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rear wheel bearing life?
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:39 am    Post subject: rear wheel bearing life? Reply with quote

The one and only time I have taken my van to the shop in my 5-6 years of ownership was to have the rear wheel bearings replaced (seriously cold weather and no indoor workspace at the time). That was about 30-35k miles ago. One of the outer rear CVs came completely undone several hundred miles later. Go figure.

Now one of the rear bearings is noisy and both sides have a bit of play in them. Is such a short life normal? I'm wondering if they weren't tightened properly. Water under bridge.

Now I have it pulled safely in my own garage for a proper replacement this weekend in prep for a spring break road trip to the Sonoran Desert.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very common.
Was the job accomplished with a press or were the bearings bashed in with a block of wood?
Proper torque on the axel nut?

Once the rear bearing housings have play in them, they are shot.
FYI, that housing is NLA new.
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r.e.wing_fc3s
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dont even bother to change rwb's unless you can find really nice used housings. ive had some success peening the races, now feeling sloppy again. If i was a machinist this would be the fist thing id tackle, either bore it out and pit a sleeve in it or make a new one. I think the rwb housing is the part i would most like to see available again as they are needed on almost all vans ive worked on including my own.
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks fellas.

I might have mentioned that there was about 1-2 mm deflection of the tire when trying to move it in the 6 and 12 position on both right and left sides. Now I'm wondering if that is an acceptable amount. I pulled the axles out. With wheel, brake drum, and brake backing plate off, the hubs spin smoothly and there is no perceptible play. I went ahead and just pulled the bearing housing out and relubed the bearing on the left side and reinstalled. It's easy enough to do that I can easily pull it again and actually replace the bearings.

The right side was the one making noise. I'll pull that today to inspect further.

Does the 1-2mm play I described seem acceptable?

I replaced/repacked all four CVs while I was down there.

Thanks
Steve
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

any updates on availability of the rear wheel bearing housings?

also, a search seems to find really low quality wheel bearings out there - bad shells that look like Chinese drywall and so forth

- is there any brand of wheel bearings to watch out for? any brand to be sure and buy?


a few threads:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=506497&highlight=rear+wheel+bearings

bad bearing shell:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=505157&highlight=rear+wheel+bearings
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Last edited by randywebb on Thu May 31, 2012 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think burley has the hot setup for this and he even puts in zirc fittings so you can re-grease the rear wheel bearings without tearing them apart!
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all of the rear stub axles that I rebuild --they get the zerk fittings.

I think I started this 15 years ago, after I did my own rear axles.

The quality of the grease is real important too if want any bearing longevity.

This is where high temp, low wash out grease shines.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kuleinc wrote:
I think burley has the hot setup for this and he even puts in zirc fittings so you can re-grease the rear wheel bearings without tearing them apart!


TK has been doing this for much longer than Burley.
Lets give credit where credit is due.

Using proper grease is a must for longevity.
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't away TK did these! TK stuff is awesome.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, right in the classifieds.
I send everyone looking for bearing housings to his ad.
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Williamtaylor33
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got 250k on my rear wheel bearings. What are you trying to accomplish with adding grease? Do you drill a relief hole where the excess grease can come out? Or else your just pumping new grease over the old..seems like a recipe for water in the bearings and a blown seal.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ranchero wrote:
Does the 1-2mm play I described seem acceptable?


I replaced mine 5 years ago, and they've always have had a couple mm movement. I think it's normal. A bad bearing will make a growling noise, especially when turning.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Williamtaylor33 wrote:
I've got 250k on my rear wheel bearings. What are you trying to accomplish with adding grease? Do you drill a relief hole where the excess grease can come out? Or else your just pumping new grease over the old..seems like a recipe for water in the bearings and a blown seal.


Your thoughts mirror mine. I did not add a zerk to my housings.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I drill and zerk my own housings.
What I do for maintenance is during my rear end greasing, I loosen the axle nut....thank you Snap On 3/4" impact....push the stub back a bit with a brass drift relieving pressure on the flange side...pump three times with the gun...rotate the stub 720degrees and tighten the axle nut to proper torque.

Yes, keeping it all together and pumping the hell out of the housing with fresh grease will destroy the seal.

TK recommend a single shot of grease at maintenance intervals.
One shot sealed will not blow out any seals if done once or twice a year.

