided to purchase a new gear.
 The screwdriver is pointing to the shaft the gear was suppose to be attached to.
 Here is the parts and pieces of the speedometer.
Here is a better view of where the gear should be. It ties into the spiral gear and in turn runs the numbers of the odometer.
 I purchased this gear from a guy in Canada. He makes these gears out of brass and they fit perfectly. He was great to work with and shipped it to me quickly. If you are interested in buying one, Go to and search the classifieds for brass odometer gear.
 This is the way the gear goes on. It is a tight fit and it installed perfectly onto the shaft.
 This is the way I pressed on my gear. It worked great, just make sure you don't press it on too far.
Make sure you align the gears before you press it on so you do not damage the spiral gear. Make sure the numbers still have slight movement and are not bound up. I suggest hooking a drill up to the speedometer and test the odometer out before you install it back in the car.
Now you just reassemble everything in the opposite order you removed it.
 Before you install the glass, make sure you clean the inside of the gauge and the glass very good. If you don't it will bug you every time you see the smudges on the inside of the glass.

 That's it for this speedometer. I also replaced all the light bulbs in it before I installed it back in the car.
It works great now and I can't wait until I can check out my gas mileage. Until the next post, Enjoy the awesome weather we have had lately. It's great cruising weather.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Where did summer go?

WOW, I didn't get one post made in September. I only did one in August and 1 in July! What the heck! How did time fly by so fast? I swear my kids just got out of school for the summer. Oh well, this post will be a very brief summary of whats happened in the shop the last few months.

I was determined to get my blue bug ready for winter and it needed a few things. I installed a new axle because the old one had a ripped boot. It had been ripped for awhile and I didn't know how much dirt had got inside the bearing. I priced out the boot and they wanted 37 dollars for 1 boot. I priced a new axle and it was 50 dollars for the whole axle so I opted to just install a new axle.
 I also was able to get my new to me steering wheel installed. I had a neighbor that had a 60's bug a long time ago. He had this steering wheel from it and it had been hanging in his garage for years. He said I would get more use out of it then he would so he gave it to me. I was excited and it looks so much better then the plastic stock one that was on it. Thanks Steve! It will have a good home! I finally installed a stereo in the bug. I was given this stereo also. The guy was replacing it because it didn't have an aux input for his Ipod. I could care less about that so I was happy to take it off his hands. The bug already had speakers so I just threw it in and had tunes. It will be nice to listen to some music when driving.
 My Dad and I went in together on a welder. We both want window well covers made for our houses and I have many multiple uses around the shop for one. I have been having a blast messing around with it. I had to wire my garage for 220 power which I had planned on doing for years so I finally got around to doing that. I had to send the first welder back to Eastwood because it wouldn't feed the wire. They were great to work with and sent me out a new one quickly and it works awesome. I have been welding everything that is metal in my garage and so are my boys.
 The garage finally has a heater in it but I still need to run the gas line, vent and thermostat which hopefully will be done before it snows.
I was sick of there never being anything on TV to watch in the garage so I got a roku for the TV. That has opened up lots of cool channels to distract me when I should be working.
 My neighbor has a 2005 Honda Odyssey that had an airbag light on. I read the codes and it had flagged the L/H #3 impact sensor. That is located on the side wall in the back of the van. You need to remove the side wall to get to it.
 It's the one that the yellow connector is on in the middle of the picture. It's held on by 1 torx screw. Make sure you remove the negative cable from your battery before messing with anything on the airbag system. Your going to have a bad day if an airbag goes off when you disconnect it.
 Here are the sensors. If you have a 2005 to 2006 Odyssey, hope that this sensor does not go bad on you. They are 300 dollars each. Here's the crappy thing. In 2004 they did not have this sensor. In 2007 to 2014 this sensor is 30 dollars. Go figure??? We got lucky on this one because I was able to find one on Ebay for 20 dollars shipped. We were even luckier because it actually worked!
 If you have an airbag or a ABS problem on your car and want to fix it yourself, you will need to invest in a scanner that will read these codes. This is a great scanner for about 200 dollars. It works like a charm.
It wasn't all fun and games this summer. We said goodbye to Lucy, the old international truck. I regret selling this truck already because it was such a good truck that was unmolested and in good shape for it's age. It went to a good home and I am sure I will see it on the road someday. The guy that bought it was going to keep it stock and just drive it.
 I also changed a fuel pump and a vapor canister on my SIL Dodge neon. I didn't get any pictures of that. I did some minor tune up stuff on the bugs and on a rainy Saturday I pulled the blue bug in and did a little work on it.
 I wanted to get my fresh air fan working because that helps defrost the windshield a lot faster. I pulled it off and fixed some wiring to get it blowing again. I figured it was a good time to look at my odometer also. It quit working on me so I decided to pull it out to have a look.
 Take a lot of pictures or mark the wires really good when you do this so you can get everything back together like it was. The speedometer works but the odometer doesn't.
 The glass is crimped onto the housing so gently pry it up to get to the gauge.
There are a few screws on the back that need to come out and the fuel gauge will also come off. I had something rattling in mine when I shook it so I had an idea something was wrong.
 The screwdriver is pointing to a spot where a gear should be. Mine is missing and so this was the reason my odometer didn't work.
I shook it a little bit and the gear came out in 2 pieces. It's a common problem on the newer air cooled bugs for this gear to go bad. I found a guy in Canada that makes brass gears so I bought one and am waiting for it to arrive so I can put everything back together. I like a working odometer because I use mileage for oil changes and tune ups. I also like to check my gas mileage.
 So that's about all that happened in the shop the last few months. This is the next thing on the to do list. We bought a new front door to replace the crappy one that's there. I am planning on getting it installed before the weather gets cold. Hopefully this weekend.
 Here is the winter project. New fenders for the bug. These are the front ones. I am planning on getting new back ones along with front and rear bumpers. Then it's off to paint hopefully. That was why I sold the international. It's going to be a winter project though so I better get the shop heater working. Also on the winter list is to get the inside of the house painted (top priority after the front door) and get some window well covers fabricated. There never is a time where there is nothing to do! That will keep me out of trouble I guess.
So there you have it! The last few months in a nutshell. I will try to be more diligent in posting and have better quality posts in the future. Enjoy Fall while it is here.