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Premature Bearing Failure


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#1 randCorolla

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 05:35 PM

I changed a front bearing of my Corolla 2000 at a shop last year, but it is failing now. The same shop confirmed that it is the same bearing.

Can someone suggest why? I read that tightening the axle nut too much can lead to premature bearing failures (the mechanic at this shop told me that he uses impact gun and not torque wrench for the axle nuts), the same mechanic thinks that if the knuckle is damaged, say having a crack, then that can do that too. I also wonder if a low quality bearing was used.

I am leaning toward doing the next bearing change myself so that I can have more control of the parts and torques. It would be nice if I can buy the entire knuckle-bear-hub assembly so that I can avoid the difficult steps of pressing, but I haven't found any such new item on sale so far. Should I consider getting a used entire assembly from a junk yard?

Thanks.

Edited by randCorolla, 09 August 2012 - 05:44 PM.

#2 fishexpo101

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:23 AM

...the mechanic at this shop told me that he uses impact gun and not torque wrench for the axle nuts


Right there is likely the culprit. Should never use an impact gun on a bearing or hub assembly. Way too easy to over-torque and/or damage the threads on the axle nut. Granted, there are a number of other factors that can lead to premature bearing wear, but since the mechanic came out and said this - should raise a red flag on the quality of work done there.

You can buy assemblies, but many still require a fair amount of labor/tools to install. Getting an entire assembly from a salvage yard is not generally desirable - especially if you don't know the history of the donor car. Wheel bearings have a high radial load capacity, but quite a low axial load capacity. Might get lucky and find a great condition part, or might find yourself in a DIY nightmare. I'd personally try and use a new assembly, if possible.

#3 dom

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:49 AM

The new bearing can be easily damaged internally when it's pressed in the hub, if it's not done properly using the right sized adapters. The new bearing must be pressed in the steering knuckle by pushing down on the bearing's outer race. Then with the steering knuckle turned over, the bearing's inner race must be pushed onto the axle hub. Failure to do so can notch the race channels inside the bearing, onto which the balls (or rollers) ride.

Edited by dom, 11 August 2012 - 11:23 PM.

#4 franklinpug

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:33 AM

Should be at least a one year warranty on that bearing. I have had all 4 replaced in the 10 years I have had my 03 corolla.