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Front Bearings... Anyone Done Them?
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4711
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:07 pm    Post subject: Front Bearings... Anyone Done Them? Reply with quote

Hi...

I've never done the front bearings and I've got noise and I know it's time cause the drone is getting louder.

However, I no longer have a garage to work in, so I'd like to know from people that have done it what I could be up against if I try to do them in a a friend's driveway one day. What problems could come up? If I do it outside, I'll have very limited time in which I could do it, so I to be efficient...

Any suggestions???

Thanks in advance...
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idanity



Joined: 21 May 2005
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Location: N.W.U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

never on the bmw... as i was told its easier to replace the entire strut (which i have done, with control arms, etc...that was a fair amount of pita, but can be done in one day)...

my problem was i overtightened the bearings, it was pretty easy on my old 80 toyota, but still i ruined it...i never did try it again after that.

post up if / when you do it...
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan... My understanding is that it would be pretty tough to overtighten these because they're at 235lbs... that's pretty much all I could ever do anyway myself!

I'm waiting a few days to order the parts. I wrote Dale a message but haven't heard back from him. The FAG parts don't seem to be available from Pelican or most others, and I don't want to buy bearings from eBay, so I think I'll go with the ones Pelican's selling... PEX I think...

I plan to do this thing in the next two weeks for sure...
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jamesnau



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 520
Location: NC State University

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

85-325e,

Greetings. I changed one of the front hubs on Julie's car last year. Not a bad/hard job at all. I was able to get the hub off by taking out the lug bolts and inserting longer ones. Then I used the tire as a slide hammer. The hub came right off, but the inside bearing race stayed on the spindle. Used my 2 jaw puller to get it off, no problem. The new hub went on easily. A few taps with the right size socket on the outer bearing race, and home she went. I weigh about 230 lb, so I stood on my wrench about a foot from the nut. Close enough when the torque is this high.

You probably know that you will need a 36 mm socket and new axle nuts. I also replaced the inner dust seal. Might as well replace both front hubs.

Let us know how it goes,
Jim
'85 325e, born October 1984
220K miles, original owner
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3087
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enis,
I've been totally swamped with work, sorry I didn't get back to you.
If you haven't abused the heck out of the bearings, like get them super hot or run until the bearing is totally destroyed, they should be easy to remove.
The manual calls for a puller, but I've never needed it.
I would suggest buying a new nut and the lock washer/retainer, since yours are original (I'm assuming) and a few years old.

Dale
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dale...

Would you go with the PEX bearings Pelican sells for my car? They don't have the FAG parts...
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jim...

I'm glad to know you've done these too...

FYI, Jim & Dale, mine are not originals I don't think, but they could possibly be. I think I had these changed in 1993 or 1994, but it's been a LONG time and they served the car well... over 130K at least, maybe more, and if they're original, they've got 235K on them!
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dt325ic



Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pelican is now showing the FAG brand front hub with bearing in stock.

I would definitely buy those over the off-brand. There is always GetBMWParts.com. Enter the part number, and see what the genuine BMW part cost will be. It might end up less expensive than the FAG at Pelican.
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Cephas



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Enis,

I did this job on my 86' and it was pretty straightforward and simple.

Take the tire off, remove the dust cap on the hub
Put the tire back on and lower the car
Loosen the 36mm nut that holds the bearing on
Remove the tire again
Take the 36mm nut all the way off and pull the old bearing off

Reverse for installation. New locking nut for sure!
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks DT... I ordered the parts this weekend... GetBMWParts.com was $10 more expensive than Pelican, and didn't list the manufacturer, so I went with Pelican to be sure.

Cephas... Thanks! I was fretting over the socket size for the nut. THe other day, I was going over tools I now have to keep in my storage unit, and found a 36mm socket that I didn't think I had!!!

A local garage owner, a long time friend of my Dad, has offered his lift to me on a weekday to get he work done, as I no longer have a garage in which to work myself. The parts will arrive by Thursday and hopefully he'll let me do it next Friday. I really can't drive the car much. The heat and humidity here are wearing the bearings faster than if it were cold. I noticed the problem before I moved when I drove the car in February. I drove it around for a while here, but the constant noise is annoying, and frightening at the same time.

