tolsen

Front Wheel Bearing Modification - One Good Out Of Two Bad!

97 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Willys said:


I would love to see the actual hole in the race where it pops through body of the hub so we can see if it did manage to position itself perfectly between the two mating inner bearing races...?

 

There does not need to be a hole in the race. The 2 inner races do not contact the hub anywhere. They rest on the ball bearings on either side and are firmly pressed together in the middle when the bearing is mounted. The grease is injected in the bearing body and flows over the outside of the inner races to the ball bearings. No need to grind the races; the ball bearings ensure there is space in between the balls for the grease to flow through.

 

Why are you guys so set on damaging the races???

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I am worried any swarf left inside bearing will damage oil seal. 
 

Regarding drilling hole in bearing, I have an old rear bearing somewhere. Will have a go provided i can find it. 
 

Dismantling a Smart 450 rear bearing is easy. Remember to turn bearing when you tension puller or brinelling of its races may result. 

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7 hours ago, Smart42 said:

Why are you guys so set on damaging the races???

I was under the assumption the two races inside the bearing were touching in the bearings for a Smart Car....IF they are not the job is an easy one and I can't for the life of me wonder why I haven't already done this mod as it would result in never having to replace your wheel bearings if you keep them well lubricated, imho. Not grease squeezing past the seals but just enough to keep the bearings well lubricated.

 

I also will have a look at a rear bearing which I'm sure I have tomorrow....today was too busy getting good car finally out of the garage to spend time checking bearings....

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So if the Smart has actually got two separate bearings then is there no oil seal on the inside of each bearing?

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Mjolinor said:

So if the Smart has actually got two separate bearings then is there no oil seal on the inside of each bearing?

 

 

Internally I do not remember seeing one as the inner races butt together.....which is why I can't see how a grease pathway can be easily achieved. I could be wrong but will check tomorrow. Hmmm....you guys are starting to make me question my mental status...lol  OK, I know it's going downhill at the speed of light but..?

IF I'm wrong I will gladly admit it and eat crow.....so to speak...augh....!

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So found this picture and tried to draw in my proposed grease nipple (white) and the flow of the grease (red) to the bearings. 

 

VsxgH8E.jpg

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4 hours ago, Mjolinor said:

So if the Smart has actually got two separate bearings then is there no oil seal on the inside of each bearing?

 

 

Looking at Tolsen's dissected bearing, no. No reason to have seals inside; the housing is filled with grease. It is contained by the 2 external seal and the 2 inner races pressed together.

 

DSC02183.jpg

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Well, gobsmacked, it looks like the balls run in the cast iron (drop forged?) bit. EEK

 

 

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4 hours ago, Mjolinor said:

Well, gobsmacked, it looks like the balls run in the cast iron (drop forged?) bit. EEK

 

 

Damn, I just realized this also....So un-like the wife's Honda that has a complete pressed in bearing that can be replaced as a unit not as pieces. This is also why you buy a complete hub over a complete bearing that you press into the hub body. 

Eating CROW for breakfast ....DAMN....

Another mods to be done to all my wheel bearings as soon as the weather gets warm enough to work in a T-shirt.....I love grease nipples....seriously!

Well spotted and presented my friend.....thankfully you kept up and didn't simply get pissed off with us boneheaded few who disagreed with you.  Thank you.

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Seems to me like an opportunity to fix it properly by boring it out and fitting a real bearing.

 

Proper half baked idea doing that. Another example of Mercedes getting too close to Renault.

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5 minutes ago, Mjolinor said:

Seems to me like an opportunity to fix it properly by boring it out and fitting a real bearing.

 

Proper half baked idea doing that. Another example of Mercedes getting too close to Renault.

Well, seeing as the bearing race is made from old pots and pans, who cares about drilling filings.....they will simply get eaten up and redeposited back into the race or float around in the gobs of grease......lol.  IMHO, I think simply adding the correct amount of grease to a bearing which probably has a dab or two from new would give the lifespan a huge bump over the stock version. Something that you need to change what, maybe twice or at most 3 times in the lifespan of the car...?  Hmmmm...? 
Even my 1947 Willys flat fender jeep had proper wheel bearings if I remember correctly that you could easily change when done.  Who makes bearings using pot metal as a race surface...FFS...????    This has me even more confused than trying to figure out how to drill through a hardened race....lol.

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My Subaru bearing is the same design. I cannot see a separate pressed in outer race. I would think the outer race does get some kind of surface treatment after machining?

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OK, I have a good working rear bearing from a parts car. I have dismantled it similar to Tolson's pics there is no inner race at all but a hardened surface basically 1/8" in from outer surface. A high speed drill bit won't touch this nor will a tungsten bit. Both dulled quickly. 
You also must pick the correct location to drill into the body of the bearing.  13/16" from outer surface will get you basically between the two bearing cases. Which are made from a rubber  material I think. So you must drill through the bearing after you have dismantled it or you will ruin the bearing cage and it'll simply get eaten up by the bearings. imho. 