Grease is your friend.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a set of rear housings with the original bearings and well over 300,000 total miles on them....zerked and greased with Swepco.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two reasons new rear stub axle bearings fail--and I've seen a bunch of folks whining that their newly installed rear axle bearings are short winded.

(1) the preload on the bearings.
The center spacer has too much play in between the bearings, and is banging around in between the inner races.

Or-- because of the spacer is too short, in trying to get the preload,the bearing get really over tightened, and as soon as they start spinning--they fail because they are too tight in the hubs--
The inner race still is not touching the spacer--and never will.
Nobody wants to pop for a new spacer.

This is a frugality issue, not the Bombay Bob Bearings.
Nobody wants to yank the stub axle & have it properly pre loaded prior to installation.
8 ft.Cheater bars, swap the old bearings right on the ride, and roll--

(1) Cheap grease.
Petrolus Neglectus
The old brown stuff that's been siting on the window sill of the garage in a 2 lbs. can is probably parrafin grease, and will turn as thin as water on the first trip around the block--no load carrying capacity, not one iota of heat or water resistence.

The old Can of Lube Bob grease turns to water, and the bearings burn & fail.

" I don't know what is going on--My rear axle bearings keep burning out, sniff, whimper, bawl, & I have to do them for the third time in 2 weeks--sniff"

Mystic JT-8 is another good high temp , low wash out, water proof grease.

Let your finger's do the internet mambo & check it's properties out.

I'm not sure what Alladins castle fun house mirror's you guys have been looking at--the concave or the convex---for that image your talking about, but one shot of grease into them hubs once a year isn't going to move any seals outa the hubs.
No relief valve required.

And --if you still have a mental block on that thought--go ahead & screw a small spring loaded valve into the axle hub casting.

This won't happen anyway--
it seems that nobody has the bearing preload down pat, or some sort of remote service intervals with the correct lubricating product-- what's the chances of them getting a one way spring loaded valve & zerk fiiting into their rear bearing hubs ??--
How bout just the zerk?

2 chances.

Slim.
None.

Drill & tap?

Oh no Mr. Bill--

"What's that?"
"Can I JB weld them into the hubs?"
"Can I get the taps & drill bits at Harbor Freight?"

--Snap--

"Oooh--now I've got a chinese tap broken off in the hub--what do I do?"

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Lot's of reading & writing skills, no actual practical mechanical application.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got shop tools, presses, spare housings....just no bearings.

What is the story on getting good bearings?

I will make spacers, if I have too.

This preemptive for me, my 200K+ mile rear bears "seem" fine...knock on wood.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
Nobody wants to pop for a new spacer.


Bentley mentions that prior to VIN 25ZBH119362 that the spacers should be replaced. This post shows the difference:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=183832

So new spacers are only needed to replace the thinner ones, and not needed as a matter of course. The new ones have 5.4mm wall thickness.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

presslab wrote:
Terry Kay wrote:
Nobody wants to pop for a new spacer.


Bentley mentions that prior to VIN 25ZBH119362 that the spacers should be replaced. This post shows the difference:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=183832

So new spacers are only needed to replace the thinner ones, and not needed as a matter of course. The new ones have 5.4mm wall thickness.

The below quoted text is a more complete version of the above quote:

Terry Kay wrote:
There are two reasons new rear stub axle bearings fail--and I've seen a bunch of folks whining that their newly installed rear axle bearings are short winded.

Is this reason (1) (below) the different wall thickness spacer issue as presslab refers to?

Terry Kay wrote:
1) the preload on the bearings.
The center spacer has too much play in between the bearings, and is banging around in between the inner races.

Please note that the below mentions the spacers are too short for the aftermarket bearings.

So I still ask where do you get the proper bearings or how do you know what spacer to use or make???????

Terry Kay wrote:
Or-- because of the spacer is too short, in trying to get the preload,the bearing get really over tightened, and as soon as they start spinning--they fail because they are too tight in the hubs--
The inner race still is not touching the spacer--and never will.
Nobody wants to pop for a new spacer.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
Please note that the below mentions the spacers are too short for the aftermarket bearings.


The increase in wall thickness by VW is, I assume, to fix the problem of crushing the spacer with the extreme axle nut torque. A crushed (shorter than intended) spacer will not allow the assembly to be preloaded properly, allowing the axle to float inside the bearings. This will eventually wreak havoc on everything.
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