Rear Hub Bearing Failure

SydneyRoverP6B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#1
Well,..I have always maintained that the rear wheel bearings would run pretty well indefinitely, and I suppose to be fair 37 years and 238,937 Miles (384,672km) is pretty well that.

But over the past few days I noticed a noise which was not there previously. Driving at speeds of 50kph or less (although my speedo records the distance in miles, the face is marked in both miles and km) I could hear a rumbly dry sound, so yesterday I jacked up the rear and had a listen. Turning the O/S wheel by hand I could hear the sound, which did in fact sound as if it was coming from the differential... :( I had to be sure so today I detached the half shaft. Turning the shaft then by hand I could both hear and feel something was wrong. The universals I replaced a little over 23,000 miles (37,000km) ago, so 2 1/2 years ago and at that time the hub bearing felt fine.

With the hub detached from the elbow, rotating the flange delivered a very rough feel, noticably notched and dry, almost squeaky. So I fitted another new half shaft / hub assembly that I had ready waiting, and the one removed I'll dismantle and fit new bearings and spacer, paint up and pack away where it shall wait patiently until it's turn comes around again.

Ron.
 

rockdemon

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I suppose to be fair 37 years and 238,937 Miles (384,672km) is pretty well that.
That is impressive - Our 5 year old ford focus has had new rear bearings already (It's on 102000 miles).

Rich
 

Tor

Active Member
#3
Ron,

Can I just congratulate you with your Rover having covered the distance from Earth to the moon plus 550 kms or so? :D My diesel Bimmer is about to clock lunar mileage in a couple of months, it feels momentous!

Cheers

Tor
 

SydneyRoverP6B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#4
Thanks Tor,... :D

I had not thought about the distance in lunar terms, but you are right, it certainly is a long way!

Rovering to the Moon and beyond...
Ron.
 

Dave3066

Well-Known Member
#5
Hi Ron

Hope you'll be posting lots of pictures of the job with your new digital camera as it progresses? Or is the hub going to a garage to get its bearings replaced?

Dave
 

SydneyRoverP6B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#6
Hello Dave,

Yes it is very exciting,..I can take pics of everything.. :D

The hub I shall be doing myself, so look out for some installments!

Ron.
 

GrimV8

Active Member
#7
SydneyRoverP6B said:
Well,..I have always maintained that the rear wheel bearings would run pretty well indefinitely, and I suppose to be fair 37 years and 238,937 Miles (384,672km) is pretty well that.
Ron.
Only a couple of months back my Dad (known to work on Rovers since the man walked in front with a red flag) said the same when he replaced some on a customers car :) Took him an age to find where he had them in stock and couldn't remember doing any :wink:
I guess you must have joined an elite set of folk who have changed one due to failure, as opposed to those who just fit new on a rebuild 8)
 

Demetris

Well-Known Member
#8
I have changed mine back in July 2009. One side was rough, the other OK. Mileage unknown, but my car has had a hard life.
I tried to get two sets in the best quality i could find. They did make a difference in the rolling noise.
However, i needed a press for this job, and also a spring balance to adjust preload.
 
#9
I replaced one a few years ago after it started making a horrendous noise on my drive to work. I had breakdown cover with my insurance so had them carry the car home. Replacement wasn't a bad job, though I was staggered by the price JRW charged for the spacer. Can't remember why, but I did the other side a couple of years later with a cheapo spacer bought off eBay. It worked but needed a lot more pressure to collapse to the right extent so was clearly not the correct type of metal.
 

SydneyRoverP6B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#10
I have now started the process of replacing the bearings. To make it easier to remove the locknut, I temporarily fitted the assembly into a spare de dion elbow. Fortunately, it wasn't too difficult to undo although in hindsight it would have been easier to release the nut whilst the shaft was still fitted to the car. I'll remember that for next time.


Temporarily fitted and awaiting the nut to be released.



Hub separated from yoke shaft.


I cleaned the remains of Loctite from the yoke shaft splines, of which there are 25. The splines appear to have no obvious wear at all.


Splines free of Loctite.


The bearings had been greased nicely when they had been originally fitted. Like the original front ones, they are British made SKF.


The two halves of the hub now await separation.


I don’t currently possess a large enough drift that will sit completely on the shoulder when driving the two sections apart. Ideally I’d like to press them apart, but I don’t own a press either.

So, what is the best way to progress from here?

Ron.
 
