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#1 (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 07:13 PM
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<<< Wheel bearing play - alternative to using a dial gauge?

I obsess about clean wheels, and the brake dust on my 01 SL500 drives me nuts, as does the squeaking brakes. So, I just purchased Akebono pads and new rotors front and back, with plans to replace them myself.

As I read more about it I realized that the hub has to be pulled to remove the rotors, because they are bolted from behind. So, I might as well replace the wheel bearings while I am at it. I think I might have a slight vibration in one anyway.

I read a thread on another forum where someone was scolded for using the old-time method of tightening the hub nut and then backing it off a little bit to allow enough play. That's how I would have done it. Now I'm worried.

The prescribed method is to use a dial guage - this just keeps getting more expensive.

Is it possible to use a simple feeler gauge to measure the play?

What about the rear brake rotors? Do I need to pull the hubs/axles? I sure hope not.
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 08:15 AM
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You can repack those wheel bearings.

"Veni, Vidi, volo in domum redire." (I came, I saw, I want to go home.)
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dbischoff View Post
Do I need to pull the hubs/axles? I sure hope not.
Your can R&R the brake rotors without pulling the hub/axles. The rotors are attached to hub by Allen or Philips head screw.

Last edited by edcarls; 07-13-2010 at 08:46 AM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 08:50 AM
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You can repack those wheel bearings.
Yes, I can, but I will still have to set the correct play when I reassemble.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 10:26 AM
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I'm interested in this too. When I look at the hub and bearing it just looks like a hub and bearing. It doesn't use a castelated nut and cotter pin in favor of its fancy pinch thing, but the technique should still apply.

BTW here is a great tutorial (the secret in the sauce is backing off and tightening down multiple times IMO) :
How to Clean Spindle & Rotor on Cars: How to Repack Grease & Adjust Wheel Bearing in Cars | eHow.com
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 11:22 AM
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(the secret in the sauce is backing off and tightening down multiple times IMO)
[]
There is really no secret on setting the bearing load without using a gauge. I can't explain it in words because I do it by "feel". Based on experience one would know the feel of a correct (or almost correct) wheel bearing load adjustment.

Please note that if it was set tight than acceptable spec the bearing would hum, heat up and seize, too loose the wheel would vibrate.

I learned how to do it because we (my father and brother) used to make a bet on who could set it closest to spec with out using a gauge. We each set it manually and check it with a gauge, the closest win. We also do it with torque specs with out using torque wrench. Little did I know that these games would be of value to me later.
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 03:38 PM
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it was a few years ago when I started a similar topic.

I took my 1993 SL500 to have the wheels aligned, but the mechanic said there was play in the front wheel bearings.
Of course they gave me a very high estimate to replace the bearings.
I took the car home and just repacked the grease and tightened the bearings, it's still running fine (even at 240KPH).

I can still remember Albert (aam) saying, just tighten them enough so they run on the grease

No trees were harmed creating this message, however some electrons were very inconvenienced.
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 05:26 PM
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I picked one up with the magnetic mount for about $30 at harbor freight. Fine for casual use.

G-AMG did a pictorial DIY on the proper adjustment method based on the WIS (on a 210, but it's the same setup) in case you're interested.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210...free-play.html

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#9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 06:12 PM
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Haha.
I have never used a dial gauge for tightening the bearings.
Maybe it is because I am lazy or primitive? Haha.

Guys do not exaggerate.
Tighten the new bearings with a pliers or something to seat them in, while turning the
hub by hand.
Then back the nut out.
Then only then finger tighten the nut, and lock it down.
That's it........ Sugar coating is extra.
Been doing it for many decades, my cars do not pull to any side, with this method.

Now who was saying that it should always run on a coat of grease, not metal to metal?
Oh, I forgot maybe it was I? Haha.
You have a hell of a good memory James, that was a long time a go.

By the way in order to replace the rotors you must remove the hub and bearings,
the 10mm Allen screws are in the back of the hub.
Put the hub in the wheel with a few screws to hold it, hold the tire so you can loosen the 10mm screws. (They are very tight.)

I have broken a few 3,8" ratchets doing it, didn't have my 1.2" with me.
Get a 1.2" and a long pipe after it.
(You will need that pipe.)
Now if you have a good supply of air and an air air gun.......

Regards,
aam.
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 08:12 PM
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adjusting the wheel bearing play is discussed in details in WIS. the same document should be in AllData

what you do is you take the dust cap off, undo the locking allen bolt for a few turns, then adjust the end play by turning the main nut.

the article lists max play, that if you reach, you need to replace the bearing.

None the less, doing the brakes only will not get you to the bearings, because you do not have to remove the hub. did you mistake the Merc hubs for Honda?

BTW Honda Accord had the wierdest design for hub I ve ever seen... so time consuming to service...

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