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Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings?
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T3messie
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:23 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

You are hammering the hardened bearing balls into the hardened races. This makes pits, do not do it.Crying or Very sad Be happy, the races are tight fit in the housing and on the stub.

I would pump fresh grease in there and call it good, drive till the bearings make noises.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

T3messie wrote:
You are hammering the hardened bearing balls into the hardened races. This makes pits, do not do it.Crying or Very sad Be happy, the races are tight fit in the housing and on the stub.

I would pump fresh grease in there and call it good, drive till the bearings make noises.


At this point I think you are right.
I tried a bit of pressing the stub in with clamps... but this didn't move the stub or feel like the right thing to do.

I think for now I'll just pump in as much grease as I can and repeat probably every year, and this hopefully will prolong the bearings' life.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Ed, It is very possible that there is not much old grease in the center cavity. You may have to add a lot of grease before you get any coming out. Whatever you do to add grease can only be a positive in my book.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Ed, It is very possible that there is not much old grease in the center cavity. You may have to add a lot of grease before you get any coming out. Whatever you do to add grease can only be a positive in my book.


Yeah, after 10 squirts it started ooozing out. I did it fully 3X. Lots of old crap came out.
I decided not to bother with the inner bearing, but I will do this outer bearing every year as part of my annual maintenance routine. I think that this way, slowly slowly, a lot of new grease will eventually get into the inner bearing.

I'll do the other side next week.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:58 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Agreed with T3Messie that hammering to add grease is going the wrong way. If the stub doesn’t slide in with light taps on a wood cushion, don’t hit harder.
Remember that the intent is to increase the lifetime.
New grease plus new fractures in the ball or race surfaces is not a better condition longer bearing life..

This process has to be fairly “easy” or nobody’s gonna do it, they’ll just run the bearings out & replace.

Im still curious if, with the suspension at max extension, can the stub axle slide inward a little without unbolting the CV.

epowell wrote:

...what would be the advantage of completely removing the stub?


I don't think Zoltan understands the method or the goal of this process.
Removing the stub leaves a huge hole in the middle making it impossible to force the old grease out in an orderly manner thru the bearings.

I think you are doing a little good by adding a little grease to the center cavity with that syringe.....but....you're not clearing the old grease out.

But using a grease gun, I pumped grease with reckless abandon (wasting lots of grease as a 'cleaning agent') and could have posted pics of the new clear red grease forcing (what appeared to be "all") the old black grease out.
Where LOTS of clean, clear grease was coming out with no trace of black anymore.
------->Suprisingly.
Providing high confidence that there was very little old grease remaining.
Which would be illustrative to this topic.

The syringe pics, while appreciated, do not instill 'confidence' in this bearing cleaning method that I was anticipating.

Well I have about 15,000 miles to go before I can provide pics (without "over-maintaining").

Maybe someone else can do this.
Your van will appreciate it.
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Last edited by Sodo on Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Actually I am completely confident that most of the old grease got pushed out of the OUTER bearing. I didn't take any pics of that process, but lot's of old dark grease was coming out, and finally only clean grease. Then I turned the stub rapidly many times which seemed to bring forth more old grease, so I again pumped in lots of new grease - then repeated the process one more time...

It seems the center cavity was totally void of grease, so this is very good to fill it up - I'm sure some of it will slowly get into the inner bearing... and I think if I repeat this process every year, there will also be some advantage to the inner bearing.

I'm pretty happy with this whole experiment, and am OK with leaving it as is, and accepting that eventually the bearings will die, but I probably did prolong their life a bit with inconveniencing myself very much at all.

Sodo, I think you "theory" is very good, but the weak link is how to press the stub back without shocking the bearings etc. Probably taking some time to really rig up a kind of "in situ presser" would be the best way.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

epowell you gotta do what works for you.
I’m rooting for some Vanagon science for theSamba, which is good but secondary. All that black grease that comes out is carrying steel with it, so the more out the better.

Some have suggested though, that the trash has been pushed out of the bearing tracks and may be piled up on the sidelines.
Therefore it makes some sense that once you disturb the old grease you just wanna push it all out at once

Its like an exorcism.
“Begone unclean spirit!”

By the next time you’ll probably have a long greasegun needle that you can insert to the “center”, and pump loads of grease thru like cleaning solvent!
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:

By the next time you’ll probably have a long greasegun needle that you can insert to the “center”, and pump loads of grease thru like cleaning solvent!


My needle was longer than Dave's and at least as long as the one that YOU put on you "tutorial" (theoretical "tutorial" LOL), and certainly long enough to get right into the middle of that middle area.

Sure my needle only cost a few cents, but I completely fail to see how having an "official" grease gun would make any difference whatsoever. Please don't scare people with the false declaration that you must have expensive tools to do the job. When I did mine, as soon as the middle was full of grease, the old black stuff was coming out in gobs.... Don't judge my work when you were not even there to have any idea what was happening. And if you want to suggest stuff for people to try, then maybe you should actually try it out yourself > I could have gotten into some real trouble testing out this "Theoretical" method. Luckily I had the sense to stop before screwing up my bearings.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

epowell you should to understand that I’m on your side.
You’re actually doing it, asking the questions, trying stuff.
Members learn a lot from this.
A helluva lot more than from those who just say to take the van to a shop.

I do try stuff myself & report on it.
And I would do this job, but I did it 15k miles ago and to do it again before 30k some might judge me as a fanatic. Wink

I see the needle is long enough, but refilling the syringe 5cc at a time manually doesn’t look like a “bearing wash station” compared to a pumping copious amounts of grease thru with a greasegun. You wrote the old black grease was coming out in gobs, was the clean grease coming out in gobs too?

I do agree it’s suprising how they don’t mix, the old comes out, then followed ny new, and it seems like there’s not much old remaining.

Greaseguns are not generally considered special or expensive tools. In the US they’re about $25. Agreed there’s not much use for them on a Vanagon otherwise. They are common and could be fairly easy to borrow.
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....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
Gear oil is like underwear.


Last edited by Sodo on Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ZsZ
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Ed, I think next time you change the bearings you should install a greasing zerk to each hub.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

ZsZ wrote:
Ed, I think next time you change the bearings you should install a greasing zerk to each hub.


With the zerk ..... the issues of providing a way for the old grease to exit remain.

Still have to:

- remove the big nut and slide off the outboard seal spacer out of the seal.
- slide the axle inward until the inner seal land moves off the inner seal.

So it takes exactly the same time as needle greasing, PLUS the zerk installation.

And with the zerk, the possibility that too much grease in the hub may over-charge the seal, wearing it out prematurely, or perhaps push it out or both.
Some years ago it would take 3 men & a boy to prevent me from putting a zerk in the hub, but many samba posts and good discussion have caused me to re-evaluate that program.

And then, the zerk being in one location lacks a significant benefit.
You cannot insert grease all around the bearing at 3,6,9, 12:00 and evenly eject the old grease.

I understand there are no pics of this 3,6,9,12:00 phenomenon.
I rallied for them, hoped for some, but it was not to be.

I will certainly take pics in about 15,000 miles when I do mine.
Last time I did it, I pushed (half of) the old grease out the outboard bearing only, (same as epowell did).
I believe pushing it out both inner and outer (evenly) is the best way.
If it can be done.
Currently it is a proposal.

Of course simply installing a new bearing is a good way too, and very popular with most pro mechanics.
But it lacks the benefits of riveting Vanagon technical discussion. Wink
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