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Old 09-17-2002, 09:03 AM
Coming back from burnout
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
Bearing failure on spindle due to lost bearing grease-how do I repair? 85 300D

I am seeking advice on how to remove whats left of the inner bearing which is really stuck on the spindle,

I experienced bearing failure due to loss of grease this past weekend. The bearing cap must have had a crack in it. The inner bearing looks like its welded to the spindle. In the last stages of failure, I drove the car without realizing bearing failure occurred and luckily the nut and the inner bearing prevented the tire from falling off.

I have got the disk rotor and brake caliper off. I havent been able to hammer the inner bearing off the end of the spindle. Is it literally welded to the spindle, or should I be able to hammer it off/ or even grind it off? This bearing probably took quite a beating towards the end of the failure.

Assuming i do get it off, should the spindle still be useable?
The car is blocking my driveway and I am awaiting the delivery of an engine and I cant move the car.

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Old 09-17-2002, 09:55 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Calif. (Fairfield Area)
Posts: 2,225
You didn't lose the grease. The bearing just decided to fail. You either had the windows down on a hot day or really had the tunes cranked up on the old stereo to not hear that puppy yelling. At any rate it sounds to me like you drove on it to the point where the race spun on the spindle or the spindle was heated past safe temperature. In either case I would recommend a used one from the bone yard. You may need to invest in a tie rod puller. I would also suggest repacking the bearings on the other side.

Good luck,
Auto Zentral Ltd.
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Old 09-17-2002, 10:10 AM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,232
I tend to agree with AutoZen. Find another spindle.
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Old 09-17-2002, 11:10 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
Before doing anything rash, have you removed the hub on the other side? inspecting the inner bearing race on that may give you a clue as to the condition of the spindle. The spindle has a lot of mass compared to the bearing race, so it may have survived ok.

Probably the lubricant has just burned and appeared to fuse the parts together. If you see the discoloration in the spindle that would be a sign of over heating, chances are a new spindle AND hub will be needed. A failed inner bearing is usually an indication that the inner seal has failed, and that happens easily if care is not taken when doing anything that required removing the hub.

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Old 09-17-2002, 11:25 AM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,741
The spindle can be saved, though it's hard to tell without looking at it. Destroyed inner races can be removed either by grinding or by abrasive cutting wheel. The trick is not to damage the spindle. The bearing mount surface to the spindle needs a minimum of 80% engagement across the width for proper support.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 131K
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Old 09-17-2002, 01:14 PM
Coming back from burnout
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
I really appreciate everyone's help

I just want to tell everyone how appreciative I am for answering this Post.Its amazing how much input /feedback I got. I have no idea how I ever got by fixing cars without the Internet. In the last few hours, I found a spindle at a U-PULL IT YARD, a grinder at my workplace, and all I need is a Pitman Puller. Everyone's help speed up this project by 4 days..maybe I can get it out of the way before the weekend.....
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