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wheel bearings - sealed or open ?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 Dee2

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:07 PM

'90 Loyale sedan FWD

I'm getting a lot of oscillating/rythmic noise from the front end and thinking it is my bearings needing replacement, (bearing type 207)

When I search auto parts suppliers they show the open style bearings:

http://www.rockauto....750-0&width=450

I've seen several posts regarding bearings and some folks recommend sealed bearings.(6207-2RS-C3 electric motor bearings ?):

Posted Image




--Does it matter which I use ? The electric motor bearings can be found very cheap.

--Are new seals required if I go with sealed bearings ?

--what about grease with sealed bearings ?

Edited by Dee2, 09 August 2012 - 10:25 PM.


#2 jj421

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:48 PM

I'd also be interested in the answers to all your questions. I just received my bearings in the mail and I wanna know these things too. These are what I got:

http://www.ebay.com/...9#ht_2993wt_997

I'm thinking even with sealed bearings you do need to buy seals and grease, but I'm not sure. I'm not sure what the difference is between the types of bearing either, but I got these because another user on here recommended them to me (and I received them in 1-2 days :D ).

Oh, and also, when you do your bearings, you should also replace your cone washer. That's what I've come up with, since a failing cone washer will damage your bearings. So there's no point in putting new bearings in, having the cone washer destroy them, and have you replace the bearings again. Even if your cone washer is in good shape, there's no harm in putting a new one in.

Edited by jj421, 09 August 2012 - 10:50 PM.


#3 mikaleda

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:07 PM

what is wrong with open bearings? as long as you replace the seals with the bearing i don't think you would have any problems any sooner than with a sealed bearing. i would not trust a bearing made for an electric motor in a car. for a wheel bearing that is.

Edited by mikaleda, 09 August 2012 - 11:09 PM.


#4 Stubies Subie

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:13 PM

I'm running the sealed bearings on my 91 Loyale, have about 10,000 miles on them so far with no problems, the seals were also replaced at the same time and we use a little bit of grease when we re-assembled the steering knuckle.

if the cone washer is grooved or damaged in any way, replace it, if it's not damaged, you can use it over again, when I did mine, one cone washer was ok, so I used it over again, the other one was bad, so I found a good used one out of a wrecking yard to replace it with.

#5 Stubies Subie

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:17 PM

what is wrong with open bearings? as long as you replace the seals with the bearing i don't think you would have any problems any sooner than with a sealed bearing. i would not trust a bearing made for an electric motor in a car. for a wheel bearing that is.


sealed bearings offer less chance of something contaminating the grease and ruining the bearings. like water from a creek crossing for example.

as for me, I'm sticking with the sealed bearings, no problems in 10,000 miles and a lot cheaper then the alternative.

#6 jj421

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:20 PM

I'm running the sealed bearings on my 91 Loyale, have about 10,000 miles on them so far with no problems, the seals were also replaced at the same time and we use a little bit of grease when we re-assembled the steering knuckle.


Okay, so if I install my sealed bearings, it's not necessary to replace the seals (although it's recommended)? Ugh, bearings are one of the few confusing things to repair on a car, but I guess once I get my car jacked up and I start working on it, it'll make more sense. I'll probably start my own thread asking for some assistance when I do my bearings. :-p

#7 Stubies Subie

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:27 PM

Okay, so if I install my sealed bearings, it's not necessary to replace the seals (although it's recommended)? Ugh, bearings are one of the few confusing things to repair on a car, but I guess once I get my car jacked up and I start working on it, it'll make more sense. I'll probably start my own thread asking for some assistance when I do my bearings. :-p


you have to drive out the old bearings and races, I wouldn't trust the seals to use them over again, and their cheap anyway, if your going to the trouble to replace the bearings, I'd replace the seals as well.

I had GD help me with mine, he drove out the old bearings and drove in the new, it's an easy job if you have something like a 3 pound hammer and a punch

#8 jj421

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:55 PM

you have to drive out the old bearings and races, I wouldn't trust the seals to use them over again, and their cheap anyway, if your going to the trouble to replace the bearings, I'd replace the seals as well.

