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  #1  
Old 12-18-2007, 02:41 PM
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How often to re-pack wheel bearings???

Have a 96 S-320 with 96,000+, should the wheel bearings be re-packed soon. I'am hearing a low level pulsing rumble/roar on the road, may be the michelins, they caan be rather noisy at least til they get hot. Thanks for any input.
Ron

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  #2  
Old 12-18-2007, 03:22 PM
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If the bearings are making a noise its time to replace them.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2007, 04:52 PM
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That would be rather early for wheel bearing problems. The green grease, which started in about 1986 I think, is generally good for way more miles than that and often the life of the car. Of course 140s are heavy and tend to be hard on things but I would do some more checking - seems unlikely at that mileage. Don't think there's a factory specified interval for it.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2007, 10:00 AM
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It's not so much the performance of the grease, as it is too much to expect the seal to keep dirt and water out of the bearing for the life of the vehicle. Once dirt and water enter the bearing the grease is compromised and cannot perform as well as new grease. Intrusion of contaminants has a cumulative effect.

Regreasing the bearings is a good excuse to inspect them.

I would recommend 60-90K regreasing intervals with new seals. Since the number one reason for bearing failure is improper mounting/maintenance, I'd side with deanyel and recommend to never touch the wheel bearings unless you know how to properly do this task.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2007, 10:52 AM
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Talking with Shell tech' rep' some years ago he told me bearing grease never needs changing just to refresh the grease.

He commented, you can get more grit/dirt IN the bearing from messing with it that way shortening it's service life..

BTW...We don't have that service in Europe...seems it's an 'American' thing.

As long as seal is good and sufficient grease was loaded into the hub at assembly, that's it for life.

I tend to agree. I never touch wheel bearings unless to adjust them and then I clean the cap and reload it.

BTW...He said never use a graphite or Moly grease as these can cause the rollers/balls to skid.



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Old 12-19-2007, 01:08 PM
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I seem to remember the recommendation of experts on this site was to service the bearings every other brake job.

jp
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2007, 01:16 PM
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Around 75 to 100k miles they will usually need tightening. At that time I would add some grease. At 200K or so I would think about changing the seals. If you keep them tight and lubed the bearings will about last forever.

Tom W
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2007, 09:30 AM
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Are w140s like w126s in that whenever the rotor is removed the bearings are exposed, like on old American cars? On newer American cars you can just pull the rotors with little difficult whereas older MB's (and maybe newer ones) require disassembly of the hub (I'm not sure if that's what you'd call it).

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  #9  
Old 12-20-2007, 11:32 AM
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The old design is called hub-in-rotor. The new design is a separable hub and rotor. Many, if not most, american cars now use non-serviceable separable hubs.

I work for a bearing manufacturer and I handle the technical end of warranty. We never recommend just adding grease to automotive wheel bearings. We always recommend a complete wash of the old grease before relubing with fresh grease. I've never heard of graphite, moly, or any kind of grease to result in skidding on a wheel bearing. Skidding is a phenomenon that generally occurs in lightly loaded bearings in clearance subjected to high accelerations... automotive wheel bearings just don't fit in that category.

Who is this Shell tech representative? I guess that's why we don't do business with Shell and instead do business with Mobil and Kluber. Although I do agree (like I said earlier) that a bearing can be damaged from improper maintenance.

How would you know if the seals were working properly and the grease isn't compromised unless you took the bearings apart? Automotive wheel bearings can get funky after a while, considering the environment they're subjected to.
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Last edited by Kestas; 12-20-2007 at 11:38 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2007, 11:51 AM
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Kestas,

Are you saying that the rotors can be removed from a w140 without getting into the bearings, like on a w126?

Thanks,
David
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  #11  
Old 12-20-2007, 07:05 PM
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IIRC, then yes, the rotor can be removed without disturbing the bearing.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2007, 07:13 PM
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wheel bearings

Gentlemen:

Thanks for all the input. Guess I'll go ahead and repack them then I won't have to worry any more. I'll probely sell this one after it rolls over about 100K. I get nervous on long trips after they pass 100K. No real problems so far, can't complain.

Ron
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RConrad View Post
Gentlemen:

Thanks for all the input. Guess I'll go ahead and repack them then I won't have to worry any more. I'll probely sell this one after it rolls over about 100K. I get nervous on long trips after they pass 100K. No real problems so far, can't complain.

Ron
Nervous after 100,000 miles; not with a Mercedes. My '94 E320 just passed 150,000 miles and I would not hesitate to drive from Fairfax, VA to San Diego, CA tomorrow, or Fairbanks, Alaska; season permitting.
regards.
Mark
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:08 PM
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Never. I put 380kmiles on a 240D and never touched the wheel bearings.

Apparently, they know how to make them.

240Joe

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