Topic: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Well, the Cordoba made it 5 races without a wheel falling off. That’s a win. I put new Timken front races and wheel bearings on it in the beginning. Should I replace them again or can I check them and reuse? With the quality of aftermarket parts today I am always concerned with replacing perfectly good parts  (that work ) with fresh out of the box replacement parts that might be worse than what I am taking off. (Lesson learned the hard way) .

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Therein lies the dilemma.  I don't have any advice.  I've bought the expensive Jag front axles only to find when they arrive they are the same things I get from RockAuto for a lot less.  I'm half thinking I should just get the OEM axles/hubs from the wrecking yard and run those.  I wish I knew the answer to this one.

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Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Jimmy wrote:

Well, the Cordoba made it 5 races without a wheel falling off. That’s a win. I put new Timken front races and wheel bearings on it in the beginning. Should I replace them again or can I check them and reuse? With the quality of aftermarket parts today I am always concerned with replacing perfectly good parts  (that work ) with fresh out of the box replacement parts that might be worse than what I am taking off. (Lesson learned the hard way) .


I'd join Moparts and ask the question there. I'm guessing if you went to NAPA and bought from them you'd be ok. You can also check ebay, just check the box "made in USA" Take them out and inspect them. Have you lightened the car up? That will help on all "wear items".

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Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

I would get a set to have as spares. Make sure to keep everything tight and inspect after each race. As soon as you see excessive play, replace.

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Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

If you believe that the bearings you are currently using are high quality, there are some things you can do to inspect them and make sure they're still usable.

  • Remove the wheel bearings and clean them really well. I found out, sort of by accident, that boiling the bearing in water and cleaner like orange or purple works REALLY well.

  • Inspect  the rollers for heat damage, brinelling, overheating, or fretting/galling.

  • If they look good, and your grease isn't cooked to paste/powder when you pulled it out, repack it and keep using it

  • Clean your race and look for similar abuse as the wheel bearing

We started using NEO HP800 Bearing Grease because of the small bearings and high heat from the brakes we were having bearing failures during the race. The grease was getting cooked to powder. It doesn't work very well at that point.
The NEO allows us to run our rear bearings without fear of failure. We solved the front bearing problem differently, but prior to that solution the
NEO kept the fronts working thorough the weekend, as well.

As far as quality goes, Koyo and SKF still make good bearings, but YMMV.

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Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Extra Points to DelinquentRacer for using the Terms: brinelling, fretting/galling.
You missed my personal favorite Bearing failure, "Spalling"!!!!! (metal swapping from rollers to the bearing race)
Manny

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Buncha overachievers in here.

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

therood wrote:

Buncha overachievers in here.

You are just looking for more video of wheels falling off and passing up the car for the wrap-up video.

I don't think I have inspected my wheel bearings for about 8 races.  Maybe I should.

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

rb92673 wrote:
therood wrote:

Buncha overachievers in here.

You are just looking for more video of wheels falling off and passing up the car for the wrap-up video.

I don't think I have inspected my wheel bearings for about 8 races.  Maybe I should.

Historically, I haven't needed to look that hard for that.

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

I just keep a spare set in the trailer and check them between races or when they get noisy.

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Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

put a 383 w/ 440 crank in it, claim it is a 400 and dominate.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Keep a set of spares in the box of stuff that’s already too heavy for 1 big guy to lift alone.

We repacked our front  bearings once many years ago, the rear sealed ones are, to my knowledge, the ones the Benz rolled out of Germany with almost three decades ago. 208,000 miles, 15 races so far.

I think these are a consumable on FWD cars where the wheels are a lot wider than stock or the offset has wildly changed from OEM. On a RWD car with stockish size wheels, doesn’t often come up as an issue.

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Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Front bearings are such a thing in the Miata world.  Never lost a wheel but we were getting horrendous pad knockback during the last 24 at HPR.  This on super-special-beefy-BMW-machined-to-fit-Miata-hubs bearings with only one other race on them.  After the race we found both fronts had puked grease all over the inside of our wheels. 

So yeah. 

Spare bearings are cheap(ish) insurance.

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Thank you for all the good info! I'll inspect them well and reuse if OK - also keep spares

As far as Motors -  I think I'm gonna run the 400 until she gives up the ghost.  ( 4 races under its belt and it still doesnt use any oil)

But - I picked up a super cheap 413 ( ran when pulled)  from a 64/65 Imperial that will drop right in . Might have to run a 4BBL on that .  Maybe I'll get started on freshing that up over the winter.

Again Thanks !

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

We clean and repack our inner and outer bearings every race.  They don't require a puller and make it a very quick job.  Last race we inspected and repacked the outer bearing Saturday night.  Took us 15 minutes.

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

I inspect bearings play and see if they make noise. If they do, I pull them apart and see if they just need cleaning and some grease, or full replacement. But mileage varies between cars, so hard to say

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Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

Bricoop wrote:

...Last race we inspected and repacked the outer bearing Saturday night...

It's surprising to me that you felt the outer bearing needed attention, but not the inner.
The inner bearing takes the majority of the load, while the outer mostly just keeps the assembly in place.
That's why the inner is usually larger than the outer. Though, I s'pose I could be wrong about this.

Capt. Delinquent Racing
TRUMPACO XR4Ti
The One & Only Taurus V8 SHO #31(now moved on to another OG Delinquent)
'17 Vodden the Hell - (No) Hope for the Future Award, '08 AMP Survivor, '08 ARSE-FREEZE-APALOOZA Mega-Cheater

Re: Wheel Bearings - Check and reuse or just replace ?

DelinquentRacer wrote:
Bricoop wrote:

...Last race we inspected and repacked the outer bearing Saturday night...

It's surprising to me that you felt the outer bearing needed attention, but not the inner.
The inner bearing takes the majority of the load, while the outer mostly just keeps the assembly in place.
That's why the inner is usually larger than the outer. Though, I s'pose I could be wrong about this.


I say good (and easy call )   In the non racing world, the smaller outer is usually the one that fails first.

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