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Old 10-23-2018, 08:46 AM   #1
SLfun
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Default My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

In the 10k km since the drive train swap, my Saturn has gone through 2 sets of front wheel bearings.
Now they are dead yet again.

Last time I replaced the bearing/hub together.

Iv'e been reading about 'bearing arching', and it is something I'd like to rule out.
Where should I ground the chassis to make sure I have my electrical bases covered??

...
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
SL1-2.

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Old 10-23-2018, 12:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

What do you mean by 'drive train swap'?

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Old 10-23-2018, 12:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

He swapped out the SOHC for a DOHC engine. Hence SL1 DOHC in the title and the notation in his signature. However, there's no relativity to the question asked.

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 10-23-2018 at 12:54 PM..

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Old 10-23-2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

What are you torquing the axle nut to?
How are you installing the bearings?

...
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

Bearing arcing, huh? That's really grasping at straws!

Get the knuckle bores checked at a machine-shop for size and roundness. Are the bearings being pressed/pulled in properly? If there is any chance the beloved BFH was ever used for bearing R&R the knuckles are suspect.

PS: How long (miles) are the bearings lasting?

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Old 10-23-2018, 03:12 PM   #6
SLfun
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
Bearing arcing, huh? That's really grasping at straws!

Get the knuckle bores checked at a machine-shop for size and roundness. Are the bearings being pressed/pulled in properly? If there is any chance the beloved BFH was ever used for bearing R&R the knuckles are suspect.

PS: How long (miles) are the bearings lasting?
So the current set of wheel bearings lasted around 5000 km.

All these wheel bearing failures started after I pulled the SOHC Automatic for a manual DOHC drivetrain. So there is a chance that the 2 are related?

I found this interesting quote from an automotive engineer:

"In fact, I've seen studies by all world's largest bearing manufacturers, and everyone points to bad grounds as right around the third most-common reason for automotive/light truck wheel bearing failure. The first is installer error, of course. The second is accident/driver inflicted damage, and the third is bad grounds."

So I have ordered re manufactured steering knuckles with new bearings already pressed in. At the same time I will replace the LCR's and tie rod ends. Then get an alignment done.
And of course, add more grounds.
I want to cover all my bases so I don't have to do this again.

If there is anything else anyone else can think of, lemme know!

...
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
SL1-2.

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Old 10-23-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexofNazareth View Post
What are you torquing the axle nut to?
How are you installing the bearings?

145 lbs on the axle nut.
The bearings were installed with a press.

...
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
SL1-2.

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Old 10-23-2018, 05:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLfun View Post
145 lbs on the axle nut.
The bearings were installed with a press.
It's also recommended to use a new spindle nut and washer, as well torque with wheels off the ground and rotating the wheel a few times while torquing.

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
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1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

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Old 10-23-2018, 05:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
He swapped out the SOHC for a DOHC engine. Hence SL1 DOHC in the title and the notation in his signature. However, there's no relativity to the question asked.
I see now. In addition to incorrect bearing replacement procedures, are there any dimensional differences in the drive train (distances between xmission to wheel hubs) that might create premature wheel bearing wear?

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Old 10-23-2018, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
I see now. In addition to incorrect bearing replacement procedures, are there any dimensional differences in the drive train (distances between xmission to wheel hubs) that might create premature wheel bearing wear?
DOHC and SOHC (engine/trans) use the same axles, spindle, tie rods, and LCA's. They are interchangeable.

...
2001 SL1 MT (423,500 km @ 10/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (267,940 km @ 10/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (116,506 km @ 10/2018)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT
2001 LW200 MT
1992 SL2 MT

:canada:

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Old 10-23-2018, 07:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

I have heard of bearing arcing on electric motors connected to a drive. Some of those motors, like the ones I bought at my job, have grounding brushes across them. I can't see this as an issue on a Saturn.

...
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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

The wheel bearing failures from electrical arcing can be detected with an AM radio the has analog tuning so you can tuen off of a station and listen for a hissing that changes with speed and wheel load. It is incredibly rare in Saturns.

Usual rapid failure in these cars with the usual replacements is improper bearing preloading. The new nut, washer, and torquing while wheel is rotating and terminating torquing if bearing binds is how it should be done,

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Old 10-28-2018, 04:36 PM   #13
SLfun
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Default Re: My 98 SL1 DOHC swap eats wheel bearings

Thanks everyone.

So I did the easiest part of the job by installing a ground strap, because it can't hurt anything!

Now I'm just waiting for parts. Can't wait to be able to hear the motor again!
And the radio, and the person talking beside me

...
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
SL1-2.

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