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Opinions: How Long Do Front Wheel Bearings Last ??


OriginalOwner

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Front Wheel Bearings ..... any particular maximum mileage before they should be replaced ??

 

I currently have 100,000 miles on the front wheel bearings (last replaced in AUG 1996).

 

My driving these days is very easy.  Lots of freeway cruising, the occasional run through San Gabriel and Carbon Canyons.  No racing or hard/fast driving or cornering.  Bearings are not noisy in any way.

 

As long as I keep the bearings properly greased, any reason to change 'em out as a regular maintenance item ??

 

Cheers,

 

Carl

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My 69 has 224k miles; the '73, 244k.  Original front wheel bearings on both cars.

 

Keep the nuts tight, but not too tight and fresh grease in the grease cup and they'll last a long time!

 

I've replaced only one rear wheel bearing during the above miles...

 

mike

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Answer- depends!

 

If you keep them greased properly and replace the seals regularly (I say every 25k/ 3 years, but I'm making that up)

then Mike's not off by much.  They're not working that hard...

 

unless...

 

you track it, live at the top of a very steep long hill, have a caliper stick and DON'T repack 'em. blah blah blah.

Or a cap falls off.

 

Or you overtighten them.  Especially in conjunction with the above.

 

I regreased every 2 weekends, cleaned and repacked every season, and I could coax about 2 seasons per set out of

them once I figured out to leave them a bit looser for racing.  And that's an 8- 10 weekend season with 2 groups per weekend,

AND a goodly number of track days (I was young and enthusiastic)

 

After going to tii struts, I now regrease twice a season, and that's just habit.  Same set I put in when I converted is still shiny and new.

 

t

"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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All good news, Thanks Much !!  Back in the old days I would change 'em out just to have a project, and I was driving a bit harder.  These days, easy driving.  And I have a tii, which I think has bigger bearings ?? 

 

Anyway, I'll quit worrying about front wheel bearings and channel the energy into a tune-up.

 

Cheers,

 

Carl

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I have only once owned a car where a front wheel bearing disintegrated and destroyed a spindle -- a 2000CS, before I bought it. 

The new book The Best Of The Hack Mechanic available at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0998950742, inscribed copies of all books available at www.robsiegel.com

1972 tii (Louie), 1973 2002 (Hampton), 1975 ti tribute (Bertha), 1972 Bavaria, 1973 3.0CSi, 1979 Euro 635CSi, 1999 Z3, 1999 M Coupe, 2003 530i sport, 1974 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special (I know, I know...)

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