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Old 04-14-2006, 09:26 PM   #1
ym42
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Default Front wheel bearing...

Suddenly, my car started making whining and humming noise in the front, changin' when I turn the wheels and peaking at about 40mph. The noise appears to be coming from the right front wheel. The wheel has about 2mm of play at the edge of the tire ( when I took it off the ground ), so I guess it is the bearing problem. Now, my question is what can I do about it. My manual say I have to take the whole hub to the mashine shop. Can you give me any advice, especially those who already had this problem? How much does it cost and what should I know? How do I remove the hub? Off the LCA and off the steering rod? BTW - what is the size of the balljoint nut is it 19 or 18mm? My 19 wrench seems too big for it...
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Old 04-15-2006, 12:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

18mm.

PB Blaster and Big Hammer. But then, I was replaceing my tie-rod and LCA as well. You should be able to rent a puller at Autozone or Advance auto.

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Old 04-15-2006, 12:14 AM   #3
RalliArt16
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

Just take the whole hub to a shop.

You need a press. They press out the hub from the rear of the knuckle, remove the snap ring, then press out the bearing.

Its an involved task.. the bearing tends to stick in there pretty good

...
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Old 04-15-2006, 12:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

Installing the new races and bearings into the hub requires a specific set of special arbors and a press to accomplish. You cannot tap them in/out with a hammer succesfully. All Saturn retailers will have this equipment, a machine shop might have something that will work.

Most Saturn retailers will charge less than $100 to perform this service (carry in/carry out)

...
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

100$
Parts included I hope?

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Old 04-15-2006, 09:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

Front wheel bearings are near $50 each.

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Old 04-15-2006, 12:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

So should I get them from the dealer? I do not know: 100$ -50$ still 50$ for work - I mean how long should it take to press it? 50$ labor for 30 minutes sould be plenty. I know most of the places charge 80$ minimum. Would a typical independant shop have the tools?

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Old 04-15-2006, 01:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

If they do it wrong the bearing will be DOA. It's worth it for all the trouble to get the hub off to bite the bullet.

Note that you might need a wheel alignment afterwards too, another $50-60. (not because the bearing changes the alignment, just that you're disconnecting the whole suspension and getting it all back just the same is 50-50).

I'm pondering replacing my WB because of a shimmy I get when putting on the brakes, and a lesser shimmy at certain speeds. The bearing doesn't make noise, but I've ruled out brakes (new rotor and pads), outer tie rod (new), inner tie rod (tight), lower ball joint (can't make it move one way or another). I do get a noticeable amount of noise (not real bad) when I turn right (only), and I'm fresh out of other ideas. My car has 156k. All other bushings, rubber, etc seem fine. Can a wheel bearing cause this? My only other thought is the CV. I've replace 2 other FWD WB's on other cars while chasing a problem and both times the WB turned out to be OK

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Old 04-15-2006, 02:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ym42
I do not know: 100$ -50$ still 50$ for work - I mean how long should it take to press it? 50$ labor for 30 minutes sould be plenty. I know most of the places charge 80$ minimum. Would a typical independant shop have the tools?

I don't ask you to do your job for free.
Buy a press and fix it yourself or pay somebody to do it. Pick one.

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Old 04-15-2006, 02:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

Oh, do not get me wrong, I am not trying to get anybody to do anything for free. I just need to know how much I should expect to pay... what is reasonable to offer if I go to the small shop. I know dealers charge too much at times, as well as chain shops like Firestone, TiresPlus, Pepboys etc. When I took my friends van last week for some work they offered me all sort of bs trying to get some extra dough from me, like brake flush, tranny flush, fan belt etc.They did the rear brakes as I asked them, but other things I really needed them to do, like windows and pleumatic stuff on the AC selector they said they are not really interested in and do not know how. They told me it will be 80-100$ just to find out what's wrong in each case.

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Old 04-15-2006, 05:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

Find all the small shop you can and start calling.

