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Grinding noise in rear

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  • Rear Axle: Grinding noise in rear

    57 Commander. I haven't driven more than 100 yards since I bought it last July. Heard growling noise in the rear when I did, sounded to me like axle bearings. I pulled the rear drums, when turning the axles by hand, I can hear noise and they feel rough. The left side more so than the right. I will be pulling the axles out soon. Any tips? Will I need new shims for reassembly? Who is the best source for bearings and seals?

  • #2
    You can pull the axles with the brake drums/hubs.

    The best source for bearings and seals is your FLV, Friendly Studebaker Vendor. The guys at the not-so-FLAPS will just have their eyes glass over if you go there.

    The shims you already have will work, but check the end play anyway. The shop manual shows the spec for end play. By my reckoning, the correct play is just barely noticeable, but you can notice some. Make sure both wheels are off the ground when you check end play.

    Make sure you put the key in properly. Put the drum/hub all the way onto a dry axle by hand as far as it will go. Slip the key in, with the taper in and towards the axle, so that the axle taper and the key taper compliment each other. Push the key in by hand until it is flush, or nearly so. DO NOT push it in further. Tighten the nut to specs.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


    • #3
      Roy has covered it well, but a few more comments. If you don't already have one, get a Studebaker Shop Manual. They are available as hard copy as well as on CD. There are some nuances regarding checking the end play, such as making sure the driver's side bearing is seated correctly prior to measuring the end play on the passenger side.

      Also, make sure you line the outer felt seal up using a hub prior to tightening it down. I use a hub that was salvaged from a bad drum/hub assembly to do this, but if youi are careful you can use your hub/drum assembly to do the line up. The seal can move around a little in the bolt holes, so it's best to get the seal centered correctly before tightening it down.

      Finally, do not lubricate the axle/hub taper when you reinstall the hub, they should be dry. The torque needed for the nut on the end of the axle is somewhat high.......150 ft-lbs if I remember correctly.
      Winston-Salem, NC
      Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


      • #4
        Sorry for the oh so overdue update, replaced both axle bearings and rear end is quiet as a church mouse.


        • #5
          It's always nice to have followups so others know what works.
          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup


          • #6
            What was the condition of the noisy bearings? Got some pictures?


            • #7
              I believe I still have the old noisy one, I'll check when I get home later today.