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Old 05-10-2018, 09:03 PM   #1
stgdz
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Default Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

So the yearly wheel bearing replacement came up again and I decided to finally get a press and diy it. Got everything back together, but had to muscle with the cv to get it back in.

Drove about a hundred miles and notice the inner tread was wearing so I pulled the wheel only to find grease all over the CV boot and inside wheel. Today I learn that the lower control arm bushing went out, probably my doing.


At 260k miles I'm going back in with the following replacements
-Shocks and struts
-drive axles
-both front control arms
-Tie rods


Any other suspension bits I should look at? Getting most of my stuff at amazon.

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Old 05-11-2018, 07:51 AM   #2
BV22
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

Might as well replace the sway bar bushings in the clamps to frame and LCA attachments while you have it all apart.

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Old 05-11-2018, 09:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

"So the yearly wheel bearing replacement came up again"

Just curious why you change the yearly? Do you do a lot of annual miles or what? Yearly seems excessive to say the least.

My son's '02 SL2 has done 150K and still on the original wheel bearings. My own '03 Suburban is at 240,000 and still on the original wheel bearings.

I got an email from Rock Auto this week telling me they are having a closeout on some Saturn SL2 parts. may be worth see if you can save some money.

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Old 05-11-2018, 09:39 AM   #4
Highmile
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

The yearly wheel bearing replacement would concern me.

only 1 of 4 things is going on

poor install
bad or damaged knuckle
incorrect torque
junk parts

The issues with pressing them in is exactly why when I do replace one it is done via shrink fit. In other words heat the knuckle and freeze the bearing. 300 degrees on the knuckle and deep freeze the bearing. Drops right in. Then cool it off with some wet towels so it doesn't bake the grease out of the bearing or ruin the seals. Then the axle flange is also frozen which will normally get it thru the outer half of the bearing. Pull it in the rest of the way with the axle. DO NOT USE AN IMPACT ON THE AXLE NUT INSTALL.

I always buy Timken bearings.

Always replace the axle nut as well.

As to what else to replace, if you replace the lower control arm I'd replace anything else that is worn out. Also buy good parts and they'll last a long long time for not a lot of extra $$

Good luck
Highmile
'95 SL1 657k and counting

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Old 05-11-2018, 12:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

The shop has been doing it for awhile, they had a three-year warranty on it and would end up replacing it when ever it went out. It was typically about a $250 replacement, and at that point, I figured the cost was fine as it would take me a bit to replace.


Been out of work for a bit so I attempted to service it. The entire job wasn't too bad but paying the cash to replace it again may be worth it.


He used timken bearings, not sure on torque or impact setting. I bought a cheap bearing and torqued it down to about 140ish IIRC.

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Old 05-17-2018, 06:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

figured this would happen but the lower control arm bushing is rusted to the bolt. I hit it with PBlaster its essentialy done nothing.

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Old 05-18-2018, 02:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

Just went thru this with the wife's 08 Cherokee. Ended up having to cut both ends of the bolt off.

Highmile

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Old 05-18-2018, 04:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

What kind of garbage bearings are you buying? Get Timken bearings. If installed correctly, they last 100k miles.

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Old 05-18-2018, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

Man, I agree; I'd go nuts if I had to replace bearings on a yearly basis. Something doesn't sound right about that. I think highmile gave you some great points; bad install, bad knuckle, bad torque, and/or bad parts... it just doesn't sound right, under normal circumstances, where you should have to be doing this every year.

You want my advice... option A, find a low-mileage Saturn out of a junkyard and use the existing hub/spindle. Option two; look up "BRP, Blainer Racing Products". They're located north of me in Pennsylvania. They remanufacturer spindles for Saturns. For about $100~ bucks, you can get a remanufactured, refinished spindle with a brand new national hub and bearing installed. No pressing, no guesswork, you know you'll be getting a good, quality parts out of it. I think $200 for both sides of the car is a damn low price to pay rather than taking your wheel apart every year. And, if they don't have you part, you can send them you existing spindle it, they'll do the remanufacturing on the existing one and press the new bearing/hub in for you.

Highmile, again, he is right. Make sure you are torquing everything correctly. I think on my SL2 it was 148 ft/lb on the axle nut and 103 ft/lb on the wheel nuts. Don't screw around or guess on it, and don't use an airgun when reinstalling. Any forcing, hammering, vibration... it's bad for your bearing. It's stupid how easily the things bust for being so essential to the car. I'm by no means an expert on this subject. I've just gone through this crap before with bearings on the SL2. I hate it. It has to be done perfect or things will cause issues for you.

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Old 05-19-2018, 09:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

I bought new bearings for my '97 at 165kMi.

Just blew engine and abandoned car at 229kMi -- bearings were still fine!

Recently read some advice by a bearing mfgr:
Adhere to OEM specifications regarding torque of CVJ stub axle, and also wheel bolts. Either over, or under, torque will spoil the setup.

Also, debur before install new bearing in hub; only contact outer race with drift.

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Old 05-19-2018, 10:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

I had better luck with SKF (Napa repackages them under the "Gold" brand) bearings than Timken, guess that's what they get for not giving employee discounts... lol

If the bearing goes in more than the slightest bit crooked, it's fubar and you get to buy another one no matter the brand/quality. FSM says torque it to 148 ft/lbs in the air without weight on the wheel.

If you/the shop isn't putting on a NEW axle nut with the new bearing, that's almost guaranteed to be your issue. Subaru put's a notch in the end of the axle then you pound the edge of the nut in to hold torque, I've also seen a 12pt stamped steel castle nut over it with a cotter pin through the axle to keep the axle nut from backing out...The S-Series use's a glorified nylock nut

After 2-3 replacements of the same bearing, one way or another the hole is probably oblong and the knuckle should be replaced. You can either measure it with the bearing out to see or just replace it.

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Old 05-21-2018, 05:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

got the bolt out, what a pain in the ass.

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Old 05-23-2018, 01:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wheel bearing replacement turned into something much more!

So everything is back together now and the sl sits higher than before. Those old struts and springs were just done for.

The new springs are making some noise when turning though, only when the turning the wheels in place. I put it up on jacks and I can feel the springs moving as I turn the wheels. Since it is up on jacks I'm going to drain the transmission.


Alignment was also done and of course it was way out.

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