Hi cocoa217. Welcome to the forum. With the older Chrysler style pressed-in bearings from the 1980s, you could tell which one was noisy by observing which direction you turned to make them louder or quiet. That doesn't work with the bolt-on style. With the pressed-in bearing, you had to destroy it to remove it but luckily there was never a need to remove it except to replace it. The good news with the bolt-on style is if you replace the wrong one, you can put the old one on the other side.
The only way I found to tell for sure which one is noisy is to raise the vehicle off the ground, run it in gear, and listen next to each one with a stethoscope. One of them will seem to be making a light grinding noise, (remember, there won't be any vehicle weight on them), but then the other one will obviously be louder. I had to do this many times as the alignment specialist at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership. It always worked on the various trade-in cars too.
The torque spec for the axle nut is in the service manual but the new hub assembly will come with a sheet of instructions too that lists the value they want you to use. A typical value is 180 foot pounds, but a lot of GM vehicles go as high as 240 foot pounds. Don't put any weight on the wheel / bearing until that nut is tightened or the new bearing will instantly become noisy too.
Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 AT 2:08 AM