When do you know if you're wheel bearings are going bad? - JeepForum.com
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Unread 11-05-2011, 07:36 PM   #1
jpilk99
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Wj When do you know if you're wheel bearings are going bad?

My 02' Overland has a hum at about 30mph up until about 80. Actually, it seems that the hum is starting to come up around 25mph (maybe the problem is getting worse?). I can actually feel a slight vibration in the steering wheel when the humming starts and at 40-50mph certain plastic cosmetic covers/parts in the dash/doors will start to vibrate. Is this a typical wheel bearing(s) problem rearing it's ugly head?

Weird though, I hear the hum constantly while going straight down the road and/or if I'm turning left. But, if I turn right the noise all but goes away?

Lastly, I JUST bought new tires I it seems a helluva coincidence but I think I started noticing the hum very shortly thereafter. I did buy slighly larger sneakers than the 235/65/17s - went with Hankook Ventus RH07 255/60/17s.

Please comment if you can think of anything else that might be going on. Otherwise, the truck is great. It does have 170k, but, it looks and runs pretty much like new. When I got the tires, actually got them at a Jeep dealer because they had the best price for the tires w/mounting if you can believe it, but, they (shockingly) tried to tell me that I was in critical need of tie rod ends. I jacked up the front end and when pulling on the wheels/tires and 9:00 and 3:00 it MAYBE has a 1/2" of play. I got underneath and had did the same thing and didn't see hardly any play in the tie rods or the whole steering setup.

Thanks for any comments etc. Ooooo, lastly, if I do have to do the bearings, how tough a job is that? I'm just a driveway mechanic. I've done a ton of repairs over the years, but, curious if I need any special tools to do the bearings.

Thank you!

Jay

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Unread 11-05-2011, 07:47 PM   #2
laredojo
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just a big socket for the axel nut. by your description I would say the left bearing is gone. When you turn it unloads the inside (of the turn) wheel, so, the wheel that is on the outside of the turn when it makes noise is ussually the bad one. the entire hub has to be replaced as a unit. 1/2 inch of play is a lot in a bearing. do a search for the r&r procedure, its not to hard.
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Unread 11-05-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
jpilk99
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Thanks laredojo. Couple of quick questions:

1. Should I do both bearings, left and right?
If, when I turn right, and it quiets down, the outside wheel is the left (drivers). Doesn't that mean it would be the right/passenger that is likely bad (again, moot if I'm doing both - but if I can do just one, I'm thinking it's the passenger side)?
When you say "the entire hub has to be replaced", what's the "hub"?

I'll do a search on the r&r. Thanks a bunch!

Jay
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Unread 11-05-2011, 08:56 PM   #4
laredojo
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no when you turn the bearing on the outside has the greater load on it, in effect lessening the load on the inside wheel. So if you turn left the right wheel has a greater load on it. What you are trying to do is find out if the noise goes awaywhen you turn in either direction.The noise goes away because the load has been reduced. if it goes away in a left turn, the left bearing is bad because the inside wheel, the left, has had the load reduced to it.
the hub is a bearind inside of a mounting flange,it has the hub for the wheel and brake rotor built into it. it is not seriviceable. they are a sealed unit. It just bolts on to the stearing knuckle and the axel goes through it with a large nut on the outside.
As far as should you do both, thats your call, they run arount 75 bux apiece.
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Last edited by laredojo; 11-05-2011 at 09:03 PM.. Reason: I confused myself
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Unread 11-05-2011, 09:02 PM   #5
Winners97TJ
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If one is going out, I'd be willing to bet that the other is going to need to be replaced in the near future. I'd go ahead and replace both.

I personally would look for Timken brand hubs. (Autozone)
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Unread 11-05-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
jpilk99
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Thank you!!!
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Unread 11-05-2011, 11:34 PM   #7
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I don't know if you have advance auto up there but use coupon code A123 or VISA to get a discount. I just order online and pick it up in the store. No limit to how many times you can use it but you would need to split orders.

I hate Advance Auto but if it saves me $30....
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Unread 11-05-2011, 11:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomersoonerGC View Post
I don't know if you have advance auto up there but use coupon code A123 or VISA to get a discount. I just order online and pick it up in the store. No limit to how many times you can use it but you would need to split orders.

