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Old 03-04-2008, 05:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wheel bearing replacement - What can happen if job done wrong?

OK, so I replaced bearings on left front side. Perhaps I should have my mechanic done it, but I am growing frustrated with him for number of reasons... So I decided to have him only for stuff that i can not handle.

Back to the bearings - the hardest part was to get inner race out of the hub. I didn't have a puller and used a punch and mallet to drive it from inner side of the hub. Used the old race as a punch to drive new one. Seemed it set right. One thing I am not sure about is if I put the hub back on the knuckle properly. I whacked it couple of times with rubber mallet to make the seal set on the knuckle, then tightened the retention nut while rotating the hub counterclockwise, untill it was hard to rotate the hub. Than I relaxed the nut by one third of turn. I am not sure if I relaxed the bearing, as Haynes describes. It says to whack the kingpin couple of times with mallet (which I did), but not sure if it got relaxed... Calipers sit properly. So should I expect my wheel to fall apart is something went wrong?... Thank you
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello from e-320 land...

I did mine too. On the passenger side. I had it a bit too tight, so i fried the outer bearing. so I had to redo it (with a new outer bearing) On the next time, it worked right and is still working. But I gently hammered out the inner bearing racer with a copper punch. Then installed the new one the way like you did. Again seems to be ok.

The drivers side was also done..... This was ok the first time around.

Hope you have good luck with yours.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you want to do it right, i.e. according to the factory manual, you need a dial indicator to set the preload and there is a specific amount and type of grease that needs to be added to the bearing/hub. Most people probably don't pay attention to those items. Most bearing related problems occur because the directions weren't followed. That being said, I'm sure there are many Mercedes rolling around with front bearings not quite right, but the car survives in spite of it all.

Len

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Old 03-05-2008, 07:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A good "synthetic" high temp wheel bearing grease should be fine. But, too much or too little can be bad. I use a Lisle bearing packer, and have not had a bearing failure yet due to inadequate grease. Do follow the preload instructions. Use a piece of wood between the mallet (3 lb sledge in my case) and the king pin.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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if you mess it up bad enough you could destroy the spindle, but you would have to seriously overtighten it. more likely is you'll just kill the new bearing you just put in.

make sure you do not mix grease of different colors, like green with red. they are not compatible and will cause premature failure.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dentate gyrus View Post
OK, so I replaced bearings on left front side. Perhaps I should have my mechanic done it, but I am growing frustrated with him for number of reasons... So I decided to have him only for stuff that i can not handle.

Back to the bearings - the hardest part was to get inner race out of the hub. I didn't have a puller and used a punch and mallet to drive it from inner side of the hub. Used the old race as a punch to drive new one. Seemed it set right. One thing I am not sure about is if I put the hub back on the knuckle properly. I whacked it couple of times with rubber mallet to make the seal set on the knuckle, then tightened the retention nut while rotating the hub counterclockwise, untill it was hard to rotate the hub. Than I relaxed the nut by one third of turn. I am not sure if I relaxed the bearing, as Haynes describes. It says to whack the kingpin couple of times with mallet (which I did), but not sure if it got relaxed... Calipers sit properly. So should I expect my wheel to fall apart is something went wrong?... Thank you

Everything you did was fine, but I don't get whacking the "king pin" with a mallet. I thought these cars have a retention nut with a 5mm allen that locks it down? Also you leave the question, how did you pack the new bearings and with what? I've had bad luck with red high temp bearing grease, it heats up and runs out too quick. Go find a repair shop that works on heavy machinery and get a scoop of industrial bearing grease. Its thick, very sticky and can only be hand packed. But you wont regret it. After we switched to this type of grease we had no more "come backs" on wheel bearing jobs.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks folks! I got a can of mobil1 synth. grease, red one. Supposed to stay up to 300 celsius, so we'll see. Did'nt have a packer tool, but fed the grese inside the cage with palm... I think it got there... I still keep the car in the garage, untill all the salt gets washed away from the roads.


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Everything you did was fine, but I don't get whacking the "king pin" with a mallet. I thought these cars have a retention nut with a 5mm allen that locks it down? Also you leave the question, how did you pack the new bearings and with what? I've had bad luck with red high temp bearing grease, it heats up and runs out too quick. Go find a repair shop that works on heavy machinery and get a scoop of industrial bearing grease. Its thick, very sticky and can only be hand packed. But you wont regret it. After we switched to this type of grease we had no more "come backs" on wheel bearing jobs.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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After you tighten and then loosen and tighten the bearing retaining bolt to spec, the whacking released the preload tension placed on it by the initial tightening.
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