#13
Following with interest Ron, are you able to supply bearing numbers for reference as well, and seal dimensions if possible, at your leisure of course...

and was loctite specified for the splines when assembling?? I would think a low strength loctite to prevent fretting/movement but also for ease of dismantling??

Scott
 

SydneyRoverP6B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#14
Hi Scott,

I have some NOS bearing kits, so I'll post photos along with the details. The workshop manual states the the splines are to be completely free of any grease, and then to apply Loctite grade AVV to the splines prior to assembly. This grade of Loctite is a high strength locker for a range of applications, meeting a military specification.

Ron.
 

SydneyRoverP6B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#15
Today I used my newly acquired 2 legged puller to separate the drive flange from the bearing housing. Then the oil seals and the two roller races were dispatched from the housing using a cold chisel and a hammer.


Roller races, drive flange complete with bearing and the collapsible spacer. One roller race exhibited a degree of pitting, although slight in size it was detectable by touch.

The collapsible spacer was noticably deformed, and in comparison to a BMH replacement that I had sourced from S & G Walker some years ago, around 1mm less in overall length.


Used collapsible spacer. The deformation is clear to see.


Old alongside a BMH replacement.

In order to remove the old bearing from drive flange, the workshop manual advises to use collets and a press. I initially tried to use a 3 legged puller, but it only managed to deform the bearing and not wanting to destroy it, which may make removal more difficult, stopped for the time being.

What size collets do I need to purchase? What else will I need in order to remove the bearing? I don't at this time have suitable drifts large enough to either drive the new bearing on or to drive the races into the bearing housing. Any suggestions on the type and size of items that I might need will be gratefully appreciated.

Ron.
 

colnerov

Well-Known Member
#16
Hi, I am afraid I have always adopted a some what cruder approach when removing
a bearing in this situation. So for what it is worth here goes. Remove the cage and
rollers and then with an angle grinder and some finesse (I know that is an oxymoron)
grind a flat on the bearing to take away the thickness. The finesse comes in not going
too far that you go into the shaft, what you are looking for is the bearing metal to
discolour due to heat as it gets thin.You then stop as the bearing metal has relaxed
and lost a lot of its grip and so can now be drifted of with a cold chisel or if you're
lucky levered off.

Hope you are not too aghast and this helps :wink:

Colin
 

SydneyRoverP6B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#17
Hi Colin,

I appreciate your suggestion as it sounds a good idea as any. :)

I'll use a Dremel with a grinding wheel fitted and allow it to diminish the race as you advise. Once removed, what have you used to refit the new bearing and to drive in the new races?

Ron.
 

colnerov

Well-Known Member
#18
Hi, I have a 3/4" round copper bar that I use as a drift, Helped by putting the new bearing in boiling
water to expand it. If you have time available put the shaft in the freezer, the longer the better. I
have known on occasions for bearings to just drop on with no encouragement. In this circumstance
as the bearings are pulled together by the nut they shouldn't be that tighter clearance to need that
much force to fit.

Colin
 

SydneyRoverP6B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#19
Hi Colin,

I appreciate the benefit of your experience, thank you for the reply. :)

Following your advice re the bearing removal, it came off without any dramas, which is excellent. I cut a grove into it and then following a sharp blow with the cold chisel, it snapped cleanly at that point. Removal was then straightforward with the help of a fine bladed screwdriver.


The cage along with the rollers has been removed to reveal the severely pitted cone.


Following removal of the cone.


The cone illustrates considerable pitting.


The cone up close.


The corresponding cup or race also displayed pitting, although the severity was noticeably less.


The inner cup or race displayed no pitting at all, so out of curiosity I separated the cage and rollers from cone. There was no pitting to be seen nor felt. Only the wheel side bearing had failed.


The inner bearing cone was free of any pitting.


I have a selection of NOS bearing kits to choose from. Although both these Unipart items display the same part number, only the one on the right came complete with a collapsible spacer.


NOS Unipart rear wheel-bearing kits.

The bearings in both packages were made in England by Timken. The original factory fitted bearings that I removed were also made in England, but by SKF instead.



Timken tapered roller bearing.


Timken cup or race, into which the above bearing runs.


A packed oil seal, which features the code 900462A stamped into its face.

Ron.
 
#20
I've been doing the same job lately as I had felt the bearing rough as I stripped off a drive shaft. I managed to pull the inner bearing off with a three-legged puller but it did wreck the cage. Here is the race

Still stripped down at moment, waiting to rob my dads fishing tackle box for his spring gauge :wink:
 
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