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rodsob 11-13-2003 03:21 PM

wheel bearing job. need special tools?
i hear a high pitched squeel when i drive. i suspect it is the wheel bearing because the pitch of the sound changes as the vehicle speed changes.
how do i determine which wheel is bad? it looks messy with all the grease involved, is it a hard job? do i need special tools?


Stevo 11-13-2003 03:56 PM


Are you sure its a wheel bearing, is the squeel REAL HIGH piched?, it so, for me, it was a sticking brake calliper. Mine would come and go then once is was still squeeling when I pulled up infront of the house. I jumped out and felt all the wheel covers, right rear was hot, BINGO:cool:

Zoonhollis 11-13-2003 06:07 PM

It is not a difficult job; I did mine last week. The hardest -- or most tedious -- part was removing the brake caliper and flushing the brake fluid, and then bleeding the brakes without assistance.

Be sure to measure out the appropriate amount of grease for each wheel: 60 grams per side. It's also important that you form a "dam" on the lip of the hub in between each bearing, in order to keep the heated grease from flowing away from the bearings. Also, put copious amounts of grease in each bearing...until you see it squeezing out the other side as you pack them.

It's a fun job, though potentially messy; I suggest disposable rubber gloves.

samiam4 11-13-2003 07:22 PM

Not very clear yet!

Front of the car- easy just like any other car. Noting, that they suggest a dial indicator for setup. Most people say they can set them up by feel- but ussually error loose.
Mercedes does specify a special grease. You need to make sure you get all the old grease out.

Rear wheel brgs... It's more advanced and I'd probably say NO.


bjcsc 11-13-2003 10:40 PM

When I did mine I hung the brake caliper from the sway bar with a piece of wire. To hell with disconnecting the line and having to bleed it! Easy job if it's the front. You'll need an allen wrench (6mm if I remember correctly) to loosen the axle nut locking bolt, a 19mm socket and loctite for the brake caliper bolts (there are two), a 15" or larger adjustable wrench for the axle nut, some brakeclean spray to clean the disc up after you're done (greasy job), and a piece of wire to hang the caliper with. The front bearing will fall out in your hand. Then you can use a large screwdriver to punch out the back bearing and seal once the hub is removed. Be carefule not to get any debris or dirt inside the hub, on the bearings, or in the grease, or you have to clean out all the grease and start over. The original grease dam should remain intact unless you disturb it, in which case it is readily apparent how to repair it. Keep it clean!

djugurba 11-13-2003 11:37 PM

try the wall test
Try driving close beside a wall with the window down on the side of the wall. If it is a wheel bearing, you should be able to tell by the noise coming from just one wheel. It will not appreciably change pitch with application/release of the brake pedal, but will change with speed. At higher speed, it can be as loud or louder than the engine- almost sounds like you've got mud tires on the highway or something. There are a few tests in the manual regarding supporting the car on jack stands and testing for lateral play and a few other things. They work well...

Fronts are easy, I did mine with my sister's pathetic tool kit and her crappy jack when I bought the car prior to driving it from NJ to GA. I've not done rears on the mercedes yet. just volvos. hmm.

Ditto the above; hang the caliper per the haynes manual instructions- don't bother bleeding and such.

Mercedes sells a proprietary wheel bearing grease- green I think, but at the risk of being shunned from the board, any high temp wheel bearing grease will do (red, castrol?). Make sure to work the grease into the races very well. Gloves won't work for this job, you must get your hands dirty.

My bearings came in a machined metal protector that I was able to use with a mallet to press the bearing. Better than pressing it in unevenly!

Wear dirty clothes- you will get some old nasty grease on you.

It took about an hour- even having never done them before. I bet I'd be much faster the second time around.

Good Luck!

samiam4 11-14-2003 12:03 AM

I think on the grease things..

MB is real specific about NOT mixing greases. So clean the bearings throughly if you are changing. His car is pre-86 so it should NOT have the green grease. Which by the way is a shell grease developed for F-18 wheel brgs. Darn good synthetic grease. Old style was probably a F-16 milspec grease=0)


BoostnBenz 11-14-2003 08:55 AM

Not that it is the best idea but normally I just set the caliper on the rod between the two tierods. There is no violent hammering or such involved in taking the hub off so I've never had a problem with this. I use Redline Synthetic CV-2 grease, it has a dropping point of 900+*F. :eek: One of my bearings on one of the 300Ds had the mercedes green stuff in it but it seemed a little watery, other than that it seemed like great stuff.


Although Red Line CV-2 is compatible with small amounts of many petroleum-based greases, it is always good lubrication practice to thoroughly clean out the old grease to eliminate abrasive particles and to minimize the possibility of grease incompatibility.

Zoonhollis 11-14-2003 12:05 PM


Originally posted by djugurba
Gloves won't work for this job, you must get your hands dirty.

False. When I say gloves, I mean the tight-fitting synthetic surgeon's gloves. They work extremely well, and are highly disposable. But hey, if you want to get that greasy, knock thyself out...:(

Kestas 11-14-2003 01:57 PM

I don't think bad bearings give a high pitched squeal, they usually give a rumbling or moaning sound. Rodsob, when was the last time brakes saw maintenance? If the pads are still good, you may want to take the brakes apart, clean all the dust off, and put antisqueal paste or neversieze on the backside of the pads and on the other contact points. This should get rid of the squeal.

samiam4 11-14-2003 02:49 PM

MB brake paste on the cleaned sliding surfaces.

It always amazed me how I can "feel" the difference in the pedal.


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