Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up? (resolved)

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Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up? (resolved)

Postby Blake » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:12 pm

So I've had this long standing issue with wheel bearings. The Honcho (and the waggy before I sold it) couldn't go very far on wheel bearings. Same with my little trailer and even my stock J20 with small tires and no wheeling. I've spent tons of time and $$$ on new bearings and races.

They keep loosening up.

Any ideas as to why? Do wheel hubs simply 'wear out' causing them to perpetually have problems? I've tried everything. stage 8 locking spindle nuts, stock retainers, setting them loose, setting them tight, etc. The only rig I haven't had problem with is my lexus and that is doing much more high speed stuff.

discuss.

Edit:

It seems that I've been putting them on too loose. They need to be tigher!

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Stuka » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:44 pm

What are the steps you are taking to install and torque them?

As I recall, you said you torqued them higher then spec. This can cause them to wear too fast, which would then cause them to be loose.
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Blake » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:48 pm

I install the bearings/races into the hub. install hub onto spindle. snug the locknut and rotate the wheel back/forth several times. Check for lateral movement while rotating wheel. tighten down to 10-100 ft lbs (depending on what spec I'm shooting for at that time as I've experimented with multiple torque settings) I set the lock nut tight enough that the wheel has no 'side to side' movement, yet still turns freely.

plain and simple.

What am I missing? Heck, I know most people with FSJ's have never even checked their bearings. If I didn't check mine, I'd lose a wheel going down the hwy and create a horrific accident.

Seriously. What am I doing wrong? the stage 8 spindle nuts physically prevent the locknut from turning and I'm 100% sure I"m installing them correctly. This happens on my bone stock J20 as well. I've done the bearings on my lx450 and that setup is almost identical to a stock D44, yet I've rallied that thing all over the country, high speed, rock crawling, sharp turns, sand, jumps, etc, yet it's NEVER gotten loose, not even once.

I'm about to swap in another GM D60 into the honcho because the housing is bent. So I'll be doing this again soon.

Please, tell me what I'm doing wrong with my wheel bearings.

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby carnuck » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:50 pm

made in china

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Jeffsj » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:19 pm

Not sure if this is the problem, but I think 100 ft/lbs is too much to initially set the bearings to. The manual I have says to tighten the main nut to 50 ft/lbs while spinning the hub, then back the nut off 1/8th turn. Then install the locking washer, by lining up the little pin on the main nut with the nearest hole in the washer. Finally, put on the lock nut and tighten it to 50 ft/lbs. That should do it. I hope this helps. If you've already tried all this, I don't know what to tell you. I've never had any problems like that.
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby jamesdart » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:12 am

What kind of grease? Have you been using the same brand bearings on all of them?

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Locked and Loaded » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:40 am

The nut on the inside has a pin on it. The washer that goes between the two nuts has holes in it. If put together the nut shouldn't be able to spin.
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby jaber » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:38 am

I agree with Jeff, that the lock washer should keep it from moving.

Do you have the regular flat washer that goes between the bearing and the first nut?
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby ScottsMojo » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:08 am

Stage 8 locking system is different than stock so he's not dealing with the pin/hole alignment. Blake, how are you pressing the races in? Are you sure you are getting them seated fully? That is all I can think of that hasn't been asked previously. I too have never had issue with my bearings coming loose, so I have no clue. I follow the TSM to the T and it works for me.

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Tad » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:18 am

I'm still using the older "bend-the-tab" system on my GM front 60.
I have not had this issue.
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Stuka » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:51 am

When I get home I will scan in the page(s) from my TSM that go over it. 100ft/lbs is way too much though.
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby CherokeeCraig » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:20 am

All I can say is your doing something way wrong, I've put in hundreds of wheel bearings over the years. Hell I could teach a 5th grader to do it in 15 minutes. My suggestion to you would be to have someone else pack and replace a set for you and you watch what they do. Then you'll find out what your doing wrong. We can sit here and guess and ponder all day long but unless we came and actually watched you there is no way we could figure it out. I'm sure it's a simple matter and I'm not by any means trying to belittle you, I just think that would be the best way for you to figure it out. It has nothing to do with the Jeeps if the same thing happens to your trailer! Get it??
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Blake » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:04 am

thanks for all the comments. Please keep in mind that I stated that I've done this job on my lx450, which has essentially the same setup. It doesn't get loose. Maybe it's a 200k mile toyota thing. I dunno.

