Author Topic: Replacing front wheel bearings  (Read 2078 times)

owains

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Replacing front wheel bearings
« on: 20:24, Sun 31 May 2009 »
Following on from an earlier thread (link)...

Over the last couple of weeks my R5 has developed a grinding/rumbling sound, which is constantly there when the car is moving. The sound gets noticeably louder with increasing speed, and when turning to the right, and almost disappears when turning to the left. Braking doesn't seem to have a significant effect, as far as I can tell. All four wheels pass the wobble test, and when given a spin I can't hear definite rumbling noise above brake grinding.

Just had the car MOT'd on Friday, and it passed with no work! Obviously I told the garage about the rumbling noise and suspected wheel bearing problem. They said they couldn't say for definite which wheel it was coming from, but most likely the front passenger side. They simply recommended I left things as they were, allowing the problem to develop until it's noisy enough to easily say where it's coming from.

I'd rather try and fix the problem ASAP as above 30 mph the sound is really quite worrying! Plus, I'm not convinced there isn't gonna be some long-term damage done somewhere running things as they are... am I right?

Perhaps someone could just confirm something for me. As you turn when driving, the car's weight is on mainly on the side opposite the turning direction (right?!), leaving the other side wheel bearing less stressed. Would the noise be more obvious as the bearing is under heavier load (i.e. the side opposite the turning direction), or as the bearing is less stressed (i.e. the side matching the turning direction)? My thought is that the noise would be more audible on the less stressed side... what do other people think? Is this what other people have seen when having wheel bearing problems?

Would just like to have the opinions of some more experience people before I get into this... the Haynes procedure has me scared!


Thanks chaps!

Ash-Lee

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« Reply #1 on: 20:58, Sun 31 May 2009 »
I don't think any real damage can be caused at the moment.

When the wheel bearing is loose enough to make the wheel wobble then you can run into trouble.

I let one on a Clio get quite bad, what i ended up doing was ruining the brake caliper as well, because of the wobble in the bearing i had jammed the sliders on the caliper and they wouldn't move at all.

To get a better idea maybe you could remove the brake pads when your spinning the wheel so you don't confuse the different sounds.

But to be honest if it's not wobbling and theres no friction or stiffness when spinning the wheels i wouldn't worry to much about it, but i know it's damn annoying noise to listen to.

owains

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« Reply #2 on: 13:03, Mon 01 June 2009 »
Thanks for your advice Ash-Lee, good to hear from someone who knows a bit about these sort of things.

It sounds as though I'm not in danger of doing any damage to the car just yet, which is comforting!

You're right that it's annoying... I don't know how you managed to put up with it long enough to knock the brakes out!

Just been thinking... when I do get around to replacing the bad bearing, is it worth changing the hub/disc at the same time? Is the bearing assembly reusable, or would it have to be changed again if I need to replace the disc anytime soon?

Ash-Lee

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« Reply #3 on: 14:30, Mon 01 June 2009 »
Front wheel bearings are located in the hubs. Theres no need to replace the discs at the front if there ok.

Rear bearings are located in the brake disc and the entire unit fits onto the axle. If you think you might be fitting new bearings into a bad disc or a disc that hasn't really got much life left in it then it would make more sense to replace the discs aswell.

I doubt very much you could knock a wheel bearing back out without damaging it or shortening it's lifespan.

stoneboy2k3

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« Reply #4 on: 15:03, Mon 01 June 2009 »
Aren't the bearings pressed in??

Ash-Lee

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« Reply #5 on: 16:09, Mon 01 June 2009 »
You can use a press yes, but as long as you get it to go in square you can carefully tap new ones in.

Rears are easier to change then the fronts.

owains

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« Reply #6 on: 19:06, Mon 01 June 2009 »
Well that's good to know about the front hubs/discs, wasn't sure if they were actually separate.

I checked out the back bearings when I did the rear brakes and they looked good to me, so don't think they'll need replacing.

Any further thoughts regarding the direction of turning and how that might indicate which side is the culprit?

owains

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« Reply #7 on: 20:16, Tue 02 June 2009 »
I have been trying to find the right part on the internet but am struggling.

It looks as though this might be what I'm looking for. What do you think?

Is the part the same as on the Phase I Clios (this may be easier to search for)?

If all else fails, my garage said they could get them for 30.

Ash-Lee

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« Reply #8 on: 22:57, Tue 02 June 2009 »
Yes that looks correct.

It says it's for the Renault 5 and GSF are a well known company so i would hope they know what there doing.

Good price as well, there usually ~20.

owains

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« Reply #9 on: 10:07, Wed 03 June 2009 »
Again, thanks for your help Ash-Lee. I reckon I'll go ahead and order the part and hope fitting it on the front passenger side sorts my problem out!

owains

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« Reply #10 on: 19:31, Tue 25 August 2009 »
Just thought I'd update this thread...

I Had the suspect bearing replaced at the garage today with GSF kit linked above. It looks like the bearings themselves weren't damaged (I'm guessing this is why there was no looseness), but I think the seal must have been bad as the grease was very dry.



Replacing the bearing seems to have solved the problem. However, there's still a very faint rumbling noise, so I'm guessing the other front bearing is on it's way out too.

Ash-Lee

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« Reply #11 on: 22:25, Tue 25 August 2009 »
Most likely, i'm having problems with my front bearings at the moment. They only seem to last 10'000 miles.

Rob@BYR

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« Reply #12 on: 22:57, Tue 25 August 2009 »
I can see damage there unless its dirty, you look at the runners of the balls for damage not the balls themselfs, if there is piting there is damage..

Not changing a worn bearing untill play can course problems when the time comes to change due to the heat the poor bearing has generated making it harder to press out.. From my experience once you have changed a bearing a couple of times it will become more freqent until you change your carrier due to distorsion from the changes..

To identify a poor bearing applying loud will direct to the corner (bearing) will direct you, BUT BE CAREFULL, look of much chamber you run on the front??? EG if you run high Neg chamber and you feel your N/S bearing is worn (noisey) you would instently apply a right hand lock and apply load to raise the noise level. Well you may find the the Inner ring of the bearing on the O/S can be worn.. I find this the case on some hard driven high chambered cars....

owains

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« Reply #13 on: 18:37, Thu 27 August 2009 »
Quote from: "Rob@BYR"
I can see damage there unless its dirty, you look at the runners of the balls for damage not the balls themselfs, if there is piting there is damage.

Yup both the bearings and the runners look fine... no wear or pitting at all, just really dirty! Am I right in thinking that the a bad seal has caused the grease to deteriorate and some corrosion of the housing?

Quote from: "Ash-Lee"
Most likely, i'm having problems with my front bearings at the moment. They only seem to last 10'000 miles.


Well I can let you know how mine are in 10,000 miles... if the rest of the car lasts that long :o