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  #1  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:12 AM
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05 CDI wheel bearing question

During a recent tire rotation, my indy noticed the front wheel bearings had some play (140K miles on them). He checked, repacked, and adjusted them. I asked him if he uses the a dial indicator to set the adjustment and he said yes.

Within 100 miles the bearings are now growling. Could it be that the bearings were already shot when he readjusted them, and once adjusted correctly they're revealing that fact with the noise? Or is it more likely the indy over tightened the nut when reinstalling, causing the failure? Could the bearings fail that quickly?

My indy wants to replace the bearings (using SKF parts and Mobil 1 grease). Should I let him?

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  #2  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:22 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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If they were shot before he packed them they would have growled then too, IMHO. Growling means they are shot now but I would worry that he overtightened them and will do the same with the new ones. its not rocket science. I've never used a dial indicator and have never ruined a bearing from overtightening it.

Pack them, adjust them tighter until the wheel won't spin freely then back off until it does without rocking any when you grab the edges and try to wiggle it. Easy peasy.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2016, 01:30 PM
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Use the indicator gauge, they are very touchy and spindles are expensive.

On my W210, I heard a very slight noise, one time only, and before I could pull over the spindle was fried.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2016, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAllison View Post
Use the indicator gauge, they are very touchy and spindles are expensive.

On my W210, I heard a very slight noise, one time only, and before I could pull over the spindle was fried.
Yikes! That doesn't bode well for me... I'll report back once I get the results from the shop.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2016, 04:07 PM
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I don't know how your bearings are arranged on your particular Car.

But, things that Mechanics have been know to do or not do is Pack the Bearings with Grease and along with that I know someone who had Wheel Bearing Changed and they only shoved a bunch of grease in the Hub but did not apply any Grease to the bearing.

The Mechanic might have lied about using the Dial Indicator.

On My year and model in order to pull the inner Front Wheel Bearing you need to remove the Seal.
Normal procedure is to replace that Seal. If they did not replace the Seal there is a good chance that they did not pull the Inner Bearing out and repack it with Grease.

If the old Seal was reused it could have allowed crud to get into the Wheel Bearing.

When I looked up wheel bearings for you vehicle they had the bearings themselves but also a complete hub with bearings and just a hub with bearings for the rear. The Rear Hubs are supposed to be replace when worn but I am not sure what is going on with the Fronts.

A person that has access to a Manual could post that information.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2016, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
If the old Seal was reused it could have allowed crud to get into the Wheel Bearing.
Very good point. Seals would need to be replaced on the W211. It wasn't line-itemed on the work order from the mechanic's prior adjustment, so now that I think about it, I doubt he replaced them.

We got a bunch of snow and ice just after the work, so if the seals were reused and leaky it was just about the worst possible weather conditions. I will confirm he's ordering new seals for the job!
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2016, 04:16 PM
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When I look at Autozone I see a one piece front wheel bearing and also the typical inner and outer wheel bearing set.

So that makes it even less clear.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2016, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAllison View Post
Use the indicator gauge, they are very touchy and spindles are expensive.

On my W210, I heard a very slight noise, one time only, and before I could pull over the spindle was fried.
The w210 is surely well insulated and hearing noises is quite hard but in any case the usual cause of wheel bearing failure is worn out grease, specially in winter time, synthetic grease is a good option as it will work even in very cold weather.

I repack my car's bearings when its time to do a longer service like changing ATF, fresh, new grease is better than spent out wax looking grease.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2016, 05:21 PM
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I imagine the 211 and 210 fronts are similar. My story:
Check those front wheel bearings
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2016, 05:59 PM
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I had a catastrophic wheel bearing failure on my 211. The race welded itself to the spindle, and there was nothing left of the bearing. The brake caliper was holding my hub on. I was less than a mile from home and I limped home. The spindle was destroyed and I had to replace it. I will say I never had a catastrophic wheel bearing failure before, so I will consider the 211 to be weak in this area...but I will also admit that it had been too long since I checked them. I've increased my inspection frequency since then. The vehicle probably had 160k miles on it at the time IIRC. It was a few years ago.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2016, 06:23 PM
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I'll typically service front wheel bearings every time I change front rotors. In the old days you had to deal with the bearings every time you changed rotors so they got serviced. Nowadays the way the rotor is removable from the hub ppl just replace the rotor and don't deal with removing the hub and service the bearings.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:48 PM
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Even if a Dial Indicator is used to adust the Wheel Bearings you need to follow the proceedure.
On the W123 part of the proceedure is to run the nut down and tighen it up some (how much is in the Manual) and you rotate the Hub. You do that to squeeze out the Grease because the Grease can take up some clearance during the Dial Indicator use.

Before you use the Dial indicator you back off then nut and bong the Hub with a Plactic ended Hammer to loosening it before you start running the Nut back in to set the clearance.

I used to work with a buch of Mechanics they varied as to how much of the Manual proceedures they would follow and few would not follow the Manual. Some will also drink Alcohol during their lunch.

Those are also some of the reasons why DIY is so popular.You expect the Mechanic to do a good job but sometimes they do not and they have often learned to use your lack of knowlege to BS their way out of responsibility for the job and some of the really great BSers will find a way to get you to have more work done.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2016, 01:15 AM
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I did my wife's 2006 wheel bearing recently. The rear seal is funny. Has magnets in it for the wheel speed sensor. Problem is that either you can break magnets hammering it in or you can hammer it in too far and you get a esp abs fault and the car drives funny. This happened to me. Lucky I had the other seal for other side which wasn't bad yet so I pulled it off and was more careful with installing. It's a bad design because the seal will hammer flush almost but it is too far then. I think that's what happened to me. I left it about 1/16 inch out. My computer with my wiz manual broke so I couldn't read spec on that but somewhere here or elsewhere I found the info about breaking magnet and hitting seal in to far. I may have broke magnet too.

Other than that simple wheel bearing job. No press needed. I just went by feel and no dial gauge. I hate needing fancy tools for diy simple jobs. Rubs me the wrong way. but I'll try it one day and check my self for fun. so far so good after a 1500 mile drive to florida and back.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2016, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
Those are also some of the reasons why DIY is so popular.
If I had a heated garage I would attempt this job myself. Unfortunately, it's been sub-freezing here in N.H. lately and likely will be into the foreseeable future... so for now I am at the mercy of the mechanic.
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  #15  
Old 02-15-2016, 10:51 AM
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update

Took the car back to the mechanic. We went for a test drive and he said the noise was just from the tires and not the bearing(s). He noticed a wheel rim had a dent in it, and attributed the noise to that. Well the noise only got worse in a short time, so I made arrangements to take the car to an MB specialist about an hour away (a guy I trust and prefer to use, except for the distance and his limited schedule).

On my way there (on a 0 degree morning where it was a 3-hour wait for a tow truck), I experienced a catastrophic bearing failure. The spindle, of course, is toast. Should have left well enough alone -- there was no noise coming out of the bearings, play or not, before the local mechanic messed around with them. And I should have trusted my instincts on the noise: the front passenger side bearing on my W123 started growling a few years back when I owned it. Replaced it before any further damage happened. So I know what failing bearings sound like...

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