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1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
06-10-2017, 01:13 PM
Post: #1
1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
I have a 1996 Geo Tracker and threw the front right wheel bearing which tore up the rotor, break caliper bracket and the bearing wouldn't come off the hub.
The 1989-1995 spindle & hubs are not the same as the 1996 but it appears possibly the 1998 spindle & hub are the same?
Comparing part numbers on some Chevy/GM sites appear to be the same animal but then there are discrepancies on other GM sites Confused
If the '98 is the same as the '96 that increases my odds of locating the used parts from an auto wrecker.
Anyone know if these two years are compatible?

Thanks in advance...this has been a real headache for a week now and I lost time and money (bearing + press charge) having a new wheel bearing pressed into the hub of an older hub that an auto wrecker sold me that is the wrong year/hub, only to have to return the wrong parts to the auto wrecker with a brand new bearing in their hub. Sad
I've had a lot of problems with both auto parts people and auto wreckers with wrong parts especially with this 1996 year and even little things like 4 door versus 2 door (Different brake calipers for example).

They looked similar but somehow coming across this site on a very informative "bearing" page, I noticed some critical notes stating the spindle was changed in 1996.
http://www.fixkick.com/hubs/FW_BEARINGS.html

Thanks again!
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06-12-2017, 03:02 AM (This post was last modified: 06-15-2017 11:48 PM by fixkick.)
Post: #2
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
4wd, only, and non ABS all answers below (redux) Wheel bearing hub , parts crisis. (USA only, can't speak for Canada market or in Mexico ,nor Africa, markets)

my web site is 10years old +, and i have nothing to do with it now, others run it. (im only a customer now, ) To me it's echo of the past. long gone.
I used to restore cars, for years, and stopped that. (never quit my day job, ever, Electronics tech) but had a shop. and loved to rebuild these cars and others, in demand. ( I worked 4/10s day job so had lots of free time! lots....in fact...)
I'm 100% retired now, no cars like that anywhere in Texas. see one a month here on the road. (hey , wife, see that old Tracker? shock ! she calls them Geo Crackers,, LOL)

GM has horrid support on this car NOW. go there and read. (i See only 1998 pages as oldest and most parts are listed as DISCONTINUED) so that leaves what, USED parts or the $160 hub from SUZUKI real and new, correct year.
Suzuki has vast discontinued parts too but not even near as bad AS GM. Suzuki is far better but warning they do not list all parts instock on there stupid lame web site, you must call them and ask or get the real p/n from my book and search there.
and behold, wow its is there and wow 2 it is instock. gee. what a lame web site that is.... end rant. (Jeeps 100x better for sure)
the 1996 did not have the QUEER axle nut spring locks added in 1997 and only on GEO car, a very very good thing that.

the part you damaged I presume is just the main wheel bearing hub, and that is same hub on all 96s to 1998, 100% same if ABS just knock off that tone ring, and BINGO no more ABS.

the new hubs have an inner spindle hub, with roller needle bearings now, this is a fact, of other tell you lies, due to looking at hacked cars, well they are ignorant. of facts.
If you go to SUZUKI and tell them you have 96 Sidekick you get that answer. (lie to them , they will ask for VIN tell them you have no VIN, or forgot it, or learn to get real PN first and demand to buy by PN only, they will IF FORCED)
Yes, Geo owners are forced to do that, why own any GEO, begs the question?

if you read the GM parts list it shows same year changes, wois that any nder,? after all made side by side same day, same plant CAMI, one can see them swap , badges, (GEO) the under hood sticker tells you your GM car is A suzuki see that?
it is. (GM/Suzuki joint Venture in CAMI is the truth.) except plant shut downs for Refits and cars are made in AWATA, japan the VIN code tells you that, and we can discuss that... in fact some97 uses 96 parts, when they shut down, have proof.

http://fixkick.com/hubs/97-98spindle-locs.JPG



try CAR-PARTS.COM (with the dash there) and find them USA wide, best way there is.