So, is it worth doing.....YES....IF you can drill the hole in the first place, I see no reason it wouldn't work well indeed.  You would need to fully understand not to pound in a whole tube of grease or you will push out the seals as they are easily removed.

Will I do it? Yes if I can find a drill bit capable of getting past the hardened section.   The bearing I took apart was well rusted outwardly and showed plenty of age. But the inner parts looked like new! It was well lubed so the arguement continues as to whether you really "need" to even consider this at all.   OR Do you simple do as Tolson has decided to do which is simply remove bearings and repack them one at a time....To each their own.

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8 hours ago, Willys said:

13/16" from outer surface will get you basically between the two bearing cases. Which are made from a rubber  material I think. So you must drill through the bearing after you have dismantled it or you will ruin the bearing cage and it'll simply get eaten up by the bearings.

 

I do not understand: if you drill a hole in the spot I suggested you would hit one of the bearing cases in the hub? That was definitely not the case with the Subaru bearing I experimented with.

mkCW4uj.jpg

 

3oy9DJr.jpg

 

 

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8 hours ago, Smart42 said:

 

I do not understand: if you drill a hole in the spot I suggested you would hit one of the bearing cases in the hub? That was definitely not the case with the Subaru bearing I experimented with.

mkCW4uj.jpg

 

3oy9DJr.jpg

 

 

The Smart Car rear bearing doesn't look like this internally. It has two sets of bearings running back to back in their own race areas and they are trapped in their own black rubber bearing retainers. The outer races then press into/onto the bearings.  The only thing holding the bearing together from what I see is the pressure of the retaining sleeve, very disturbing, I like a mechanical locking device so to speak like a nut etc...lol.  IF you disassemble the bearing/hub many times this pressed sleeve will lose it's grip and the bearing could come apart while in use.  Perhaps the reason why they do not recommend it be rebuilt etc or serviced by packing the bearings...?
The dimensions I gave places the grease delivery hole directly between the two ball bearing sets so to apply the grease to each set without requiring you to pump grease wildly in the hub cavity possibly pressurizing the outer seals?   Your red star is close to the area I suggest to drill hole for grease fitting at a glance. 
I am not taking apart a front bearing to find out the same information until I see if I can drill a hole through the hardened race area of the hub. 
That is where I am leaving this until I can find a way to make this needed hole.
IF, I can revive this dead horse then I will add more information hoping to solve this once and for all....
Enjoy.
OR if someone can find a cheap sensible way to drill the hole through the hardened steel please let me know so I can do the same.  Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Willys said:

  The only thing holding the bearing together from what I see is the pressure of the retaining sleeve, very disturbing, I like a mechanical locking device so to speak like a nut etc...lol. 

 

The thing that holds the bearing together when mounted is the pressure exerted by the nut of the drive shaft in the back and the hub bolt in the front. Thanks for your explanation!

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28 minutes ago, Smart42 said:

 

The thing that holds the bearing together when mounted is the pressure exerted by the nut of the drive shaft in the back and the hub bolt in the front. Thanks for your explanation!

I must have been asleep at the wheel...lol.  I still dislike dismantling it just to get grease in it...all the same.  I'd sooner insert grease nipple.
Hmmm...?  Might be time to go back to bed...lol.   See if I can gather those brain cells that left the building....lol.   Nighty night...

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So decided to put on my summer tires, clean the brakes and grease my bearings. Took the front wheels off, removed caliper, dust cap and hub bolt. Wheel bearing came off easily. Turned around to grab a tool and hear a loud clunk. My front spring decided it had enough, broke the bottom coil so the rest came down over the strut. I guess lubing the rear bearings will have to wait until the new springs are installed....

 

hStAl55.jpg

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2 hours ago, Mjolinor said:

They are consumables on Smarts along with filters and tyres.

Yup.....especially with the lack of road maintenance there is on our roads here......!

We have a section of our road that has as of yesterday 6" deep pot holes, suspension killers for sure!   The issue is, IF you do hit one and you do suffer damages, it's almost impossible to get a claim from the township.....they have a 4" deep threshold before they consider a pothole dangerous and even claimable....but the fight to get compensation is steep!  Best bet is to keep your head on a swivel and eyes peeled for such issues at all times.   Spring thaw brings them out every year.....is their excuse.

 

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I was glad the spring broke while I was working on the car, not driving it. 

 

Back on topic: I had a look at the front bearing; it would be difficult/impossible to put a grease nipple in there that would be accessible without removing the wheel, caliper and rotor. Once you have done that you might as well pull the bearing out. Also; the nipple would be installed in the turning portion, unlike the rear. The only workable option I see would be to drill a hole in the post the bearing mounts on and use/fabricate a bearing greaser tool similar to the one below that fits in the 12mm hole for the hub bolt. Grease would flow via the greaser through the hole in the post, between and around the inner races to the bearings. To service the bearing you would remove the hub cap and hub bolt, insert greaser, grease and reverse.

 

If you have the bearing out and you do not want to take it apart a 28mm bearing greaser (if you can find one..) should fit.

 

2505o8j.jpg

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