'94 Chevrolet silverado 2WD 350/V8 wheel bearing?

Ok I had posted last week about the play in my steering and that has been solved with the the replacement of steering box and pitman arm.

I’ve been too focused on the loose steering and now there is a grinding noise feel on the steering wheel when I’m driving straight and above 20 mph. I jacked up the front end of the truck and after wiggling the front tires at 12:00 and 6:00, I can feel a slight movement at both front wheels. Is it a telltale sign the wheel bearings has failed. Note that I am deaf and can’t hear any growling/grinding but I certainly can feel the grinding feel on my steering wheel. Wheel bearings it is?

See If The Vibration Goes Away While Taking A Curve In The Road At Cruising Speed. Try A Curve Driving It In Both Directions And Note Whether A Right Turn Or Left Turn Causes The Vibration To Diminish.

Try it and report your findings. This is often a clue to solving a wheel bearing complaint.


@“common sense answer” I just drove the truck and above 20 mph it still has the grinding feel when I’m taking a right curve but left curve, it’s not very noticeable but still have slight feeling. Make sense? I know this is an old truck and I would ignore it but I just have a gut feeling it’s something waiting to happen

If you’re taking a right curve, and there’s grinding, the problem is primarily on the left side

Your front rotors and hubs are one piece

Might want to take them off for cleaning and inspection. Cleaning, repacking and adjusting the bearings might help, or even eliminate the grinding, but it’s possible you need to replace bearings

If the races are buggered up, or if the rotors are warped, or too thin, it’s time for rotors, in addition to the bearings. This is because the races are hammered into the rotor

Now that I think about it…I’ve been feeling pulsing when i use my brakes…so the rotors may be warped as well as the bearings going bad…awesome but I may have to bite the bullet.

@Rusty Thanks for the updated information

Sounds like maybe it’s time for new front rotors, pads, and wheel bearings

After doing that, you’ll probably be amazed at the difference. It’ll seem like the truck stops on a dime

I highly recommend either AC Delco parts, or at least high quality aftermarket. Bendix would be okay, I suppose. Whatever you do get, get their top flight parts, as many manufacturers sell budget parts, to be “competitive”

For example, AC Delco professional is good quality, while AC Delco advantage is for penny pinchers

No disrespect intended to penny pinchers. It needs to be done once in awhile

Ok thanks. I’ll replace the rotors/pads myself then have the bearings done by a shop.

@Rusty If you’re doing the rotors and pads, you’ll also be doing the bearings

That’s because the bearing races are part of the rotors

Really? I always thought the bearings were separate from the rotors?

I think db means the bearing races are pressed into the rotors. The races are what the ball bearings inside the wheel bearing gadget roll on. The actual bearing — from what I infer from db’s replay – are the removable type (like I have on the front wheels of my 70’s Ford 4x4 truck), and are completely separate and easily removable from the rotors/hubs. My truck has drums, not discs, but same idea. When I take the front drums off my Ford truck the bearings often fall out on their own. This seems like a bad thing, but it is actually a good thing in the sense that all you have to do to service them is clean all the old grease out, then repack them with new grease. Or if the steel balls are kaput, just buy a new bearing ass’y. That is, provided the races are still ok. If the races need replacement, those will need some special tooling to remove and install.

George, I’m pretty sure you mean “rollers” and not “balls.”


tapered roller bearings

Yes db, even on my Ford truck now I think about it, they are roller bearings, not ball bearings. You are absolutely right.

Okay…so is the bearings something I can do with simple tools? I want to be sure I got this right…when I buy the rotors, what or how do I replace the bearings? Should it be an easy removal of the bearings?

@Rusty pages 1-6 are what you need


The only difference is you will be replacing the rotors, not putting the old ones back

Eh @db4690 I know how to replace the brake pads/rotors but I don’t know if changing the bearings is in my area of expertise. Seems to be a bit complicated…

On any vehicle with hubbed rotors . . . such as you have . . . when doing rotors, you’re also messing with the bearings, so to speak

@db4690 ok. I may give it a shot. Thanks for all your advice!

@db4690 one question…or anybody else can answer this…I plan to get both inner/outer bearings along with new brake pads/rotors. And new wheel seals as well…and I read the link you sent me…I saw a segment where there was an installation tool used to put in the new seal. Is this really necessary to have the tool or is there any better way to install the seal? I wouldn’t want to buy a new tool just for the seal and only use it once.

I have bearing seals like that on my Ford truck, and never had any problem as a beginner diy’er installing the bearings or the seals. Never used a special seal tool, just like the instructions db provide say, a wooden block, hitting the block with a small hammer. I’ve used a wooden dowel for that too, instead of the block. It just takes a little more time without the special tool is all. The seal tool helps prevent the seal from going in cockeyed. I think I have used a socket of the same diameter as the seal to drive the seal in too, with a wooden block between the socket and the light taps on the hammer. Best of luck.