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Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild [SOLVED]
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T3TRIS
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:18 am    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

mitch5 wrote:
In that photo before you press the hub into the bearing, the entire outer bore seems to be filled with grease. Seeing a part pressed into a fixed volume with all that grease makes me wonder if its possible that when you pressed the hub in all the extra grease had no where to go and took out the bearing seals. I know that ball bearings are sensitive to lubrication and its possible that with a damaged seal the bearing could overheat.

Disclaimer: I havent gotten around to reassembling my bearings yet so i am not sure how much room there is in there for that grease.

I am impressed with how deep you have dug into this issue, Personally i would dissemble and put new bearings in without all that grease. Syncro hubs are exponentially more expensive than the bearings and if a shop did this work you would probably expect them to replace. Hopefully disassembly will reveal the "smoking gun"


I too am really thinking that way. I mean... I did remove the steering knuckles late last night and almost just started taking the bearings out. I guess it meant I was pretty convinced already but I decided to wait for a little more feedback. I kick myself in the butt for not recording disc temperatures when I did my drive test. I didnít smell any brake smell though.
Anyhow, I think Iíll go the bearing way. Having that grease seems like way too much and the side that I know was more packed is consistently warmer than the other side...
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Non scientific study. Drove the syncro in this am. Ambient was 65 F. 15 min drive. City stop and go. Brake disc outer edge 200F. Lug nut 110F and the CV stub was 120F. I'm sure if I drove it harder and longer temps would increase.

My Ryobi temp gun does get thrown off by reflection. So, I shot the rusty lip of my disc. My lug nuts are new and shinny black, so the temps might be slightly reflective. CV stub is patina.
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T3TRIS
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
Non scientific study. Drove the syncro in this am. Ambient was 65 F. 15 min drive. City stop and go. Brake disc outer edge 200F. Lug nut 110F and the CV stub was 120F. I'm sure if I drove it harder and longer temps would increase.

My Ryobi temp gun does get thrown off by reflection. So, I shot the rusty lip of my disc. My lug nuts are new and shinny black, so the temps might be slightly reflective. CV stub is patina.


Your test: 15min city stop and go at 65į outside, 120į CV stub, 55į above ambient.
My test: 15/20min city and highway, no brakes at all, 49į outside, 126į hub (by CV stub), 77į above ambient and side overpacked with grease 20į warmer than the other side. Before the highway, my hubs got to 100į within 5-ish minutes of driving under 35mph with no brakes, 51į above ambient.

I drove my van in colder temperatures without using the brakes at all and the hubs got 77į hotter tan ambient temps, your drove your van in warmer temperature, using your brakes and your hubs got 55į hotter than ambient temps.
This is all done in non-controlled environments of course but I see a pretty good difference here. I still canít believe I didnít mesure my brakes!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Ok, at this point, replace one bearing, minus the grease and see if you can have a change side to side.

Again, most folks would have just ignored this. So your attention to detail is going to put you in the nut house.
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T3TRIS
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
Ok, at this point, replace one bearing, minus the grease and see if you can have a change side to side.

Again, most folks would have just ignored this. So your attention to detail is going to put you in the nut house.


Haha. I wonít debate that one!! Heck there are some good arguments to just put it back together and run with it, thatís for sure. In any case, thanks so much for contributing with your measurements.

Iíve put so many hours and so much effort on this front end rebuild though that Iíd hate to see a potential mistake shorten the life of our bearings, CVís, probably reduce brake power (if they run unnecessarily warmer) and potentially damage our NLA wheel hubs... as you say, I might fall in the nut house category though. I do wish it was a more obvious problem of course but at some point Iíll have to make a decision one way or another and live with it!
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mitch5
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
Ok, at this point, replace one bearing, minus the grease and see if you can have a change side to side.

Again, most folks would have just ignored this. So your attention to detail is going to put you in the nut house.


Thats a smart idea, lets you keep one side to act as a control/baseline. Also not to put you further down into the rabbit hole but you can get thermocouples for alot of multimeters, my $25 harbor freight model has one. That would you give a way more accurate temperature.

Kudos for even noticing something too, its also possible that this is being over thought. There seems to be some good info on trailer hub temperatures, seems temps under 200f is normal.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
In theory, the grease you added could be creating friction. That's a stretch diagnosis.


