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Old 07-22-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
MikeNW
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Default Wheel bearing source

I think I need a wheel bearing.
From my recent clutch experience, I want OEM parts.

Anybody have any recommendations? Does Rock Auto have OEM parts? Or should I order from a Saturn on-line source?

Also, would a bottle jack and frame be adequate to press in the new one, that way I could do it at home. Or do you need a larger press.

Thanks!

...
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wheel bearing source

Bottle jack definitely isn't gonna cut it. To save money you can remove the spindles yourself and take them somewhere to have the bearings pressed. Unless you have a shop press in your garage, don't attempt to do this yourself, you will destroy the bearing. The bearing doesn't necessarily need to be Saturn, a good quality BCA/National or Timken bearing is more than adequate. I used the Timken when I did the front bearings in my sister's '97 SL2 and I got the kit with the new hubs also. No problems yet over a year later and about 15K miles.

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Old 07-22-2008, 10:15 PM   #3
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1997 SL
Default Re: Wheel bearing source

Thanks

Bummer though. I plan to pull out the whole strut so I don't disturb the alignment, a little harder to tote around town.

...
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wheel bearing source

Pull the spindle as youll regret it later

Also there isnt much play in the stock struts regarding camber. Ive done all my cars except my '97 (after market struts) by eye with no issues.

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Old 07-22-2008, 10:26 PM   #5
MikeNW
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1997 SL
Default Re: Wheel bearing source

Hmmmm
Saturn parts.net $97.34 each

Rock Auto
Timken $27.79
BCA $38.79

Quite a disparity!

So, would you go with Timken or BCA (or doesn't it matter)?

I understand ya might as well do both front bearings......

...
97 SL. Born 6/5/97, bought 7/7/97
08 Burgman 400
02 Haro MTB- can't kill it, still trying though

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wheel bearing source

I think BCA

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Old 07-23-2008, 01:20 AM   #7
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Wheel bearing source

Mark the location of the strut relative to the knuckle with a paint pen. This should get the camber close enough. Mark at top and bottom, to be sure.

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Old 07-23-2008, 03:39 AM   #8
Squareback
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Default Re: Wheel bearing source

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Mark the location of the strut relative to the knuckle with a paint pen. This should get the camber close enough. Mark at top and bottom, to be sure.
Why get it close enough when you can get it dead on? He's doing it the correct way to ensure he won't change any alignment specs. Not to mention how much easier it is to undo the 3 strut mounting nuts as opposed to the strut to spindle bolts. I always take out the strut/spindle as an assembly, press the new bearing(s) in and reassemble as a unit. It's simply easier, and no chance of needing an alignment when you're done. Not really any more difficult to bring to a shop to have it pressed, just a little heavier is all. I used the Timken bearings myself, but wouldn't hesitate to use the BCA/National either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rc1488 View Post
Pull the spindle as youll regret it later

Also there isnt much play in the stock struts regarding camber. Ive done all my cars except my '97 (after market struts) by eye with no issues.
Why would he regret it later? Because he doesn't have to shell out $70 to get his car aligned afterwards?

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Old 07-23-2008, 10:53 AM   #9
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Wheel bearing source

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squareback View Post
Why get it close enough when you can get it dead on? He's doing it the correct way to ensure he won't change any alignment specs. Not to mention how much easier it is to undo the 3 strut mounting nuts as opposed to the strut to spindle bolts. I always take out the strut/spindle as an assembly, press the new bearing(s) in and reassemble as a unit. It's simply easier, and no chance of needing an alignment when you're done.
It wouldn't be dead-on if s/he (or any PO) has ever had the caster set by expanding the three top-mount stud holes. S/he'd be in the very same boat wrt. the alignment (either mark and get it "close enough" or re-align).

But yeah, we're talking 30-ish ft-lb vs. 100+ for the fasteners. We all have our strengths and weaknesses; some folks are stronger at wrestling high-torque fasteners, and others stronger at lifting/carrying more weight. Six of one.....

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Old 07-23-2008, 11:15 AM   #10
MikeNW
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1997 SL
Default Re: Wheel bearing source

I had the car aligned once so far. From taking off the left strut recently, the mounting holes are not oversized.

Plus, I used a silver magic marker and traced around the washers, on the strut tower, before I removed the strut. A small error there doesn't matter much. A small error on the "knuckle" bolts matters more, due to the geometry of the suspension.
As my HS algebra teacher would say, I would rather "let sleeping dogs lie" (and not touch the two large bolts and nuts).

...
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Wheel bearing source

ha the Timken ball bearings themselves are made down the road in St Thomas! When I did mine i didnt want to wait for rock auto so i went to the parts store. they were in between OEM and rock cost wise. think they were TRS or something....12,000km ish on them so far still good

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Old 07-23-2008, 11:42 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wheel bearing source

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeNW View Post
I think I need a wheel bearing.
From my recent clutch experience, I want OEM parts.

Anybody have any recommendations? Does Rock Auto have OEM parts? Or should I order from a Saturn on-line source?
I just go to the local auto parts store and get what they have. In fact I'm dropping off some knuckle/hub assemblies tomorrow after work for some new bearings. $20 each for the bearings and $40 for the set to press them.

...
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