So with any luck, I'll have these puppies done by the end of the week and can start driving my car around again.
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85-325e



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:17 pm    Post subject: Wow, They're Done... What a Test! Reply with quote

Well, I finally did them. It's been a long time since I've done mechanical work on the car... it didn't need it for the last several years!

I got the parts from Pelican... ordered the wrong nuts, they didn't catch it, but luckily, I did when the parts came, and I knew I had a few days before I would have access to the garage lift. So I got the correct nuts sent and was ready with all of the parts.

Right now, all of my tools are in a storage room, so to do this, I had to collect them all, take them out of their rolling cabinets, and load a hand tool box. I brought my own compressor and air tools. They had them there but they were doing me a favor and didn't want to impose.

I did get them done, but not without hiccups along the way. The left (driver) side, which was in the worst shape, came off faily easily, and I got everything back together well on that side. That bearing was REALLY shot, and was rocking from side to side. I had to remove the big dust shield to get the small dust shield off. This bearing was original to the car! It came off almost completely.

Then, I went to the passenger side, pretty confident. Took the wheel off, took the brake caliper off, tied it up. I tried to remove the brake disc retaining bolt, but it stripped... again, luckily, I had brought my extractors because the small chisel and PB Blaster didn't make it budge. I finally got it off, saying some pretty nasty things along the way. I took the disc off, put it aside. Then I used the impact wrench to get the 36mm nut off. I had a problem on the driver side with the big nut. Luckily, they had a thinner walled 36mm socket there at the shop because mine wouldn't fit inside the hub opening to get to the nut. I put the wheel back on, yanked, the bearing only came off so far!!! I removed the wheel, used a puller, and was able to get it off the rest of the way... I used a caliper bolt in the center of the shaft, so I had something to put the puller against. Anyway, the sucker came off. When I had started taking it off, I saw the ABS ring, and then I remembered that I had had the passenger side replaced once in 1991 or so. The originals to my car dont have the ABS ring. Anyway, that was the tougher one to get off the shaft.

Now, I had taken off the big rear dust shield on the driver side to get to the smaller dust shield so, rather than screwing around trying to get it out with the big shield in, which is a pain in the butt, I immediately took that off, and put it aside. It was hot... very hot, and very humid, and very, very noisy there. Things were dismantled and it was time to put everything back together. I put the small dust shield on... and things looked good, so I seated the bearing on the shaft, using a small pipe section on the inner race. It seated really nicely. I was sort of tired by the time I got to passenger side because when I did this stuff before in my home garage, after I completed something, I took a break and sat down, drank something and relaxed a bit between tasks like these bearings, but here I was on a clock, so to speak, and did I mention, it was HOT??? IT was probably 90 degrees in that shop, with no a/c...

I went to get the nut so I could put it on, and there, on the bench, I saw it... there was the damned large dust shield I had removed, that had to go back on before the bearing. HOLY COW!!! The car's up on the lift, the bearing is on, but the dust shild isn't, I don't have access to another bearing for days... and the car couldn't stay up on the lift. I realized I would have to pry the bearing off the shaft with a pry bar. Delicate procedure for sure... they're not meant to be taken off in one piece, and I knew I had to keep the inner race where it was supposed to be so I didn't destroy the only bearing I could use, as the old ones were in pieces. So, I decided to trash the little dust shield, cram it up against the bearing, and use it as a "plate" to pry against with the bar. I took extra care, and was indeed able to get the bearing off the shaft, complete, with no damage. I have done stupid things before with locking rings and stuff like that, so when I order little parts like nuts and locking rings, I always order a spare.

Luckily, I had a new small dust shield as I had ordered three, just in case!

Once the bearing was off, I put on the new little shield, then put up the big shield and attached the screws by hand, tightened the first one, tightened the second one, and broke the third one off. The shop owner said, "Don't worry, it'll work with only two." I laughed at that. Got a small drill bit, a small extractor from the kit and started to drill. He said, "That'll never work... you're going to screw up the threads!"

