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  View original topic: Pinch a Penny, Spend a Pound; Rear Hub Issue
scubasteve321 Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:00 pm

Hey All, perhaps this should be in the story section but also have a question regarding the mechanical aspects of the set up

Whereas I wanted to splash down some money and have a 'professional' work on my 76 Baja Bug, particularly due to the amount of work I had done myself and with my mentor previously, I hired a mobile mechanic to work on a faulty rear wheel bearing

You all already know where this is going

Mechanic shows up and 20 minutes into the job he finds me and informs me he has stripped out the 12 point heads that hold the hub enclosure on. I thought, huh that's weird.

So I run to the store and get the closest they had, 6 point with a lock washer, per his recommendation.

After another hour he tells me that the parts I got, from a local VW Specialist Shop, were not correct, as he said the larger bearing would not fit inside

He said he needed two of the same size bearing, like the outer one

So I went back to the VW Specialist Shop and they double checked and confirmed no, two different sizes. So I ask for a print out and bring it to the mechanic

While we were reviewing it he noticed that the shop may have given me the CV Bearing and a Hub Bearing, so went back and got the another "Hub Bearing"

Thus, he ended up installing the Hub with an inner and outer bearing of the same size...

After multiple more trips to the store because he didn't have brake cleaner, or gloves, and he didn't notice the threads were gumbed up on the axle nut (should have checked when he pulled it off) There was one final trip to the store

At this point I was out 3 hours of my own time and about 100 in parts

Finally, we get the right axle nut on and he torques it down. But, when he properly torques it down the wheel locks up and the hub "sucks in"

Well past where the cotter pin clearly goes

When I sent this pic to the boss of the mobile mechanic, as well as a comparison shot of the other side, the boss goes, just looks like a cotter pin is missing to me



I pointed out that not only is it missing, but the functionality of it is clearly lost; not to mention the wheel is completely locked up when torqued properly.

The first time the mobile mechanic left, with the time between securing the correct axle nut, he tightened it with the impact driver and it locked up and sucked in, then he loosened it, banged in the hub with a mini sledge hammer and then (self proclaimed) 'gorilla strength' hand tightened it.

I pointed out he didn't use a torque wrench and the specifications are 240 ftlbs, he said it's good to go....

I didn't trust it nor him so ended up getting a torque wrench, and, sure enough, with the leverage of the torque wrench is spun tighter very easily

These 'mechanics' put my life in danger due to their negligence. If I were to drive that the wheel could have flung off and caused catastrophic injury to myself and others.

Thanks for getting this far if you did;

Hopefully this write up can help persuade others who are on the fence between pinching a penny, because not only may you spend a pound, it may cost you your life



Some questions for you all;

What are your suspicions for hub "sucking" in? Missing Spacer?

Any one have experience with IRS Bug Hubs? Should there be two different size bearings for inner and outer? or two of the same?

Any advice on how to proceed further? At minimum I was looking at doing a credit card charge back; at a maximum suing in small claims court.

Mickey bitsko Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:24 am

wow, is all i can say...live and learn , i certainly will not criticize your decision to hire a " professional". but i'm not sure i would throw any more money at these yayhoos. small claims cost you money and judgements don't mean squat.
sounds like you've beat yourself up enough already.... move on ?

FWIW, a lot lot of us have been in your shoes

rayjay Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:34 am

You must have specialists work on specialist vehicles. End of story.

joemama Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:41 am

On these vehicles you really need to match the old parts when you buy new ones, as you never know if what you have is original, or has been changed to a different year, or? Sounds like you have the wrong bearings. I think you should be able to get a refund on what they charged

Matt Wilson Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:19 pm

Sounds like you may be missing a spacer in the 'bearing stack'. there is one long spacer that goes between the two bearing inner races, and two small spacers. Tightening down the axle nut without a spacer will probably ruin something and the hub will bind against the backing plate.

You may as well take it apart and re-do it, especially if you don't trust the work that was performed. If the mechanic didn't have a torque wrench, at least for the 12pt CV bolts, chances are, they could be too tight/too loose.

The inboard bearing is the 'ball' bearing and the outboard is the 'needle' bearing.

scubasteve321 Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:52 pm

thanks y'all!

will keep you updated



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