[Vwdiesel] Front Wheel Bearing Reuse

James Hansen jhsg at sasktel.net
Sun Oct 17 00:35:10 EDT 2004

If you have a really stubborn outer race you need to get out, next time try
welding a bead on the inside of the race with your mig or stick welder. The
shrinkage of the bead as it cools pulls the race away from the outer stuff
holding it in, and it will be loose after.

I've done a few front bearings, there was no way you could ever get them
apart other than the total destruction method. Here I think it's the road
salt frustrating the process.  I've had them pop at ten ton pressure on a
press.  No reuse here when the rolling elements go flying all over the
shop...  I see what you mean by working some wedges into the inner part
back, but I have NEVER seen one that could be done like this unless you had
tiny hydraulic duck bill spreaders for fingers... not on my stuff anyway.

Brass drifts.  Use brass drifts.  NEVER EVER use a chisel on a hardened
bearing part. It blows off chunks like your buddy took a shotgunning from.
The brass deforms and eventually needs reshaping. Less big a deal than
losing sight in an eye.
I also have a big whopping chunk of high density polyethelene bushing stock
that I use for a sizeable drift.  It takes a whack with a 10 pound hammer
with ease and spits out nothing for dangerous stuff.

-----Original Message-----
From: vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com [mailto:vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com]On
Behalf Of Val Christian
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2004 11:48 PM
To: vwdiesel at vwfans.com
Subject: [Vwdiesel] Front Wheel Bearing Reuse

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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