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    Thread: Tech: Front Wheel Bearing packing and replacement

    1. Member vortexblue's Avatar
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      01-06-2007 10:47 PM #1
      Got to work on the pickup today and came up with a step-by-step for you all...

      Take your spindle assembly off and clean it up a bit.

      Using some cheap-ass snap ring pliers from Harbor Freight, remove the rear snap ring. These pliers keep bending on me, but if I bend them back they still seem to work fine. :shrug:

      Move the assembly to the cheap-ass press from Harbor Freight and suspend it up to have enough room to press the hub out. Use a socket slightly smaller than the diameter of the hub as a tool. Yeah, it looks like it's about to implode... It doesn't tho.

      Ta da! Sometimes the inner race of the bearing will stay with the hub when you press it out. If you're re-using your hub you'll need to use a puller to take it off. Mine came off cleanly. Take off the 3 10mm bolts holding the dust shield off and the second (outer) snap ring off now.

      Back to the press. Use something larger to push the whole bearing assembly out. You want it to distribute the pressure on the whole bearing. I have an old axle nut from an american car that I use. It's huge.

      Ta da! (again). Your spindle is nekkid.

      I clean up the inside with a little emery paper and some wd-40. Put the outside snap ring back in.

      To re-pack your new bearings, pry off the dust shields carefully with a small screwdriver. Post a thread about the weird name of your bearings.

      This is my homemade bearing packer. I made this sometime in the 90's after reading that Greg Raven book. I brought a bearing to Home Deopt and got some washers, zerk fittings and a thru bolt to make it.

      Here's the front, assembled on a bearing (with the shields removed!)

      Here's the rear. Pretty high-tech, huh?

      I have my grease gun filled with a Mobil Synthetic cartridge. It's got anti-wear additives and such. I've used Swepco and Redline in the past as well. Just start pumping it into a fitting untill the stock-fill grease comes out and you are getting new, clean grease.

      Yum. Reminds me of a pic of a crashed Harley rider I saw on 0grish.com once.

      Clean the excess off, and carefully push the dust seals back in. Give an unintended-gloved-shocker for good measure.

      Clean the bearing up of all the excess grease and stick it in the freezer for a while. This will shrink the metal oh-so-slightly to make it easier to press into the spindle.

      I didn't take a pic of me pressing the bearing in... but here it is done and seated against the ring. One end of the bearing has a bevel on it. It's pretty obvious. Put that part in the spindle first and use your old bearing shell as the installation tool. Use some WD-40 as a lube. If you line up everything nice and straight, is slides in easily.

      Put the rear snap ring back in.

      This pic is showing (poorly) a large socket that is the same diameter as the inner race. You need to support this inner race for installing the hub. If you don't support it well, you WILL destroy your brand new bearing. NFG.

      Put your dust cover back on.

      Back to the freezer. Insert hub. Enjoy a beer on sunny January AZ day.

      Note the large socket on the bottom supporting the inner race. Remember, it's important. I used a different socket (not shown) on the top of the hub to press it in.

      I'm in your garage, rebuilding your spindlz.



      Modified by vortexblue at 7:50 PM 1-6-2007

    2. Moderator The_Hamster's Avatar
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      01-06-2007 10:52 PM #2
      Added to FAQ. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    3. Member vortexblue's Avatar
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      01-06-2007 11:04 PM #3
      Sweet. Put my front panel replacement in there as well... that's a once-a-week question.
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2073102

      Back to the topic...
      On another messageboard I frequent, Ekartingnews.com, there is a thread about bearing lubes. I know that my race kart receives a hell of a lot more maintenance than my cars, but what do you make of this thread?
      http://www.ekartingnews.com/viewtopic.php?t=33287
      Basically, they're saying that if there is too much grease, or if you put in a different grease than is suggested that bearing life will be decreased. I've *always* re-packed my wheel bearings with synthetic because the OG stuff looks thin and runny. They've always lasted me a long time, but I usually end up selling the car before I put 100k on the new bearings.
      Any merit to their discussion or are we comparing apples to oranges in this case?


      Modified by vortexblue at 8:06 PM 1-6-2007

    4. 01-06-2007 11:14 PM #4
      It's really in the grease, not the metal the wheel bearing is made of. A good grease will protect the metal in all conditions

    5. 01-07-2007 01:28 AM #5
      I find that the factory grease in FA.G bearings tends to last about 120K miles. That is good enough for me. What is odd is that when you pull the seal out there really isnt much in there.
      I know that with the pillow block bearings that I use at work the faster a bearing turns the less grease you can put in it. Sealmaster has a sheet with bearing sizes+RPM=how much grease to use. If you put too much in it will push out the seal rendering them unprotected and useless. So for a process feed roller at 50-100RPM you can add all you want but for a high speed fan 1 pump or 2 from a grease gun every 3 months is the limit. I have had plenty of bearings fail from too much grease. but more from not enough

    6. 01-07-2007 03:19 AM #6
      bookmarked!

