Repeated right front wheel bearing failure
This is my personal vehicle. I have replaced the right front wheel bearing 4 times on this vehicle and it is growling again. The last time I replaced it I even replaced the axle shaft and the wheel hub. I have always torqued the axle nut to spec. At this point I am wondering if pitting due to electrolysis could be the cause. Has anyone ever encountered this on a wheel bearing, and if so, what was the solution?
Thanks in advance for the help.
OE or jobber parts? Are you running the axle nut down with an impact then torquing it? Are you torquing the nut with the wheel on the ground?
BCA bearings every time. I won't say that I don't spin the nut on with an impact but I don't over torque it. I have replaced wheel bearings for 30 years and have never had this problem.
BCA has not performed very well for me. I always run the nut down by hand and torque the nut with the brakes applied and the wheels off of the ground.
Well, it is very likely the OEM bearing. Impossible to beat, IMO.
If I am looking at the catalog info correctly the OE was either Koyo or NSK, also keep in mind Toyota could have special specs that are not in OE replacement bought through other channels.
Yes, you are correct. I wasn't thinking straight.
Actually, I take that back. KOYO is almost certainly the OEM. I generally consider BCA/NTN to be of premium quality, though.
What brand bearing? Aftermarket is mostly junk. What is the average mileage on failed bearing? I haven't come across this in a front bearing application.
BCA bearings. The last one lasted about 5,000 miles.
I hate to say it, I don't trust bca anymore. Skf and FAG, are all I use for aftermarket, even timkin has failed me. Oe is the way to go. Just for the heck of it I'd double check the engine to body ground with a voltage drop test while cranking the starter.
Maybe it's time I try another brand.
Check and make sure your grounds are in tact or had a ground from the knuckle to the body . A poor ground can cause the wheel bearings to fail prematurely .
I was wondering if this could be possible.
You likely have a caliper sticking at times getting it hot and frying the grease inside it.
Something to consider. Back in the 70's we had problems with the Dodge Omlets taking out the LF (IIRC) wheel bearing to to a ground strap issue and a large part of the ground was being passed through the bearings. Beevo
I repaired a lot of those Omni, Horizon vehicles, it could be either or both bearings. The ground took a path through the bearings and damaged them. It took a bit longer than 5,000 miles though, of course the electrical load was nothing like what is on today's vehicles. I took several of them apart to see what I could see. They were a unique failure, blued, pitted, looked like they had been…
That’s good to know. I’ll think about that and be on the look out for blued pitted bearing races from now on when replacing wheel bearing/hubs. Thank you
I'm going to attach a ground to the strut whether all of my grounds are in place or not. On side note I have a Ford NGS that has your name on the inside of it. Beevo
Nope, don't do that, it will just make it worse. If it is a ground problem then it would be a bad ground between the battery and the engine block. This would make the current flow from the engine/transmission out the axle, through the bearing to the strut to the body to the body ground to the battery. If it is a ground problem the correct repair is to repair the engine/transmission to battery…
How did I know that someone was going to mention this problem on a Chrysler of that era :)
Because I was working on the ^@$^%!#^%$!^$53 things.... Beevo
Bill: I never had the opportunity to encounter that problem,did it also have any effect on the transaxle components? Love the reference to "Omelets" by the way.
I do not believe so, but it was always the LH side that failed. Generally thought to be caused by that side having a shorter axle.
Be careful during the disassembly of the old bearing so you don't do any more damage. Take some pictures and post them here for use to see. Don't wash or clean the bearing, I'd like to see how much grease is left and what condition it is in. Once you have pictures of the grease, then clean up the bearing and take some more pictures. There are many reasons for a bearing to fail and the type of…
Great idea. It may be a couple of days before I can work on it. You know how it works, everybody else's car comes before my own. It is my wife's car though, so she won't let me forget about it.
