[Vwdiesel] Front Wheel Bearing Reuse

Val Christian val at swamps.roc.ny.us
Sat Oct 16 23:41:28 EDT 2004

If you press the outer race out of the hub, as a complete unit, and
then use wedges to work the inner race which is against the hub flange
back, you can get a moon in.  This allows you to press the hub flange
off the inner race without separating the inner races from the outer 
race.  Done this way, the bearing can be reused.

There's a socket in my Harbor Freight 3/4" socket set which just fits
inside the hub, and onto the outer race, without damaging the seal, 
or otherwise getting hung up in the casting.

The only way I've reused front wheel bearings is with the above technique. 
This doesn't sound like the technique that Hagar is using.

The normal way to disassemble is to press the hub flange out of the inner 
race, which separates the inner race on the outer part of the hub flange,
from the outer race.  This is where the irreversable (or arguably 
ill-advised no-reassemble point) happens.

The liklihood of pulling the first procedure off is poor, as it has been 
my experience that the inner race, adjacent to the actual flange on the
hub flange part, is frequently difficult to press off.  I've had to cut
more off than outer races.  (Don't ever try to chisel one off.  A co-worker
tried it once and had all kinds of tiny shrapnel cuts on his face from it.
Lucky none went into his eyes!)  Grinding is very slow on the hardened
race.  The only real way to effectively get it off is with a cutting
torch.  I've always used oxy-acetylene, or oxy-propane, but a plasma 
torch would work well.

Your mileage may vary.  The good news is that the cost and availability of
wheel bearings are down.  The first one I replaced cost about $65.


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