    7. Member vortexblue's Avatar
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      01-07-2007 12:58 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by ditchdigger »
      I find that the factory grease in FA.G bearings tends to last about 120K miles. That is good enough for me. What is odd is that when you pull the seal out there really isnt much in there.

      Wow, 120k? That is good enough for me, too. I didn't think they'd last as long. I wonder if me packing them so full is going to be detrimental over time? I guess I'll have to put 120k on them and find out.

    8. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      01-07-2007 03:42 PM #8






      This step is so essential to bearing longevity, yet so many miss it and wonder why brand new bearings fail in as little as 3,000 miles.
      An old inner race is also the perfect size to press against.
      Also worth note, the outer diameter of the hub sleeve where it fits into the inner inner race is almost always damaged slightly if the old bearing had any play at all. Noisy, but still tight bearings rarely cause damage. As little as 0.0005" (half a thousandth) wear or damage to the hub sleeve will also cause subsequent new bearing failure, again, in as little as 3,000 miles.
      __________

      Very nice write up!! [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]


      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



    9. Member Martinus's Avatar
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      08-02-2007 09:41 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by vortexblue »

      Move the assembly to the cheap-ass press from Harbor Freight and suspend it up to have enough room to press the hub out. Use a socket slightly smaller than the diameter of the hub as a tool. Yeah, it looks like it's about to implode... It doesn't tho.

      Cannot belive that ^^^ worked, ( read : nothing broke or shot out at ya... )
      I would def NOT rec. that. Not even, with a HUGE disclamer ...
      There is a much easyer way. Use a flat plate and an about 5 in dia. cylinder section. One that is bigger than the hub flange but smaller than the WB housing. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Why not take the backing plate / shield off BEFORE that step ? Looks like it in the way... but then it comer off on the next step ... Hmmm...

      * EDIT *
      I'm withholding comment, of the greasing the BRAND NEW out of the box FRONT wheel bearing ...

      ... and yes, when you are pressing the hub into the bearing, that is already in the wheel bearing housing. You def. want to support/press-on the center race. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]




      Modified by Martinus at 9:46 PM 8-2-2007

    10. Member WackyWabbitRacer's Avatar
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      08-02-2007 11:47 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by ditchdigger »
      I find that the factory grease in FA.G bearings tends to last about 120K miles.

      I repacked any new hub bearing. On a dedicated road race Rabbit, you can expect about 5 or 6 good race weekends on a set of hub bearings.
      Cheers, WWR.
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    11. Member OLDSKOOLVWS's Avatar
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      08-06-2007 12:37 AM #11
      I use this: http://www.harborfreight.com/c...45210

      It works great for those not doing this everyday.
      2008 Acadia / 2004 Colorado / 1987 4Runner / 1987 E30 325i / 1978 Scirocco CE / 1977 Rabbit / 1970 PL521

    12. Member vortexblue's Avatar
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      08-06-2007 09:40 AM #12
      Quote, originally posted by Martinus »
      Cannot belive that ^^^ worked, ( read : nothing broke or shot out at ya... )
      I would def NOT rec. that. Not even, with a HUGE disclamer ...
      There is a much easyer way. Use a flat plate and an about 5 in dia. cylinder section. One that is bigger than the hub flange but smaller than the WB housing. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Why not take the backing plate / shield off BEFORE that step ? Looks like it in the way... but then it comer off on the next step ... Hmmm...

      You must be thinking that I'm pushing the bearing out in that pic... it's just the hub we're removing there.
      The backing plate cannot come off before the hub. The backing plate's inner hole diameter is smaller than the hub. Unless you've modified your backing plate, it *must* come off after the hub.
      The only thing you're pushing out in that pic is the hub. It takes very little pressure to get it out. The weight of the spindle and press is largely on the 3" rectangle tubing. The little plates (on the crazy angle) are kinda there to make sure the hub doesn't slip over the rounded edges. I've done it like that for dozens of bearings, and the amount of pressure used to push the hub out is so small it's not an issue.
      I'm not remotely worried.

