How do YOU tell if a wheel bearing needs replacement or just clean and re-pack? - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 03-14-2003, 06:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How do YOU tell if a wheel bearing needs replacement or just clean and re-pack?

Let's share tech tips, stories, etc.

For me it's easy if there is corrosion on the bearing or race, or if parts are pitted or obviously burnt.

But failing that, how do you tell?

Tapered roller bearings are all pretty sloppy anyway (cage and rolers) so that's pretty hard to gauge.

I hate to buy bearings I don't need, but I hate to waste good time and grease on bad bearings and have to re-do things.

Please don't say "just replace them anyway"...I'm looking for tech tips
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Check this link:
bearing wear
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If they are making an ungodly sound, are dry, full of dirt, and the hub has any water in it (or any of the above).. so you can see the bearings are rusted, hence why they are terribly annoying to drive (listen to them on the road) then it's time to replace...

Also like you said, if the races are pitted or carroded or grooved or smashed or bent..... they get replaced too...


Normally though unlike you wanted to here... if they are dirty, or just starting to make a sound.. I`d rather spend $9 on the bearing and replace it just to KNOW it's new and I wont have to fix it or replace again soon.... the part is so cheap why not just stick a new one in there.. you can always try to re-pack them if you didn't have much money...
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the URL Ian! Great info
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When I jacked the wheel up yesterday and pulled the whole hub assembly off by hand then I knew they needed to be replaced
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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the part is so cheap why not just stick a new one in there
because to do all the bearings in my rig and trailer will cost $400, that's why!

Not to mention - some of the trailer's bearings are a bit funky, and I need to find (and pay through the nose for) a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere carrier bearing for the inner wheel bearings. Not impossible, but over $20 each.

Bigdude - LOL - I had one of those "moments"...for me it was noticing an extra 3-4" brake pedal movement as the caliper had to move the whole wheel/hub out 1" before any resistance was met....in this case I ended up purchasing a new spindle too !
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BillaVista

Bigdude - LOL - I had one of those "moments"...for me it was noticing an extra 3-4" brake pedal movement as the caliper had to move the whole wheel/hub out 1" before any resistance was met....in this case I ended up purchasing a new spindle too !
I was going 55 and all the sudden it jerked left, then right, then left again (road was empty and in the country so suck it safety nazi's ). Looked at the wheel when I got to work and noticed it was sitting at ~25 degree angle Trailered it home that night. This ones running me a new spindle, bearings, hub, and locking hub (my locking hub melted )
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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1. Jack up the vehicle .
2. Be sure the Parking Brake is not engaged!
3. Check the wheel bearing’s "play."

To do this, grab the tire with both hands, one on each side of it (top & bottom). If it is solid (without play) then you are done and your bearing is fine. If you can shake the wheel and feel play in the bearing, you should then proceed to visually inspect the bearing itself.
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Old 03-14-2003, 07:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BillaVista


because to do all the bearings in my rig and trailer will cost $400, that's why!

Not to mention - some of the trailer's bearings are a bit funky, and I need to find (and pay through the nose for) a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere carrier bearing for the inner wheel bearings. Not impossible, but over $20 each.

Bigdude - LOL - I had one of those "moments"...for me it was noticing an extra 3-4" brake pedal movement as the caliper had to move the whole wheel/hub out 1" before any resistance was met....in this case I ended up purchasing a new spindle too !
From your original post I thought you were asking how to tell if the wheel bearing or race needed to be replaced.. meaning one.. not why I shouldn't replace them on my entire rig..

If my entire rig had bad wheel bearings and races I would replace them all.. $400 yes steep but you fix the problem.. don't bandage the head wound unless you want to do it again, and again.. when you can fix the problem the first time.. that's what I meant..

If you can just repack them and/or just get new bearings (not races) then do it.... saves money which is good
(read above posts for how to know if you need new races/bearings)
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Old 03-14-2003, 01:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To me bearings are good or bad. I they look ?able then ditchem but as long as they aren't pitted or rusted then run them.
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Old 03-14-2003, 01:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've been told a good check is while holding the bearing vertically, on the bottom, squeeze the cage against the race. Doing this creates slack on the top side, if the roller is even with or below the level of the cage the bearing has excessive wear.
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Old 03-14-2003, 01:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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great time for this post............ my bearings are in great visual shape, but i tighten the large nut till they are tight but the wheel can still spin freely, but after about 3-4 days the tire is loose again, the nuts don't loosen off, the lock ring is there and works good, but it still loosens off, both sides, and i went though 2 sets of Wheel bearings on both sides already but that wasn't even the problem, i don't think.....i just keep tightening them every now and then......but its a pain in the ass.....
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Old 03-14-2003, 02:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mud-magnet
great time for this post............ my bearings are in great visual shape, but i tighten the large nut till they are tight but the wheel can still spin freely, but after about 3-4 days the tire is loose again, the nuts don't loosen off, the lock ring is there and works good, but it still loosens off, both sides, and i went though 2 sets of Wheel bearings on both sides already but that wasn't even the problem, i don't think.....i just keep tightening them every now and then......but its a pain in the ass.....

Sounds like your races aren't fully seated. As for the holding the bearing vertical that is one of the best ways to check a bearing for wear. There are also some pics if I can find them. Check a chiltons or haynes manual.
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Old 03-14-2003, 02:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally posted by 66CJdean
To me bearings are good or bad. I they look ?able then ditchem but as long as they aren't pitted or rusted then run them.
Pretty much how I feel.

