Front wheel bearings?

Wheels & Brakes

6 replies in this topic | 2,284 reads

My 1972 Oldsmobile W30 drives really nice..sort of. I do noticed quite a bit of play when I drive down a straight road around my home. I don't hear any usual noises, but depending on how the road dips, I get the feeling the car wants to go whatever direction it wants a little. This is on more worn out roads then nice flat new ones. I suspect to be the front, driver side wheel bearing that needs to be replaced. I've never done this before so I figured I would do by best to document this.


I jacked up my car on the driver side and tried to shake the wheel. There is minor play going up and down and a ton going left to right. A friend of mine told me north and south means new ball joints / tie rods, and east to west is wheel bearings so I'll probably be doing it all. Here is a video for reference.

It will probably be a few days before I can get to get to the parts store. I'd like to get time to take my wheel apart to see whats in there and make sure I get the right stuff as well.


Just wanted to stop by for a quick update.... its not the bearing. I bought new rotors and just replaced everything. Knowing what I know now I definitely jumped the gun on that and would have realized it was never there to start with. I'm still trying to make sure I know what parts to get next; tie rods, center link, idler arms, all of the above.... Here are some video of me moving stuff around to localize the issue. Feel free to provide input. I'm getting great information from guys over at CO as well.

Car is jacked, shot of driver side.

Car is jacked, shot of the underneath while wheel is being rotated.

Car is jacked on drivers side under suspension. Wheel is on the ground still, but high enough for me to push around. Shot of driver side outer tie rod.

Car in same position as 3rd video. Driver side idler arm and center link.


I saw your posts on CO. It's almost never the bearing. The best thing to do is just replace everything. My whole front end was redone before I got the car but I had a ton of play in my steering. I replaced the steering box and rag joint and it's like driving a new car


I'm about to start a new thread just because of the new information thats come up. So far most are saying and idler arm and center link. Those parts aren't too expensive in that I may just replace those and see where I'm at. I would sure hate to do that only to find out its not the issue though...


Were you able to finish this build? Have you replaced all the bearingsgear wheel and other suspension partsor did you redone thewhole front end?

gOLD55 wrote:

Were you able to finish this build? Have you replaced all the bearingsgear wheel and other suspension partsor did you redone thewhole front end?

I did end up replacing the center link and idler arm which drastically fixed the problem. I feel like there is still a little more play then I would like so I think the tie rods will also need to be replaced. Maybe a winter project? Car is very driveable the way it sits, I just want to get it up to par with what it should be.


Try leaving one wheel on the ground, when you move the jacked up wheel, it will help you determine what parts are moving easier. You get more movement when both wheels are free to move. If that makes sense.

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