Datsun 240Z Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Datsun 240Z Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Replacing the front wheel bearings is a great do-it-yourself project and can be done in a few hours (if you happen to have everything you need handy).  My symptom was a vibration in the front end that I thought was out-of-balance wheels/tires.  Problem remained after balancing.  I did not follow the factory recommended process for tightening and testing (the fish-scale).  Replaced the bearings and torqued everything as spec’d and – smooth as glass!

Bearing anatomy

Datsun 240Z Front Wheel Bearing

Tapered Roller Bearing

The 240Z uses two ‘single-row tapered roller bearings’, one inner (larger) and outer (smaller). Each bearing is made up of two major parts – the ‘bearing’ itself (Inner race, bearings & retainer) and the outer race (or cup).  The outer races are a tight, press-fit into the wheel assembly.

Datsun 240Z Front Wheel Bearing & Dust Seal Locations (Black Dragon)

Wheel Bearing & Dust Seal Locations (Black Dragon)

Parts needed

QtyDescriptionMSA #Black Dragon #
2Inner Bearing23-450160-600
(both bearings & dust seal)
2Outer Bearing23-4502
2Dust seals23-4510
2Cotter Pins23-4578
LotsBearing Grease
OptionalBearing/Race driver
Shit-loadPaper Towels
1 canSolvent/parts cleaner

Per junkman on “You can use any brand name bearing (i.e. Timkin). A bearing house can match the old one by number or by taking a measurement. The bearing house will also be less expensive than a parts store.”

Optional Tools

Bearing Race & Seal Driver Kit

Many will tell you this kit is not necessary.  And it is not.  You can make your own tool, you can use the old bearing/race/seal to drive in the new one.  You can use a large socket, or piece of pipe.  But the tool makes it clean, neat and easy.  If you’re planning to do more than a couple of races/seals, then this kit will pay for itself the first time you don’t F-up a seal.

Another plus, the driver ‘disks’ are aluminum – which means they are softer than the steel bearings – therefore less likely to mar/dent/scratch them!

Harbor Freight Bearing Race & Seal Driver Set

Harbor Freight Bearing Race & Seal Driver Set

Datsun 240Z Front Wheel Bearing Replacement - Bearing Races & Drivers

Bearing Races & Drivers

Bearing Grease Packing Tool

There are a couple of variations.  This tool is also optional – the old load-your-palms-with-grease-and-ram-er-in-there approach is quite valid.  I prefer the tool to ensure a good, thorough application of grease.  A lot cleaner than the ‘palm’ approach.

Bearing Packer

All The Parts

Here’s all the parts as removed from one wheel, placed ‘in order of appearance’.  You will re-use the special washer and castle nut.  Use a new cotter pin.


The Process

There is a most-excellent photo description of the process on the Atlantiz Z club website.  No need to duplicate it here!

[stextbox id=”alert” caption=”Caution when inserting the outer bearing races!”]Exercise caution when installing the two outer bearing races – you can put them in backwards – that would mean a really great chance to f-them-up when you try to hammer them back out.[/stextbox]

Driving out the races

FA-17 Removing Outer Race

Wheel Bearing Adjustment

Tightening Castle Nut

Grease Points

This turns out to be a lotta-grease!


Helpful Tips

From tlorber on Classic Z

“When you drive out the inner bearings, make sure to alternate tapping/pounding around the circumference of the bearing race. Otherwise you will bind the race.

Also, when you have replaced the wheel on the car, take it for a drive, doing some hard turning and then check the tightness of the hub on the spindle.
When I replaced my fronts, I didn’t drive the inner bearing race in deep enough. As I drove the car, they moved deeper into the hub (where they should have been) and created space between the castle nut and the outer bearing race.”

From mlc240z on Classic Z

“Since you’re replacing the races, beating on them is often the easiest/fastest way to remove. You don’t really care if you bugger it up. A little PBlaster or Liquid Wrench helps.

Get the new race started with whatever you have (small block of wood or metal bar) and drive it in flush. Just tap evenly around the race in small increments, don’t try to strong arm it in with one shot.”