When I was still running my dana 28, it went through a lot of bearings. I used to just buy new. However it was mostly the outer bearing that was going bad. The cage was usually visibly damaged where the end of the bearing would dig in. Occasionally the bearings would fall out. Eventually I started running the used bearings (old inner) I had laying around. I even quit changing the race unless it was visibly damaged. New or used, the bearings seemed to run about the same amount of time. ~1 year. I always run high temp synthetic grease.

My experience says bad bearings will almost always have visible damage. Rust is obviously bad, and pitted isn't good. Depending on the application, I would run a bearing that is slightly pitted.

On a trailer, or high speed apps, I would buy new if anything looked less than perfect.
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Old 03-14-2003, 02:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Bill,

doesn't your trailer still have "mobile home" axles? If so, you shouldn't need "special" bearings. Even most of those trailer axle bearings are generic sizes.

how to check if they need to be replaced:

Pitting, Glazing, Rust, nicks, scratches, basically anything I don't normally see/feel/hear on a new set of bearings.

If I replace one set on one side of the front end, I'll replace the other as well.
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Old 03-14-2003, 02:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Check the surface of the bearings and race.
If they are pitted or scarred replace them.
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Old 03-14-2003, 02:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm glad this came up too. I was going to post a few days ago but got sidetracked.

1. DO NOT buy the knuckle kit from Man-a-fre. The gaskets are lame and the metal seal plate that bolts to the front of spindle would not fit until I drilled out all the holes and THEN filed some of them after that. PITA.

2. Originally posted by TNTOY:
Example: My kingpin bearings are an SKF one which matches the factory ones perfectly. The only difference is that the SKF beagins had a steeper taper to them. Look at the difference in the thickness of the lip around the race... the factory Toy is on the left, my new SKF is on the right:



If anyone tries to sell you these bearings RUN! The bearings themselves might be fine, but wait until you try to get the races out. Because the races are thinner there is very little to hit on when trying to remove them.

3. Put the inner knuckle seal stuff on BEFORE the knuckle body.

Oh, and about worn bearings. I didn't see a pic on that site that looks like several I have seen. The race looks fine except that it is a grey color. I usually ditch them but maybe I'll try reusing one.

Sorry, I guess this is mostly Yota specific!
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Old 03-14-2003, 03:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nobody

When I was still running my dana 28, it went through a lot of bearings. I used to just buy new.
You ain't the only one, D28 bearings would be replaced once every 3 months and that would be a good time,

as far as checking them it's hard to say beside the obvious if they are more sloppy than normal then they need replacein
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Old 03-14-2003, 03:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Travis,

Yes it does. Here's what happened. I pulled the bearings and read the numbers, then looked them up on www.timkeninfo.com That's where I got the following apps and then called around for prices:

Outer Bearing
Koyo Hi-cap LM67048 $8.65
Apps
1988-2002 Camaro 2.8, 3.1, 5.0. 5.7 Warner T5, T5 World Class; 5 Spd.; frontCone
85-86 Mercury Capri 2.3, 3.8, 5.0 Warner T5, T5 World Class; 5 Spd.; frontCone
1988-2000 Pontiac Firebird any engine 5 Spd.Cone

Outer race
Koyo Hi-Cap LM67010 $4.19
Apps
FORD 1984-85 ESCORT 1.6, 1.9, 2.0, ; MTX-III; 5 Spd.Cup
CHEVROLET 1993-02 CAMARO 3.4 3.8 5.7 Warner T5, T5 World Class; 5 Spd.; frontCup
FORD 1984-94 ESCORT GT 1.8 MTX-III; 5 Spd.Cup
FORD 1986-90 TAURUS MTX-II; 4 Spd.Cup
FORD 1984-94 TEMPO GL MTX-III; 5 Spd.Cup
PONTIAC 1988-2000 FIREBIRD ; 5 Spd.Cup

Inner bearing
25580 $18.10

Apps
PLYMOUTH 1965 BELVEDERE L6 3.7 3687 Exc. Station Wagon and Taxi; Cone
PLYMOUTH 1966 BELVEDERE L6 3.7 3687 Exc. Station Wagon and Taxi; Cone , differential bearing
PLYMOUTH 1966 SATELLITE L6 3.7 3687 Exc. Station Wagon and Taxi; Cone

Inner race
25520 $ 9.10
apps
PLYMOUTH 1966 BELVEDERE L6 3.7 3687 Exc. Station Wagon and Taxi; Cone , differential bearing
FORD 1970 LTD V8 5.0 9.375" ring gear: WDR, WFH axles; Cup
DODGE 1967 W100 SERIES V8 5.2 8.75" ring gear: 1.75" pinion shaft OD; Cup


THEN

I did some looking through trailer catologues like www.championtrailers.com and www.dexteraxles.com and, it turns out, the 25580/25520 inner and LM67048/LM67010 outer are common and cheap as dirt. Looks like I can 4 complete sets locally for only $65 Cdn, so I'm going to replace the lot.

My "regular" bearing supply place.....aint anymore. them.

Cool thread though. And most understood, but just to be clear.....I WAS talking about visual inspection of a cleaned bearing....I would hope to be banned for asking how to jack up the tire and check for play....whoever posted that little gem
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