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Needle grease rear wheel bearings?
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:27 am    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

61Scout wrote:
Sodo, if you have a day I have a couple in the shop I'm going to service tomorrow. I'll be happy to take pictures of the disassembly process and the tools I use if you'd like. It's all outlined in the Bentley but those photos are horrible.

-Kevin


Sure wouldn't hurt! I'm curious if theres and easy way to get grease to flow out both inside and outside bearings.

Can the axle slide inward (off the inner seal) by pounding the axle with a block of wood?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

Tapping it out with a block of wood will work.

If the axle shaft is locked up onto the inner races you will need a press.

I thought you said you had a press?
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

I do have a press, 20T floor-standing unit almost 3 hours away from my van (in the summer). At the moment I'd have to get on a snowmobile the final few miles .... I can get there in about 4 hours (one-way) and I am looking forward to the next time I can go. Not sure I want to add a project to that endeavor. Or I can go to Harbor freight and that would take $180 and one hour, and then the much bigger problem, to find a place to put it in the garage. I could probably rig one up in an hour from scrap, be done, and toss it back in the scrap (per 61scout) that would be, by far, the most sensible.

Fingers crossed for the block of wood!

Or better yet, a gear puller.
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Last edited by Sodo on Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

According to a video I recall watching, you can indeed tap the axle toward the CV and there is enough movement to push the axle in far enough to sneak the brake assembly (complete with backing plate) off the tip of the stub axle and merely tie it up to get the bearing hub off. I think it was Jed's video.
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61Scout
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

Sorry it took so long, been slow waking up this morning. But hey, it is Saturday! Okay, here are the pictures, as promised:


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The red arrow shows where there might be some build up of rust/debris. I'd advise scraping that out before popping the bearing out. Just like ridge reaming the top of a cylinder to release the piston.

The green arrow show the inner race/sleeve for the outer bearing. This will fall out once the axle is pressed from the assembly, so don't let this fall on the floor if you plan on reusing the bearing.

The tools are very basic. Having a press and the seal/bearing drivers makes this job a piece of cake.

Hope this helps to give a visual of what's going on inside.

-Kevin
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Remove the rear wheel bearing housing without messing with the big 46mm nut: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679507&highlight=

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Last edited by 61Scout on Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

This thread proposes "Needle grease rear wheel bearings?"

Pics of whats inside the hub -- IS ESSENTIAL to the topic. The regular member with regular tools wants to know how to do this, and comes to the forum for how he CAN do it. Only locating info how he CAN'T do it-------> is NOT satisfactory forum content. Good forum content, thank you 61Scout, Doug, Terry & others.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

peripheral issues or issues arising before the exact question arises are good to put in a thread

example - you said the bearings were quiet - good chance you don't need to do them right now, BUT they are quiet when unloaded, right? or at least you don't hear them over all the hwy noise while driving

Bearings will usually make some noise before failing, so the question is: What would happen if you were in the American Outback and they started squealing? Could you drive or tow the vehicle to cell phone range? ... a hundred or more miles to a repair shop that knows nothing about VW's? or a thousand miles to one that does?

That's why a full teardown is good preventative maintenance - do it every 100k miles on the rears; more often if submersed
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

Yes ON-TOPIC is a welcome contribution.

I see a lot of folks with NEW bearings having a LOT more trouble than I'm likely to have just "changing grease".

In this old thread I found this little jewel.

derekdrew wrote:
(Dennis Haynes) Remove the wheel flange and outer seal. Use a thin grease needle
and place it through the rollers of the outer bearing. Pump in grease until grease comes
out the other rollers. Pump out as much old grease as possible.

Then remove the needle and wipe off all the grease outside the bearing. Run the
engine in gear to let the shaft spin and push some of the excess grease out.
Afterwards wipe out that housing again. You want space for more grease to
get out after it is all back together. Install the seal with just a bit of grease on the lip.

Put it all back together being sure to properly torque
that big nut.

-- Dennis Haynes


Pretty sure I read this before. Funny so many pages discussing preload. Any newbie can see there is no preload in this bearing arrangement. Terry what the heck were you up to? The ball bearing controls axial position and the roller bearing runs where it runs. NOW I kinda understand why I thought this was such a big deal. Sure would be nice if it was easy to filter out the wrong info from a technical thread.

