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Old 06-12-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
mg95SL2
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Default Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Okay.... So, How'd he do this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iqj3HytZMI

Freeze the bearing overnight?
Heat the hub in the oven?
Both?
(or fake people out that it's really doable by intentionally using a bearing that isn't correct for this hub?)
I wrote him but haven't heard back yet....
mike in fla

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Old 06-12-2008, 05:59 PM   #2
mk43
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

If it's actually the right bearing, which I'm going to assume it is, then he chilled the bearing and heated the knuckle. The way he pulls his hand away quickly makes it look like the knuckle might have been quite hot.

...
92 SL2 auto - 93 engine/transmission

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Old 06-12-2008, 06:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Certainly not a Saturn knuckle, who even knows if that's for an automotive application? Could be any bearing he just slid in there. You're never gonna do that on a car, so why worry about it? It's BS.

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Old 06-12-2008, 06:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

I've done similar for my Kawasaki, put the bearing in the freezer for 5 or 6 hours, put the hub in the sun, it does make a difference. (I didn't see the video here though). You still have to tap it home but it's easier.

...
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:04 PM   #5
mk43
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Yeah, not a Saturn knuckle. Could be real, though. I've never tried it, but I've heard of people doing it. Not sure if it just plopped in for them or if it just slid in slightly easier though.

...
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

"You're never gonna do that on a car, so why worry about it? "

Square...
Yes... as a matter of fact ... if i heard enough of you tech's say: "yes, that's doable," and I knew (from you guys) that it wouldn't predispose the bearing to premature failure, yes I would!
I'm trying to find a way to do it myself, here. With Haynes, videos, etc, I can remove the knuckle here, but wouldn't have a way to get it to a shop to have it pressed in. So...if i can't get around that, then i have to pay someone to do the entire job. The other alternative is to pull an entire knuckle/hub from a low-mile rear-end wreck...not really a sensible one.
mike in fla

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Old 06-12-2008, 08:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

I've seen it done with other tight fitting parts. Can't speak to the durability effect that it would have, but then again, the way I see it these parts will be subjected to these extremes and worse during their service life.

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Old 06-13-2008, 07:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mg95SL2 View Post
Yes... as a matter of fact ... if i heard enough of you tech's say: "yes, that's doable," and I knew (from you guys) that it wouldn't predispose the bearing to premature failure, yes I would!
Actually every tech I've ever seen on here has said the same thing about the bearing. If you put it in without a press (bang it in with a hammer, etc.), you will get premature failure. It's definitely not limited to SquareBack.

If you want to save some money, pull the knuckle yourself and take it and a new bearing to a shop and have them do the press work.

...
There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.

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Old 06-13-2008, 09:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Hey Barn, thanks:
Banging it in with a hammer... or any of the 'brut-force' methods is not on the list...
I live out in the middle of nowhere. Only one vehicle, that 95 Sl2. Cab-fare to a shop to have it pressed will be ridiculou$. So my options are: Take it somewhere to have the entire job done, find a 94-01 low-mile rear-end wreck and pull the assembly (am i correct on those years?), or find a way to do it here myself.
You and I experience some sub-freezing winter nights, but not real cold.
I'm sure there are some northern cars which had a bearing or two replaced in the daytime in winter, and immediately experienced sub-freezing temps for several hours that first night and for many nights that first winter that its on the car. So how could 5 or 6 hours in my feezer hurt it?
If someone(s) pop up and say, 'yes i've done that with my Saturn, bearing in the freezer & knuckle in the oven' then that's one way...
thanks, mike

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Old 06-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mg95SL2 View Post
... or any of the 'brut-force' methods is not on the list...
Of all the stuff I've read here, I don't think anyone has used after-shave to install a wheel bearing.....

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Old 06-13-2008, 12:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

That's great, Mad:

"Of all the stuff I've read here, I don't think anyone has used after-shave to install a wheel bearing"

I was thinking while spelling/misspelling 'brut'... does an "E" belong there or not?....
I have Barbasol new "Pacific Rush" shave-cream formula... that should aid a quick installation, shouldn't it?....
mg

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Old 06-13-2008, 12:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Just don't use "Axe" .....

(Waitaminit -- "Pacific Rush"? Doesn't "Pacific" mean "peaceful"? Kinda like "Dodge Ram"....)

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Old 06-13-2008, 01:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

The freezer won't hurt the bearing.
Bearings sometimes operate in sub-zero temps.
After you get it together, it will be awhile before you use the car anyway, the temps will normalize.
I just don't think the bearing will "fall" into place. The cold will help it maybe.

