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Old 09-09-2018, 06:59 PM   #1
rfisher
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Default the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi sages- replaced a humming rf wheel bearing on an 88 buick lesabre and didn't think it was too tough. removed driveshaft nut with an impact gun . sounded like a .45 cal thompson and bolts on hub/bearing assembly and replaced it with a Timken unit. think it was about $180 for the part. my 01 L100 has a similar hum which gets louder on the rf side if I shift the weight on it with a left turn. figure bearing is stinko. car has 177k. buick had 188k. don't want the bearing to blow or sieze at high speed on thunder road. watched youtube videos on it. seems the task is different on the Lseries and the smaller S series. my question is does the hub and bearing come out and go back as an assembly without pressing a bearing at a clip joint? it did on the buick. in one video it appears you have to first remove the hub and then dig out a circlip from the back of the spindle to get the bearing out. that could be hellacious if the bearing is stuck . if one of you has done this job, please sock it to me. thanks tons bob fisher

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Old 09-09-2018, 08:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

The bearing must be pressed out and back in. There are ways to do it at home but from what I have read and seen at shops it is better to just take the whole assembly with strut off and take it to a shop to let them do the work.

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Old 09-10-2018, 09:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi dsat- thank you for your answer and insight. was afraid it would have to be pressed in and out. thought since buick lesabre didn't need the pressing, just bolt in replacement hub/bearing assembly and Saturn is also a gm car, Saturn might be the same. bet shop will clip me $100 to press bearing. did see a press kit with big washers , thru bolts and blocks which seem to be able to do the pressing. rental of it is free if you buy the parts at auto zone. so dsat what think you of that? just hate to get clipped by shysters. thanks tons bob fisher

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Old 09-10-2018, 09:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

I can't speak for Autozone but O'Reilly's do tool loaner. They don;t tie in buying parts from them. You simply pay the retail cost of the tool (usually leave it on a CC), then when you are done, return the tool and they credit back the CC. Free.

My O'Reilly's also take old parts that I've swapped on my car and they put them in their dumpster as my garbage men won;t take stuff like that.

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Old 09-10-2018, 09:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi floridas- thanks for your answer. didn't realize that about reillys. have you or other sages here done this job, specifically have you used that kit they loan that you can press out and in the bearings? would prefer not going to a shyster shop, but will if cornered and only 1 clip left. thanks tons bob fisher

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Old 09-10-2018, 10:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

Here's a video of changing out the front wheel bearing. The guy is somewhat long winded and tends to labor each point but once he has the hub removed mentions that he is taking it to a shop to get the bearing pressed out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcE1eS07YAY

I have looked in my Haynes Manual and once again, they go as far as removing the hub, but then state the bearing should be replaced by a shop due to the special tools needed.

So it appears all roads lead to having to use a press shop.

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Old 09-11-2018, 01:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

Whatever you do, avoid using the Centric brand bearing. I had one installed on my car and it failed after a little over two years. Go with National, SKF, Timken, or FAG (a German co.). A good bearing should give you many years of driving satisfaction.

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Old 09-11-2018, 09:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi sages of Saturn- have read all the replies and watched the entire video . 10 years ago put the Timken bearing into the lesabre. it worked fine. strangely the bearing was already in the new hub and it bolted on to the knuckle. seems the bearing on the L100 has to be pressed in and out either by a clip joint($100) or I do it with one of those kits you borrow from reillys. could one who has done this job using that press kit comment in more detail about it since I sense some concern about doing that step. should I expect a fail or a clusterf@!#k. will though use a national ,Timken or skf bearing. thanks tons bob fisher

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Old 09-16-2018, 08:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi sages- looked at the you tube bearing replacement. its pretty good. still on the fence on whether to use the press kit loaner. doesn't look tough at all. but concerned about whether it will crap out, slip or clusterf#@!k. friend with a press says he will press in and out bearings w/o charge if I remove and give him the knuckle. that requires disconnecting strut , ball joints , steering rods and probably a wheel alignment. if the kit worked, it would save a lot of work. how is the kit questionable. thanks tons bob fisher

