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Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera
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D/A/N
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

I'm trying to get my 70 Riviera out of Oregon and drive it back to NYC where it belongs but the damn thing just won't stop having problems with aftermarket parts. After several poorly cast drums, busted castle nuts, and a host of other things, the latest issue is related to the bearings, and/or drum, and/or the left rear stub axle.

With the axle installed, the drum in place, and the castle nut torqued up, there's significant visible and audible play: when grabbed and pulled at 12 and 6 or 3 and 9 or at the snout, the drum moves noticeably and thunks loudly. The movement is visible all the way back to the CV joint so it seems it must be the stub axle sliding in and out of the bearings though we can't be sure why.

The drum is new (made in Mexico), the bearings are FAG and new with only about 8 miles on them. Both spacers are new (FAG), the circlip is in place, and so are the grease seals.

Generally, this kind of play is related to either bad bearings or lack of torque, but we've got torque. Could it be bad FAG bearings out of the box or have we overlooked something else that's obvious?
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

I would think that after you installed the bearings and slid the stub through, if there was slop you would have felt it then.

Last year I bought a 1971 bus. Soon I found that the right rear was doing what yours is. New inner and outer bearings solved the problem. I've never heard of a stub axle being worn like that. Take it back apart and see what's wrong. Please come back and fill us in.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:06 am    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

I say we just get some EMPI lattice from the ground to the rockers and some Meyle artificial foliage to hide the tires and go this route to solve the problem:

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


That Bus of yours is pretty bitchin till it has to roll anyplace. Rolling Eyes

But seriously... parts quality out there is stupefyingly bad these days. Shocked

Here are the two issues:
1. There's about 2mm in and out play on the left rear drum with everything tight. Drum also scrapes the backing plate- really loud. All bearings and spacers are new. The stub axle is a good used replacement due to the original nuts needing to be cut off with an air chisel damaging the threads. [sarcasm font]They were slightly overtight.[/sarcasm font] Drums were replaced due to a PO obviously running them loose for a long, long time. Inner snouts were wallowed out.

So, what we have is this bearing play in the rear with all new parts, and a complete new braking system all around- the only things not NEW are the front drums, which are machined with plenty of meat left...

2. Yet you need to STAND on the brakes to get it to stop. There's also a slight pulsating pedal.

I'm thinking the brake issue is related to the loose but not loose bearings on the LR.

The bearing races needed to be pressed into the housing, so doubt that is worn.

Is it possible that TOO MUCH torque on that nut boinked the rear bearings? I may have let a go-rilla with a Torquemeister tool too near that side.

As a "funny" aside... the brake noise was a really loud SCRAPE SCRAPE rotational noise that started out on the RIGHT side. When I removed the drum, it had a patch that looked just like the scab you'd get on your knee a week after you crashed your bike and knelt across 25 feet of pavement. I hit it with a cleanup wheel and that area just kept growing pits and throwing shards.

Parts guy brought me a second new drum- and it had pits too. Third one was OK.

Then, the new axle nuts have a nasty habit of blowing apart. D/A/N installed one with my big air gun today and it cracked. I went to remove it BY HAND and it broke in two. This is the second new nut that's done this.

WTF is going on with this crap??? Shocked

But anyways... back to the axle. I am seriously scratching my head here. I've already told my parts guy to get me a new bearing set as in my experience worn bearings are what cause this... but in like 5 miles?

Then again, there are the drums. And the axle nuts. Oh, and the NEW Mexican OEM push rod tubes that don't seem to want to collapse when you torque the head down. They want to hairline crack instead.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:12 am    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

aeromech wrote:
I would think that after you installed the bearings and slid the stub through, if there was slop you would have felt it then.

Last year I bought a 1971 bus. Soon I found that the right rear was doing what yours is. New inner and outer bearings solved the problem. I've never heard of a stub axle being worn like that. Take it back apart and see what's wrong. Please come back and fill us in.


So that suggests we might have bad bearings out of the box as 8 miles shouldn't be enough to trash a bearing.

If it matters, once seated, the axle has to be driven back out with a hammer and a socket over the loosened nut. On install, it also requires some help but not as much as on removal. New bearings and spacers are on order. FWIW, there was no slop in the bearings and the races had to be driven in with a drift so there's not an obvious issue in the bearing housing.