...
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:28 AM   #14
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

It has to be pressed, and using the CORRECT arbors. No if's and's or but's about it. Installation is actually a TWO STEP process. The bearing is installed and is then subsequently properly supported / reinforced with the proper tool / arbor while the hub is installed into the knuckle. There simply is no other methodolgy that will work and have the assembly be correct and maintain a service life of more than a few thousand miles. (IF that)

...
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:40 AM   #15
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mg95SL2 View Post
Okay.... So, How'd he do this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iqj3HytZMI

Freeze the bearing overnight? Yes
Heat the hub in the oven? yes
Both? Yes
(or fake people out that it's really doable by intentionally using a bearing that isn't correct for this hub?) Not likely unless it was to impress the unknowing
I wrote him but haven't heard back yet.... Most likely never will to keep up the mystique. Its not rocket science since you already figured it out from education.
Using some education of materials science and engineering (of which I have so little of) may explain it. Steel expands and contracts less than aluminum does and with these facts in mind comes engineering. Bearing races are hardened for wear strength and dimensionally may expand and contract much less than plain steel. Aluminum in comparison expands and contracts much more so and the marriage of aluminum hubs and steel bearings takes advantage of each others weaknesses when a press fit engineered assembly is designed.

Having an aluminum bore perfectly bored to size and an outer race of a bearing exactly sized creates an interference fit. When pressed, the bearing is now forced to fit into the bore hole and will never rotate its outer race from this press fit because of the previous characteristics of the two dissimilar metals; steel won't expand as much in heat but aluminum will therefore the hub will have a tighter hold on the bearing as both heat up. In the opposite direction, because of the press fit, the aluminum shrinks but the bearing contracts less so the press fit still maintains a hold on the bearing outer race. Simply a mechanical engineering exercise long ago established and when done properly with press fitting this bearing, replacement will guarantee long term reliability. In the real world, freezing a wheel bearing has no affect since cars are designed for the Arctic subfreezing temperatures as well as Arizona desert heat. Nothing falls apart. Moving parts just takes longer to move from extreme temperatures affecting the lubrication quality of oils and grease until warmed up. So freezing a wheel bearing can actually help with the replacement process along with some heat on the hub; the trick is to act quickly since the bearing/bore surfaces come into contact quickly with each other negating the temperature/dissimilar metal characteristics. The transfer of heat to the frozen bearing will happen as soon as the bearing touches the hub and a clean bore along with a properly aligned bearing will help to quickly seat the bearing. It should go in easily with some effort. As soon as the bearing comes up to the temperature of the hub it will have expanded into the hole for a secure fit and won't slide out at all. It will have to be pressed out again. Of course, anything can occur to spoil this event from going smoothly in the field; cocking the bearing ever so slightly and/or the bore hole has a slight burr on its ridge. The video is just a way to demonstrate the ease of doing it from a controlled environment since it wasn't done in the field. If this was not done by trickery as in freezing the bearing and heating the hub I wouldn't trust this assembly because the bearing outer race will simply spin in the bore hole instead of being held in place. No bearing is supposed to just fall into a bore hole in real world applications other wise there'd be much less breaking of knuckles and much more wheels falling out!?

Last edited by fdryer; 06-15-2008 at 09:49 AM..

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Old 06-15-2008, 03:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
It has to be pressed, and using the CORRECT arbors. No if's and's or but's about it. Installation is actually a TWO STEP process. The bearing is installed and is then subsequently properly supported / reinforced with the proper tool / arbor while the hub is installed into the knuckle. There simply is no other methodolgy that will work and have the assembly be correct and maintain a service life of more than a few thousand miles. (IF that)
I just learned some bad news a few minutes ago. I replaced my left front wheel bearing a couple months ago. I bought the new bearing from Advance for $30-40 or something like that. I had my brother get one of the more experienced techs at the Chevy dealership where he works to press it. Now it's only about 1000-1500 miles later, and that hub rocks a few degrees in all directions, and I heard a chirping sound from that wheel yesterday. I don't know what happened in the install process, but not doing it properly seems to definitely be able to jack things up. What a pain in the ass.

...
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

When I replaced the front passenger side wheel bearing, I put the bearing in the freezer and warmed the knuckle with a heat gun.

I even brought the bearing out to where I was working in a small cooler full of cold packs.

Let me tell you, the bearing pressed in hard! We’re talking interference fit.

I did not use a screw driver and a rock either. Here’s a picture of the tool:

I cleaned up the inside of the knuckle with a mangled wire wheel on a drill, so it was perfect.

Then, I smeared everything with moly disulfide assembly lube.

That bearing pressed in like a sob.

In other words, eue0toob might not always tell the truth.

I’ve replaced crank bearings on 2-stroke dirtbikes (case bearings) and they drop right in. bearing in freezer, case in oven. click – drops right in.

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Old 06-15-2008, 11:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Okay Fdryer and everyone, I logged in to my YouTube, and i heard back from him:

'Re: How did you do the "wheel bearing drop in?"....

"Hi Mike,

Just heated the aluminum casting to 250F and froze the bearing -- they typically drop right in.
Chris"

.... i might be baking next saturday a.m.....
mg

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Old 06-15-2008, 11:42 PM   #19
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

cool-throw in some brownies or muffins with the hub so you'll have something to snack on while the assembly cools down after the bearing is in

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Old 06-15-2008, 11:46 PM   #20
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Default Re: Wheel-bearing "gravity" Install--for Real?....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mg95SL2 View Post
.... i might be baking next saturday a.m.....
mg
Don't forget to pull the battery on the smoke detector!

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