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Front Wheel Bearing Issues


Kentite
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Having front wheel bearing/hub issues once again. I’ll start with a little history. I’m the early life of our car, 89 Chevy Beretta, we were plagued with hub failure. We the swapped to bigger spindles and bearings from a later model car. That seemed to cure the bearing issues. At that point we starting getting CV axle failure due to axle alignment problems from the swap. It seems we have remedied that for the time being as the current set of axles has lasted about 16 hours compared to 4 in the past. 

Over the last few seasons we had been getting whatever bearings we could find, pressing apart the sealed hub unit and repacked with better grease. That worked up until our last test day at Nelson Ledges when we starting getting slop in the bearing after about 4 hours on track. We started the 24 with new Timken units and had the same problem after about 6 hours. 

Changes we have made to the car this year before we once again had bearing problems are- splitter tunnels, which are hopefully adding more downforce, rerouted the brake cooling ducts (but also added in line fans), stiffer front springs. In general the car is faster and all the miles on the car with this issue are are Nelson Ledges. 

Is it just the track? Was it the excessive heat this weekend? We started on tires that had many hours on them and did get greasy so were we sliding and abusing the front end?  Any ideas would be much appreciated.

 

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43 minutes ago, Kentite said:

We started on tires that had many hours on them and did get greasy so were we sliding and abusing the front end?

Sliding should reduce abuse on the front end.

 

Other than that, I can't help.  Good luck troubleshooting it.

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How big are your rotors? How heavy? Lots of bearing issues are induced from our high heat killing the grease. 

 

Grease in bearing black or look pretty new? 

 

How wide is the bearing? Might need a hub swap from a car with a wider bearing. 

 

Cv nut still super tight post race? Loss of torque on the neon obliterates them.

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20 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

How big are your rotors? How heavy? Lots of bearing issues are induced from our high heat killing the grease. 

 

Grease in bearing black or look pretty new? 

 

How wide is the bearing? Might need a hub swap from a car with a wider bearing. 

 

Cv nut still super tight post race? Loss of torque on the neon obliterates them.

Rotors are 12” diameter and 1.25” thick. Our brake cooling ducts are routed to and funneled to feed the rotor at its center nearest the hub and allow the vanes in the rotor to pull air through them.

Have not pulled the most recent set, but the last couple of sets did not have the grease go black.

Bearings are bigger than stock. We noticed the Timken units are all around beefier than most after market, but had the same issue. We still have stock offset in the wheels and are not running at tire wider than what came on the car the hubs are from (225/50R16). 

We torque the hubs to the specified 284 foot pounds. Did not check the torque before changing the set during the race, but will check the set that is on the car.

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Another thing to look for, i had this happen with a set of bearings.

 

Make sure the cv or axle stub width to hub bearing surface when the nut is bottomed out is at least .125" narrower than the bearing id thickness. If not you could be bottoming the nut out on the cv or bottoming out hub splines before you actually generate preload on the bearing. 

 

Had this happen on the neon as well, put hub on the cv out of the car and ran nut down. Clamp length (cv face to hub face) was about the same as bearing. Had to use a washer as a spacer between cv and bearing. In the end a different hub brand fixed the issue, it was a stack up tolerance thing.

 

Your brake package sounds good. I was 10lb rotor, 11" and not thick at all. Grease would ooze out black and cv boots looked burned. Those bearings died from being cooked. 

 

Can you feel the bearing having some drag when installed new? My hub too long issue was found by noticing at 2.5 tons pressing bearing and hub combo into spindle i never got noticable drag spinning hub. You generally need the press to create some preload, the nut just holds it in.

Edited by Black Magic
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I will check the depth on the CV shaft and nut. We are running outer CV’s that match the car which supplied the bearing and spindles. Hopefully they all work together. I did notice the Timken brand had a bit of a collar on the side that abuts the CV end where some other don’t. In talking to a Timken engineer before trying their product he said they should be good for 350° before the seals go and grease breaks down. I didn’t check temps this weekend, but in the past when checking temps on the axle stub I’ve never seen anything over 250°.

I will do some experiments to check preload.

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The one change I forgot to mention is that we added 1.4° of caster to the factory setting of 0°. Not sure if that would have an impact.

I’m starting to think we may just be getting past the point of what this car is capable of handling. Also their isn’t much weight I can get rid of from the front end.  GM hubs were never great from the factory, I couldn’t even begin to quantify the number I changed during my years in auto service. 

