To adjust the wheel bearings I had to lift the front wheel intothe air, then the tire. Then using a 3/8 " socket extensionabout 6" long and a hammer I tapped on the wheel bearing cover from the backat 3 points 120 degrees apart. I gently tapped on one spot then rotatedto the next spot, in a circle until the came off.
Technicians often use the term, packing the bearings to describe this service. When we pack the bearings, we also need to properly adjust them. Adjusting serviceable wheel bearings is something that normally does not get much thought. Even many experienced technicians do not adjust wheel bearings properly. When improperly adjusted, premature failure is the normal result. Severe damage can occur, to the bearing, hub and spindle.
A properly adjusted wheel bearing should not have any noticeable play, but there must be a little bit. Most cars have tapered roller bearings in two places: the front wheels (or more precisely, the non-driven wheels) and the transmission/differential system. Those in the power train are normally torqued to 100+ lb/ft, while those in the wheels are not torqued at all. You can't look at the bearings and tell them apart, but if you screw up the preloading/free play on the bearing, failure is certain. The only difference is a matter of a very few degrees of angle on the rollers and races.