Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

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David
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by David » 04 Sep 2012 10:13

OK lets see what the manual says...

In short:
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Now we can all do it this weekend :thumbup: :lol:
Last edited by David on 04 Sep 2012 10:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by Bruin Beer » 04 Sep 2012 10:23

Tinus,
I had my Trol for 3 months with 170K on the clock.
I did the water check and did not see any water.
Last weekend I took the two metal halfs off, keeping in place the split seal (I think someone refered to wiskers and I suspect this is it). I did this because the front end of the two balls on the end of the diff is rusted.
I cleaned and sanded away the rust (with 1000 grid on final run) but found that the inner seal lip (double lip) show damadge and I will drive round water crossings till I have replaced them.
Based on this there might be external factors would could potentially have a big impact on a set limit.
I fully support the preventative maintenance aproach.
Just my :mytwocents:
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by Russ Kellermann » 04 Sep 2012 10:24

Holy Crap.

Ok, so i need to get one of those tools from Peter, and a pull scale. Im leaving from Eastern cape on Friday, so i'll probably tackle this after that. (im sure my bearings are fine... :confused: famous last words.) :lol:
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by David » 04 Sep 2012 10:31

Russ, like you I also don't trust the mechie at the dealers to do it right and have only done it once when I replaced my front brake discs. It is not so complicated and having Peter's tool makes it a breeze :thumbup:

I am sure you will have fun sitting on your bum with hands full of grease... :lol:
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by Peter Connan » 04 Sep 2012 12:13

Russ, my Patrol had no history when I bought it, but I believe it had been neglected for a long time. I bought it with 210k km on the clock, and seriously doubt whether the wheelbearings had ever been checked before I got it (there were paint alignment dots on the capscrews holding the freewheeling hubs in place). I only paid attention to them when the inner driveshaft oil seals started leaking, at about 260k km. The wheel bearing grease was quite old and dry, but the bearings were still fine.

Furthermore, the Patrol's hubs are very well designed with several "double redundant" seals and HUGE bearings.

I also enquired what the local agents do, and effectively it seems that despite what their own manual sais they only dismantle if they see signs of problems.

I would like to make the following comments:
1) within 2 weeks after any water crossing, it is necessary to check that water has not entered the birfield casings. This is done by unscrewing the bottomost bolt from the king pin bearings and probing with a piece of thin wire.
2) I strongly advise that when the wheelbearings are greased/inspected, the same is done with the Birfields. However then effectively necessitates a diff oil change. I believe that with typical mixed use (say 70% tar) this can safely be done every 100k km, assuming top-quality lubricants are used.
3) I strongly recommend replacing the major oil and grease seals while this is being done, as they are the components with the shortest lifespan. These being the inner axle oil seal (the one in the neck between the axle tube and the birfield), the seal at the inside of the drive flange and the seal behind the large wheel bearing.
4) I buy all the seals from Nissan. I have not found them anywhere else.
5) The bearings used by Nissan are exactly the same (makes, quality etc) as the ones sold by the bearing specialists. So as far as I am concerned, one has to be slightly nutty to buy these things from Nissan at 10 times the price of the exact same thing from Bearings International or Bearing Man? There is one caveat though, and that is the inner (large) wheelbearing, which is slightly modified.

I use Castrol's high-performance greases (lithium for the bearings, Molly for the Birfields). The cost of grease and seals for both sides will be in the region of R2k.

By the way, for some Y61 models, Nissan will not sell the bearings loose, and want to sell you a whole stub axle assembly at R6k each. However, the Y60 and Y61's bearings and most of the seals are exactly the same. There is only one slight difference, in that the Y61 has ABS brakes, which required the omission of one of the backup seals. I don't know about the Y61 pickup though.

Check here for more info including part numbers: http://patrol4x4.co.za/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=2994
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by Peter Connan » 04 Sep 2012 12:31

Sorry, the post is getting too long and difficult to work on.

WRT doing it yourself: I believe everybody who overlands or goes to remote areas, should be able to do these types of things themselves. However, you need to have a considerable amount of special tools you might not otherwise need.

To do this properly, you really should have access to a decent balljoint splitter (using a sub-standard one just stuffs the components up, never mind putting an edge on your temper and wasting your time), at least three different torque wrenches (torques in this assembly simply range too greatly for one or even two wrenches, and particularly the little one used for the final tensoning of the wheelbearings is scarce) and a large vice or press with a variety of inserts(to fit the races and seals). Also, "my spanner" or equavelent for those who have auto locking hubs.

By the way, a usefull trick when pressing in the outer race of a new taper roller bearing, is to lightly grind the outer surface of the old race you have just removed, untill it slips into the housing easily. This can then be used as the ideal insert to press in the new race.

A parts washing mashine and a high-pressure spray will also save you several hours of labour here. Do not fall into the trap of just adding more grease to the old. All the bearings and the birfields (in fact every single part) must be thoroughly and scrupulously cleaned. Failure to do this will drastically shorten the life of your bearings and birfields. And doing it right wil take almost a whole day with a brush and petrol.

I very much doubt there are many independant mechanics who actually have the necessary tools. And therefore I suspect most of them are putting their own interpretation into the job, rather than the manual's. Particularly with regard to torques. For example, I know that some (many) of them use two pins (for example drift punches) and a large screwdriver to "torque" the wheelbearings, and I very much doubt that it is possible to reach (even half of) 196Nm using this method.
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by Russ Kellermann » 04 Sep 2012 13:09

Excellent post guys, particularly Peter Connan for his detailed message, thank you.

Yes, Torque wrenches was the other matter on my mind. Whilst i would like to be able to do this myself, and i believe i could, perhaps i should ask JB to do it the first time, and simply watch/photograph. That way i know exactly what it takes. Like Peter said, there's a little more to it that fumbling around with dirty fingers. Thanks for the reality check. But, i do need to know how its done as i would like to feel safe in the knowledge that i could execute this in a rural environment provided i had the parts.
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by offroadbiker » 04 Sep 2012 14:48

In principle i agree with Peter on everyone should be able to do this, however taking into concideration that not everyone is as mechanically inclined as the next guy, it would be foolish for someone like myself to just go ahead and start taking my Patrol apart knowing that this might not be my forte so to speak.

I also doubt whether the mackie (asuming he can do it) will want to show me how to do this, as he will see it is as losing a probable future job.

So, where does this leave a lot of us???

I am fairly new to this site and having a Patrol for a vehicle, do I just rock up one Saturday and ask a forum memeber to "show" me what to do??

Solution - what is the posibility of someone that does know what to do and are willing to give some kind of "bush mecanics" course to fellow Patrol members - at a cost of course as he will be offering up his precious time to help us?

Is there a need for this?

Mine needs to be checked so at this moment in time I will have no option but to pay and cross my fingers.........
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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by Tinus lotz » 04 Sep 2012 14:58

Maybe you need to order all the seals ect diff oil and then we make a GTG of it ?
We can speak to Piet and Graham cumming for a guateng one?
He has a lift or two that will make it easy I wll give him a call :thumbup:

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Re: Wheel Bearings....Lets talk serious.

Post by Peter Connan » 04 Sep 2012 15:21

Graham Cumming has offered us his workshop for a Saturday morning.

This is in Valhalla, close to Zwartkops AFB.

If enough guys are interested (say four or more) and somebody brings a vehicle that needs some help and all the necessary new seals, we can service somebody's front axle (wheelbearings and Birfields) and have a braai for lunch? I would do the showing and explaining, but you guys are going to help wash parts!
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