Wheel Bearings

General Information

One thing that we should all be aware of is that the wheel bearings in FWD designs (and as used in the Fiero RWD) were not designed to have the cars weight on the wheels with the axle shafts removed. If the car is rolled on it's own wheels while the transaxle (and axles) were removed, you can expect that one or both of the rear wheel bearings have been damaged.

From: Lee Brown

Info - 1988 models

The 88's use sealed wheel bearings. I had to replace mine at 50K (but, I autocross). Many auto parts supermarkets have them for around $80.00 each. You can do this at home in your driveway with simple tools.

From: Randy Agee


To check, jack up the front of the car. Grab the tire at the top and bottom and rock back and forth. More than 1/8" movement spells trouble.

From: Randy Agee

Here is how I check bearings:

A little horsing around like this and you can likely isolate which wheel is the offender. Tires don't seem to get louder when loaded down to same extent as wheel bearings.

From: Peter Frise

The driver-side rear wheel bearing had gone bad on my '88 GT late last summer. It would make a noise similar to the one you describe. I took it to a shop that I have some confidence in and they were able to pinpoint the bad bearing assembly by lifting the car and running it in gear off the ground. By using a piece of steel rod and placing one end against the bearing housing, the other end against your forehead or behind your ear, you could definitely hear the "sh sh" scraping/grinding noise coming from the bearing while the car was running in gear. I compared it with the passenger side and it was completely silent. They replaced the bearing assembly, and an alignment was not required! You do not need to loosen any of the links (neither the lateral links nor the trailing link) that would require an alignment afterwards.

From: Derik Voigt

If the bearings are in good shape, you should be able to repack them and be done with the problem. I replaced the bearings (less than $15 per side) as I was already replacing the disk rotor and it comes with new inner bearing races.

From: Lee Brown

Removal and Installation

Removal - all models

This is a very easy fix to do. The hub itself is the same hub used with all the years. I just did an 88 GT with an 85 hub. So you can also save money by going to the junk yard. Tools needed are a lug wrench for the wheel, a 55mm torx for the brake assembly and the three bolt attaching the hub and a thiry mm deep socket at least half in drive w/breaker bar or some sort of lenght extension for the rachet (I use a pipe about 2ft long) bust and remove the nut and the hub should come out. You may need a puller though I didn't. While you have the hub out look inside the knuckle and check the seal that rides on the axel shaft as long as its not dry from lack of lubrication or deteriorated it should be ok. Reverse the disassembly process and your done. I must caution you that the e/brake assem. can be tricky to reassemble if you don't have the right tools. But if your creative there are way to achieve this with screw driver and pliers. If you choose to do this your self take your time and pay attention.

From: Terry Carter

Installation - 84-87, non-sealed

  1. Tighten the spindle nut to 12 lb. ft. while turning the wheel forward by hand to fully seat the bearings. This will remove any grease or burrs which could cause excessive wheel bearing play later.
  2. Back off the nut to the "just loose" position.
  3. Hand tighten the spindle nut. Loosen spindle nut until either hole in the spindle lines up with a slot in the nut. (not more than 1/2 flat).

From Pontiac Service Manual

Sometimes I repeat steps 1 & 2 a couple of times, but that's just me.

From: Scott Backer

[Top] | Online Service Guide Main Page