I hate Advance Auto but if it saves me $30....
Your going to need a 36 MM large nut socket. If you tell them its for a axle nut they'll know. Plus a lot of leverage. Unless you have an impact air wrench, and that would work very well to loosen the rust and stuff thats holding the nut on.

All you have to do is
Take off the tire
Loosen the 4 caliper bots and take off both parts of the caliper
Find a good place for the caliper (not hanging by the brake line) I usually wrap some wire around the caliper and tie it to the spring to keep it out of the way
Remove the rotor
Take the cotter pin out of the middle of the axle nut
Remove the cover of the axle nut
Remove axle nut
Loosen the three 13 MM bolts on the back of the hub (they are in a triangle formation)
Remove hub/bearing assembly
Installation is reverse of all that

For a tip about the 3 bolts on the back of the hub, turn the wheel which ever way you need to be able to get the bolts off with more leverage. I used a big breaker bar wrench (they arent a socket wrench) They are usually 2 or 3 feet in length. To help me get more leverage on two of them, I removed the cotter pin and king nut of the upper tie rod and disconnect the tie rod from the steering knuckle and pushed it out of the way. You can also do that to the lower on if you need to. To loosen the gunk on any of the stuff you have to remove (AXLE NUT for sure) use PB blaster and spray it all over it.
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Unread 11-09-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
jpilk99
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Thanks Pinky. Great info!!!

While I'm in there doing all this: How can I check to see if I should be doing ball joints or tie rod ends?

Do I need any special tools for any of this, (other than the 36MM),?

Jay
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Unread 11-09-2011, 01:09 PM   #10
pinky2252s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpilk99 View Post
Thanks Pinky. Great info!!!

While I'm in there doing all this: How can I check to see if I should be doing ball joints or tie rod ends?

Do I need any special tools for any of this, (other than the 36MM),?

Jay
Nope, its not a very hard thing to do. It might take you a while the first time, but then you will know how to do it.

Grab the tie rod ends and shake/push them back and forth, if there is a lot of play or movement then they will most likely need to be replaced. You can see them visually by looking at the bushing, it will be all mushroomed out and blown apart. Pretty much the same story with the ball joints too.
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Unread 11-09-2011, 01:21 PM   #11
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seeing that it coincides with changing tires

maybe try changing tire pressure and if the noise comes and goes or if it changes

also had a similar issue a while ago, and was also getting ready to do wheel bearings, and after changing tire pressure it quieter down and wheel bearings are still fine.

good luck
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Unread 11-09-2011, 01:48 PM   #12
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Re: replacing both vs just one.

I had one go about 30k miles ago. Right front @ around 140k. I'm now at 173k and knock on wood the other is still fine. So based on my experience I'd just do the busted one.

Of course if you just want to do both go for it.

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Unread 11-12-2011, 08:04 AM   #13
jpilk99
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A HUGE thank you to everyone who chimed in here and helped me on this. Replaced the bad hub/bearing and am so freakin' psyched that my Jeep sounds/feels/runs like new again ...for 172K miles!!!!

Thanks all.

NOTE: Pinky, now that I'm such an expert ...I do think there should be one update to the great steps you outlined: Remove the axle nut with the wheel/tire still on - that way the hub won't turn. I actually thought of that myself, can you believe it, as I was getting into it.

Thanks again!

Jay
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Unread 11-12-2011, 01:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjkatz04 View Post
Re: replacing both vs just one.

I had one go about 30k miles ago. Right front @ around 140k. I'm now at 173k and knock on wood the other is still fine. So based on my experience I'd just do the busted one.

Of course if you just want to do both go for it.

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FWIW, I had to replace the driver's side wheel bearing on my 96 XJ in 2001 at ~115K miles. The very same XJ now has 203K on it, the other wheel bearing is still original.

Who knows!!
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Unread 11-12-2011, 04:18 PM   #15
pinky2252s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpilk99 View Post
A HUGE thank you to everyone who chimed in here and helped me on this. Replaced the bad hub/bearing and am so freakin' psyched that my Jeep sounds/feels/runs like new again ...for 172K miles!!!!

Thanks all.

NOTE: Pinky, now that I'm such an expert ...I do think there should be one update to the great steps you outlined: Remove the axle nut with the wheel/tire still on - that way the hub won't turn. I actually thought of that myself, can you believe it, as I was getting into it.

Thanks again!

Jay
Well, I have stock rims so it wouldnt have worked for me. I put a long bar between two studs and had someone stand on the bar.
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