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Old 04-15-2006, 05:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

ball joints can cause a shimmy at certain speeds...

my dad has a 1999 Ford F-150 that has a bad shimmy about 40 mph and then again around 90... the lower ball joints don't appear to be worn out but they are... and it wears the HELL out of the inside of the tires...

I thought his truck was just out of alignment so i took it to be aligned... They started working on it, only to find out that it was 100% within factory specs... then they started messing with the suspension and noticed a slight deflection at the lower ball joint which was causing the shimmy and the tire wear problem...

Ya might take it to an alignment shop and see if they tell if your car is within specs and check the lower ball joint/control arm....

My only complaint about Saturn's design is that the lower ball joint/control arm is so freakin' expensive to replace... like 75 bucks (per side) from Advance Auto.... man that's crazy... i spent like 75 bucks replacing all the ball joints (4) on my el camino AND all the control arm bushings....

can't complain too much though Hondas are set up similarly...

Lee

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Old 04-15-2006, 06:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

Hmmm... I guess it could be the lower BJ. I just can't find any play in it no matter how I load it, unload it, pry, shove, etc. I did have it aligned and it's within specs, I asked him to check everything in the suspension and he said it was good. But he was also in a hurry...

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Old 04-15-2006, 08:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

hmmm... don't assume that it is the lower ball joint though... that was just a suggestion.... you might check the top of the strut where the upper spring retaining plate bolts to the strut itself... on lots of GM cars i've worked on the bearing gets oval shaped and allows the strut to sort of "wander" around... Sometimes i've been able to tighten the nut up a little more and let customers get a few more miles out of them... more often than not i have to find a replacement....

Grab the rod in the middle of the spring and try to shake it around... you might find a little "slop" in it... if there is suspect the bearing....

Lee

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Old 04-15-2006, 09:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

I''ve recently replaced the struts and the upper strut mounts are fine. At 45-60 mph it feels like an out of balance tire (one that's not too badly balanced). When I put on the brakes at that speed, it feels like a badly warped rotor. It feels like the wheel is oscillating fore-aft. I suspected the roll bar bushings, in the LCA, but they appear tight. A badly worn CV can feel like this but if I put the trans in neutral at 60 and hit the brakes, stays the same. I wouldn't think it would if the CV was the culprit, and the CV's are otherwise quiet and smooth.

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Old 04-15-2006, 09:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

dumb question for ya... have you checked the tie rod ends at the hub?? maybe the boots are torn or something...

try swapping the wheels around... move the front left one to the front right and vise versa and take it for a drive and see if it changes sides...

if it does... bad tire or maybe bent rim... if it doesn't... check tie-rods ends and ball joint closely....

Just trying to help ya, trying to keep ya from having to lay out cash for something that might NOT help... but then again it may be the bearing plain and simple... Always helps to check and double check everything before assuming it is the expensive part...

Lee

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Old 04-16-2006, 07:29 AM   #17
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

If it's humming, it's most likely a wheel bearing.

I would decide on an alignment after you get it all back together. As long as the strut hasn't been drilled out or camber kitted from a previous alignment you just bolt it all back together and it should line up.

An alternative is a knuckle from a junkyard... just make sure you get one with the same ABS status as your car as the splines are different.

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Old 04-16-2006, 09:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: Front wheel bearing...

Appreciate the thoughts. I swapped tires/wheels first thing, no change. I thought about a used knuckle from the boneyard, it would save a bunch of time (as far as determining if it is the problem or not). In summary, the only things it can be are wheel bearing, CV, or something on the LCA. Everything else is new or eliminated, although steering racks can do some weird things.... I just need to take it completely apart and get a better look at it.

By the way, when I had it in for an alignment, they found the cradle had been shifted slightly from hitting a parking barrier with the sway bar clamp (have you ever seen a Saturn without a smashed-up clamp??) Only affect was that he couldn't quite get the caster right.

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