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  • Rear Wheel Bearings

    Hi All,
    I've been attempting to replace the wheel bearings on one of the rear wheels on my 94 Mini. This is my second attempt and I'm evidently still not getting it right. The first set I installed were noisy and during the drive to and from the Bash on Vashon they overheated. The set that I'm trying to get adjusted now are also growly. All of my "mechanic" non-Mini friends said that I had the first set too tight. I took their advice this time and installed them the way you would do the front bearings on an American car, just barely snug. Again they are very noisy. I didn't run them very far this way so I figured they may still be good. I pulled them out of the hub to make sure they weren't damaged and re-packed them. I then went by the book and tightened them down to 60 lbs of torque. They were still noisy. I decided to try going a little farther and moved the nut up to the next notch in the nut, about 90 lbs of torque. The hub still turned freely, but was still noisy too. I've now backed the bearings down to where they should be and they are still noisy, of course.
    My question is, what have I been doing wrong, besides listening to my friends advice? Is there a chance that this set of bearings may still be OK? Should I go for a third try and get another set of bearings? I'm afraid I'm out of ideas.
    Thanks for any ideas or tips,
    Jim
    Last edited by olytrains; 09-09-2010, 07:15 PM.

  • #2
    At 60 lb.ft. was there play in the wheel?
    The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.

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    • #3
      Hi Chuck,
      No, there isn't any play in the wheel. When turning the wheel by hand it feels normal and there is no unusual noise. When driving the growling starts to become noticeable at about 20-25 mph. It gets louder as speed increases.
      Jim

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      • #4
        Wheel turns freely. No play in the wheel when testing for a bad bearing. Growling noise. Sounds like a bad bearing.
        The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.

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        • #5
          Thanks Chuck, I guess I'll order another set of bearings and try again. I suppose it's possible that when I ran them too loose I might have damaged them, but to my untrained eye they looked fine.
          Jim

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          • #6
            Just have to ask, since you didn't mentionit...you did pack the bearings and install a new seal, right?!
            The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.

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            • #7
              Chuck,
              I took the hub and new bearing sets to a shop in here town. I had them press in the new races, pack the bearings, and install the seal. This shop does a lot of work on British cars so I trusted them to know what they were doing. Did they do it right? I don't know for sure, but the guy I talked to was one of the people that told me that 60 lbs of torque would burn up the bearings. When my new bearings get here maybe I could talk you into showing me how to install them properly?
              Jim

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              • #8
                If you can get the car here...!

                Bet you'd really blow their minds if you told them the front wheel bearings on your car torque to 190 lb ft.! No amount of experience with other cars is a reason to skip looking in a manual specific to a car one is not familiar with.

                I have had issues setting up rear wheel bearings the past few years since the center spacer as a separate piece has been replaced with 1/2 part of each inner race. More than one has had to be shimmed to fit properly.
                The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.

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                • #9
                  Hey Jim,
                  Sorry I didn't return your e-mail! was kind of a crazy week for me. Having car issues myself I read through you posting today and agree with Chuck. Mini bearings are a bit different then other British cars. The shop you delt with is referring to tapered bearings that DO NOT have a center spacer. The nut torque determines the bearing preload. Yes 60 lbs would burn one of those bearing up fast. Mini bearing are also packaged with some grease to keep them from rusting while sitting on the parts shelf. This is NOT a packed bearing. That grease is not strong enough and there's not enough in there.
                  "remember, in this country, they drive on the wrong side of the road"
                  ‘64 Austin Countryman-???
                  '60's Austin mini truck - the chicken truck
                  '60 Morris Van - Marvan
                  '55 Chevy wagon- the heavy Chevy

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the reply James. Life does get crazy sometimes, I don't know how I ever found time to work and still have a life. Anyway, I'm no closer to knowing what is going on with my wheel bearings. I've just spent time with Don at Mini Mania working through this and he doesn't have an answer either. It might be something other than a bearing problem, what I don't know. Obviously if I'm going to keep driving my Mini I have to get to the bottom of this eventually.
                    Jim

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                    • #11
                      Chuck,
                      Thanks for the information. With my limited knowledge, it does seem that your explanation of the possible cause of the noise is the most reasonable. I've ordered new bearings, just in case I've damaged the ones I've just installed. When they arrive I will give you a call and see if I can have you help me get to the bottom of this. Thanks,
                      Jim

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