let me be clear
1: some cars are hacked, I can't see yours, so,,,, yes, you can mix in wrong parts from wrong year cars, if you do it is SETS. (be super hard work and expensive, on both axles , with axles)
2: some wrecking yards, do not use Hallanders data base so cant answer accurately !! a fact, or only from random experiences.. (for example they never saw this car as it came new, omg, never? forget facts or mix up parts, endless reasons,... )
3: I see no stores in town that can sell you a aftermarket hub, nobody it seems wants to make parts for the now BUGGED out SUZUKI, but there are parts, like SMP (electr) and MOOG,struts, and other parts.(rockauto.com lists most of them)
4: many parts on the car were never ever made aftermarket. some key engine parts not, but water pumps sure, vast and belts.
5: 89-95 parts are wrong parts!, but you can see that main SPINDLE/ball joints part is the same for 10 years, just it not other parts there, nor that AXLE,
6: the bushing madness, well all i can say is it left CAMI with needles, for sure. I hold to that theory, as does the 2 official parts list from GM and SUZUKI , I have both.
The GM book, ONLY hints at some variances. says tell dealer specific application... under the Spindle hub/bearing listing.... (what they meant then, ive no idea, and is now lost in the sands of time, at GM)

A 1996 Geo can be made as early as in July,1st 1995 at CAMI, i sure hope on that day, it had 96 parts, many parts are to pass the USA rules, EPA and DOT. hard fast rules, one is side crash , structural , and OBD2, and many things, VAST !!!
Suzuki changed many splines on car, see my swaps page. and SPLINE key words..
the axles were changed.

To be more clear, why not look at your HUB, is it the 96-98 type? your 1990 photos show its wrong, and is. if your car was not HACKED, many ARE This OLD. now,it's and OLD CAR and SOME parts very hard to find,. (new) see my hard to find parts page?
if yes, then buy that only, buy and be real careful, many places mix up parts used on a shelf after full dismantlement.s... get photos, and look first.
The hubs changed many times. Why not buy a real parts list>? paper ones are now rare, but I have it and the EPC. I have the GM Ufiche,(micro film )
1996
1999
2001
and more.... on the later years the end axle locks are gone and the center of front axle locks inside with a solenoid, air pump drive. so no parts here are any good ,at all.

ask for numbers can do. if you ask Suzuki you must lie about car, due to question, one, VIN? oops. GM vins are ALIEN to SUZUKI., totally, Alien.


cheers and good luck. do not let people lie to you and say ,it had no needle bearings there, its a freakn lie.

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06-15-2017, 07:43 AM (This post was last modified: 06-15-2017 11:20 AM by Borntobewild.)
Post: #3
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
I live in Washington State.
I have a hundred fishing rods as I fish salmon, steelhead and saltwater fish...but don't have a single "Geo" pole...have to look into it. Big Grin
The saga (nightmare) continues...
1996 Geo Tracker, 4x4, no ABS and manual locking hubs.
Now I find out it's not only the model year of importance...but the date it's manufactured!
Yesterday I took a long drive to the Washington coast after pre-paying for a hub & spindle on a 1996 Geo tracker that was from the driver side figuring even though it was the wrong side available...what difference is that gonna make on basically a round part.
I was in heaven...finally after searching half the United States and British Columbia and buying the wrong parts here locally (that I need to take back yet)...I walked up and saw the coastal, rusty spindle & hub but still was over-joyed...
Until I looked at the backside of the spindle and saw the BUSHING!
1996...but the manufacture date on the car's door jam said made August 1995.
You gotta be kidding me!
I love these cars but the 1996 model is a nightmare!
If you ever know of anyone looking for a used Geo (Suzuki the same deal?)...tell them to STAY AWAY from the '96 model year...err they might find themself enrolled in a Narcotics Anonymous program. Rolleyes
I still have the 1990 parts (spindle, hub, rotor, caliper & caliper bracket) that I'm going to finally return today before maybe they have second thoughts about giving me back my $120.
I took side by side pics of the spindle bushing/bearing difference between the 1990 I ended up with and the 1996 that came off my car.
Also did the same with the two hubs that are physically different externally at least on the backside.
Took pics of the caliper brackets that are completely different because they put a smaller caliper on the 2 door models vs the 4 door model like I have.
This thing is a NIGHTMARE!
It should have been renamed Geo Nightmare in 1996. Big Grin

Thanks for your suggestion regarding car-parts.com as that had already been suggested by a couple peeps to me and I've been using it for the first time ever.
Great site but it's still a 1996 Tracker I'm looking for...and that doesn't always work either...I found out.