I agree a proper tear down and inspection is necessary. If the failure is due to arc pitting, it'll be fairly obvious. I have seen a bunch late ninety ford trucks with axle bearings cooked due to arc pitting. If you find this is the cause, a voltage drop test will help you locate the issue and fix it right.
I had an all stock 2003 Gmc Envoy that would not keep front wheel bearings in it. It was my personal vehicle also. I used BCA, stock GM (timken) , and SKF all failed within 2 oil changes so around 5,000 miles like yours. I torqued to spec, changed cv and nut, cleaned all rust off knuckle mating surface to no avail, it always failed some within 1,000 miles. I Was able to get the stock ones…
Yes a bad ground or electrolysis could be the cause of this problem. For some reason a vehicle will hunt for a ground through a wheel bearing. Why? I don't know. But I have seen this very issue before. the fix is to insure you have a good ground from the body of the vehicle to the battery negative. Make a redounded ground that can handle a fair amount of amperage. b
Are you using a "Hub Tamer" type tool for this? My wife's 2011 Camry had the same issue until I replaced the knuckle and used a press to do the job. I think the original replacement bearing may have started slightly off center and damaged the knuckle. I examined the knuckle closely after each failure and didn't see any damage but out of desperation changed it anyway.
I have a Hub Tamer but I never use it. I always use a press.
Another theory I have developed because of the position of the failure is salt and road debris. Those dust shields can only stop so much from intruding into the bearing. My wife's car rarely sees road salt now that she doesn't have to drive to and from work. The last bearing I installed with the knuckle has outlasted all of the others combined. Including the original which barley made it past…
I would replace the knuckle. You need to try something different than just bearing replacement. Has the vehicle been in a collision in the past, possibly bending the knuckle? You might try measuring the bearing bore of the knuckle for out of round. If it's the ground, why would it only affect this one bearing? Just wondering.
Yes I've seen it effect only one wheel bearing. Both in the past on the Dodge Omni/Horizon platform and on other newer vehicles.
Don't waste your time it's the aftermarket bearing just get a OEM bearing or a better aftermarket bearing.
I’ve never had to replace the other side.
I would definitely try a Koyo bearing. Not much cost difference, and something needs to change. Did you ever inspect one of the faulty bearings?
I haven’t replaced the bearing yet. I’ll post pics when I do.
I was thinking like Michael Potter said. I had a knuckle once, that was so out of round that the bearing outer sleeve actually cracked when I pressed it in. Now imagine it wasn't quite that bad. If you have (or can borrow) the old tools for measuring cylinder roundness, do that to the knuckle bearing cavity.
I do have some inside mics. I’ll measure it.
Napa sells a preloaded Within its self bearing, According to the Napa rep. No air should be used during assembly on any wheel bearing.🤷♂️
One thing I’ve found with hub bearings mostly on Toyotas is to keep the bearings moving while pressing the hub into the bearing itself by typically rotating the knuckle back and forth. It was an old trick my mentor taught me. And the one time I didn’t, I flat spotted a Scion wheel bearing.
i think you have grounding issues check your grounds Harish
I finally got a chance to work on my own vehicle. I had a little trouble pressing out the bearing and I cracked the outer race as you can see. There was only one spot where the outer race was deteriorated although you could see little marks the whole way around the race. I think this was from the metal flaking off of the original spot. The inner races both looked good. The mating surface of the…
Glad that you figured it out, and thank you for posting the additional information. I suggest that you go further with this lesson. You need to identify the errors of your pressing procedures and correct them, to keep from repeating this type of damage. When repeated failure occurs with any type part, use failure analysis early on to help to determine the cause and correction.
I get your point. Over the years I’ve replaced a lot of bearings and never had this happen. As far as errors relating to pressing procedures go, I don’t know of anything I did wrong. Like I stated previously I believe I erred in not inspecting the knuckle closely enough.
My assumption that you caused it may be erroneous. How many miles after your purchase of the vehicle did it fail the first time? Did you find evidence of it having been done previously? You gave no reference to mileage. The knuckle could have been damage previously.