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Wheel Bearings

I read a recent post about wheel bearings. I am getting a humming noise from my wheels and now I am 99% sure it's a bad wheel bearing.

Just by the sound of it I think it's coming from the rear end. I will take it to work and put it on a lift when the snow goes away next.

Will a bad rear wheel bearing make more or less noise on a turn in different directions? When I turn to the right the noise goes away. To the left and straight it stays the same.

I will plan on replacing both sides. What's involved in changing the rear wheel bearings?

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'87 944 N/A (first Porsche)
'95 E-350 Diesel
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:16 AM
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if they're humming and not squeaking, clicking or some other rhythmic noise, then you may get away with just a good bearing lube job...
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2008 Mini Cooper // '83 Porsche 944 // '01 Mazda Protege [sold] //
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:31 AM
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Humming and only on one side. They are only $40 each, so I thought I would just replace them while I had them out. It's not the CV, I know that for sure. How big of a job is it?
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'87 944 N/A (first Porsche)
'95 E-350 Diesel
'03 S-Type Jag 3.0
'03 Taurus SES
'06 Eddie Bauer Explorer

RIP SoCal
Old 03-04-2008, 07:39 AM
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Maybe a .5 on a 10 scale, maybe easier since you don't have to deal with the speedo cable on one side. Just try not to ding the inner hub when you pound the races out. It's messy though.

Doh! You said rear wheels, no speedo there on any 944, and a bit tougher.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:41 AM
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It sound like wheel bearing to me and it really is not that hard to replace them. I did wheel bearings in my '89 and it took around two hours per side. Clarks has a good write-up on replacing them and it worked well for me. I used a slide hammer I got from harbor freight and was able to do them on the car. The hardest part of the entire job is getting the axle nut loose, but a big breaker bar with a six foot piece of pipe on the handle made quick work of the nuts.
Old 03-04-2008, 08:46 AM
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I've never done a bearing before and I did one wheel in about 1.5 - 2 hours...

you may need to heat some of the races with a torch to fit them over the stub.. not sure if the '87s are a single unit (my 83 was many individual pieces).
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:28 PM
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Hi John,

I started today on this job (rear) so let's keep the dialog going if you like. Got the axle nuts off and calipers and then it got dark. A 16" breaker bar (1/2" drive) with a 6' pipe did the job, used a chain link fence post pipe. I still need to buy a torque wrench, and maybe the slide hammer like flashgorodn said above (which I think you used to get the bearings out correct?). There is a harbor freight in town. Although the instructions on Clark's garage said to use a 'soft drift' to just pound them out a bit at a time. I suppose either would work. This is new ground for me, so hope it goes well.
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84 944 ... 93 968 ... 89 Vanagon Syncro
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:09 PM
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http://www.arnnworx.com/bearing_tool.htm
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:18 PM
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I did the job last summer following the instructions from Clarks Garage with good result. Got a quiter car after that. I used a copper rod and hammer to knock the bearings out crosswise not to jam the bearings. Used one of the old bearings outer race to knock in the new bearings and seal, filled the bearing room with grease.......and now comes the trick....I put the shaft in the freezer for a couple of ours. It was then an easy job to just push the shaft throgh the bearings and spacer. Rest was straight forward as per Clarks Garage an now I have a much nicer car. BTW I cleaned the bearings in solvent to examine them and found that the outer bearing (with rollers) was good but inner bearing (with balls) was not. Donīt know what you guys will call it.......but there was like a black and ruff "scar" in two places in middle of the oter race track....where the balls run. Balls were good however. Since my first VW in the early fifties Iīve hated ball bearings, they are no good in any car and I prefere tapered ones i most constructions.......but germans stick to balls by some reasons.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:57 AM
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Sounds good guys! I am in Buffalo and we have ice and snow. As soon as it warms up I will get it to the shop. I sell cars at a Ford dealer and all the techs are cool. There will be a line of guys there to help me. I can do all the work, but it's nice to use a lift!
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'87 944 N/A (first Porsche)
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:52 PM
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Ok,