One location is Universal Auto Sales in Arkansas I contacted yesterday which he claims to have around 400 of these cars.
He pulled the parts I need and contacted me this morning.
I told him about yesterday's ordeal and asked him to check the back of the spindle which he did and turns out it had the bushing spindle also! Angry
So...there ya go...
He didn't know what the manufacture date the '96 model was he took the parts from at the time i asked him.
He said he'd get with his boss when he came in and that he had 13 years experience working with these cars (his boss).

I will figure a way to get these pictures on this thread...don't think you feature a picture uploading format so I'll either put them on my Facebook, which is set at public settings...or see if my old photobucket account is still functional.
It's kind of nice to have images of the differences in the two types of spindles and hubs.

I have a question for you...
Evidently you cannot use or substitute the older roughly 89-95 bushing type spindles with the bearing type on my 1996?
Same for the hub?
Or would that require changing the axle also to do that?

Also...would the 97 and/or 98 spindle & hub W.O. ABS work on my 1996?
I didn't really catch what you were saying there.
What are my options?
Have you ever come across what I've ran into that some '96 models have the bushing type spindles and some have the bearing type spindles depending on the manufacture date basically over riding the model year?

Thanks again and I'll get those pics on here ASAP.
I'd like to link some of these auto parts peeps especially ones specializing in Geo's/Suzuki's to this thread, your forums and your website in general as soon as I can get the images on here for them to see the difference.
I've already been asked for pics and told by others they'd send me pics once I pointed out to them the problems with the 1996 model year.

[attachment=664]


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06-15-2017, 08:12 AM
Post: #4
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
I had to resize my pics but still had some prob's uploading them.
Here's a couple more and I'll eventually resize the images of the bearing lock-nuts the mechanic that pressed my bearings buggered up by using a hammer & punch or chisel because he didn't have the bearing spanner lock-nut socket...just as you had mentioned on your website somewhere.
Did the image resizing.
Late 3 PM lunch and back to looking for my spindle & hub so I'll have wheels again.

One of the wreckers/recyclers I found through car-parts.com emailed me and another one...the one with the 400 Suzuki's or whatever called be back.
He seems to think that they didn't change the spindle from a bushing to a bearing in 1996 as the ones he's checked all had bushings in them and he's done this forever...has quite the inventory on his lot as well.
He thinks someone maybe put a 1999 front end or components on my car or something or other.
I just told him I found out from your site that they supposedly changed to a bearing in 1996 and a couple auto wreckers agreed to that after I told them and they checked it out.
I think it'd be quite a coincidence that your info shows a changed hub and spindle in 1996 and my 1996 has the changed hub & spindle you referred to.
However I've come across at least two 1996 Geo Trackers already that had a bushing type spindle in them.
This is more than a headache!

Curious to see what you say as far as the 1997 or 1998 spindle/hub compatibility with the 1996 model year.
Maybe I can find the right one off of one of those units.

