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Old 11-04-2002, 06:58 PM
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Location: New Jersey
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wheel bearing packing help


Ill be changing the rotors on my car tomorrow, and included in that task is the need to remove the hub, with bearings and repack the wheel bearings. I have a few questions:

I dont have a bearing packer. What is the best method to pack them?

Must I remove all the current grease in them, using a solvent? Or can I just wipe them down, then add new fresh grease to them?

If I must use a solvent to do it, what is the easiest way for a home DIYer to do this?

Can I just force grease into the bearing and continually wipe off the other side so that the old grease ought to be forced out?

Can anyone give me some veterans tips for setting wheel bearings? I dont have a dial gauge to set runout, but I have read that I can tighten the bearings down until the hub is really hard to turn, then loosen it 1/3 of a turn. That seems straightforward enough, except I dont know how hard really hard to turn is... Im a big strong guy, really hard can be too tight, even after backing off 1/3 turn.

Any good ways to actually check that I set the bearings correctly? I cant see how remounting the tire and shaking it can give me too good of an idea, as the maximum 0.005" or whatever it actually is is so minute I fear not being able to see/feel it. Having never done it this is my speculation, although I found that tip in the archives... But it was an experienced tech doing it.

Is there a visible/audible check to recognize if the bearings are too tight/loose?

Any info would be most appreciated. This is the first major DIY task I will be doing, so IIm giving myself all day to do 4 rotors and pads, f which the pads are apparently super easy to do. I feel very confident on everything except the wheel bearings, and I dont want them to fail on me when driving on the highway because I did something wrong...


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Old 11-04-2002, 09:12 PM
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Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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Pack the bearings, tighten the nut really tight BY HAND NO TOOLS!! Then turn the hub BY HAND 'till it loosens up because the grease will flow a llittle. Then loosen the nut up and tighten until there is 0 tolerance, but NO preload on the bearings. There you go.
Donnie Drummonds
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Old 11-04-2002, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
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Donnie, how bout the bearing packer? I always use one - jk.
JH - use your hands and "pack" the grease into the roller section of the bearings. There is a predetermined amount of grease - try to measure it out if you can.
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Old 11-04-2002, 09:25 PM
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If you are packing the wheel bearings on a Mercedes, you should obtain the special grease pre-packaged in the correct amount for two wheels. The P/N is A 100 989 23 51 10. I don't remember the amounts but some part of the grease should go in the caps and the rest in the bearings.

Diesel fuel is one excellent way to remove the old grease from the bearings. I suppose fuel oil might work too.

MB wheel bearings have a nut with a clamp on it to provide more accurate adjustment than the old fashioned castle nut and cotter pin approach. Normally, the way to set the bearings is with a dial gauge but if you haven't got one, you can tighten the nut and then back off until you can just spin the washer with your fingers.

Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2002, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cape Cod Massachusetts
Posts: 1,427
Thumbs up Bag it!

Place the premeasured amount of grease in a large cheap/thin ziplock bag, and a thoroughly cleaned bearing, zip the bag shut, work the grease into the bearing from outside of the bag with your hands, remove newly greased bearing taking care to wipe excess grease off into the bag, reclose bag and using a straightedge or the edge of a table/bench work the remaining grease into a corner of the bag, snip a small piece of the bag corner off and squeeze the balance of the premeasured grease into the bearing cup! No lost grease, completely packed bearing and clean hands!
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Old 11-05-2002, 06:51 AM
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Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
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That sounds like a very good idea BillyBob - thanks for the tip.
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Old 11-05-2002, 08:32 PM
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Location: Great White North!!!!
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. Then loosen the nut up and tighten until there is 0 tolerance, but NO preload on the bearings. There you go.


please bm can you say that again in leyman's terms.what is 0 tolerance ?what does no preload look/feel like on bearings?thanks
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