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Old 09-16-2018, 12:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
hi sages- looked at the you tube bearing replacement. its pretty good. still on the fence on whether to use the press kit loaner. doesn't look tough at all. but concerned about whether it will crap out, slip or clusterf#@!k.
Yup, that's the big concern, and one can't know without making the attempt to use the kit...oy vey...
Would you please post the link to the video showing this bearing replacement tool kit in action?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
friend with a press says he will press in and out bearings w/o charge if I remove and give him the knuckle. that requires disconnecting strut , ball joints , steering rods and probably a wheel alignment.
The left front wheel bearing has been replaced twice on my car. The first time it was done by a mechanic - with the short-lived Centric wheel bearing - and there was no need to perform an alignment. The second time the knuckle was removed by me and taken to a parts store nearby for the press work to replace the bearing. Due to difficulty in removing the lower knuckle bolt connecting it to the ball joint stud I had to have an alignment performed. (That particular bolt and nut also needed to be replaced.) If one is very careful the alignment is unnecessary. As best I can recall, my total cost for the last bearing replacement was ~$160.00. That may not be too far off of what a shop would've charged me. The "saving grace" was the learning process which I did find valuable.

A suggestion (nothing more than that): calculate the likely cost of your replacement of the bearing vs. that of a shop performing the job (verifying if they'll require an alignment afterward). Good information helps us all make better decisions in an instance like this one.

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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 09-16-2018 at 12:18 PM..

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Old 09-16-2018, 08:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi pierrot- following up your request to see the you tube video on this topic, in this thread I started you will see the you tube reference in the 6th entry response from floridas122002 . it is in blue type and all you have to do touch your pointer on it and it will come up. to the right side are other videos on similar vehicles which the use of the press out kit is detailed without removing the knuckle from the vehicle. suggest you look at a few of them and let me know what you think. inclined to try the kit and then if it craps, I will goto plan b and remove the knuckle have it pressed out. look forward to hearing from you. thanks tons bob fisher

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Old 09-17-2018, 12:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

I confused things - my apology. I thought that there was a video related to the loaner tool kit for removing the front wheel bearing. More importantly, I've seen no kit available for removing front wheel bearings for a FWD car. If you know where that kit can be found on-line would you please direct me to it? I could not find it at either of AutoZone's or O'Reilly's websites. I would think it unlikely to exist since the the pressing weight in tons (amount unknown by me) is greater than a human can generate lacking a press machine.

Who knows? Maybe I'm wrong...

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Old 09-20-2018, 06:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi sages - you all helped me with your comments and I appreciate it. right now the plan is to take the rf assembly apart. have found at reillys the bearing which is a bca national, the circlip and the hub which is also a bca national. national seems to be a good part. the parts cost about 136. strangely they are all separate, not in a kit as I thought they would be. only decision now is whether I can get the bearing and hub in and out with the press kit which I can borrow from reillys. looks fairly easy in the videos from floridas. if it doesn't work , then I will take off the knuckle and take it to a friend with a press to get the bearing/hub pressed. has anybody here actually done this job successfully with the press kit. it would save a lot of time and wrenching. thanks sons bob fisher

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Old 09-20-2018, 07:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

My thoughts: I would not even attempt to press the hub or the bearing in without a bench or floor mount press. Just too many concerns. The bearing has to be supported very well from behind when being pressed in.

Same for the hub. Having this done by a shop with my help, showed me how easy it would be to damage the bearing when performing either of these procedures.

Pull the knuckle and bring it to your friend with a REAL press. Once you see how this is done, it will be very obvious how these parts can be easily damaged when pressing them in.

It cost me $25.00 well worth it. Some members report $40-$50 being charged by shops. You will need an alignment afterwards.

Keep us posted on how you proceed.