      Quote, originally posted by Martinus »
      I'm withholding comment, of the greasing the BRAND NEW out of the box FRONT wheel bearing ...

      I posted a question on the advantages/ disadvantages of doing just that. I'll see if I can find it. The thought behind it was that the stuff they fill the new bearings with is 'runny and uninspiring' (from the Greg Raven book). I know that racers have repacked their new bearings for a long time, and places like BSI and Techtonics actually used to offer that service.
      *found the post... further up in this thread! http://www.ekartingnews.com/viewtopic.php?t=33287




      Modified by vortexblue at 6:46 AM 8-6-2007

    13. 10-18-2010 05:04 PM #13
      Does anyone know what the torque setting should be on the hub assembly when putting it back in the car?

    14. Member hillgiant's Avatar
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      10-18-2010 05:26 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by OLDSKOOLVWS View Post
      I use this: http://www.harborfreight.com/c...45210

      It works great for those not doing this everyday.
      Not just no, but HELL no. The damn thing broke on first use. A tiny 1/16" weld was the only thing holding the head on the long threaded rod.

    15. Member
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      10-18-2010 05:29 PM #15
      Hey Wacky,
      Can you post up the tools you use to change out the front bearings?

    16. Member johnnierabbit's Avatar
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      01-29-2011 10:12 PM #16
      a great thread, i just did my front left today.

    17. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      03-11-2011 11:56 PM #17
      congrats for online photos and FAQ with picture guides

      putting the shops out of business

      and DIY with pride and joy


      --yeah im doing my front bearing also
      one is smooth and feels great
      the other goes "humhumhumhum"
      all caused by....yes bad installation of the strut mounts -- Thanks Previous Owners

    18. Member VWCaddy's Avatar
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      03-12-2011 11:24 AM #18
      I used a 1-1/2" pipe reducing bell to press out my front wheel bearings:



      - http://www.4crawler.com/Diesel/Cheap...lBearing.shtml
      '82 diesel pickup, Missing LinkZ custom shift linkage, Quaiffe transaxle, Bilstein shocks F/R.

    19. Member Kaneb's Avatar
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      03-12-2011 11:30 AM #19
      I just put some new F.a.g wheel bearings in this week. Love having a 25 ton press at work lol...
      IG-@Kane86
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    20. Member RabbitJockey's Avatar
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      03-12-2011 12:25 PM #20
      i let the knuckle on the strut assembly so i don't have to get my car aligned afterwards, or do it myself for those whom do it themselves...
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    21. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      03-14-2011 04:21 AM #21
      yes the bad one has the brown mustard kind of grease in it.....the other one has the watery axle grease in it which worked fine

      anyone ever notice how some look as if they were remanufactured?
      easy to spot if you notice the inner diameter of the outer raceway
      i have one which is a solid piece
      the other has what appears to be three dark metal inserts and the raceway is flat instead of shaped like the bearings

      edit\
      regrinding-- thats it...
      /edit

      oh, I got them out with a little sledge help and something similar to the bearing punches


      anyhow....
      maybe i should up my pics someday!?
      Last edited by rabbitnothopper; 03-14-2011 at 05:01 AM.

    22. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      03-15-2011 04:12 AM #22
      got some pictures yes yes....but too tired from CV joint work to post them


      had to use a sledge hammer to do all the work on my bearings

      also note:

      getting over zealous and sledging and not checking for straight is a problem when installing
      if you have something similar to those harbor freight tools (and your bearings are cold) you can attempt to hammer the bearing a little on the outer races from the other side (if you have a smaller than 2.5inch piece that fits between the circlips) i had to straighten each twice before they went in smoothly

      with a sledge hammer you know its done when the sound of the hammer changes!

      no....not a 15 pound sledge or anything massive like that, i used a little hand sized one straight up and down as close as possible
      only needs a littlebit


      i found no solution to misalignment of the hubs.....
      so i had one to push it back out, fix the inner race and the bearing seal and put the inner sleeve back in.....

      no i dont own a $90 6 ton press from harbor freight

      so my hubs are in the freezer again

      hmm........one thing i notice on the hub sleeve is there is a bump about 3/4 all the way down that is much larger than the rest of the straight sleeve
      the other hub does not have this problem.....

      should i return that bastard? i hate returning stuff because it costs me shipping......
      well i'll work it out i suppose --- even if it takes me all week to drat my costs

    23. Semi-n00b
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      08-09-2011 08:08 AM #23
      i did this myself this weekend, but when i put everything back together, my wheel was splayed out to the right! anyone got any ideas on why the alignment got so out of whack and how to fix it?

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