I'll send the Arkansas gentleman the link to this thread whether he wants to get involved or not or just read it or at least look at the pictures I uploaded.
He's got a lot of cars...but does one of them have the rare gift I'm looking for? Tongue


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06-15-2017, 11:47 AM
Post: #5
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
they changed vast things, in 1996, all this is well know, and slines on shaft, ABS, the airbags.
and even in the transfer cast.
huge changes.
the part numbers on the hubs are all the same or 1996 to 1998
the ABS ring removes that is found, on one.

the 1996 car was made in July 1s 1995, at cami, they change models on that day, so that by december the car can comply with all usa laws, Vast for Jan 1st 1996. huge changes for many things.
do not confuse build date with model year.
I will look up now bearings, and other parts.
you do know there are many parts to match right>"?
the car is old, and like all old cars lots of bad swaps, its all part of the process, owning old cars,, and lots of hard work. to get it right.

i have the parts list. real, full from suzuki , every part,

if you went to suzuki they'd look, up in there data base to see if your car was special. like when they built them in JAPAN the year CAMI shut down for a refit.
but your car is GM car, made in CAMI, the VIN first digits tells you its, GM CAMI made. if is.

GM made the tracker side by side in the plant the same day.
how is to say , that GM run older parts on a car in 1996, Id bet you cant discover that unless you ask GM, then they say WHAT is GEO.?

I told all hubs same 96-98, (1999 and 2000s is a Vitara, and uses new parts and runs bearings there

in 1996 , new axles,
in 1996 , bearings fits inside spindle hub, its a fact, inter hub, is new too. the bear is, 28mm x 35mm x 16mm and same on 1999 and 2000 year.
those axle bearings and inner spindle hubs stayed until year 2000 at least.

way are you looking at 89-95 parts none of that fits your car, its a waste of time there.


the hub P/N is the same, in the book for both ABS and non ABS, the part comes with the ring, and the dealer says knock it off , i guess. ive never ever gone there and dropped $160 on a hub.
same p/n main wheel bearing hub, 4wd, 96 to 98
then same part number changed 1999 and again in 2000. in the book,

good news the Knuckle is same 89-99,
but the other parts must match each other axle,bearing inner,spindle hub and , outer wheel bearing hub , all that changed 1996, July1,95 build date, on door jam.
The 1999 Knuckle is not the same. all parts there different , mostly../

What GM did,I don't know, ever use there web page.


seen this ever, its free, (missing engine bits)
http://ge.tt/3fAfcf62/v/0

you will want that Im sure.
i have the Ufiche too (micro films) but no reader now,.

as you can see the parts changed at GM the same year, on the mark.
you can also see those part numbers GM there
and that bushing at GM (most parts there say discontinued, at GM online.
The on bearing is sold there but fails to say which one #3 or #11 sad no? and is $165 each,

id did the bushing search there and it goes , discontinued.
the spindle proves the pudding, 1996 is new spindle due to no more bushing , seen on the above page and seen on 10 GM online sites, all discontinued but i can search and prove the P/n changed in 1996. ending all speculation , (cept wrong parts on the car)










the bushing sized hanged, a bushing is a 1 form of a bearing, needles are also possible in later years.

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06-15-2017, 11:48 AM
Post: #6
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
buy a 96-98 hub,
it will fit.
if car is stock it fits.
the GM does not sell them now, in fact , they only list Chevrolet trackers now, 98 or newer, the word GEO is but a dream to them it seems. now.

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06-15-2017, 11:56 AM
Post: #7
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
Update!

It appears that the 97 & 98 Geo hub & spindle are the same as the '96?
Well at least the ones that came off my '96 with the copper needle bearing in the spindle versus the bushing?
So that opened the doors drastically searching adding 97/98 to the search with proper criteria. Rolleyes
I found a 1997 Geo Tracker down in Oregon W.O. ABS and 4x4...think it even had manual locking hubs and it's the right front and the entire knuckle assembly for a great price!
So I'm going to make the long drive tomorrow and hope it is indeed the right parts and not a rust bucket...and if the bearing seems to be in good shape still...bring her on back and bolt it on and save bearing replacement for another day...in the not too distant future.
Now that I have the spanner socket for the wheel bearing lock...I'll pull both sides towards the end of the month or maybe on July 4th if it ain't rainin' and git err done.
I don't have a press...so I'll just take the hubs off and have them press new bearings & seals on them.
If you read this by 8 AM or so Pacific Time let me know your thoughts but sounds like the 1997 should have the bearing type spindle and the same hub and maybe the only difference is that other type bearing locknut which I could always swap out with the older "normal" torque locknut with the holes that my socket fits...if I read you right?
Appeared you weren't to fond of that #40 type locknut but liked the #36 type better and swapped them out?
Or was it the snap ring on the end of the axle...or both?

