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Old 09-15-2002, 09:38 PM
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Need help with front wheel bearings...

I am in the process of changing the front wheel bearings on my 88 190E 2.3.

I have a vibration that shows itself at 60mph. Coincidentally the car had gone through a very harsh pothole. Rotating the tires changed nothing and the wheels are seemingly in good balance. So I figured start with the bearings and moving to other things if this doesn't fix the problem.

Well, the trouble is the outer race is stuck to the hub. And I cannot remove the inner seal.

Any tips to help the process?

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Old 09-16-2002, 06:18 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
This is real shotgunning. The symptoms don't sound like bearings, which are easy to diagnose. I've never seen a vehicle with vibration felt in the wheel from bad bearings, unless accompanied by howling. Bad bearings usually cause a bit of humming, and no vibration. The roughness can be felt and heard spinning the wheel by hand with the caliper and pads disengaged.

I would check first missing wheel weights, damaged tire or wheel, damaged suspension or steering member.

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Old 09-16-2002, 07:01 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,878
Going through a harsh pothole should not make a bearing go bad.
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Old 09-16-2002, 07:12 PM
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My 528e has bad front bearings vibration is not a symptom at all. It's humming that when you weevee will cut in and out depending on which bearing is bad. Are you sure you did'nt bend a rim?
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:29 PM
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Thanks for all the input. I was able to pick up the wheel bearings very cheap so figured it wouldn't be bad to go ahead and change them. Next step will be balancing. I'll go from there.

Any other more obvious things I should check?
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Old 09-17-2002, 02:01 AM
pmizell's Avatar
Benz Zealot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
As you may have seen repeated by Larry Bible and other forum members in the archives, this sounds like a job for the Hunter GSP 9700 wheel balancer. This machine can detect wheel/tire problems that normal tire balancers cannot, and fix them.

Go to to find a shop near you that uses one of these machines.

Good luck!
'01 E430, Sport 72,000 mi
'98 C280, 126,500 mi
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Old 09-17-2002, 07:47 AM
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Before you go to the trouble of finding a GSP9700, ensure that your wheels were balanced with weights inboard AND outboard. 95% or more complaints such as yours are due to no or incorrect wheel balance, but do not require the 9700.

What they do require is most any computer wheel balancer, an operator with an IQ above 70, and the willingness to use balance weights on the inboard AND outboard plane. The problem is that too many tire stores don't use weights on the outer plane of alloy wheels because they are afraid of scratching the wheels.

This will balance the wheel statically and prevent it from jumping up and down. With modern suspension this is not enough, Dynamic imbalance causes the wheel to wobble which is transmitted through these nimble suspension systems.

If after a PROPER DYNAMIC two plane balance, you are so unlucky that you still have a vibration, you probably have bad tires or wheels. THEN it is time to seek out a 9700. You can do this by simply going to: Enter your zip code and you will find the ones that are in your area.

Best of luck,
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