On paper it looks like I could maybe get some Corvette C5 rear hubs to work on the front of our car. We’d then have to change all of our wheels because of the different bolt pattern. That is just money I don’t want to spend on something that may not work.

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We used to blow up front hubs on the miata around 7-12 hours.  Then we were recommended Amsoil Dominator Race grease to pack them with and we now have gotten 30 hours before we just took them off before risking a failure.  We now repack after every race weekend just to be sure and we havent had a failure since.

Edited by Alchemy Autosport
have shoulda been havent!
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We have been repacking some, but the beefier Timken units cannot be disassembled. The ones we do disassemble are not really supposed to be taken apart.

Do you recommend the Amsoil over Redline CV-2?

Edited by Kentite
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19 minutes ago, Kentite said:

We have been repacking some, but the beefier Timken units cannot be disassembled. The ones we do disassemble are not really supposed to be taken apart.

Do you recommend the Amsoil over Redline CV-2?

1 trillion times over!!!  We were using the CV2 when we had the regular failures.  Honestly I couldnt believe the difference!  Rob from Texas on here hooked us up on got us on the Amsoil train and we never looked back!  Check your DMs

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We had some front bearing issues on our neon when axles we were using were too long for the amount of negative camber we were trying to run.  Believe that as CV compressed it was banging on the bearing hub, causing the failures.

Edited by tneker
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On 7/3/2018 at 4:55 PM, Logdog said:

Would the Amsoil wheel bearing grease be a good choice for CV joints too?

We do and it works well.  This way we have one grease for everything.  We werent having failures before and still dont so it definitely didnt make anything worse but I dont have an improvement to share with you.  

 

BTW, anyone who buys Amsoil I would love for you to use my referral number: 5419790  

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There is that old joke - what is the worst oil in the world? Whatever was in your car when it blew up. 

 

In all seriousness, I am absolutely sold on Amsoil products until proven otherwise. Never had an oil related failure in either car in 8 years of Champcar abuse. 

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No idea if the SCX had different hubs, and I did have to replace one, but since they were made for racing might be something to look into. I think they had same front end as Beretta but not positive.

 

If they are different probably not available anymore anyway.

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14 minutes ago, Bandit said:

No idea if the SCX had different hubs, and I did have to replace one, but since they were made for racing might be something to look into. I think they had same front end as Beretta but not positive.

 

If they are different probably not available anymore anyway.

Their races were short compared to most of what we run anyhow

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5 hours ago, pintodave said:

There is that old joke - what is the worst oil in the world? Whatever was in your car when it blew up. 

 

In all seriousness, I am absolutely sold on Amsoil products until proven otherwise. Never had an oil related failure in either car in 8 years of Champcar abuse. 

Haven't grenaded one on Mobil One yet so staying with that.

 

Bonus is it's available locally. Even 15w-50. Never see Amsoil on the shelves.

Edited by Bandit
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Not me. 

 

I have managed to detonate any motor at any time with any oil!!!!!!!!! I specialize in Grenade motors. When they go it is a loud, spectacular explosion! Parts and oil scattered all over the track for all to enjoy!  Ha!

 

15 minutes ago, Bandit said:

Haven't grenaded one on Mobil One yet so staying with that.

 

Bonus is it's available locally. Even 15w-50. Never see Amsoil on the shelves.

🙄

Edited by Cam Benty
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Just got to the shop to start working the problem. Left front axle nut had >50 foot pound of torque left in it. Torqued to 250 when I installed the bearing!

Update: just pulled the bearing and no discoloration in the grease!

Edited by Kentite
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The real question is - did it actually move/loosen?

 

We had issues with one of ours (rear end, but IRS so similar setup) trying to back off at Ledges. Nut has a crown for cotter pin, but only had 4 notches so had to tighten in 90 deg increments, but as fate has it that would leave us about 20lbs under torque. We tried running with it but nut kept trying to back off and would smoosh the cotter pin. Ended up drilling a new hole approx 45 degrees between, then over torquing it by 20-50lbs to get the pin in. Seems to have solved it but I'd like a bit more run time before I truly call it "fixed"

 

Normally those have some kind of retaining device (cotter pin, jam nut, or even a Nylock). Don't use loctitie, I've heard of it wicking it's way down into the bearing race/half shaft/hub splines and making axles very hard to get out. 

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