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Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings?
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epowell
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:06 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Otherwise, this is such a quick and easy thing to do I think I might include it in my annual maintenance program --- once a year just re-fresh the grease in there. I wonder if doing the fronts would also be wise?
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

How does this method address the inner bearing?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
How does this method address the inner bearing?


I think it really cannot do much for it. Basically it will push out the old grease from as far in as the needle can get into the bearing center area. My needle will get up to the inner bearing so it can push almost all the old grease out of that center area. I suppose as the inner bearing grease circulates/mixes with the newer grease it will help the inner bearing but it is not really regreasing the inner bearing directly. My thought is that this method is better than leaving old grease in there and I do not trust replacement bearings to have as good quality as the original rear bearings so I'd prefer not to replace those bearings if they are still running well. YMMV.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
MarkWard wrote:
How does this method address the inner bearing?


I think it really cannot do much for it. Basically it will push out the old grease from as far in as the needle can get into the bearing center area. My needle will get up to the inner bearing so it can push almost all the old grease out of that center area. I suppose as the inner bearing grease circulates/mixes with the newer grease it will help the inner bearing but it is not really regreasing the inner bearing directly. My thought is that this method is better than leaving old grease in there and I do not trust replacement bearings to have as good quality as the original rear bearings so I'd prefer not to replace those bearings if they are still running well. YMMV.


Aha... so this method ONLY replaces half of the grease? Only the outer bearing half it seems. I guess if the job is done also to the inner bearing by first removing the CVs (I should have done this last year when I had them off) we can replace the inner bearing grease also... or, if you re-fresh the outer-bearing grease every single year then maybe slowly slowly the inner bearing grease will work it's way to the outer-bearing area and eventually get washed out also.

My needle will be pretty small 1.5mm wide --- so I think I will heat up the hub in order to get that grease flowing more easily.

Do you guys recommend also removing the CVs and the inner seal and re-freshing the inner-bearing grease also?
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:21 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

It's been a lot of years since I had a stub axle out on a vanagon. Does it really destroy the bearings by removing it? I can't for the life of me remember it tearing the bearings up. They must have changed the design with the Vanagon. It was not uncommon to replace the stub axle on a type 1 or type 2.

For the front wheel bearing question. I would think properly packed front wheel bearings should go 60,000 miles without requiring repacking.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

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


From other thread: Needle grease rear wheel bearings?

Maybe go 30,000 jjust accessing it from the outside, then every 60,000 miles do it up good? (inner+ outer)

If you can push the axle in about 10mm it will come out of the seal and the old grease will exit.

There's a couple ways to do this (theoretically !) :
1) Just give it a bunch of blind pumps - you can't see this grease coming out into your rear trailing arm.
2) remove the backing plate etc, and the four 22mm bolts holding the hub on, then you can watch for the clean grease to emerge.

That needle greasing pushes out a SIGNIFICANT amount of old grease is proven.
You have to poke the needle in at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00 locations. (not Time of Day Wink )
That it's feasible to do this method "on-car" is theory.

I've read a bunch about mixing greases.
Don't mix different types of grease.
So if you have waterproof grease, don't mix wheelbearing grease with it.
This is a good reason to just stick with standard "wheelbearing grease" ---period.
General wheelbearing greases will be compatible.
Staying with wheelbearing grease, you eliminate concerns.
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epowell
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:


Maybe go 30,000 jjust accessing it from the outside, then every 60,000 miles do it up good? (inner+ outer)


I'm pretty sure mine has NEVER been done, so that probably means 300K miles or something... I guess it is also time to do the INNER, and that means removing the CVs from the hub, correct?? In other words, to do the INNER bearing with a needle, I need to disconnect the CVs and remove the inner seal, then repeat the needle work from the inside - correct?

Dave, why didn't you do this?



Sodo wrote:

If you can push the axle in about 10mm it will come out of the seal and the old grease will exit.



Not sure I understand this sentence.

Sodo wrote:

I've read a bunch about mixing greases.
Don't mix different types of grease.
So if you have waterproof grease, don't mix wheelbearing grease with it.
This is a good reason to just stick with standard "wheelbearing grease" ---period.
General wheelbearing greases will be compatible.
Staying with wheelbearing grease, you eliminate concerns.


I'm pretty sure my grease is the original old stuff - and I just bought some new wheel-bearing grease... I guess this should be fine?

Thanks!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Ed,

I was working on my bus with only 175,000 miles on it. I made the decision to not tear everything apart for this. Yes, it would have been a better job. But I did not want to risk damage of the existing 'good' bearings by anything in the axle removal process. Or I was lazy.. probably both. I figured that as much good clean grease as I could get in there was better than the old grease. YMMV.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

But does removing the stub axle completely destroy the original bearings? Enquiring minds. I have some spare trailing arms. Maybe I will break one down and see what is damaged.

It seems once you have the hub off and the race out of the way, 6 cv bolts and you can have access to both sides. Not sure what I am missing here.

If you are forcing grease out of the inner seal with this method, you are going to end up with a centrifugal mess if you can't remove the old grease from behind the CV flange.

