Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement

Tonight I cleaned up the rear axles and loosely installed the new rear wheel bearings. I will need to take the axles to a machine shop to have the bearings pressed on but for now I just re-assembled everything in the correct order so the machinist will be able to press fit everything in the proper place.

All of the parts I needed to rebuild the rear axle bearings I obtained from Nissan. Unlike with the front wheel bearings, the rear bearings are specific to this application and therefore there is no cross-reference part number, i.e. you have to order the bearings from Nissan rather than just buying the correct part from a bearing supplier.

I cleaned up the ends of the axles using a scouring pad and some Simple Green, then applied two coats of paint. The paint I used was Eastwood‘s Chassis Black in gloss, which matches the paint I’ve used on the differential and some other places on the frame that couldn’t be powdercoated. I sprayed on the first coat and then re-coated after fifteen minutes, per the instructions on the can.

Because the left side axle had two shims where it connects to the differential housing that I plan to replace when I re-assemble, I marked the left axle using a small dot of white paint so I don’t confuse it with the right side.

When the paint had dried I began re-assembling the wheel bearing parts. I ordered all of the parts I needed from Everything Nissan, two of each shown. I assembled the axles with the wheel lugs downward, which is opposite to the way I disassembled everything. Consequently I was working from the outside of the axle (closest to the wheel) inward.

The first parts I added were the new grease catchers, part #43234-18401 priced at $5.25 each. I slid them down over the axle with the flat surface upward, and then seated the part over the axle where it fit tightly in place.

Between the grease catchers and the backer plates is a small gasket-like packing material. The packing, which is Nissan part #43239-H5000 ($0.48 each) has holes that line up with those in the grease catcher, as shown below. I dropped the packing onto the axle and over the grease catchers.

Next, on went the rear brake backer plates. The “prongs” and surfaces where the rear brake cylinders and adjustors mounted where oriented upwards. The backer plates had four holes for the bolts that attach each axle to the differential case, as do the grease catchers. These four holes are useful for orienting the grease catchers with the backer plates.

The next part in the sequence was the new wheel bearing spacer, which is Nissan part #43070-01L00 and cost $1.83 each.

The spacers had a bit of a slope to them, which enabled them to seat firmly over the curved ridge of the axle surface. They went on so that their recessed outer edge was facing downward so they would lock over the ridge in the axle.

Next I added the rear wheel bearings themselves. The bearings are Nissan part #43215-08000, and cost $34.35 apiece. Expensive, but there are crucial parts. I should never have to replace them again provided I repack them with grease regularly. I just dropped the bearings into place where they go in this sandwich; the machine shop will press them down and permanently into place.

Finally I added the new collars, which will be pressed into place above the bearings. The collars, part #43084-10600, were $13.63 each. The pressing on and off of these components causes the metal to flex, so for safety I would never consider re-using the old ones.

Here is the assembly ready to go off to Bishop’s Automotive Machine Shop for the final pressing.

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