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Old 12-19-2006, 02:52 PM
Bob G's Avatar
Bob G
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Long Beach ,California
Posts: 276
How to use dial gauge bearing service

I mentioned in a post last night reguarding how simple was it to replace brakes . that I wanted to also change the brake pads in my 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300-E M103 ,but also repack the front wheel bearing as well.
Now I am a novis and this forum has taught me a lot about the world of Mercedes-Benz and how to properly service them Right!!

I have NO knoledge as to how to use a dial gauge to set the preload which I see in mentioned here in my return post and in the work shop manual. I am not going to start something that could jepordize the safety of my wife and my self and the mechnical reliability of this car.

I ask not to pose a requested for a manual of unnessary return post, but to fine prehaps a book that I can read that goes into dept on the use of a dial gauge to meassure preload when doing front bearing services on automobiles.

The only thing I do request is a brand of dial gauge and what accessories to look for to fit my 92 300-E? Other than that I donot want to be wasting anyones valueble time in writing me a term paper on this subject. I can learn my self and donot mine reading or buying the write tools to do the job.

Best Regards & a safe and speedy return of our military from over seas.
Bob Geco

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Old 12-19-2006, 03:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,160
FWIW, I would bet that out of 20 mechanics, maybe 1 or 2 would use a dialgauge to set bearing preload.
2007 C 230 Sport.
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:35 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 141
Dial guage

I've only been in the business 37 years and have not had the need to use a dial guage on front wheel bearings, After servicing tighten the locknuttill it bottoms out but with out much torque then back off the locknut 1/5 of a turn (from one lugbolt to the next).
Good luck
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: NB Canada
Posts: 1,173
I posted a thread awhile back on this subject, and there is a picture of the dial guage setup on the front rotor. Wheel bearing adjustment with dial indicator
If you read it, we got into some interesting math and correct use of the dial guage on the Mercedes. My shop manual does explain the how-to though and I stand by my procedure. I've had no bearing problems since setting them 2 years ago.
1986 560SL
2002 Toyota Camry
1993 Lexus
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: east coast
Posts: 1,255
this summer I replaced a front steering knuckle on my C-class, previously I had only done pads and rotors and shocks on my C-class (only car I had ever done this kind of work on).
I used this forum and google searches to get as much information as possible for the steering knuckle and bearing. I purchased a dial gauge, and as an experiment I tried to get the bearing to the correct tightness without the dial gauge, but it was only with the dial gauge that enabled me to get the correct tighness. I had no idea what it should feel like before attempting the job and the dial gauge was priceless for me.
I also ordered a bearing packer and brass punch and hammer plus a set of donuts to bang in bearing races.
The one mistake I made was stupidly installing the grease seal before installing the inner bearing/race. As a tip it is worth purchasing a spare grease seal or any item that is cheap.

I ordered a dial gauge from ENCO, I need to go into my paperwork to get the model. I'll probably never will use my dial gauge again, If you lived near me in baltimore I would let you borrow it.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:51 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: east coast
Posts: 1,255

dial gauge I ordered: Mitutoyo Dial Indicator 1" - .0005" (Enco Catalog #) 606-4725

Magnetic Base (Enco catalog #) 625-0335
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:12 PM
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General Purpose Geek
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: KY USA
Posts: 2,238
I bought a set of these from Harbor Freight a week ago on a big sale they had (And may still be having) - only $15 or so for the gauge and base. I'm not sure I would have been willing to invest more than that.

I have to change the front rotors on an 85 380SL which requires hub removal (the 86+ doesn't). I think an experienced mechanic should be able to do without one but I'm very rusty and don't have my "torque feel" back yet. It might also be useful for testing for runout, which I feel is caused 98% of the time by trapped junk between the hub and rotor anyway.

86 560SL
With homebrew first gear start!
85 380SL
Daily Driver Project
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