I removed both hubs. Axles pushed out pretty easily just hitting it with a small block of wood. There's PLENTY of grease in there everything looks good, clean, smooth bearing surfaces. But the wheel seals are 'loose'. Exclamation That suggests bearing play (I think) but could be from dirt buildup. Not sure I want to really "disturb" anything else, I might just change as much grease as I can and keep an ear out for trouble back there.

I'd replace the seals if I could find some for less than a whole bearing kit. 217-501-317B Anybody have a source for seals?
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Last edited by Sodo on Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Merian
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

the problem in VW Landia is crappy new parts

that's why NEW bearings can have a LOT more trouble than refurbing old ones

once you get them clean - find a post from me re NOT drying them with an air gun and how to inspect - it has pics of what I call good old bearings ready to be regreased
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61Scout
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

Merian wrote:


...

once you get them clean - find a post from me re NOT drying them with an air gun and how to inspect - it has pics of what I call good old bearings ready to be regreased



Sorry to pick on you Merian, but didn't Kamz just talk about not doing this? (Referencing something without providing a link.)

Here's a link to an excellent article/file from my favorite bearing manufacturer, Timken.

http://www.timken.com/en-us/products/maintdiag/Doc...-Guide.pdf


-Kevin
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Remove the front spindle nut with ease: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679567&highlight=
Remove the rear wheel bearing housing without messing with the big 46mm nut: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679507&highlight=

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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

Take the number on the seal and get ahold of a CR dealer locally.

Can't add any reference points of interest cause I don't have a clue where your working.
You might have to drive your snowmobile to get them - not sure, don't know.

Do Not get me all cranked up on preloading the bearings, which you should do.

If not, your on your own.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

I provided some search terms for him - I do not have time to do a search for someone else; you need to ask yourself 2 questions:

1. is it better than a non-post at all?

and

2. do ya feel lucky today? well, do ya?
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
I'd replace the seals if I could find some for less than a whole bearing kit. 217-501-317B Anybody have a source for seals?


One digit off: 211501317 (also: 211501317A; 211501317B; 211501317C).
http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_83_1258/wheel-bearing-seal-rear.html
http://www.busdepot.com/211501317
http://www.autohausaz.com/pn/211501317

Or, visit your local VW dealer and pay ten times as much... for one. Mad

The left rear bearing was surmised as being shot on my van. Upon disassembly and cleaning in my dad's garage, the bearing had only minor wear and could have been reused. Also determined that the previous installer failed to seat the seals properly, which caused a slight deformation allowing grease to slowly escape. Moral: Don't use a screwdriver to seat your new seals; use something of the same diameter to evenly "press" them into place.

Merian wrote:
I provided some search terms for him - I do not have time to do a search for someone else
...
1. is it better than a non-post at all?


Borderline. Took me all but 10 seconds to find this: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=641727 . However, no one but you knows if that's the topic you were referring to.
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rubbachicken
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

when i replace the bearings, i drill and tap for a zerc fitting, in the bottom, so that it can be got at with the wheel on

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

rubbachicken wrote:
when i replace the bearings, i drill and tap for a zerc fitting, in the bottom, so that it can be got at with the wheel on

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


But what good does this do if it can't effectively force grease through the bearings, in particular the inner one, while if it does force grease through the outer it will contaminate the brakes???

I think it is probably much safer to just use a needle on the outer bearing while you are doing brake work and have the outer seal removed.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

I came to the conclusion that the needle is possibly "better" than a grease fitting. Mostly because I did not want to dis-assemble my hubs. It's certainly easier. However if you installed a grease fitting that means you cleaned your hubs 100% The cleaning/greasing ALONE probably got you another 100-200,000mi, the grease fitting will allow some feller 100,000 miles from now, the ablility to add grease. And with care and understanding, NOT to the brakes.

My reasons the needle is a contender as a GOOD solution:

1) Most people don't grease their rear bearings at all and they can run 100-200k miles. If you needle-grease whenever you do your rear brakes you are maintaining these bearings much better than mfr recommendations. The needle greaser is only $5 on Amazon and its just EASY to grease these bearings once you've pulled the wheel hub of that axle. (brakes off too).

2) Tap the axle inward a little (with a block of wood) until the hub pops out of the inner seal before pumping grease. This gives clean grease a path thru the inner ball bearing, and lets the dirty grease out of the inner ball bearing too. This ejected grease will be inside your trailing arms, so don't get carried away pumping.

3) With the needle, you can pump grease in at 12-3-6-9:00 positions and push out the old grease much more evenly than a zerk at one location, where clean grease comes out the top and nothing out of the bottom.

