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Old 03-14-2018, 06:57 AM   #1
2OldSaturns
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Default Wheel Hub runout

Note: This is for a 2001 SL2

I started having symptoms of "warped rotors", i.e. brake pulsation, slight steering wheel shake when braking. I invested in a dial caliper set from HF to attempt to diagnose the issue. The lateral runout in the driver's side (front, disc brakes only in front, drums in rear) rotor was 0.01" while the passenger rotor was about 0.006" lateral runout. Brake pads looked good and evenly worn, with plenty of material left. To further investigate, I attached an unused rotor to both hubs to see what results I might get. Basically I got the same results for lateral runout values, which makes me think the lateral runout is due to the wheel hubs themselves. I tried to measure the runout on the actual wheel hubs, but the needle on the dial caliper was just skipping around too much on the surface of the wheel hub. The wheel hubs are both rusty and have some hard black material on them, I am guessing that it is high temperature black paint, which one can clearly see is protruding from the surface, certainly enough to cause the runout that I see. So I tried lubing up both caliper pins with SlyGlide as an attempt to see if that would fix things. No luck, after driving about a week, still have the same symptoms.

I also have a wobble at 70+ MPH, even after an alignment, although the alignment did improve things dramatically. From the alignment printout I can see that I am not within the factory alignment range in all values, so I asked the shop about that and they said that that was the best they could do.

So my assumption is the lateral runout on the hubs is causing both of these issues and I wanted to remedy it. Basically, I felt like I have two courses of action, short of replacing the wheel hubs: either I can use a brake rotor shim to correct the runout, although the videos for installation of these shims show installation on a nice clean hub, or try to remove rust and what ever that black substance is to get down to the metal. I am concerned about removing metal along with the rust and black material and maiking a potentially fixable situation more complicated, although I have been looking at this hub cleaning kit from 3M which attaches to a drill and possibly a wire brush attachment for the dremel 200 that I have. Any advice is appreciated.

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Old 03-14-2018, 09:09 AM   #2
fetchitfido
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Wheel Hub runout

I'd skip the mostly useless wire wheel idea and go straight to sandblasting. If the rust is flaky to the point you can pick it off with your fingers than the wire wheel will get it off otherwise it'll just smooth/polish it. You can get coal slag 50lb bag for under $10, I used less than half a bag on a 7ft Fisher plow, and the "gun" I got for $20...but it requires a decent air compressor ($150ish usually, 20+ gallon tank) to work for any real length of time.

I've had bad luck hammering on the hub so I don't recommend a hammer & chisel though that would probably be the cheapest option and others would probably recommend it.

A wobble at speed is more likely tire balance than an alignment issue, though the shop not getting your alignment to factory specs is suspicious.

I'd be willing to give that 3M kit a try if I didn't already have an air compressor. Given how other things are priced, I'd guess if you could even find it in a local store they'd say it's worth $60-$70 instead of $30: https://www.amazon.com/3M-07547-Scot.../dp/B0013HHNPY

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Old 03-14-2018, 09:16 AM   #3
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Wheel Hub runout

Below is how to check the runout. If out of spec then you either shim or replace BOTH the bearing and hub using a new axle nut and washer. Dorman sells the nut and washer so that is low cost. SKF bearing and hub. You can clean the back of the rotor with a rotary wire brush and same with the hub. You will not be removing any amout of metal. You do not need some special kit either.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:44 AM   #4
DIYguy
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Wrench Re: Wheel Hub runout

Notice the maximum combined runout spec of 0.0024" shown in OldNuc's attachment.
Most websites will cite 0.002" actually.
So 0.006" to 0.010" is a LOT.
Check out this website that discusses the problem, as well as shimming, cleaning and other issues-
http://www.brakeandfrontend.com/roto...nd-correction/

I replaced the hubs and bearings on my SC2 about a year ago.
After doing that (and cleaning the rotors) the rotor runout was essentially un-measurable.
And that's how it should be.

BTW, if the faces of the rotors are more than about 0.0002" to 0.0005" out of parallel (runout relative to one another) you will probably feel it.

I also second the notion that if the alignment shop can't get it to factory specs something is damaged, worn out, or they are not doing it right.

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Old 03-16-2018, 03:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wheel Hub runout

Alright, attempted to clean up wheel hub this morning, but the wire wheel both on a dremel tool and a corded drill did not do much, if anything. It appears to me that the wheel hub was heavily rusted and then painted over: the result is that I can see large steps on the wheel hub where flakes of rust were painted over. Measured lateral rotor runout and it is not different from before. I will order shims from NuCap Performance (shims are under Brake Align) , since I do not see a shim for more than .006" anywhere else.

Also, see alignment data as an attachment.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wheel Hub runout

So awhile ago I got the brake Align shims, one .009" and one .006". I put them under the existing rotors and oriented them for the least lateral runout, hoping for the best. I was able to get .003" lateral runout on the one that was .01" and .002" in the one that was about .007" before. While I was trying to get the lowest lateral runout, I noticed that the orientation to get the lowest lateral runout was not easily reproducible. I did not check for uniform thickness of the rotor, but I did check to make sure there was enough thickness left to be above the minimum rotor thickness and I was well above that. After adding the shims, the shuddering was still there so I got some replacement rotors from advance auto that have a 2 year warranty: Carquest Wear ever rotors(YH141604). A local shop had installed these before and when I got shuddering brakes within the two year warranty, the replacement rotors were free (labor was not). Locally, cost for a pair of these rotors was about $70. So when I first checked, the later runout of the rotors without the shims were > .002". However, when I put the shims back on in the same orientation as for the old rotors, the lateral runout was .002" or less. So far this past week, no shuddering, so all is well. Hopefully the shims allow even wear and the rotors last well beyond the two year warranty.

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Old 11-06-2019, 03:09 AM   #7
Chris Arnold
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Wheel Hub runout

Just wanted to comment that this was good information here for me. My hubs are unpainted but had an uneven surface due to rust, which threw off lateral runout to 0.01" on the drivers side and ~0.005" on the passenger side. It wasn't flaking so much as a weird sort of pitting. First I cleaned the hub up using a dremel with a blue "surface conditioning disc": 3M 7515 Scotch-Brite Roloc Surface Conditioning Disc, Blue, 2 in, Very Fine

... which I have used before to smooth out and clean up surfaces for intake gaskets.

Then I used a yellow 3M 07525 Roloc 2 x 5/8-Inch Tapered Medium Grade Bristle Disc, 10 Discs

... which did a good job taking off some of the surface in a smooth and seemingly level manner.

Then I used a small file to get the area behind the wheel lugs where the roloc discs wouldn't reach. Finally, I went back to the blue discs to take the scratches out and clean off the dust. I had to remount the new rotor 3-4 times on the drivers side before I was within 0.002". I believe I could have spent more time with the process and probably ended with less than .001", but it was good enough for gov.t work, and the brakes felt great to me on the ensuing test/ rotor bedding drive.

It looks like 3M sells hub cleaning discs specifically for this purpose. They're smaller and courser and they use a guard that protects the wheel studs. However, I already had my stuff on hand, and didn't really even know about them, before. So, I'm just throwing this out there, because it was a zip. I was done with both sides in probably an hour and everything worked out nicely.

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Old 11-15-2019, 09:29 PM   #8
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Wheel Hub runout

I'd drive the studs out and then use a file laid flat on the surface to clean it up.

Old school shade tree would just jack one up at a time then put it in gear and hold the file against it.

If it was really bad, I'd just replace the bearing and flange.

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