On another note, has anyone else had issues of any sort with 68-70 rear drums from Mexico? After several problems, I'm considering the $180 German or "German" ones from Wolfsburg West. No one else seems to be selling them but they look like this:

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http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/cart/DetailsList.cfm?ID=211501615G
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:34 am    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

Now those look like VW brake drums. Shocked Maybe see if they have matching castle nuts too.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

If the length of the spacer is the problem, you could get a custom spacer made at a local machine shop.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

You are better off with used parts (OG) from samba members than wasting money on "new" parts. 8 miles on a bearing is about right in my experience. I have all you need should you wish to go that way. The parts quality is a nightmare these days.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

Manfred, you may be hearing from one of us on that.

One other clue I forgot to mention last night because I was dead tired is that with this replacement stub axle, I find I need to use the next thinner metric cotter key than I used on the other side. If I could get the nut on one more thread, I could use the thicker cotter key- and possibly that will take care of the end play... but it just... will...not...go...there.

Does this tell us anything?

And yes, I pulled it all back apart and wire- wheeled and polished the stub contact areas with 2000 grit paper, wet, to be sure there are no burrs or other obstructions preventing it from seating fully. No difference. The nut looks like it needs to go a thread further. Threads look OK, and it's a used original nut.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

Tram wrote:
Manfred, you may be hearing from one of us on that.

One other clue I forgot to mention last night because I was dead tired is that with this replacement stub axle, I find I need to use the next thinner metric cotter key than I used on the other side. If I could get the nut on one more thread, I could use the thicker cotter key- and possibly that will take care of the end play... but it just... will...not...go...there.

Does this tell us anything?

And yes, I pulled it all back apart and wire- wheeled and polished the stub contact areas with 2000 grit paper, wet, to be sure there are no burrs or other obstructions preventing it from seating fully. No difference. The nut looks like it needs to go a thread further. Threads look OK, and it's a used original nut.


But the aftermarket nut was smaller and went on one or two threads further with no improvement in play. Then, of course, it cracked Rolling Eyes

In the end, other than bad spacers, bad bearings, or a worn out housing, what else could the problem be?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

D/A/N wrote:
Tram wrote:
Manfred, you may be hearing from one of us on that.

One other clue I forgot to mention last night because I was dead tired is that with this replacement stub axle, I find I need to use the next thinner metric cotter key than I used on the other side. If I could get the nut on one more thread, I could use the thicker cotter key- and possibly that will take care of the end play... but it just... will...not...go...there.

Does this tell us anything?

And yes, I pulled it all back apart and wire- wheeled and polished the stub contact areas with 2000 grit paper, wet, to be sure there are no burrs or other obstructions preventing it from seating fully. No difference. The nut looks like it needs to go a thread further. Threads look OK, and it's a used original nut.


But the aftermarket nut was smaller and went on one or two threads further with no improvement in play. Then, of course, it cracked Rolling Eyes

In the end, other than bad spacers, bad bearings, or a worn out housing, what else could the problem be?


That's not my recollection. We TRIED to get it on another 1/4 turn to get a cotter key hole but the damn correct key wouldn't fit. As I spun the wheel over to see if the hole 90 degrees away from the other one was more visible I noticed the damn crack.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

the design of this set up doesn't allow a tight fit. even with new bearings, there will be some movement on the wheel like the bearing is loose, but it isn't.

the only failure I have had was on a 70, and the bearing was some KMM trash as I recall. the bearing got noisy in about 3K.

I have always measured and reused OE spacers. I am putting a TON of power thru these in both early/late configurations with no issues, early or late style.

the bearing (outer as I recall) with the separate race doesn't allow for a 'tight' fit...rather it 'floats'
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

You could always remove the drum. Cut a length of pipe to slide over the stub axle to tighten the nut up against. So you can see where the play is.
Good luck
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
the design of this set up doesn't allow a tight fit. even with new bearings, there will be some movement on the wheel like the bearing is loose, but it isn't.

the only failure I have had was on a 70, and the bearing was some KMM trash as I recall. the bearing got noisy in about 3K.

