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Miata Rear Wheel Bearings


Hugh Jass
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Other Miata teams, help me out.  My rear bearings need replaced again and I need something better than what I bought last winter. What do you use and how long are you getting between replacements?

 

 

 

Edited by Hugh Jass
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We use timken bearings on the rear of our rx7 as well.  Have not had an issue.  I think it is the same or very similar bearing.

 

I will say that the only time I have EVER changed them is when I had to press the hub out to install longer wheel studs.

 

If you do go to remove one of these bearings for any reason, replace it.  They will kind of pull apart and do not last long at all after that happens.

 

Be very careful how you install them and make sure you are putting pressure on the right part of the bearing when installing in the hub carrier, then when pushing the hub in.  Just pushing the hub in can allow the inner race to be pushed out and the bearing is ruined.

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It is not just the bearing that needs to be paid attention to, the hub needs attention too.

 

If the rear wheel makes contact with another car or fixed object the hub is now going to fail.  I have seen many instances where there was W2W contact with another car, then within the next 20 hours of racing the hub fails, (not the bearing).  The flat flange where the lug studs press in will break away from the center.  My rule of thumb is that if the wheel gets bent or anything in the suspension - the rear hub must also be replaced.

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4 hours ago, MMiskoe said:

It is not just the bearing that needs to be paid attention to, the hub needs attention too.

 

If the rear wheel makes contact with another car or fixed object the hub is now going to fail.  I have seen many instances where there was W2W contact with another car, then within the next 20 hours of racing the hub fails, (not the bearing).  The flat flange where the lug studs press in will break away from the center.  My rule of thumb is that if the wheel gets bent or anything in the suspension - the rear hub must also be replaced.

 

Thanks for this, I expect I need new hubs too then.  The contact was enough to break a diff case then about 8 hours later the end of an axle broke off.  Thankfully it was one of my best guys driving and he brought it in right away. After the CV swap, the wheels felt "wobbly" even though bearings were new, we didn't have any spares with us and continued on for another 16 hours without it failing.  Suspect we have more damage than we realized.  Is it ok you re-use the long wheel studs we just pressed in or is it expected those are wrote off too? 

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14 minutes ago, Hugh Jass said:

 

Thanks for this, I expect I need new hubs too then.  The contact was enough to break a diff case then about 8 hours later the end of an axle broke off.  Thankfully it was one of my best guys driving and he brought it in right away. After the CV swap, the wheels felt "wobbly" even though bearings were new, we didn't have any spares with us and continued on for another 16 hours without it failing.  Suspect we have more damage than we realized.  Is it ok you re-use the long wheel studs we just pressed in or is it expected those are wrote off too? 

I didn't know you had contact.  Just replace everything at this point.  For a couple hundred bucks you'll have parts you can trust.  The long bolts bend easy as well, new bolts with new nuts, new spindle, hub, bearing, axle, axle nut, ARP studs.  Races are too expensive to risk it.

 

Edited by LuckyKid
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23 minutes ago, LuckyKid said:

I didn't know you had contact.  Just replace everything at this point.  For a couple hundred bucks you'll have parts you can trust.  The long bolts bend easy as well, new bolts with new nuts, new spindle, hub, bearing, axle, axle nut, ARP studs.  Races are too expensive to risk it.

 

We had a leaky axle seal going into the diff.  three replacements later it still leaked  - I was able to press in and out with one finger.  I tossed the diff (open) and carrier and axles.  Problem solved.  That was about $300 of security purchased.

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So the Timken 510003 is a good bearing... but it needs some love (complete disassembly & repacking) to be an endurance bearing. We have been having more luck with a FAG brand bearings over Timken lately. Little secret that helps us out tremendously is, FCPeuro offers lifetime replacement on there products. Conveniently enough, the front of a mk4 vw has the exact same wheel bearing as a miata. FAG 801136 good luck

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/26/2019 at 9:15 AM, MFBense said:

So the Timken 510003 is a good bearing... but it needs some love (complete disassembly & repacking) to be an endurance bearing. We have been having more luck with a FAG brand bearings over Timken lately. Little secret that helps us out tremendously is, FCPeuro offers lifetime replacement on there products. Conveniently enough, the front of a mk4 vw has the exact same wheel bearing as a miata. FAG 801136 good luck

I’m curious which grease you chose when repacking the Timken’s?

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On 12/26/2019 at 6:15 AM, MFBense said:

So the Timken 510003 is a good bearing... but it needs some love (complete disassembly & repacking) to be an endurance bearing. We have been having more luck with a FAG brand bearings over Timken lately. Little secret that helps us out tremendously is, FCPeuro offers lifetime replacement on there products. Conveniently enough, the front of a mk4 vw has the exact same wheel bearing as a miata. FAG 801136 good luck

How exactly are you disassembling the Timkin rear wheel  bearing? My understanding is it is not disassemblable. If that is even a word!

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8 hours ago, Ian Moone said:

How exactly are you disassembling the Timkin rear wheel  bearing? My understanding is it is not disassemblable. If that is even a word!

The same way they are assembled from factory. Double ball bearing sealed bearings are very simple things and really are only held together by a plastic cage and rubber seals. I do not have any photos on hand because it is typically a messy operation that I do by myself. This link gives you the general idea on how to disassemble, clean, and repack.

 

https://www.nicoclub.com/archives/repacking-wheel-bearings.html

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30 minutes ago, MFBense said:

The same way they are assembled from factory. Double ball bearing sealed bearings are very simple things and really are only held together by a plastic cage and rubber seals. I do not have any photos on hand because it is typically a messy operation that I do by myself. This link gives you the general idea on how to disassemble, clean, and repack.

 

https://www.nicoclub.com/archives/repacking-wheel-bearings.html

I have never seen nor heard of the REAR wheel bearings being disassembled and repacked. The link you provided shows a front wheel bearing hub assembly disassembly and repack.Seen and done that many times. Never the rears. Just remove and replace.

 

PS: Surfed around a little. So I guess the rears can be taken apart and repacked. Like I said never seen it or done it. Learn something new everyday...................

Edited by Ian Moone
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On 1/7/2020 at 9:02 AM, Ian Moone said:

I have never seen nor heard of the REAR wheel bearings being disassembled and repacked. The link you provided shows a front wheel bearing hub assembly disassembly and repack.Seen and done that many times. Never the rears. Just remove and replace.

 

PS: Surfed around a little. So I guess the rears can be taken apart and repacked. Like I said never seen it or done it. Learn something new everyday...................

 

Relative to Miata stuff.. the rears are by far the easiest to break down. Fronts are slightly more challenging but they both come apart no problem. The vw mk4 bearings are almost identical to the miata. (obviously just opposite orientation)

 

One more important part, and many lubrication manufacturers will tell you, different greases DO NOT play well with others. When repacking with a superior grease [CV2/RFL2/HP800].. that it is very important to not contaminant the new, with the old. Try not to use parts washers as your final cleaning. A film free alcohol based cleaner is recommended.

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