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Old 09-21-2018, 09:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

thanks rb- others have said just what you said. still haven't run into anyone who has actually done this press using a kit. I can surmise how a damaging mistake could occur. if the press in kit washers were not perfectly lined up or the wrong washers were used, the bearing could be damaged(crushed or the center race bent out). my approach to shade tree mechanics is usually motivated by avoiding clip city with shyster mechanics and other cleaners.(have you ever been to the cleaners?). only downside to your recommendation is the extra wrenching time to take out the knuckle and the shystering which will result from the need for an alignment. was hoping to avoid the alignment by not taking out the knuckle . probably will take out the knuckle and take it to the press shop. will keep you posted. regards bob fisher

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Old 09-21-2018, 01:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

rfisher, I think that all of us members at SaturnFans can understand the desire to avoid being defrauded by unscrupulous repair businesses of whatever kind. I've seen this kind of thing occur at dealerships, independent shops, and even auto parts stores. However, it is not to be considered as being the norm by anyone. There are instances where a shop also makes an error in a repair. When it's discovered the shop has to correct it as they're responsible for the service and parts they supply for the work performed. Your message above suggests that you have no businesses around you which are trustworthy. Frankly, I can't believe that that is true.

Of course, the old addage of the "buyer beware" always applies. Ignorance, especially regarding automotive repair, can lead to instances where some people will be cheated by those who wish to take advantage of others. In your case, you understand the process involved with this repair since you're already familiar with it. Therefore someone who clearly attempts to cheat you will be faced by someone who can challenge the cheating. As I see it, you're more than competent to deal with this should you make use of any repair business and a problem of honesty arises. What state do you live in? Your state government may offer assistance to consumers in the event of a bad business practice issue. I've not been cheated by any auto repair business. I go to places which come with a good recommendation or to a place I already know which also knows me - simple.

IMO, you would be better served by having a shop install the bearing kit. However, before taking the car to a shop ask them questions. What is the labor cost of the basic repair (assuming they will use the parts you've purchased)? Will an alignment be required after the bearing replacement and knuckle reinstallation is completed? If you're doing the job yourself and having a machine shop do the press work then ask what they charge for that job. (Do you have a repair manual to refer to?) While a repair shop performing this repair may not require an alignment, it should be noted to the DIYer that after reinstalling the knuckle the Haynes manual states the alignment should be checked and adjusted as necessary.

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Old 09-21-2018, 01:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

^ I agree. There are as many great repair shops as there are dishonest ones.

When I thought I needed another round of wheel balancing, the shop I used informed me of a worn right front wheel bearing. I surmised - approximately five years after meeting a curb in a fresh snow dump, replacing the lower control arm and nothing else, the bearing decided to give up. As a retiree, I don't have access to a large hydraulic (30 ton?) press as well as a bench press (1 ton?) so it was a no brainer to let the shop do the work. I've used these presses and confident I could do the work but I also know I would have to borrow the bearing kit of assorted dies to find the right inside/outside bearing cups in order to perform correct bearing repairs. Without a large or heavy duty press, portable, bench or hydraulic type and bushings to fit, wheel bearing replacement can be either several hours of hard labor or an hour or so of easy work setting up and removing/replacing wheel bearings. I've reviewed several videos, one from a British shade tree mechanic performing in car wheel bearing replacement and using a small 5 or 10 ton hydraulic press. Both were not easy endeavors but accomplished the replacement. Once the wheel bearing was replaced, I already have a lifetime Firestone alignment policy and when to them for alignment. The car drove straight after repairs but I went in for an alignment anyway. Wheel hub removal usually requires wheel alignment unless one is careful to mark strut mounts and tie rods to minimize/eliminate misalignment when putting parts back on.

The overlooked part of diy bearing replacement is removing an old one and carefully pressing in the new on correctly. There's more to bearing replacement than most can imagine as stuck bearings presents specific problems. Pressing new bearings presents problems that can result in premature failure when using incorrect procedures.

pierrot, when the first wheel bearing failed, I wonder if the bearing failed from incorrect procedures. Its difficult to point to one brand being inferior to another unless a shop experienced several failures with the same brand, replaced them on their dime and determined not to use the suspect brand in the future. This presumes correct bearing replacement procedures are followed. Although I don't spend time looking in repair shops, I doubt every repair garage has heavy duty hydraulic presses when it may be easier to farm out the work to a shop having every press available with every tool for easy one stop service. My previous employment has a shop with several presses, a lathe, broaching, milling machine, etc. I was allowed to use any equipment at my own risk.