I have always measured and reused OE spacers. I am putting a TON of power thru these in both early/late configurations with no issues, early or late style.

the bearing (outer as I recall) with the separate race doesn't allow for a 'tight' fit...rather it 'floats'


Yeah, but the other side is tight, with all the same stuff. It's not making noise, either. If both sides had the same little bit of play I could buy that.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

Tcash wrote:
You could always remove the drum. Cut a length of pipe to slide over the stub axle to tighten the nut up against. So you can see where the play is.
Good luck
Tcash


Good idea, actually.

So if I do this and I still get the couple mm thunk in and out through the bearing housing, what does that tell me? I guess if I remove the seals too that might be better, eh?

It doesn't appear to be play at 6/12 or 9/3 o'clock, it seems to be straight in/out.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

Tram wrote:


It doesn't appear to be play at 6/12 or 9/3 o'clock, it seems to be straight in/out.


well, that's a horse of a different color. try swapping drums side to side. could be the face of 1 of them isn't as deep
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

Tram wrote:
Tcash wrote:
You could always remove the drum. Cut a length of pipe to slide over the stub axle to tighten the nut up against. So you can see where the play is.
Good luck
Tcash


Good idea, actually.

So if I do this and I still get the couple mm thunk in and out through the bearing housing, what does that tell me? I guess if I remove the seals too that might be better, eh?

It doesn't appear to be play at 6/12 or 9/3 o'clock, it seems to be straight in/out.


Well, there was play at 12 and 6 when the tire was on....remember we thought it was "just bearing play" at first? Though that could just as easily fit in with what skills was saying about the semblance of play even when there isn't any.

Also....it appears that the inner spacer is still available new from a number of sources, but not the outer. Is the outer spacer the same as Type 1 or Type 3 or is it larger?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

D/A/N wrote:
Tram wrote:
Tcash wrote:
You could always remove the drum. Cut a length of pipe to slide over the stub axle to tighten the nut up against. So you can see where the play is.
Good luck
Tcash


Good idea, actually.

So if I do this and I still get the couple mm thunk in and out through the bearing housing, what does that tell me? I guess if I remove the seals too that might be better, eh?

It doesn't appear to be play at 6/12 or 9/3 o'clock, it seems to be straight in/out.


Well, there was play at 12 and 6 when the tire was on....remember we thought it was "just bearing play" at first? Though that could just as easily fit in with what skills was saying about the semblance of play even when there isn't any.

Also....it appears that the inner spacer is still available new from a number of sources, but not the outer. Is the outer spacer the same as Type 1 or Type 3 or is it larger?


It's larger- if it was the same with all the Type 3 stuff I have here it woulda been fixed already. Laughing

Yes, we detected that play with the tire on, however with it off and a socket/ ratchet on the axle nut I could only replicate in/ out so I'm not sure that we really were seeing/ feeling exactly what I thought we were.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
Tram wrote:


It doesn't appear to be play at 6/12 or 9/3 o'clock, it seems to be straight in/out.


well, that's a horse of a different color. try swapping drums side to side. could be the face of 1 of them isn't as deep


That's entirely possible too. What keeps sticking in my craw, though, is the fact that the nut doesn't seem to cinch down quite as far on the side with the play. I also want to say that this didn't happen till I replaced the stub axle. Well, I know it didn't because when I went to re- install the cotter key I took out I needed to go to the next size down instead. I guess I'll do new bearings then if the issue persists I get to rip both sides down and start swapping stuff around till I find the part that makes the OTHER side not cinch down.

Damn, this easy shit shouldn't be this difficult... Brick wall
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

the nut not pinching everything together is an issue. it could be the nut "snout" on the drum is incorrect, or the inner "snout" isn't deep enough.

basically, like the pipe idea the drum is nothing more than a spacer to pinch the bearing stack together...you just need to find where the deficit is...either the drum of the aftermarket spacer. sadly, you can't snake the big girl spacer out without removing the bearing.....and getting all covered in poop again
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Stub axle/bearing woes on a 70 Riviera Reply with quote

Colin is in Eureka CA and was in Portland a couple days ago. I doubt if you can convince him to come back to Oregon unless you are not far from Eureka CA but it might be your best bet to try considering this sounds like your first rodeo with bus rear bearings and 1970 drums. NY is a long way away. He'll charge you what it would cost to take it to a shop but he knows older buses - in fact he is driving his 1970 on this trip, but what he would charge you is less than a 3000 mile flatbed tow. Good luck.

Colin - https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/memberlist.php
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