I had GD help me with mine, he drove out the old bearings and drove in the new, it's an easy job if you have something like a 3 pound hammer and a punch


Guess I'll have to pick up some seals then. Which means I won't get started on them until later next week probably. Yeah, I don't have anyone to help me. Pretty much just what you guys post on here. For the most part, I'm on my own. :D I don't have a heavy hammer, and I don't have any punches, but I'm sure I can find a way.

#9 Dee2

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:55 PM

what is wrong with open bearings? as long as you replace the seals with the bearing i don't think you would have any problems any sooner than with a sealed bearing. i would not trust a bearing made for an electric motor in a car. for a wheel bearing that is.


Your concerns are the same as mine. The savings is the incentive. With the need for 4 bearings and a savings of up to $10 per bearing, a $40 savings looks very attractive - if in fact they can do the job. Some folks seem to think they can.

Here's the least expensive I can find so far:

http://www.ebay.com/...=item5ad38f3a43

#10 WoodsWagon

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:00 AM

The sealed bearings lasted the same for me as the open ones. I spent a lot of time in deep water, so I'd be doing a hub every 6 months or so. They always came out with rusty mud goo in them instead of grease.

So, no strength difference that I saw, but no advantage in deep water.
I had no carpets in the car and the drain holes were opened. Water in, water out, and the only thing that would get pissed off was the electric seatbelt controller.

#11 Dee2

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:18 AM

I also found these metal shielded style bearings. A little more expensive but wondered if anyone had used these ?

http://www.vxb.com/p...gs/PROD/Kit9567

or these with rubber shields

http://www.vxb.com/p...gs/PROD/Kit9708


Any advantage to a metal / rubber shield over the plastic shield ?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For reference here are some open bearings :

http://www.vxb.com/p...gs/PROD/Kit9839

Edited by Dee2, 10 August 2012 - 02:23 AM.


#12 Stubies Subie

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:30 AM

here's a 2 lb hammer at harbor freight for 6 bucks, I can post up a 20% off coupon that will get the price down to $4.80

http://www.harborfre...ammer-6747.html

here's a punch set that would drive the bearings out for 11.00 bucks, 20% off that would be $8.80

http://www.harborfre...l-set-4885.html

so if you have a harbor freight close by, for 13.20 plus tax if your state has it, you can buy the tools you need to get the job done.

that's what I do, gotta luv harbor freight.

#13 Stubies Subie

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:37 AM

Your concerns are the same as mine. The savings is the incentive. With the need for 4 bearings and a savings of up to $10 per bearing, a $40 savings looks very attractive - if in fact they can do the job. Some folks seem to think they can.

Here's the least expensive I can find so far:

http://www.ebay.com/...=item5ad38f3a43


these are the ones I bought for my car, 10,000 miles so far and they have held up fine:

http://www.ebay.com/...#ht_1357wt_1133

#14 Gloyale

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:54 PM

I used the sealed ones in a modified way.

Pry off the seals, very easy with a little pick, they aren't very sealed really.

Fill with new grease with a cone packer or bearing buddy, then reinstall ONE seal per bearing.

install bearings with "open" ends towards eachother. Spacer and more greaser in between.

new seals at the knuckle recommened but optional.

#15 mikaleda

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:16 AM

hmm. this is interesting are these the same style bearings as would be in a gl? i might just try this out i need to do all four front bearings on my car and i like the savings.

#16 odie

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:32 PM

 

I used the sealed ones in a modified way.

Pry off the seals, very easy with a little pick, they aren't very sealed really.

Fill with new grease with a cone packer or bearing buddy, then reinstall ONE seal per bearing.

install bearings with "open" ends towards eachother. Spacer and more greaser in between.

new seals at the knuckle recommened but optional.

