Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rear wheel bearing gone bad

I've just returned from the shop with a brand new bearing.
The old one went bad and I researched the web to find a couple of very interesting posts about this recurring incident.
First things first FACTS:
- The S2000 rear and front bearing are equal.
- If you buy them in Portugal, get ready to pay 75€ for a bearing and 11€ for the bearing stop ring. I recommend you to go online and buy from an US site from under 30$ and just clean the stop ring and re-use.
- If you are replacing the wheel hub too (not needed, but explained later), in Portugal you will buy one for 116€... again fly them from the US and pay 68$ for the same part.
Second is the reading: I recommend this link here because I really liked the article.

Why does it go bad? 2 reasons:
- If you drive like me, it's heat and stress that will kill it.
- If you don't drive like me, than you have your car poorly serviced. Honda issued a warning about the wheel nut tightening specs long ago. The car's came poorly tightened from factory (190nm instead of 295nm) and this would prematurely kill the bearing.

Now for the juicy part:
You could buy an hydraulic press for around 100$ and do it yourself. BUT if that it the case, THEN go a buy the bearing AND hub.
On the other hand, if you go to a lathe shop, you can do better!

This article didn't include images because Rob Robinette's article if good enough.
The cherry on the top of the cake here is HOW to re-use the hub.
On Robbinette's 11th image you can clearly see the bearing broken open. This means that the rest of it is "glued" (by rust and heat effect) to the hub. Typically, If the bearing goes (has Rob clearly says), the hub is gone too. Well, not quite.
The Not buying the press for 100$ and going to a Lathe-shop for 50€ is the trick.
The hub gets really hurt by slippage, hurting the metal and eating it up. Although you can press-it, it will never be the same again and some Km's latter you'll be back where you started.
In my case, the Lathe master took the hub out, grinned the remaining bearing housing "glued" to the hub enough to allow a grip onto-it and that pressed it out. He than machined the hub to smoothness, and proceeded to machine a "sleeve". The Sleeve went into a oven, the hub to a freezer, that the hub was sleeved and inserted back into the bearing.

So either you spend 100$ once on a press, then 68$+30$ every time you kill a bearing, ooooor, you sleeve-it and never ever need to change the hub again.

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