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Old 08-23-2014, 10:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Front wheel bearing

I got a 85 samurai, been using a Haynes manual for a 86 samurai and a online repair manual (pdf file) for a 85 sj413.

I used to have 33x12.5r15 tires and have recently decided to downsize to 31x10.5r15. I've done the wheel bearings for the front right hub about 3-4 months ago (replaced the races too). 4 days ago as I was taking the 33s off and putting the 31s on I decided to check for wheel bearings being good or not sense I have it lifted. Same front right wheel bearing was shot, had so much movement that I looked like it was going to fall off the hub (could pull/shake/twist in any direction and was wobbly in any direction). So I replaced the inner and outer wheel bearing for it again. 3 days ago I drive for a solid 45 minutes at highway speed, so when I stopped I decided to feel both front hubs to determine if one was hotter than other, the front right was warm and left was cold. Thought about the bearing being toast again so next day (2 days ago) I lifted the samurai up again and felt the wheel for bearing play again, and it was wobbly once again!! So yesterday I tore it apart again, no scoring, both bearings are still looking brand new, no blue colour or anything to appear wrong! I repacked the bearings with new grease and put it all back together.

Today driving down the road I heard the bearing humm noise again coming from right side, just jacked the front end up as I'm writing this to see if it's the same wheel bearing, and it is! Oh and once I put it back together yesterday I relifted it after a test drove it and it felt 100% fine!

I have the proper torque measurements for the wheel bearing to be preloaded and everything to be locked to it's right position and torque, is there something that can be causing the wheel bearing to keep messing up? And now that I just checked it and tore it apart again, the inner bearing has scoring on the race

Last edited by MechoShade; 08-23-2014 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your procedure sounds right, make sure the races are seated all the way in and alignment is about right. I know oversize tires can be tough on bearings but they shouldn't fail so quickly, are they well packed with grease? Are you using decent Timkins or something proper. I would veer away from any low $ Chinese made stuff. It's worth the extra to get some properly made ones. The only other thing that comes to mind right away is to put some miles on for a few days and re-torque them.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Skf fw138
SKF FW138 Tapered Roller Bearings:Amazon:Automotive SKF FW138 Tapered Roller Bearings:Amazon:Automotive

Are the only wheel bearings my local auto stores are able to get for me, by any chance have a part number for the recommended wheel bearing? And I'll try re torqueing them and see if it helps, but inner race already has scoring on it so probably going to have to replace it anyways
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just stumbled across a YouTube video of a guy doing the front axle bearings, he calls the bearings in the birfeild "trenyum bearings" (I know I probably spelt that wrong), but from more searching I can only find them called king pin bearings, could that be the cause of me keep throwing my bearing out?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4f6cVtZM1gU

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Old 09-11-2014, 09:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How often are you going off-road or is this strictly on road driving? Have you replaced the rubber wiper and felt seals on the birfield. Scoring sounds like dirt getting in. You need to be sealing everything up with silicone, ie the hubs, King pin bearing caps etc. I always did an annual complete teardown of the front end to repack the birfields with grease and inspect everything. I only ran 31"s offroad and P235 daily. Its been like 15 years since I had a samuari but if I recall bearing preload was like 50 ft lbs on inner nut while rotating the hub, then back it off 1/6 turn, then put in the locking ring and then torque outer nut to 50ft lbs, If King pin bearingss were gone, you would get Play after wheel bearings set up. I am betting on dirt infiltration due to Birfield wipper seal. I also had a 1985 SJ413 Long Wheel base. My issues were always the rear bearings until I devised a process of using a needle fitting on my grease gun to inject oil past the seal on the sealed bearing.
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