There is a place in Medford, Oregon that manufacturers what they call a "Sidekick Spindle Nut Spanner Socket" which I bought for the spendy #50 + shipping.
Very good quality however and you might have noticed in the first picture I uploaded with the two side by side hubs I have (1990 & 1996).
http://www.fixkick.com/bbs2/Suzuki-bbs/a...hp?aid=671

Here's their site and socket and they do have new & used parts there as well specializing in these toys.
http://www.trailtough.com/index.php?page...&Itemid=53

Here's the pics I took of mine>


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06-15-2017, 01:16 PM
Post: #8
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
(06-15-2017 11:47 AM)fixkick Wrote:  they changed vast things, in 1996, all this is well know, and slines on shaft, ABS, the airbags.
and even in the transfer cast.
huge changes.
the part numbers on the hubs are all the same or 1996 to 1998
the ABS ring removes that is found, on one.

the 1996 car was made in July 1s 1995, at cami, they change models on that day, so that by december the car can comply with all usa laws, Vast for Jan 1st 1996. huge changes for many things.
do not confuse build date with model year.
I will look up now bearings, and other parts.
you do know there are many parts to match right>"?
the car is old, and like all old cars lots of bad swaps, its all part of the process, owning old cars,, and lots of hard work. to get it right.

i have the parts list. real, full from suzuki , every part,

if you went to suzuki they'd look, up in there data base to see if your car was special. like when they built them in JAPAN the year CAMI shut down for a refit.
but your car is GM car, made in CAMI, the VIN first digits tells you its, GM CAMI made. if is.

GM made the tracker side by side in the plant the same day.
how is to say , that GM run older parts on a car in 1996, Id bet you cant discover that unless you ask GM, then they say WHAT is GEO.?

I told all hubs same 96-98, (1999 and 2000s is a Vitara, and uses new parts and runs bearings there

in 1996 , new axles,
in 1996 , bearings fits inside spindle hub, its a fact, inter hub, is new too. the bear is, 28mm x 35mm x 16mm and same on 1999 and 2000 year.
those axle bearings and inner spindle hubs stayed until year 2000 at least.

way are you looking at 89-95 parts none of that fits your car, its a waste of time there.


the hub P/N is the same, in the book for both ABS and non ABS, the part comes with the ring, and the dealer says knock it off , i guess. ive never ever gone there and dropped $160 on a hub.
same p/n main wheel bearing hub, 4wd, 96 to 98
then same part number changed 1999 and again in 2000. in the book,

good news the Knuckle is same 89-99,
but the other parts must match each other axle,bearing inner,spindle hub and , outer wheel bearing hub , all that changed 1996, July1,95 build date, on door jam.
The 1999 Knuckle is not the same. all parts there different , mostly../

What GM did,I don't know, ever use there web page.


seen this ever, its free, (missing engine bits)
http://ge.tt/3fAfcf62/v/0

you will want that Im sure.
i have the Ufiche too (micro films) but no reader now,.

as you can see the parts changed at GM the same year, on the mark.
you can also see those part numbers GM there
and that bushing at GM (most parts there say discontinued, at GM online.
The on bearing is sold there but fails to say which one #3 or #11 sad no? and is $165 each,

id did the bushing search there and it goes , discontinued.
the spindle proves the pudding, 1996 is new spindle due to no more bushing , seen on the above page and seen on 10 GM online sites, all discontinued but i can search and prove the P/n changed in 1996. ending all speculation , (cept wrong parts on the car)










the bushing sized hanged, a bushing is a 1 form of a bearing, needles are also possible in later years.

I wasn't looking for 89-85 parts...they were sold to be because a lot of folks out there think they're interchangeable getting it confused with the knuckle is generic for all those years I guess.