I have read often that too much grease will cause heat.
Its the 'stirring' of a viscous liquid..

Imagine if you had to spin that bearing with a bicycle crank.
The heat is your Wheatiesģ burning and at some point you would feel tired.

It takes "work" to stir the grease.
The result is heat in the same way that brakes change friction into heat.

Consider too that the excess internal pressure causes the seal lips to energize and bite down onto the seal lands, causing more friction (and perhaps a little more heat).
I doubt you've damaged anything yet.
I doubt the bearings are damaged (but they can be if you press them out)

I would scheme of a way to bleed the grease off. Can you remove the CV axle, and heat the housing with a torch?
Maybe heat-pressure without the 258 ft-lbs clamping will allow some grease to ooze out?
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Last edited by Sodo on Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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T3TRIS
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
MarkWard wrote:
In theory, the grease you added could be creating friction. That's a stretch diagnosis.


I have read often that too much grease will cause heat.
Its the 'stirring' of a viscous liquid.
It takes "work" to stir the grease.
The result is heat in the same way that brakes change friction into heat.

Imagine if you had to spin that bearing with a bicycle crank.
The heat is your Wheatiesģ burning and at some point you would feel tired.

Consider too that the excess internal pressure causes the seal lips to energize and bite down onto the seal lands, causing more friction (and perhaps a little more heat).
I doubt you've damaged anything yet.
I doubt the bearings are damaged (but they can be if you press them out)

I would scheme of a way to bleed the grease off. Can you remove the CV axle, and heat the housing with a torch?
Maybe heat-pressure without the 258 ft-lbs clamping will allow some grease to ooze out?


Iíve always appreciated and understood the way you saw things like this. I agree that moving that thick grease takes effort, therefore creates heat at whatever RPM those wheels are spinning at. Not sure about bleeding some grease out, especially without damaging the seal itself. Itís super tight between the hub face and steering knuckle. I tried prying the seal back into place (since it got pushed out a little) but it just pushes back out. Heating the assembly to make the grease makes sense but Iím afraid that will damage the grease inside the bearings too, especially since itíd be hard to control...

I already ordered the replacement bearings and seals though. Because of all the the variables and unknowns, the risk of more damage to NLA parts, Iím thinking about redoing the bearings without grease for the sake of piece of mind. Maybe Iíll just do an inner surface lube of the bearing seals but nothing more.
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T3TRIS

1987 Syncro GL converted to poptop
- 1994 Subaru EJ22
- Transaxle rebuild
- 215/75-R15
- Mexico paint job
- Front end rebuild

Fun off-roading
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

The bearings are sealed. No need to worry about them. For the inner and outer dust seal, a film of grease is all you need to keep them from tearing. Same with the rubber seal on the cv joint. Just a film. These are there to help protect the sealed bearing from contaminants that might find their way in. You want the CV and the hub seating on metal. No grease.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

T3TRIS wrote:
Iíve always appreciated and understood the way you saw things like this.


Good. Youíre easy then.
Campfire, please!👍🏽👍🏽🔥🔥

With brakes, the amount of heat available can be endless.
In the case of grease, the heat softens the grease, viscosity is reduced, thus resistance is reduced, arriving at a steady-state (maximum) temperature.

Are you sure theres no passageway for grease to come out if the axle is out?
You can heat with a hot-air blower and use yout IR.

If just a little comes out thats no joy but perhaps enough.
But if a lot came out that would do it for sure.
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T3TRIS
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
Campfire, please!👍🏽👍🏽🔥🔥.

Are you sure theres no passageway for grease to come out if the axle is out?
You can heat with a hot-air blower and use yout IR.

If just a little comes out thats no joy but perhaps enough.
But if a lot came out that would do it for sure.


Yes please!!!

Iíll try to get some of that grease out first, I donít have much hope though but Iíll try!

MarkWard wrote:
The bearings are sealed. No need to worry about them. For the inner and outer dust seal, a film of grease is all you need to keep them from tearing. Same with the rubber seal on the cv joint. Just a film. These are there to help protect the sealed bearing from contaminants that might find their way in. You want the CV and the hub seating on metal. No grease.


