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View Full Version : Rear wheel bearings from H3LL!!!



NoTec
01-13-2009, 06:42 AM
I'm sure I'm not the only person who's come across this problem and I'm very sure I won't be the last. I have not seen any threads on the subject so here you go. Picked up the winter beater 1.8tqm late last year and decided to take care of the rear wheel bearings this weekend. I didn't know which one of them was the culprit so I changed them both. The pictures below illustrate the carnage and what crude methods I used to overcome my big problem.

These first 4 pictures are of the driver side rear axle bolt and you can clearly see my dilemma.
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0118.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0119.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0121.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0122.jpg

The next three pictures are of the passenger side rear axle bolt for comparison. The socket that fit that bolt was, I believe, a 24mm.
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0124.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0125.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0126.jpg

The next three pictures occur after 2.5 - 3 hours of work. Removing as much rot and rust from the axle bolt and hub as possible, cleaning the surface down to somewhat usable metal, building up and outwards a surface to attach a spare socket to, aligning and welding the spare socket to the bolt without welding or destroying the hub, and extraction of the bolt.
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0127.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0128.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0129.jpg

Last two pictures made me happy. Success after all that [wrench]!!!
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0132.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/Notecc/wheel%20bearings/PICT0133.jpg

Oh, there's more fun that occured over the weekend. All of the european specialty shops in my area were closed on Saturday. I took the hub assembly and new bearings to Pepboys [:o], they wanted $70 to press out both bearings and hubs and then re-install. But while attempting to press out the hub, the seals blew on the press. [=(]
Next stop was Goodyear [:o] up the street. The service manager tried to lube and press my @ss. He quoted me $300 to press out the old bearings and press in the new ones. WTF!!!!![o_o] NEXT....
Found another Pepboys [:o], quoted me $48 otd for the job. I made sure he had atleast a 10 ton press. He assured me they had a 20 ton press. I made sure they understood that bearings are supposed to go in one way even though they can be installed the wrong way. He assured me that he would put his senior guy on the job... I get a call 4 hours later informing me they were all set. Stop by to check them out and pay. All is well. I re-install the rear suspension and now I have no more noise. I love sliding around in the snow!!![drive]

P.S.
I feel ashamed of myself for going to Pepboys and more ashamed for even mentioning that name on these forums. Sorry if I've failed the Audi community.

akaEsCo01
01-13-2009, 06:55 AM
Don't feel bad, Pep Boys is good for some things. I get all my rotors cut at Pep Boys when I am working on cars, you can't beat $12/rotor. Very creative job on the axle bolt, I would have never thought to weld on a spare socket.

somebody5788
01-13-2009, 10:02 AM
Lol showed the pix to one of the master techs here at the shop and asked him what he would tell the customer and he simply said "its gonna cost you a lot more money" lol

Militant-Grunt
01-13-2009, 10:09 AM
Next time use a napa / parts authority, they both usually have real machine shops that aren't manned by idiots.

T3hD0gg
01-13-2009, 10:09 AM
I had to do the same thing as you but I went over to my local NAPA and asked where should I go to get wheel bearings pressed and they told me where. The guy only charged me $30 and it took 15 minutes and he even stayed after closing hours to do it.

ForceFed
01-13-2009, 10:22 AM
yea i had to do the same on my front ones. i welded an old bolt to them and then the came out no problem. i still need to do the rears. they are starting to make some noise. they arnt loose at all but just noise.
good work

NoTec
01-14-2009, 07:31 AM
Don't feel bad, Pep Boys is good for some things. I get all my rotors cut at Pep Boys when I am working on cars, you can't beat $12/rotor. Very creative job on the axle bolt, I would have never thought to weld on a spare socket.
Thanks, and this is why I posted pics and my sob story. So that if someone else ran into the same problem, they would at-least have one example.


Lol showed the pix to one of the master techs here at the shop and asked him what he would tell the customer and he simply said "its gonna cost you a lot more money" lol
The sad reality is that people who know nothing about cars would think that your master tech was just trying to rob them. Maintenance on old cars is not for the faint hearted and can be a serious pita!!! There is a rusted or seized part lurking around every corner.


Next time use a napa / parts authority, they both usually have real machine shops that aren't manned by idiots.
I went to Napa because they had the best machine shop in the area but the machine shop is closed on Saturdays. That didn’t leave me with to many options. Take it to Pepboys or wait till Monday. My buddy was kind enough to let me use his audio shop and I told him the car would only be there for Friday and Saturday.



yea i had to do the same on my front ones. i welded an old bolt to them and then the came out no problem. i still need to do the rears. they are starting to make some noise. they arnt loose at all but just noise.
good work
My rears weren’t loose at all either. I shook the hell out of the wheels and there was no play at all. Once the rear assemblies were removed, I spun the hub by hand and could feel a subtle grinding as the hub spun freely.