The wheel bearing replacement in my car is no different from others and time will tell whether or not correct procedures were followed to guarantee long life. I shortened the life of the previous bearing by bouncing off a curb at low speed. The bent lower control arm showed the forces involved in that brief moment. Poor driver awareness/distraction that day (me).

Last edited by fdryer; 09-21-2018 at 01:59 PM..

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Old 09-21-2018, 04:15 PM   #18
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

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pierrot, when the first wheel bearing failed, I wonder if the bearing failed from incorrect procedures.
I think it unlikely,fdryer. The Centric brand bearing was on the car for two years before it began to fail. After the hub and bearing were removed I was directed to notice the rust present on the hub. As best I can recall, the rust was on the splines. Whether or not that had a negative impact on the bearing's longevity isn't certain although it strikes me as unlikely. The replacement hub brand with the second bearing, National, was the same as the first, Dorman, and it's made in China. That was unknown to me prior to receiving the part. So we'll see how this all works out on my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Its difficult to point to one brand being inferior to another unless a shop experienced several failures with the same brand, replaced them on their dime and determined not to use the suspect brand in the future. This presumes correct bearing replacement procedures are followed.
That's a fair point. It's true that one cannot cannot categorically state that the Centric bearing was a faulty product. Indeed, unless one actually breaks down the bearing to see how the roller balls appear inside of the bearing it's impossible to surmise a reason for the failure. (I will hazard a guess that it was either a failure of the metallurgy or machining relative to the roller balls, or an inadequate type of grease used inside of the sealed bearing, or both.)

In this case it goes to a matter of trust. I know of National/BCA, SKF, and FAG since I'd sold those brands years ago and never had any one of them come back to me as a defect. Nor were there any complaints from the businesses I'd sold them to regarding their longevity. My first experience with a Centric bearing was bad. Since these bearings require specialized work that must be paid for out of pocket by me, the DIYer for my car, in addition to the purchase costs it's my consideration that the product cannot be trusted to provide an adequate service life.

I must say this: it's truly remarkable that the bearings at the other three wheels are all factory originals!

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 09-21-2018, 08:54 PM   #19
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi fdryer and pierrot- thanks for your replies which I am in basic agreement ,with a few clarifications. lived in nj for the 1st 55 years and fla for the last 15. have worked on cars since 15. have dealt with very good mechanics/ shops and very bad ones. my experience is that about 40% were dishonest, incompetent, overcharged or some combination therein. the worst even tried the old muffler bearing trick, blinker fluid trick or similar scam. my worst experiences have generally been with car dealers and highway chain stores. recommendations, research and education and even luck have saved me a small fortune. I make no comment or judgment on the experience of others who may have different experience than me. the increasing cost and complexity of car repairs in the last 20 years has added to this problem. on my current problem the advice here has been good. going to get a name brand bearing, hub and circlip and attempt using the pressing kit very carefully. reillys seems to have a very good kit. if the pressing starts to go bad I will stop, take off the knuckle and give the job to my friend with the press. will keep you posted. again thanks tons and keep wrenching bf

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Old 09-22-2018, 09:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: the old front wheel bearing trick on L100

hi sages- some followups. thinking good advice is to replace the hub with a new one too . it is just as exposed to rust, stress and wear as the bearing, especially at 177k on this 2001. seems the old one if reinstalled with the new bearing had variations, it would prematurely wear the bearing . old mechanic uncle moe who worked on shermans and 2 1/2 ton trucks on the beach at Omaha and then for 40 years in repair shops, told me the right wheel bearing usually wears out before the left. anybody know why. other 3 original bearings are good. have seen bearing kit (partsgeek.com) including nut, bearing, circlip and hub for 45 total including shipping by duralag and pronto. this is about 100 less than the name brands. never heard of those two. have you folks? getting a little cooler in fla now . planning to put the L100 on jack stands in a few weeks and start this job and use my other jalopy, a 240 92 volvo. not sure how long the bearing job/complications will take. thanks tons bf

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