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Front Axle Torque Spec


New Member
Hello Gang,

Happy Happy, Merry Merry...

I have a Bucket with a 49 - 54 Chevy Spindle and can't recall what the axle nut torque spec is supposed to be. I just finished balancing :D what are supposed to be "pre Balanced" wire wheels and now its time to put the wheels back on. Any help would be appreciated.


I guess like everything else, there is a torque spec for these, but we simply tightened them down till they felt good then backed off a tad. Kinda shadetree, but it is all I have done for the past 45 years or so.

What I do is tighten the spindle nut up by hand so it snug.

Then I set bearing preload by tightening up the spindle nut with a large socket (or you can use pliers) until its tight while turning the hub by hand. (but not so tight that you lock up the wheel). Once tightened, loosen it up 1/2 turn, then hand re-tighten the spindle nut as tight as possible... turn till it lines up with the slot to install the cotter pin.
Thanks Guys,

Seems like you both have a similar methodology. The last time I did this, I did a Google Search and found a site with info right away, but I am not able to do so this time. I somehow recall the numbers being 15 - 20 Ft Lbs, but I am not positive.

Thanks again,

15-20 Lbs I believe is way overkill, and dooming your bearings to a short life. I may torque your nut down to 15, but then you need to back it off and tighten the nut by hand. All you want to do is get the play out of the wheel, so you don't get any "bump" in the bearings when you push in and out on the top of your wheel to check for play. Run the car around the block a few times and re-check for play, and that is it. I would never "torque" an axle nut to anything, no matter what I was otherwise told. We do it the same way even here at my big truck shop on tractors and trailers that pull 40 tons.......hope that will help.
As I remember it, taper bearings snug up turn the wheel re snug install cotter pin, ball bearings snug up turn the wheel re snug back off just a little install cotter pin.
I have always set wheel bearings by using a deep socket i can get my entire hand on tighten by hand, Then remove the socket and advanced the nut to the next cotter pin slot on the nut to the next hole in the tight direction, on 5-6 slot castle nuts.Drive and check by removing cotter pin and see if the nut can be advanced to the next hole by hand. This is sometimes required after a wheel bearing change. Most heavy preload applications are are for angular contact bearings. Wheel bearings are tapered roller. If any torque specs were applied inch pounds would be more likley. Preload is normaly the pressure applied to the center cone that causes all the bearings in the assembly to roll at the same rate. When one or more bearings in the assembly stop rolling this is called bearing skate and is simular to an airplane tire touchdown and at high rpm can shorten the bearing life.

My 3 Cents

I did as suggested and all is well. Just took her out and went 80 mph for the first time :lol: without wheel hop, which was caused by my imbalanced wire wheels.

Thanks again to all of you...


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