Thanks for the tips, Iím thinking this will work well. I guess I always find myself doing things twice (or 4 times with bearings I guess, left and right). I know how to get that inner race off quickly now though. Iíll try that heat method.
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T3TRIS

1987 Syncro GL converted to poptop
- 1994 Subaru EJ22
- Transaxle rebuild
- 215/75-R15
- Mexico paint job
- Front end rebuild

Fun off-roading
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

No one is born an expert. I actually learn more when something doesn't go right. Its a learning curve just like anything.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Alright, I just got back home and went ahead and removed the hub. Sodo, I considered trying to get some grease out by warming the hub and even trying to create a gap and using compressed air but itís just too tight in there.

Anyhow, hub is off. It actually came off surprisingly easily with the press, which Iím not sure is a good thing or not. I canít remember how hard the hubs and bearings were the first time around. The bearing is destroyed of course when removed.

I unnecessarily packed the outer sides of the bearings with STP hi-temp premium NLGI Grade 2 grease that has a dropping point in excess of 500įF. I really donít know what all of that means but there it is. I was surprised to see that the grease on the outer side of the bearing had completely changed color from bright red to dark golden gray-ish. No idea if itís from contamination or that the color changed because of temperature. There is about 140 miles on these bearings and just a handful of splashes in muddy puddles, nothing like a water crossing or sitting in water. The inner side of the bearing has grease that is still red.

Iím not entirely sure what to make of all this but here are photos.
Grease color differences (disregard the ďgapĒ note, itís actually the groove for the plastic bearing cage).

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Grease color on inner side of bearing (still red)

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Other bearing photos

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I also just noticed that the inner race of this bearing is quite different than the one I removed a few weeks ago (image on left is a little stretched):

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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1987 Syncro GL converted to poptop
- 1994 Subaru EJ22
- Transaxle rebuild
- 215/75-R15
- Mexico paint job
- Front end rebuild

Fun off-roading
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Not to take you off topic, but it will...

I noticed in one of your photos that you have the skid plate for the drive shaft. Have you got a skid plate protecting the Transaxle as well?
Reason I ask is that the Transaxle needs ventilation to run cool and people have found having the skid plate installed raises the Transaxle temperatures.

Okay back to topic.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Are both bearings same width?

Kinda looks like bearing #2 ball tracks could be wider.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Steve M. wrote:
Not to take you off topic, but it will...

I noticed in one of your photos that you have the skid plate for the drive shaft. Have you got a skid plate protecting the Transaxle as well?
Reason I ask is that the Transaxle needs ventilation to run cool and people have found having the skid plate installed raises the Transaxle temperatures.

Okay back to topic.


Ha! Nah our transaxle is exposed... I do plan on finding a way to protect things under there but itís tough with the RMW engine bar. Havenít really seen transaxle temperatures above 130į/140į expect in severe hot uphill. We drive pretty conservatively.

Sodo wrote:
Are both bearings same width?

Kinda looks like bearing #2 ball tracks could be wider.


Iím not too sure exactly what youíre talking about. Bearing #1 were the ones I removed with the initial front end rebuild but those have long been in the trash.
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T3TRIS

1987 Syncro GL converted to poptop
- 1994 Subaru EJ22
- Transaxle rebuild
- 215/75-R15
- Mexico paint job
- Front end rebuild

Fun off-roading
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

the picture of the bearing balls under the orange seal is not good. abnormal amout of gray, which is metal. you've made the right call to take this back apart. just a guess but either the wrong bearing dimension was used or there was installation damage.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Iím surprised to see that much scoring on the ID of the one inner race. Next assembly freeze the hub before pressing. The scoring appears to be from assembly and disassembly, not from seizing.

Also, the side by side is interesting. You are making a sandwich when you assemble these. The tolerance is machined in and all parts must be the correct dimensions.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

Did the bearings come pre-greased?
I ask, because judging by the pictures, there's way too much grease on those bearings.
Also, the grease you added may not be compatible with the the grease that bearings come with.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: Hot lug nuts and hub after Syncro front end rebuild Reply with quote

An old VW racer trick for FWD was to remove the factory bearing seals carefully and there was a fixture that bolted on both sides of the bearing, so you could pump in better quality grease. I never bothered on my car, it was just as easy to swap out bearings every season.
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