Minus the rotted axle bolt, this was actually a pretty easy job.

audi til I die
01-14-2009, 12:39 PM
Smart move. How do our bearings sound like when they're shot? I get a lot of in-cabin road noise as i accelerate. Then it tapers off after 50mph but especially loud at 35mph more so in the rear seat. It faints away when i curve to the left but stays loud when im going straight. It's m.ore road noise than anything. i havent heard any grinding which is why im not convinced its a bearing

jturnbull
01-14-2009, 12:47 PM
Smart move. How do our bearings sound like when they're shot? I get a lot of in-cabin road noise as i accelerate. Then it tapers off after 50mph but especially loud at 35mph more so in the rear seat. It faints away when i curve to the left but stays loud when im going straight. It's m.ore road noise than anything. i havent heard any grinding which is why im not convinced its a bearing

its ur left bearing it will get worse an worse as time goes on

NoTec
01-14-2009, 05:27 PM
Smart move. How do our bearings sound like when they're shot? I get a lot of in-cabin road noise as i accelerate. Then it tapers off after 50mph but especially loud at 35mph more so in the rear seat. It faints away when i curve to the left but stays loud when im going straight. It's m.ore road noise than anything. i havent heard any grinding which is why im not convinced its a bearing

As jturnbull stated, it's likely your drivers side rear thats bad. Mine started out pretty subtle but got noticeably worse in a month. Never a grinding sound but more like a hum and then a howl that changed pitch at various speeds. It was loudest between 50-75 mph. I couldn't tell which of the two were bad so I changed both. If you hear them grinding while your driving, you've probably waited too long to change them.

bwinter714
01-14-2009, 05:38 PM
Yeah, I second that one. When I picked up my car in Jersey and drove it to NY, I knew a bearing was bad, just by the sound you are describing. I drove it for a week on that bearing (I had a 30mi each way to work) planning on changing it that weekend. Friday on the way home, bearing on the passenger seat none-the-less, I get a loud pop and grinding noise, and the car was shimi-ing (sp?) all over the place. Pulled over, got towed home. Took it apart, the bearing was fused to the hub, the bearing split open and the bearing inside stripped the splined on my shaft. Awsome. Needless to say, I have a slight noise on my passenger side front bearing, it's getting replaced saturday lol.

4A Play
01-15-2009, 09:07 AM
So was there a DIY you followed for the job? How can you tell if the front or rear bearing is bad? I know its one of my pass side bearings but not sure which one, front or rear.

How long does the removing of the hub take if the axle bolts arent messed up?

Does the car need a alignment after a rear bearing job?

Thanks!

bwinter714
01-15-2009, 10:10 AM
So was there a DIY you followed for the job? How can you tell if the front or rear bearing is bad? I know its one of my pass side bearings but not sure which one, front or rear.

How long does the removing of the hub take if the axle bolts arent messed up?

Does the car need a alignment after a rear bearing job?

Thanks!


Yes, an alignment will be necessary. At least it was for me, It wasnt the straightest either when I got it, so it was going to be done anyway. Whenever you pull suspension parts its always a good idea for an alignment afterward.

I can tell which bearing is bad due to the direction of the hum. Some times its hard to tell, but my car has a pretty quiet cabin so I can easily tell the direction. The easiest way to tell if you cant pinpoint it by listening, go around a tight on-ramp or off-ramp, or find a parking lot somewhere. If you are in a hard bank left, and the noise gets worse, the bad bearing is on the right side. Vice versa. Usually you can get the bearing noise to completly go away if you bank hard towards the side that has the bad bearing, as all the weight will be on the opposite side of the car. Hope that helps!

-Brian

Nevermind, I just read your post again. Have a friend in the back seat (who is at least a bit mechanically inclided) listen to hear if the noise is more apparent in the back.

Other than that, you should be able to tell if it is coming from the front or back of the car. If the bearing is really bad, go for a highway run, then if there is huge difference in the temperature of the rotor or wheel from the left rear to right rear or left front to right front thats the bad bearing.

4A Play
01-15-2009, 02:17 PM
^Just called around and one of my buddies has a friend that has a arbor press. He'll let me use it and his heated garage for a case of beer! I can swing that.

One question, is this the bolt that you mark the position of to try and keep your alignment straightish?

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/19c22e0bd5.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

NoTec
01-15-2009, 07:21 PM
^Just called around and one of my buddies has a friend that has a arbor press. He'll let me use it and his heated garage for a case of beer! I can swing that.

One question, is this the bolt that you mark the position of to try and keep your alignment straightish?
]

That is not the correct bolt. The bolt that needs to be marked is the camber alignment bolt, the one that is at the bottom most portion of the assembly. The DIY is in the following link. Select "Rear wheel bearing change" by Mark P. That is the link I followed. Most of your questions will be addressed in that link. The only difference was the ABS sensors. If your friend has an air-hammer, it may come in handy. I had to use one for the control arm connection.

http://www.audiworld.com/tech/wheel.html

4A Play
01-19-2009, 01:22 PM
Just did one of the rear bearings. Didnt even seperate the bearing when I pressed it out :)

Took about 3 hours in a heated garage with air tools. I used the old bearing and a steel plate to press in the new bearing and it went smooth.