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  #1  
Old 07-14-2009, 10:08 AM
frankstallone's Avatar
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Thumbs up 1987 300TD Rear Wheel Bearings | W124 | T124

I have been reading all morning a few threads about noises people have been getting from the rear of their wagons or W123/W124 sedans. Although some have been for diff. reasons other were rear bearings and I suspected my noise was the rear wheel bearing after the the indie (Bill Denson's in Central NJ) said the front bearings were just fine.

I had a VW with a bad front bearing and the noise drove me nuts, this time around I know better!

Anyway from what I have read through the one thing that keeps bringing me back to it being the passanger side rear wheel bearing is because of this certain fact. I hear the noise over 45MPH, its a moaning that doesn't change pitch really just loudness as I get faster. Making right turns at higher speed taking the weight off the opposite side keeps the noise steady, however making left turns at higher speeds (highway to highway no ramps) and the noise disappears almost completely. This leads me to believe the driverside rear wheel bearing stops making noise when the load is taking off the wheel by putting all the weight on the passanger side of the car (during left turns).

I am sure most will agree it sounds like the rear pass. wheel bearing and I am in no way able to DIY.

  1. Anyone in the NJ area know a good indie to go to for a quote?
  2. How much should I expect to pay?
  3. Should I do both wheel bearings?
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Last edited by frankstallone; 07-14-2009 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Fixing incorrect weight distribution
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:21 PM
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2: I was quoted between $250 and $750, the high end being the dealer and the low end I would assume didn't know how to do the job and would botch it, ... certainly didn't have the special tool for the bearing.

3: No. I had one bearing go bad on my '91 TE at around 60,000miles, never had another one. Same thing on my '85 quattro, one around 60,000 and never another in over 200,000miles. These bearings can last "forever" but not all do. The replacement can also go bad. I do suggest inspecting all of the bushings in the suspension, and especially the wheel-carrier bushing at the joint between the wheel-carrier and lower control arm. These lower bushings are not expensive but pretty much a common failure item, ... while the wheel is off you can replace both as easily as just the wheel bearing.

My rear wheel bearing was so bad in my '87 that it pressed apart instead of out.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:33 PM
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@Jeff - Thank you for your advice and for sharing your experience! I really do appreciate that.

Driving back home today I realized that what I said above was backwards and need to change it. When I make left turns at higher speeds the noise goes away that part was correct but the weight goes to the opposite side so really the weight is being taken off the rear driver side bearing making it that one that needs to be replaced not the pass. rear.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:59 PM
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the 'book rate' for this is 3HR per side i believe, or something pretty close to that. the bearing kit is about 150.00. this is a job that you're not supposed to be able to DIY without MB tooling, but it is possible, i know because i did the rear bearings on my car without special MB tools. that said it wasn't easy and i had help from an MB tech who knew the job well so he helped me figure out improvised tooling to get the bearing off the stub axle. the DIY job tool a lot longer than 3HR per side.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:18 PM
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In that bearing cartridge, IIRC, there is actually an outer and inner bearing (mine came apart on removal). Swerving/turning will change how the load is distributed between the two bearings, likely only one is bad (but replaced as one cartridge).

Removing the axle from the bearing is simple, remove the nut and give it a nudge with a brass mallet. Removing the bearing from the bearing/wheel carrier takes a press or "special tool".
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:08 PM
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Look in the DIY resources tab, there is a good pictorial of doing the
W123, W126 and one for the W124.

Charlie
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:08 PM
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Removal and installation of rear axle shaft flange with angular ball bearing.
http://www.ps2cho.net/downloads/MB%20CD/W124/w124CD2/Program/Chassis/35-130.pdf

I looked the above up to see if he could tell which side is bad by using a Dial Indicator to check the end play on the bearing.

However, it does not appear that you need one when replacing the Bearing.

Although; you could use a Dial Indicator to check both sides and if one side is obviously looser than the other side it might be a good guess that it is the side that has the no good bearing.
At Harbor Freight a Dial Indicator and Magnetic Base can be had for $20-$30.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:43 PM
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Just so everybody knows it SOUNDED like it was the rear wheel bearing when in fact it was the front passenger side wheel bearing. (Closure)
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:23 PM
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For a good indy shop in NJ, I highly recommend Wolfgang's in Tenafly, NJ. I am new to MB Diesels, but they impressed me with their knowledge, professionalism, and attention to detail. Which is more than I can say for a lot of the BMW "expert" indy shops I've dealt with in the past 10 years.
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