======== other observations =========

Your seals may be worn out. Adding new grease is good for worn seals but renewing the seals is better - if you want the bearings to last another 100. But you must remove the hubs to change the inner seal. New seals are $3 each at BusDepot. Part# 211501317

There is a bit of discussion about pounding on bearings with a big hammer (to get the axle nut off). I don't like it personally. But these hubs have a large tough roller bearings with line-contact on the outside. And it seems like folks have not discovered problems pounding on them over many years. However the inner bearing is a ball bearing which has point-contact, and may be subject to 'brinelling' or the balls denting the races. I would not pound on this axle. Furthermore members write of hubs where the bearing bore has been ovalized. Maybe from someone pounding on the hub over the years? Not me. I'd use leverage, heat, or an air-tool if you can get one. No hammers near bearings.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

these hubs were stripped, cleaned back to bear metal, drilled tapped new bearings, the zerc fitting, they are greased at the time of fitment, the zerc allows me to fill 100% with grease, one of these tubes is almost enough for both hubs, both inner and outer bearing are 100% greased, i fill until i can see the grease coming out of the outer bearing, then sit the center of the brake drum on it, and give it a couple more until i can see it lift, then it's done, i don't get covered in grease doing to the job.
there's no need really for the zerc afterwards, there's no harm in maybe giving it a single pump of fresh grease once in a couple of years.
here it is fitted, you can see the green grease flush with the seal, i grease them on the bench, so i can watch the grease, and with the drum center on, once i see grease, i can see it move, now i know it is full, and i know i have not pushed the inner seal out, you can't see that one with it all assembled.
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Wildthings wrote:

But what good does this do if it can't effectively force grease through the bearings, in particular the inner one, while if it does force grease through the outer it will contaminate the brakes???

I think it is probably much safer to just use a needle on the outer bearing while you are doing brake work and have the outer seal removed.

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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

If I had my hubs all apart it would take 3 men and a boy to prevent me from drilling/tapping the hub for fittings.

rubbachicken wrote:

there's no need really for the zerc afterwards, there's no harm in maybe giving it a single pump of fresh grease once in a couple of years.


Something to be said to putting a plug in and keep the fitting in the toybox. If this van ever ended up on the rack at some big-box Lube shop with a pneumatic greasegun waggling around under it there could easily get grease on the brakes.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

how many miles on your Van?

has the hub ever been submerged?

did you test it for play and for noise?

I admire your go for it attitude, but am worried about you stopping short when you are so close...

it may well be ok to not do it - or you could call a good Vanagon shop and ask them how much they usually charge

if you are nice to them, they may let you come look at the bearings and examine them with a magnifier
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Needle grease rear wheel bearings? Reply with quote

I'm late to the party here...... It's been a Hellish work week! Rolling Eyes ( anyone want an F150 with no reverse.)

Anyway........ My photos are used so thought I'd explain what I did.

I had a machinist for a father who taught me many basics of metal working and bearings.

Bearings are most often installed or removed incorrectly putting undue pressure upon the rollers and balls thus leaving long term damage behind.

To remove and reuse bearings without risking damage is a process that few have the tools or skills to pull off.
I don't have my Dads tools..... And only some of his skills.

As I rebuilt my 86 Inread the horror story posts of new bearings failing at an early point. Of ill fitting new bearings and in general just about the rear bearing headaches.

I made a choice based upon the information I read.

1) I am not installing new wheel bearings at this time. (I've never driven the Van so their condition is unknown to me so I will risk using my the OE ones)

2) I will simply leave them in place, clean them the best Incan by forcing new grease from the inside out. Putting in new grease will push the old grease out ahead of it (which worked by the way)

3) to inject new grease, I need grease fittings. I read the pros and cons of grease fittings and decided that they are a must have to salvage my old bearings without removing them.
I did not remove my bearings and drilled the grease fitting hole and tapped the hole in a most anal manner using grease and frequent cleaning of my tools during the process. I am 99% convinced that no metal shavings entered the axle.

By putting in the socket and covering one side I was able to for we all of the old grease out of the bearings and hub assembly.

Will I use the fittings to lube the bearings in the future?
Probably but The task will most likely include new wheel seals and removal of the bearing assemblies and redo my initial flush already described.

If you don't have the technique to drill a hole and capture the shavings..... Don't even try it.

Dave
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