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Shall I sand my spindle?

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:58 am
by dtrumbo
So I'm replacing the worn out front wheel bearings on my '78 Riviera. The outer bearing had metal flakes embedded in the grease, the inner bearing looked o.k., but is getting replaced anyway. The spindle is where I need a little advice. There seems to be some extra metal stuck on the spindle where the inner bearing race lives. If I had to describe it further, it's the opposite of pitting as there are "bumps" of metal on the surface of the spindle. Here's a pic if it helps at all.


There is some slight discoloration, but it's brown, not blue. My question is should I take some emery cloth and smooth out the bumps of metal to make the spindle nice and smooth again? Of course care would be taken not to remove any more metal than necessary so as not to significantly reduce the circumference of the spindle which would be bad, yes, very bad.


Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:07 pm
by covelo

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:05 am
by vdubyah73
The bumps of metal are from a bearing that spun the inner race. Maybe the one you removed or a previous one. Is the spindle blue in any areas? Does the new inner race slide on the spindle and seat all the way in? If the inner race slides all the way home you don't have to do anything. If not you can sand or file gently , with a mill bastard file. Just use the file lightly as if you were dressing a gasket surface. Don't get ham fisted with it. Just enough so the inner race slides all the way home.

PS, I've cleaned up much, much worse. The inner race was welded to the spindle and I had to use a 2 pound hammer to shatter the inner race to get it off. Caution: If you ever need to break an inner race off a spindle in this manner, cover the inner race with a rag, whilst you're wailing on it to break it. The pieces have a tendency to shatter and fly off in the direction of your eyes. It is a common shop practice.

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:13 am
by dtrumbo
Thanks Bill, you are exactly right. Both inner bearings were destroyed and the bumps on the spindle were part of their remains.

I did use fine emery cloth to smooth them up and it worked just fine. No bluing on the spindle at all and everything went back together just as it should have. My bus still pulls to the right a little, but I'm pretty sure it isn't a bearing problem and now perhaps just an alignment problem or possibly a sticky right caliper.

Thanks for posting. It's always nice to get a second opinion when you're in unfamiliar territory.