Which if all you are doing is forcing old grease out, maybe a zerk fitting used sparingly would be a quick and easy method to get a little new grease in there.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Now I am a bit confused about how to do the needle greasing for the INNER rear bearing. The outer is simple - remove 46mm axle nut (done), and outer seal, then inject new grease with needle.

So doing the INNER bearing would be:
1) remove 6 CV bolts and then drop the CV flange out of the way
2) remove inner seal
3) pump in new grease (after new outer seal has been installed)

That's it, no? Or to do the inner needle work does something else have to be done - like removing the stub axle? Is the inner seal the same as the outer seal?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

I think you are leaving the inner seal in place. Only moving the stub axle in enough to let the grease work past the seal face.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
I think you are leaving the inner seal in place. Only moving the stub axle in enough to let the grease work past the seal face.


Aha... so the inner seal is a totally different thing than the outer seal. Does the inner seal hug the stub axle like a ring around a finger??

If yes then that would explain SODO's suggestion to just tap the stub axle in 13mm to pass the seal... then do the needle work from the outside only, and that should squeeze out a lot of the grease from the inner bearing.

So perhaps this would be the best...
1) remove outer seal
2) tap the stub axle inward 13mm
3) do all the needle greasing from the outside only
4) after greasing, push the stub axle back out fully
5) replace outer seal
done
?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
MarkWard wrote:
I think you are leaving the inner seal in place. Only moving the stub axle in enough to let the grease work past the seal face.


Aha... so the inner seal is a totally different thing than the outer seal. Does the inner seal hug the stub axle like a ring around a finger??

If yes then that would explain SODO's suggestion to just tap the stub axle in 13mm to pass the seal... then do the needle work from the outside only, and that should squeeze out a lot of the grease from the inner bearing.

So perhaps this would be the best...
1) remove outer seal
2) tap the stub axle inward 13mm
3) do all the needle greasing from the outside only
4) after greasing, push the stub axle back out fully
5) replace outer seal
done
?


Sounds right to me. In Sodos picture you can see the seal surface is machined into the stub axle. Iíd have to check the part numbers to see if the seal is the same, but it is the same type of girdled spring lip seal.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Quote:
1) remove outer sealing spacer ring
2) tap the stub axle inward 13mm
3) insert the needle to the centroid of the hub so it displaces the old grease equally inboard and outboard. Insert the needle in four locations around the axle (North, east, south, west). Pump new grease until all all old grease is gone and new grease is coming out clean.
4) after greasing, push the stub axle back out fully
5) replace outer sealing spacer ring


Grease isn't expensive, you can keep pumping until you're happy with the cleanliness. It's a little surprising how well this works, but you gotta do the -4 points method (N-E-S-W or 12:00 3:00, 6:00, 9:00)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
But does removing the stub axle completely destroy the original bearings?

No

The above image theory looks flawed.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

The inner ball bearing should have a tight fit on the stub axle and in the housing.

So, theoretically, there is no way to get the stub axle out of the seal without forcing side load to the ball bearing.

Of course, mostly everything is worn out a little and it is no problem when the stub comes out with a little tapping, but I would not hammer too much.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:27 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Wow... the is the general consesus among you folks that if done very carefully it would be worth a try to do it (gently tap the stub INWARD 13mm - then needle grease from the outside).

I understand that you could not want to do this on a new or even semi-new rear bearing set because when bearings a still new and tight - the "tapping INWARD" of the stub would give a potentially damaging sideward force onto the bearings.
But with 40 year old orginal bearings like mine (I am assuming they are original) they should be loose enough now not to be damaged by a little gentle tapping on the stub.

--- I did test the rear wheels for play last year with the CVs off. One side was more loose than the other but both still seemed not excessively loose. Quite reasonably still pretty healthy.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:17 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Seems the inner bearing would be side loaded on install too. That may account for some of the reason not to replace them. Possibly itís the install and not the quality that is the problem.

I donít have my manual, but the vanagon bearing housing unbolts from the trailing arm. Perhaps a better method would be to use a press to remove the stub axle and reinstall. This would take the shocking out of the picture.

Ed, I donít know if you can get your 13mm with the cv axle in place. Because the axle is inside the trailing arm, you may need to remove the axle completely.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:

I donít have my manual, but the vanagon bearing housing unbolts from the trailing arm. Perhaps a better method would be to use a press to remove the stub axle and reinstall. This would take the shocking out of the picture.


Shock treatment does not seem healthy - but if possible, the least amount of major disassembly would be nice Smile

I think I can rig up a couple of very large wood working clamps and "press" the stub that way.


MarkWard wrote:

Ed, I donít know if you can get your 13mm with the cv axle in place. Because the axle is inside the trailing arm, you may need to remove the axle completely.


I do like the idea of removing at least the CV from the stub (and letting it dangle from the tranny) - that way I could really see and actually know what is happening with the inner seal and stuff...

...however I suspect that with the van majorly jacked up it can be possible to get the stub in 13mm

Picked up my new needles just now. Seem to be perfect size and only cost $0.04 each!

I guess some gentle heating of the hub with a heat gun before injecting grease would be a good idea - to get the grease flowing a little better?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Rear wheel bearings: Remove and re-use original bearings? Reply with quote

Ed, looks like you are on the right track.
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Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
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