 


this sounds like a good idea on wheel bearings...you can get more/better grease in there, plus you have a double seal on each side...would this be the ideal wheel bearing solution?

#17 Gloyale

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

   


this sounds like a good idea on wheel bearings...you can get more/better grease in there, plus you have a double seal on each side...would this be the ideal wheel bearing solution?

 

It's what I do.  Seems to work great.



#18 odie

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:49 PM

http://www.ebay.com/...#ht_1327wt_1124 is this the bearing? or a correct one/type? different part number but a sealed 207 is the same as a sealed 6207, correct? Different manufactures tweek the numbers sometimes, like putting the S first or last (S207 or 207S), or add an extra number or letter up front or last "6"207... but they should all be the same spec, dia in & out, thickness, etc...just comes in a different box to be shipped to a different customer (lawn tractor place, or auto parts store, or other industrial customer)...but still all the same product, no?

#19 coxy

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:53 AM

Sealed bearings with the rubber type seal are pretty much standard fare on most live axle rear ends so why not use what works with extra grease packed in as usual will guarantee no failure due to water ingress.

 

By the Way BMW Motorcycles eventually solved their gearbox issues with some models such as the 1100 GS adventure style bike by going to what they referred to as a "Clean bearing style gearbox version".

What that actually meant in reality was all the gearbox bearings that are usually open to the oil supply in the gearbox are replaced with Rubber sealed on both sides grease packed bearings from the factory, This means that any of the hardening that may flake off gears etc cannot enter into the bearing tracks where hardened metal will damage the bearing leading to much improved bearing life and therefore better gearbox shaft alignment and longer Gear life as well.

 

So when it comes to bearings think about the application and go from there as Sealed bearings with rubber or neoprene type seals are better then either open bearings or steel shielded bearings as they are more capable of keeping metallic foreign objects out of the critical Ball and Groove section of the bearing.

 

Other things to note the above bearings listed note C3 this means the Radial Clearance and is quite common for Automotive type applications as when a bearing is fitted it is usually an interference fit that compresses however minutely the outer housing and often expands the inner housing when fitted to a shaft as an interference fit also, This will then pre load the cases both inner and outer of the bearing reducing the radial clearance, That is why they specify such clerances as C1 and up with the bigger numbers such as C3 denoting more radial clearance.

 

Radial clearance being if it was too much you could move the inner section of the bearing up and down in relation to the outer or side to side that is radial clearance and it is also needed as when the bearing reaches operating temperature the different parts also expand reducing further the running clearance.


Edited by coxy, 01 February 2014 - 06:54 AM.


#20 rrgrr

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 09:00 AM

I put a sealed bearing in my friend's 86 front inner and it seems to be working well. The seal had a lip I had to cut off to make it seat flush. I packed grease in the seal and what I could get between the seal and bearing.



#21 scoobiedubie

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 09:33 AM

Yessiree,  My snowmobile had sealed bearings.  Once the grease gets burned up or pushed out, the bearings just relied on melted snow to keep it lubricated.  Of course, they all rusted up at 3000 miles, since the grease was pushed out with no natural way of replenishing it.  I heard that some newer Subaru's have sealed bearings.  And those bearings require replacement every 75,000 miles.  You can get 3 or more times that with an open bearings that you add more grease to when you do a CV joint, assuming that you don't drive through deep mud or water of course.  I have over 400,000 on my rear bearings and I have never had them replaced.



#22 Idasho

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:31 AM

Im running the CHEAP chinese sealed bearings + new seals on my GL.

 

No signs of problems 5,000 miles later....  Though I dont really care.   They cost me less than $5 each  :lol:

 

pic, prior to outer seals going on...

 

ea98.jpg



#23 jonas

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 05:02 PM

^ Caliper paint?



#24 Idasho

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 05:04 PM

On the backing plate and caliper brackets?

 

Not caliper paint, it is an industrial alkyd enamel.



#25 Stubies Subie

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:09 PM

so far, I have 50,000 miles on my sealed bearings with no problems. 






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