Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 2004 C230 Kompressor Sport
Location: Northern New Jersey
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Replace front wheel bearings - Now report back.
Finally I got it fixed with help from a friend. As promised, I now report back. Also, I wrote down a step by step procedure before I started, which is attached at the end.
As expected, the 15-mile drive created enough heat to expand the inner race of outer bearing, which then got pushed inwards, when it cooled down, it gripped the axle. it took us about an hour with chizel, saw, hammer, until my friend came with a pipe wrench, with long handle. The inner bearing was still ok except the seal broken. I replacen it anyway.
The tough part is hammering in the outer race of outer bearing into the hub, even with the race in freezer, and hub in oven at 400F, I couldn't put it in easily without using hammer and woodblock, and it also turned out that it didn't sit inplace until I have driven it for a few days. In contrary, the outer race of inner bearing sit in easily, even somehow loosely.
After the job. I notice the steering wheel shaked at speed nearing 80 mph. Yesteday, I checked the wheel play, it was way to large, on both front wheels. I tightened them up as specification, and took a high-speed test at 95 mph on the #95 interstate, it was really a smooth ride. I have never driven at such speed since I got the car in 2003, because the uncomfortable vibration it delivered at close to 80mph.
Now here's my step-by-step procedure for the job to share with anyone who need to do the same job:
Procedure for front wheel bearings replacement and related jobs
Remove wheel hub from steering knuckle:
1. Remove wheel.
2. Remove brake assembly, and hang it on suspension spring with wire. (wire brush the caliper outer covering, rag cleaning the surface with pre-all solution; let it dry, brush on a thin coat of rust encapsulator.
3. Remove brake disk;
4. Clean the caliper bolt holes threads in the hub using an old bolt with a slot cut in its threads.
5. Clean the removed bolts, apply Thread Locker Blue to end section so they can be reused.
6. Remove contact spring for radio interference suppression.
7. Slacken the clamping screw with a 5mm hexagon socket.
8. Unscrew the hub nut with adjustable wrench;
9. Remove the thrust washer.
10. Pull the hub assembly away from the steering knuckle.
Remove old outer races and insert new ones:
1. Remove the bearings from hub.
2. Remove the outer races of both inner and outer bearings.
3. Clean the hub thoroughly, clean center mating surface with brake cleaner.
4. Pre-cool the races in freezer, and pre-heat the hub body up to 400Â°F for easy installation.
5. Insert new outer races of both inner and outer bearings.
6. Clean the center hole thoroughly after both outer races are in place.
7. Pack the bearings with high-temp grease thoroughly and insert into the races.
8. Add the sealer ring to the inner bearing.
Torque specification for involved bolts:
Bolts Brake caliper bolts Brake disc retaining bolts Road wheel bolts
guide pin mounting bracket
Torque (lb-ft) 22 85 7 81