Anyway, I drilled that out, and again, luckily, was able to drill a little hole, tap the extractor in, tick one little turn, and get the bolt shaft out, and again, luckily, I had a spare 10mm bolt with me in my kit. Fixed that, got the nut in, covered with a new cap, reinstalled the disc, reinstalled the caliper, put the wheel on, tightened the lugs.

Once I got used to using the lift, it was fairly easy to pop the car up and down, and if I had had that thing for the past 10 years, I would have liked working under the car a ton more than when it was up on stands!!! While I was screwing with that passenger side wheel, I decided to change the oil, so I dropped the car, opened the hood, removed the oil filler cap, closed the hood and raised the car again. I used their upright drain thing, removed the plug, and drained the oil. I had a new oil filter and oil with me, just in case I had the time to do it there, but with all of the anguish on the passenger side, I figured it should drain while I was working on fixing that bearing.

Anyway, I did get it done. had Bentley and Haynes with me, and prinouts of this thread, as well as a Pelican article etc, and I had done a lot of thinking and reading about this for the past week so I knew what was coming. It was easier, and tougher than I thought it would be, ust because the right, passenger side was a bear to do, but if I had to do it again, I know what to expect, and wouldn't worry about tackling it again...

So, that's my story and I'm stickin with it!!!
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dt325ic



Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to hear you had success! Seems like there are "issues" that pop up with any job I do, so I know the feeling.

Was the drive home a lot quieter? I imagine you could tell a pretty big difference.

Dane
'88 325iC
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dane...

The car front was making a lot of grinding noises for almost 5 months, but I rarely drove it because of that. Before I took the driver's side hub off, I played with it with my hands, and it was REALLY rocking from side to side, up and down too... the bearing, original, was totally shot. I don't think the passenger side was messed up, but it probably wasn't far from failing anyway... it had been in there for more than 21 years for sure.

Before I went home, I took it on a test drive in the opposite direction, just in case I had to do something before I took my tools out of the garage. It was definitely nice and quiet. The drive home was OK, but the trunk was loaded with tools, and I just wanted to get them out of there, plus I was filthy!

The real test was at dusk, when I went towards the beach. The road that runs out to the inlet had just been repaved, so it was a nice and quiet place to hear everything.

FYI, I have been complaining about a noise in the rear right brake things for almost 25 years... the mechanic at BMW and even when he became independant, could never figure it out... a rattling when I went over even small bumps, and it has always annoyed me a lot. But in the process of checking for a ticking in the back, I FINALLY discovered what it is, and when I can get the part, I'll change that out... it's the connector to the brake cable... it rattles!!! We always looked for loose stuff, cables that were bouncing around etc, but as I tapped in there trying to do something else, it started to rattle and I knew that sound like the back of my hand!!!

The drive at dusk was very nice, smooth and quiet...
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up Enis! And great job getting this done in a strange shop, in the heat, on a deadline.

If we had talked while you were struggling with the large shield because the bearing was already installed, I would have suggested taking tin snips, and making 2 small cuts, turning the shield into a C shape. Still has 3 bolts holding it on, but now it fits over the spindle without messing with pulling the bearing.

I figured this out working on my race cars, cause the aftermarket backing plates for cooling hoses are shaped that way, and you have to take off the original shield before installing the new shield.

here is what the cooling ducts look like:


Dale
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dale...

Well, that would have made it easier for sure! I don't ususally modify parts like that, so it never occurred to me. Still, I was very happy I was able to get the bearing off! The car is driving wonderfully now, but now that the front is quiet, I think I can hear the rear bearings going... it sounds pretty sandy back there... at first I thought it might be the diff, but it's not a whine, it's a sandy sort of noise.

So I'm going to do some research on that job... I know it's a bear without the designated pullers, although Jim Nau, an engineer, came up with a puller of his own, so I'll send hima note. I dread the rear bearings as I've never heard someone say "Gee, that was easy!!!"
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