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Old 09-07-2002, 07:34 AM
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Question on rear wheel bearings, 1979 300D

I posted this in the diesel forum, but I thought I'd post it here too.

I was wondering something. How often, if at all, do you have to repack the rear wheel bearings. I replaced them about 35k miles ago, and I was checking the car over and noticed that there is a slight amount of play in the rear wheel bearings now.

Is this something that needs to be maintained, or just wait until they crap out altogether?

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-07-2002, 12:00 PM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,741
Repacking around every 30,000 miles sounds about right. Make sure you change the grease seals at that time... they are consumable items. And don't overpack with grease as some mechanics do.

A slight amount of play in the wheel bearings sounds right. Too much isn't good. Typically, automotive wheel bearings (double taper) have maximum life at 0.003 to 0.005" axial play. You may want to dig for the exact specs on your car.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 131K
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Old 09-07-2002, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Those wheel bearings are designed to run in preload just like pinion bearings of a differential. They are properly set up when they take a certain torque to sustain rotation (about 15in-lbs if I recall). They should not be loose and they are a major event to disassemble. Proper reassembly requires crushing a crush sleeve spacer until proper preload drag is accomplished.

I'd wait till there was a problem. New bearings pale in comparison of cost to the value of labor, in doing the job.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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