I haven't done hardly anything mechanical since I was a little kid helping my dad.
My car broke, my only car and being a poor guy I'm attempting to fix it myself.
But it's been a nightmare.
I've learned a lot through this experience about GEO front ends though...and that was through your website and hands on experience with dealing with auto parts/auto wrecker people and internet sites trying to find the parts I need for this very oddball year.

I'm not getting notifications in my email for you or anyone replying to this...just had to go here and check.
Must not have my settings set right.
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06-15-2017, 01:22 PM
Post: #9
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
(06-15-2017 11:48 AM)fixkick Wrote:  buy a 96-98 hub,
it will fit.
if car is stock it fits.
the GM does not sell them now, in fact , they only list Chevrolet trackers now, 98 or newer, the word GEO is but a dream to them it seems. now.

Okay thanks.
I'm heading into Oregon tomorrow to buy the entire knuckle assembly off a 1997 Tracker, 4x4, without ABS.
I need the spindle also, not just the hub but I guess that is the same as the 1996 also?
For now if everything's right I just plan on bolting the knuckle on, (inserting the axle of course), swapping out caliper bracket, installing new pads, hopefully the rotor is in good shape or replace with a new one...and go from there.

Then replace both wheel bearings later to avoid this mess again.
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06-16-2017, 12:11 AM
Post: #10
RE: 1996 Geo Tracker Spindle & Hub same as 1998?
yes my notifications fail too, 1/2 the time. no idea why.
yes the 97 has spring locks and 98. that nut is spring device locked, GM only
the reason i down graded is simple, no wish to have 2x $150 tools to do 1 job. so down grade i go. its a cheap fix. 2 nuts, to jams, 4 screws.
maybe some july aug, build cars, 1995 in cami, (was it with a VIN with CAMI prefixes?) VIN 2CBN = CAMI !! is it? the end of the VIN is plant code, is it?
maybe one plant, made care with 95 parts, or say 1/2 way? IDK ?
there are many plates, Iwata, CAMI, and in EUROPE in 2 places.
when one plant shuts down (they did, for 2 reasons, STRIKES and REFITS) sure did, and things changed, on that day .
http://www.fixkick.com/specs/Body-TAGS/I...ation.html

my motto, fixing cars is easy but finding PARTS can be PURE HELL, and worst now with CHINA BS sold.(horrid)

ok the inner spindle is wrecked too, so buy only those with bearings needle. buy 97 or 98, and i bet most times its correct.

the 96 is ok, but the problem is 2 fold, swap hacks , and maybe early 96s had wrong parts, its only a theory,
ask the owner did you buy car new, (no) did you ever have front end axle work(yes) oops,


the 97 GEO is the the first car ever with axle NUT spring locks per my drawing i made mixing in all years, 96-98.
the problem with that , ONLY is getting that nut off, what I do is wreck the spring then with a large brass drift pin, bar, hammer the funny NUT< CCW off car, 160ft;/lbs it can be and hard.
these are CRUSH Bearing, in fact , not like any other bearing say like a boat trailer, looks same BUT ARE NOT in any way.

when crushed the clearance is .002" inches, (Timken specs it) so does KOYO.
the way to keep your axles bearings ok.
is when doing brake pads, we use a dial indicator on the bearing, (3 tests)
feel test, oops it's bad, never wrong. here. NO human on earth can feel .002" if you feel it , IT IS BAD.
dial indicator , shows its loose and bad. The page below , is Timken shows how long the bearing lasts set wrong, (not far)!!! hard cold facts, there, in a lab done, right.
and the rotation tests with fish scale pound gauge.
see my fish story here. it reads about 8lbs, this is how Samuri did it. and still works.
if you check bearings at PAD time the hubs do last forever, and all this grief ends....
test 4, gander test, if the grease the end bearing looks bad, well IT IS. use MOBLE 1 grease only, many greases now due to EPA meddling are CRAP, (warning )

http://www.fixkick.com/hubs/FW_BEARINGS.html#fish-story

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