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Front wheel bearing replacement

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How?

 

Press out old, press new in? easy? simple? kinda that "DUH" when you look at it off the car with it on a bench top?

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There as been much discussion about this very recently. It is definitely very easy to do without a press. Whether or not doing it without a press reduces the life of the bearings is subject for discussion. Since I don't have a press, and don't have anybody that I would trust to do it even if I was inclined to pay them, I do it myself without a press. Again, there has been much discussion recently, and I haven't done it in a while, but I seem to recall just tapping them out with brass drift, cleaning everything up real well, and tapping the thoroughly greased new ones in using only the outside races. You can also use a block of wood to hammer on, or use the axle and nut and assortment of washers to pull the new ones in.

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What type of bearings are in there? If you have the deep groove roller type I've had success beating them out with a drift. Be carefull not to score the inner sleeve of the steering knuckle. Installation with a 52oz. dead blow and possibly a large socket at the end to seat it has worked with me. Make sure the bearings are going in staight. Dont forget to throw in a little grease and install your spacer - pain when you forget!

If you have the tapered roller cartridge they can be more intensive. On my '92 loyale I had to weld a bead around the inside of the outer race of the bearing sleeve. Once it cooled it drifted out easily. I had access to a shop press for installation, so I used it. Didn't try dead blow method. It may work but I thought there would be more chance of getting it cocked in the knuckle.

I'd be interested to hear of other methods. Hope this helps.

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Yep what jeffroid said, If done properly there is nothing wrong with the drift method.

 

Notes:

 

There are reliefs in the casting to drive out the old bearings by the outer race (clean out some grease), but if you aren't reusing the old bearing it doesn't matter.

 

Like stated, drive in new ones buy outter race ONLY. DO not transfer impact forces through the balls, it will dent the races.

 

Keep the bearing square, drive (tap) around the race at 3 points or more, alternating sides. I normaly use a rotating 3 point technique, think of a clock face, 12-4-8-2-6-10-4-8-12… and so on.

 

You’ll know when its seated, the sound and feel will change.

 

If the new bearing doesn’t drive in firm or is loose once seated, the old one has spun and the hub is junk (there is a shade tree fix that I wont go into).

 

DO NOT forget the spacer before putting in the second bearing.

I'ts not real hard to do, good luck.

Gary

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I took my steering knuckle out the car.. removed the bearing side seals, then beat the old bearings out with a chisel (yes a chisel), don't damage that spacer between the two bearings when you do it! Got new sealed bearings the same size as the stock unsealed bearings, positioned the steering knuckle on a piece of wood ontop of a concrete base (read: kitchen step) with the inside of the knuckle facing up, borrowed a nice LARGE socket about a mm outside diameter smaller than the bearings outside diameter got my BFH lined everything up and firmly tapped the bearing in with the socket and hammer until it was firmly seated. I then flipped the knuckle over on it's uneaven side put the spacer back in and repeated the tapping procedure until seated..very easy..and with sealed bearing you don't have to get new seals..Repeat on otherside, install into car and drive..got 20k on the new bearings..

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Got new sealed bearings the same size as the stock unsealed bearings, ..got 20k on the new bearings..

 

Happen to have a part number or how we can locate these properly sized sealed bearings? I'm all about sealed bearings :)

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borrowed a nice LARGE socket about a mm outside diameter smaller than the bearings outside diameter got my BFH

 

lol, a borrowed tool will do anything :grin:

 

I just removed the bearings from some XT6 knuckles. Turned a custom aluminum drift to fit perfectly. My BFH is 6lbs and is was still a P.I.T.A.

 

I will press in the new bearings.

 

btw, many industrial bearing houses can get you replacements for automotive bearings. SOA wanted $150 a side for XT6 fronts, bearing house, $35 a side.......and absolutely the same bearing, just no stars on the box.....

 

garner

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Sealed bearings are not a bad idea, but most are prelubed with a fairly light oil suited for moderate load and higher RPM. Wheel bearings see heavy/shock load and low RPM, a grease lube is better for this. If I were going to use the sealed bearings I'd still run the stock seals (double bag it) and remove the inner seals from the bearings (facing each other in the hub) so that they could be packed with proper grease.

 

The bearings should be available from any bearing house in sealed ®, shielded (Z) and open versions, and far cheaper that NAPA. Look on the edge of the race for the bearing number.

 

Gary

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Happen to have a part number or how we can locate these properly sized sealed bearings? I'm all about sealed bearings :)

 

Over here they are 7206 RS2. The RS2 bit is the seals. I use RS1's - only one seal whickh i leave facing the knuckle seals. This way you can properly lubricate the bearings. Ill check on that part #, its been a while since ive bought them.

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That part No is SKF 6207 2RS1 for seals on both sides, or 6207 RS1 for seal on one side only.

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Where is "over here" ? As in which parts vendor can I go to and bring this part # with and get the proper parts?

 

Thanks for the info, this is great stuff!

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Over here is New Zealand, but SKF is a worldwide company, you should be able to find one in your neck of the woods. Some other companys use the same product numbering, im not entirely sure what ones.

If you cant find an SKF outlet, just ask for a Single row deep groove abll bearing with shaft diameter 35mm, outer diameter 72mm, depth 17mm, dynamic load rating 31kN, and either one or two seals.

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yay! no more LOUD rump roast noise fron right front!

 

now I get to listen to all the other loose pannels in the car and find them and fix them...then the car will be like a new Legacy inside! QUIET!

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where'd you get the new bearings at Will? I'm thinking about doing mine aswell (the 6th time I've had the hub off since I've had the car)

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No loose roof stuff for me.

 

I would have purchased the wheel bearing kit from the dealer (both bearings, seals and the spacer), as its CHEAP! but we didnt have one in stock. i dont know where these came from, one of the techs had them laying around, and gave them to me. They were new in the packaging.

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After repacking the front bearings on my 85 wagon, think I may prefer the Timken tapered bearing style. I don't like how it seems to be impossible to realy examine these ball bearings for pits or wear.

 

I remember decades ago when my father was first showing me how to wrench he told me that tapered bearing will last indefinatly IF they are never run dry, never run loose or too tight, and never overheated.

 

I'm not saying he was correct, though maybe he is.

 

The ball bearings I just punched out of my knuckles seemed to still have enough grease, I just wanted to make sure everything seemed ok in there and I needed an axle too. Did ball joints and suspension bushings and tie rod ends at the same time. Lot of work but worth every minute just know.

Pyro

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After repacking the front bearings on my 85 wagon, think I may prefer the Timken tapered bearing style. I don't like how it seems to be impossible to realy examine these ball bearings for pits or wear.

 

 

Thats why i've never bothered re packing them, i just replace them. Go directly to someone like SKF for the bearings and they are cheap - if you buy them from the dealer or car parts place they are much more expensive.

Even with tapered roller bearings its impossible to tell their condition unless they are really bad.

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