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Wheel Bearing Question

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I have new wheel bearings in the front. I installed them to the procedure in the manual. I can barely get the washer behind the nut to move. With the car on the ground if I grab the wheels at the 12 o'clock position and shake it fairly hard I can feel some light movement and here a little noise. Its definitely coming from the wheel area. The rest of the bushings in the suspension are new as well.

Is this normal?

Thanks,

Andrew

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what do you mean by "barely get the washer to move" it is not supposed to move...

and don't shake the wheel hard. grab it at 6 and 12 oclock and wiggle it. there should be little to no play and the wheel should spin freely.

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what do you mean by "barely get the washer to move" it is not supposed to move...

and don't shake the wheel hard. grab it at 6 and 12 oclock and wiggle it. there should be little to no play and the wheel should spin freely.

The manual say the washer should be able to spin.

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You guys are right, it should only move a little bit since it is keyed; however I don't want to over tighten it. Should there be no lash in the wheel?

Thanks,

Andrew

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again from very distant & bad memory, the Clymer manual says 2 ft-lbs or some such to tighten the castle nut ??

What I have always done is gently tighten it up, then back off one notch of the castle nut.

This always results in some wiggle of the tire on the bearings. Because of the design of the castle nut, it is impossible to get all the wiggle out. So don't worry about a little wiggle . I've been told that too loose is better than too tight ..... and LOL, that is simply a 1 notch choice on the castle nut.

And I'll recommend you re-check the adjustment after a few hundred miles. Everything will wear-in a tiny bit, the grease will be pushed out a tiny bit, thus loosening things up a tiny bit. You might be able to tighten the castle nut one more notch, maybe not. Nothing to be worried about, much less paranoid. Those things are plenty tough, and I've never had any problems in any of my vehicles with over 100 combined years on the road.

Cheers,

Carl

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I agree with Carl that slightly loose is better than slightly tight. Per the manual, cinch down the nut a bit to seat the bearings, then back it off a touch and make sure wheel spins freely. While the keyed washer will not rotate fully, it should slide back and forth a bit with light pressure from a screw driver. Given a choice between cotter pin/nut orientation, pick loose over tight. Per Marshall, the way to check tightness is to grasp the wheel at 12 an 6 O'clock and see if it rocks in and out. There should be a slight amount of play. My understanding is that these bearings heat up and expand slightly in use, taking up the play. I've adjusted my bearings this way for about 20 years now and have never had any issues.

One thing to be aware of is that if you have spherical bearings at the top of the strut (race camber plates), that bearing can be worn (particularly the teflon-lined ones) allowing play at the top of the strut. In this case, when checking wheel bearing you must distinguish between wheel bearing play and strut bearing play.

Fred '73tii & '69GT3

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Guest Anonymous

The washer is notched on its outside edge, it is not keyed, and it is supposed to be able to move!

The correct procedure is to tighten the nut to about 20 ft/lbs, then back it off until you can insert the cotter pin and the washer moves easily. There should be play in the vertical drection when you wiggle the wheel - not horizontally. Any tighter and you will be replacing the wheel bearings again.

The noise issue is something else rubbing, if you have adjusted the nut correctly.

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The thrust washer does have a tab that rests lightly in the spindle keyway, preventing the washer from rotating. There is a small amount of play, however. I confirmed this by pulling some parts from the basement and taking some pics....

post--1-13667665348532_thumb.jpg

post--1-13667665349757_thumb.jpg

post--1-13667665351411_thumb.jpg

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Guest Anonymous

I don't think my spindles have the key-way, but stand corrected if I am mistaken. Nevertheless, my advice stands: the BMW Blue book shop manual indicates that the washer should move freely when the nut is adjusted correctly. Tighten it to squeeze out excess grease, then back it off to the next hole for the cotter pin.

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I was taught by a genius Porsche tech the following technique.

It works on older 911s as well as our cars quite nicely:

The keyed washer behind the nut should move slightly when firm (but not excessive) pressure from the tip of a screwdriver is applied to it, and levered via slight twist, against the inside of the hub cone. This is a more "measure-able" technique in my opinion and has never failed me.

I can draw an illustration, if this doesn't make sense.

Hope this helps!

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Yeah, the procedure is to tighten the nut so that the washer can slide back and

forth with 'slight' pressure. It's a loose fit on the spindle, so it has

some slop.

Honestly, I thought this was common knowledge....

As to clunking, yeah, if you grab the top and bottom of the wheel, you

can sometimes feel the slightest movement in the bearing.

That's fine. In fact, for track use, you want 'some' movement

or the bearings cook.

If you grab the sides of the wheel and feel movement where you didn't in

the top and bottom, it's a suspension/steering problem.

And the most likely place is the center track rod.

hth

t

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