Wheel bearing axle nut torque?

saturn vue. has unitized 1 piece bearing assys. not a honda style with a bearing pressed into knuckle.
my suv is fwd. it has splined front wheel bearings. and supposedly the torque is critical for bearing life. even saw video where guy removed his busted front diff on a chevy truck and took his axles apart so he could stick in the outer spline axle to torque the front bearings.
so, my rear wheel bearings are splined and i do not have awd. so i cannot torque the rear bearings as there is no axle to torque. so is it important or not? parts store said my rig with fwd or awd has 1 part number for rear bearings.

Not important at all for the rear. Ignore the splines. Bolt it in, torque the bolts and go. The front is about getting the axle tight enough without getting it so tight it damages the bearings.

The front wheels turn and have more side loads then the rear? They need to be torqued properly? Or it does not really matter?
Or, it’s important on front wheels but not rear wheels?

For the sealed bearing packages to function, they don’t need to be torqued at all. The angular contact ball bearings used have the pre load set when they are built. The half shaft torque spec is to properly retain the splined shaft, not to preload the bearing. The bearing only cares if it is over torqued, not under torqued. The spline on the half shaft will tesr itself up if not properly torqued, however.

Which is why using a torque wrench on an axle nut is critical, more important than the wheel lug torque. I cringe every time I see a guy install a CV shaft and “blam blam blam” the nut on with an impact wrench. I make sure all the guys in the shop look up axle nut torque, use a torque wrench, and document the ft/lb spec on the repair order.

If you overshoot wheel lug torque by 25%, meh, who cares? You overtighten an axle nut by 25%, the car may be back in 6 months with a failed wheel bearing.


Cars with front drive= front axle nut should not be over torqued.
Cars with rear awd systems= rear axle nut should not Be over torqued.
The fwd version of cars that share the same rear bearing just means it’s ok to have no torque on rear bearing. The bearing is ok with no torque but it needs the proper torque on awd versions.

It CAN be,… and ham-fisted folks DO, but it should not be over-torqued

Yes, it should not be over-torqued for the exact same reasons

Yes, that is correct

Yes, that is correct.

I just replaced front and rear bearings. When I look at rear splined bearing with no axle I go hmm, no torque. Ok. It’s all good

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