Here is where we are today and lessons learned:
- got everything apart except for bearings, now I need to go some circlip pliers for the inner bearing retaining clip (I knew I will need them, for me this project is a bit at a time).
- There is no gasket between the CV/axle and the stub axle, is there supposed to be one? It looks like some of the grease from the CV leaked out and got all over the bolts, etc. I figured there should be some type of seal or gasket between them, didn't see on in the Pelican parts diagram though.
- Clark's instructions say to use a seal puller (which I don't have), but from a tip on another thread here I used a claw hammer instead, worked fine.
- also, forgot the latex gloves today, this will be on the buy list as well.
- I saw the spacer tube between the 2 bearings is loose, size is way less than the tube where it lays, like it will rattle around, although the grease will keep it quiet. I found it odd to have this loose tube just laying there. Anybody know why it is so much smaller?
- I plan to go get a 'soft drift' like Clarks procedure to try and tap out the bearings, we'll see how this goes, vs the bearing tool as in Jim's post about 3 above.

Roland
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84 944 ... 93 968 ... 89 Vanagon Syncro
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:37 PM
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Roland!
That tube is the spacer between the two bearings and when you torque the big nut, the inner race rings of the two bearings are compressed very tightly and the only shaft play will be the play in the ball bearing and no other place. If by any reason spacer was too short, then you would jam both bearings terribly and would not be able to turn the shaft and possibly destroying both bearings so just follow Clarks Garage or Haynes as I did and all will be fine. BTW, of course there must be a grease seal outside the inner and outer bearings. It is very important to see that all parts needed are refitted. Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:03 AM
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Oh, I see Lapponia. Once the stub axle is back in place, the space tube becomes centered (concentric) with all the rotating stuff, and then it provides the space (or union/connection) between the inner races for both the outboard and inboard bearings. Almost like it connects those 2 races then. Thanks very much, I think I got it, the concern is gone, if not please let me know.
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84 944 ... 93 968 ... 89 Vanagon Syncro
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 944Syncro View Post
Ok,


- I saw the spacer tube between the 2 bearings is loose, size is way less than the tube where it lays, like it will rattle around, although the grease will keep it quiet. I found it odd to have this loose tube just laying there. Anybody know why it is so much smaller?


Roland
I think the loose tube you are referring to here is the bearing seal. The bearing is supposed to be a sealed unit. There is no other seals in the vicinity of the bearing.
Old 03-08-2008, 10:14 AM
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Thanks Makis,

Actually what I was referring to is the "spacer tube", i.e. part number 9 in the drawing here: http://www.clarks-garage.com/shop-manual/susp-09.htm
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84 944 ... 93 968 ... 89 Vanagon Syncro
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:16 AM
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Oops, you are talking about early type wheel bearing!!! This makes sense then. I was referring of course on the later type bearing which is a single sealed unit that goes on the alloy trailing arm.
Old 03-08-2008, 12:10 PM
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Mine just started making noise, funny after it was the CVs last month. Same humming noise but it only happens if I drive for a while or hit a high rate of speed. Then it makes noise non stop until about 30mph.

You NA guys are luckily, its a easy job on your car.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:45 AM
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Yes I am the lucky one and you should see that hole in my garage door after the breaker bar when I tried to loosen the big nut, but that is a another story after all he, he.
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Lapponia 944 1984 NA
Old 03-09-2008, 02:11 PM
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Yes, Lapponia, that would be an interesting story to hear. In my case, before I got the nut loose with the 6' pole of the breaker bar, I tired the method suggested on Clark's garage. This is simply to prop the breaker bar on a jack stand, and lower the car very slowly and let the weight of the car provide the force needed to turn the nut; I have a 16" breaker not 24" like Clarks says. I found that the whole weight of the car (that corner anyway) was starting to be supported by the breaker bar! It was a torsion bar my now, and the nut wouldn't turn. This got scary, my son and I both with eye protection, and the whole setup felt like something was going to snap. This technique didn't feel safe to me.
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Old 03-09-2008, 02:48 PM
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Roland!
In the old days with my Beetle I used to drill trough the castle nut (axial direction) where the cotter pin sit. Then a few blow with a hammer and chisel made it all. Of course one had to have a spare nut at hand. This is a much safer method and one can have the new nut torqued later at a car garage. One thing I have never understood is why this nut needs such a great torque....half of it would be enough I think.
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Lapponia

Old 03-10-2008, 05:11 AM
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