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  #1  
Old 11-18-2004, 09:38 AM
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Rear wheel bearings in W124

87 300d 178,000 miles

Whining noise from rear end. I thought it's tire whine, local mechanic after driving it says "rear wheel bearings" and suggests replacing both sides.

It's hard to pinpoint the source of the sound, but there is no thumping or bumping, just fairly high pitched sound that is annoying. Doesn't seem louder at higher speed, starts at about 35 mph.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Does symptom indicate bearing? Could it be tires? Is there good diagnostic method to improve chances of finding if this is the correct solution?

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  #2  
Old 11-18-2004, 10:57 AM
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nevremj,

Yes, the noise is probably bad wheel bearings. Happened to me one time.

It squealed when I was in CA, but it stopped amd I ignored it. By the time I got to TX, the brakes didn't work because the rear wheel was so loose the brake pads were worn away. It was so hot, it melted the plastic wheel cover. Instead of just replacing the bearings, I had to replace the bearing carrier and the A-frame.

So replace the wheel bearings before you do further damage. But its not necessary to replace the bearings in both sides, just the side that is bad.

P E H

Last edited by P.E.Haiges; 11-20-2004 at 11:16 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2004, 01:22 PM
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If the noise is louder when you are climbing a hill or accelerating - it could be differential whine.

Ken300D
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2004, 08:42 PM
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Ken,

Jack up one rear wheel at a time and see if you can feel any "play" in the rear wheels.

If you can feel any play, its time to replace the wheel bearings.

P E H
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2004, 12:41 PM
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It would be quite unusual for both sides of wheel bearings to go south at once. The classic tell for wheel bearings is that the growl or whine gets louder when cornering. And if you corner, more force is placed on the outer side of the turn - turn right and your left side wheel bearings have more force on them, so if it gets louder when turning one direction, the bearing is usually the one opposite the direction of the turn.

Rgds,
Chris W.
'95 E300D
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2004, 09:24 PM
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My 87 300TD had the right side replaced (me and my brother did it and it sucked) at about 175k and the left side was done about a mounth later.

If you jack up the car and grab the wheel you can feel the play by twisting the tire. If you can feel it moving it is making the noise.

I would have both done. It will most likely be expensive.
Special tools will be needed or it can be done carefully with a cutting tourch.
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Old 11-19-2004, 10:51 PM
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Swap tires front to rear, and jack up the pressure (temporarily) to the rated max (probably 44-50psi) and see if the noise changes a lot. If so, it could be tires. If not, it's something else.

If the noise will change if you get on/off the accelerator, it may be the differential whining. Wouldn't hurt to drain (hot) and re-fill with a good synthetic like Mobil-1 or Red Line, it's probably never been done anyway.

If it's just a steady roaring that is totally dependent on speed, it's probably the bearings. Expect to pay about 3-4 hours labor per side plus $100 per bearing, or about $400 per side total. It's not really a DIY job but you could save some money by removing the whole wheel carrier, and having a shop press the old bearing out & the new one in. I may attempt this when rebuilding my rear suspension in the next year or two - I'm not sure yet.

Also - check your rear brake calipers, make sure they are not hot after a long drive! They should be cool. Both my sister's and my dad's 1987 300D had rear calipers fail this year by getting hot, my sister's actually locked up the rear wheel! My dad's had the wheel bearing fail, and afterwards they noticed that caliper was very hot while the other side was cool. Who knows, maybe the constant heat load fried the bearing. Regardless, replacing the calipers with rebuilts fixed the problem in both cases (and no, it was NOT the rubber hoses like most people would claim.)

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Old 01-15-2006, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevremj
87 300d 178,000 miles

Whining noise from rear end. I thought it's tire whine, local mechanic after driving it says "rear wheel bearings" and suggests replacing both sides.

It's hard to pinpoint the source of the sound, but there is no thumping or bumping, just fairly high pitched sound that is annoying. Doesn't seem louder at higher speed, starts at about 35 mph.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Does symptom indicate bearing? Could it be tires? Is there good diagnostic method to improve chances of finding if this is the correct solution?
I found this thread and believe my 300D is making the same noise... I wonder what the solution to nevremj's problem was...
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2006, 10:02 AM
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gsxr,

The rotors and calipers get hot because they rub together when the wheel bearings go bad.

I had mine so hot when the wheel bearing went bad, it melted the plastic fake bundt cake wheel cover.

Marcb,

Check the temp of your calipers/rotors. If one is hotter than the other, that is the one with the bad wheel bearing. Note, the bearing lasted about 1500 miles after I first heard the squealing and th noise went away by that time. Also check if there is any chucking in the wheel. This will show a bad wheel bearing too.

P E H

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