I'm 100% sure that the races are 100% seated.

I've watched a few youtube videos for reference. It's not rocket science and I believe I'm doing it right.

The hubs themselves. can they get 'worn' and therefore allow the bearings to get loose?

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby CherokeeCraig » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:19 am

Only real place for the hubs to be worn is where the races seat and if that was the case you would know it as the race would spin in the hub.
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby ScottsMojo » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:22 am

Blake wrote:The hubs themselves. can they get 'worn' and therefore allow the bearings to get loose?


The hubs - are you referring to the spindle surface that the inner bearing race seats against? I am sure they could, as everything will wear with time. Should be able to find the max/min dim from Dana and measure and see if that could be contributing to the problem.

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Blake » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:41 am

good point on the hubs themselves. if they were worn, the race would spin.

In the case of the D60 on the honcho, I don't think the spindles are to blame as I've swapped in another pair spindles from the new D60. Same issue with them loosening up.

It's pretty frustrating to have to constantly check the wheel bearings. This affects all my rigs (except the lexus) and all my trailers (i have lost more trailer wheel bearings than you can imagine).

Maybe I will be better off converting to axles that have unit bearings and then carry spare units? That's mega $$$ though.

Or maybe if I get rid of all my jeeps and concentrate on building yota's, then the problem will go away too :D

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby CherokeeCraig » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:00 am

I'm almost to the point of thinking your over tightening your bearings. I've never torqued to any kind of spec. I'm from the old school tighten and spin and tighten and spin until I'm starting to get just a tad bit of resistance then back off just a bit. I've seen bearing running fine way looser then I'd ever run them but they were running fine. I know for a fact a lot loose is way better then a little tight (when it comes to wheel bearings!!!) Ha!! Another pointer, buy your self a good bearing packer http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-34550-Handy ... acker+tool this is what I use. It'll assure you get a good pack on your bearings.
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby Blake » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:22 am

CherokeeCraig wrote:I'm almost to the point of thinking your over tightening your bearings. I've never torqued to any kind of spec. I'm from the old school tighten and spin and tighten and spin until I'm starting to get just a tad bit of resistance then back off just a bit. I've seen bearing running fine way looser then I'd ever run them but they were running fine. I know for a fact a lot loose is way better then a little tight (when it comes to wheel bearings!!!) Ha!! Another pointer, buy your self a good bearing packer http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-34550-Handy ... acker+tool this is what I use. It'll assure you get a good pack on your bearings.


I didn't start using the torque wrench until recently. I was always doing the same method as you. spin and tighten, spin and tighten....

I don't have a bearing packer as I always do it manually. That's good advice and I will take it. But I seriously doubt it will fix my problem.

Someone else said something about chinese bearings. Well, it's dang near impossible to find made in usa bearings around here locally. Maybe I will find some USA bearings online and try them when I swap in the new D60.

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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby CherokeeCraig » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:35 am

Timken bearings. You should be able to order them online. Bar none the best you can buy.
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Re: Why does my wheel bearings keep loosening up?

Postby jamesdart » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:47 am

I have had the problem on my cars never really paid much mind to it, with that its just pop the grease cap off and tighten it up, put the pin and cap back on. I did my wagoneer. D44 a year or so ago with timken bearings I know they don't have the best reputation. But I replaced the bearings and races to whatever spec I found online with the stock retaining stuff it's staying nice and tight. I regeared over the winter so went through them then. Ill go over them again in the spring.

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