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Post Info TOPIC: Front brakes & hub questions - 1957 Pathfinder


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Front brakes & hub questions - 1957 Pathfinder


Hi guys,

I was doing the brakes on my '57 yesterday and found out the hard way (when I opened the package containing the new drum I'm installing and compared it to the drum/hub I had just removed) that the hub is riveted to the original drum. I simply ground the rivets off, drove the drums off of the hubs and made them the same as modern cars, figuring the wheel lugs will hold the drums on. Every other car I've ever had has been this way over the years (both drum and disc brakes), can't see why it wouldn't work for this one.

In addition, when I removed the wheel bearings and cleaned 'em I saw that they are ball bearings, not the more familiar (to me anyway) tapered roller bearings. Some internet sleuthing tells me that some people have replaced the original style ball bearings (which seem excessively expensive online) with tapered roller bearings by using the hubs off of a mid sixties full size GM. Is this a good idea? Have others before me done it? I know there are kits out there to accomplish the same thing that run anywhere between $200 and $500, which seems a tad excessive to me. I'd rather find my own hubs in a wrecking yard and source my own bearings at the local bearing supply place - where I can pick and choose the better manufacturers that I prefer for the components that I want (SKB, Timken etc.).

Was it a bad idea to remove the hubs from the drums? Why was it done this way, is there something I missed?

For those of you that may have actually done this bearing swap - do you have part numbers for the required bearings & seals handy? I'm thinking I'll keep my eyes peeled for proper hubs to do this with over the next couple of years and just run what's in there (which seem just fine, after cleaning and repacking) for the next few seasons, until I have what I need to make the swap, since it's not a big job & can be done with minimal down time when the time is right. Are there specific models/years of GM vehicles I should keep a lookout for to take the hubs off of that might work better? Are there any to specifically stay away from that won't work?

Thanks! TheFrenchCanadian



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Luc, you are perfect dead on with all your comments and yes it makes total sense to up grade to taper bearings and not those junky ball bearings. I have upgraded to taper with my last two oldies, my 57 Pontiac and my previous 57 Chevy. I am trying to remember what car i pulled the hubs off to put on my Pontiac, keep in mind it would have been in 1996. I think it was a 1961 Chev Bel Air wreck in Dom's auto wreckers. Like you, i would never pay those stupid prices for two new complete assemblies. Find a couple of old hubs and put new taper bearings in them. The only good thing about having riveted drums on hubs is that if your wheel ever came off for any reason, you could ride on the drum and pull off the road. With out the rivets the drum would fly off and the amount of damage would be unreal. A good case and point to makes sure your lug nuts are always tight. Ask me how i know this, well..... in 1983 i had a 1956 Chev 210 sedan and on the 401 the wheel flew off and i rode on the drum to pull over. Unfortunately when the wheel came off, the fender went down on the wheel and damaged the fender very badly. In case you do not know this already, roller bearings have far less drag, can actually take a side load and are far low cost to buy over the junky ball bearings. Cheers and luck with the work.



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I have the Classic Chevy International binders with a bunch of the tech articles / upgrades. I'll take a look to see what hubs are to be used when converting to roller bearings. I seem to remember mid-60's Chevy, as I actually grabbed a pair from the wreckers about 20 years ago, but they got tossed as I'd sold the car and moved a couple years later.

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I found the article, it mentioned everything except what hubs need to be used. So I did a little digging.
1961 - 1968 Full Size Chevrolet roller bearing hubs need to be used.

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With the 61 - 68 hubs, here are the additional parts required:
All SKF part #'s.
Inner bearing: BR6
Outer Bearing: BR2
Grease Seal: 18543



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Good work Clint! He shouldn't have any trouble finding those hubs 'round here...

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That's all great info, thanks for the help (as usual) guys! Much appreciated.

TFC

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