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wheel bearing replacement

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  • wheel bearing replacement

    Just finished replacing my bad rear wheel bearings. I noticed when I removed the old ball-type bearings that there was no spacer between them. As the old ones sat in the hub there was around half a centimeter between the inner races. After I installed the new roller-type bearings there was a similar distance between the inner races.

    Once I had the hub installed on my car and torqued to the torque setting in my Haynes (60lb/ft) I noticed the hub didn't spin as freely as before. When spinning both wheels a similar speed, the side with the new bearings spins about 1/4 turn while the opposite wheel spins 6-10 times before stopping.

    This was with the break adjuster slackened off all the way. The most my wheel will spin is approx 1/2 turn (if spun very quickly).

    Is something wrong here? Do I need the spacer?
    British eyes... only

  • #2
    Yes, you have too much bearing pre-load. Having the bearing that tight will most likely overheat the rollers and boil out the grease. Try backing the nut off one castleation and try again. If this is a bit too loose, you can sand the face of the nut (place paper on flat smooth surface and sand the side that thouches the washer, useing a figure 8 motion).When you find the pre-load that you like and the holes line up. Make sure you secure the nut with a NEW split pin. If you decide you need a spacer. It needs to be just big enough the slacken the pre-load, with out making them loose. Having "slop" in the bearing from being too loose will wipe it out just as fast. Hope this helps.
    "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


    • #3
      Thanks James, I figured something had to be wrong here...
      British eyes... only


      • #4
        None of the references I have show a bearing set without a spacer. I know a lot of cars use the torque then back-off but I have never heard of it being used successfully on a Mini. It's possible I only hear about the failures.

        Bearing sets are available with a built-in spacer. Is it possible that your bearings have a spacer built in?

        If you can afford the car, you can afford the manual...


        • #5
          I read about the built in spacers in my manual. The inner races come close to touching - but don't quite touch. If a spacer did belong between them it wouldn't have much room, about the same width as my thrust washer on the end of the hub (maybe slightly less). Is there a distinguishing feature which would indicate my bearings have built in spacers?

          here's the kit I installed (with pic)
          British eyes... only


          • #6
            I think James may have missed that these are the tapered roller replacement bearings for the rear. When tightened down properly, there should be no gap between the two bearings and the solution wouldn't be to leave the gap and compensate by using a lesser torque figure. There's something not right.

            There have been two types of these rear bearings; those with a separate spacer and those with one built into the inner races. Yours are the later type with the spacer built in as a one-half spacer raised section on each of the two inner race assemblies.

            If the hub is not worn and the bearings assembled correctly, you should not be having the issue you have.

            I suggest you pull the rear hubs and start by making sure that the outer races are seated correctly on the ... inside the hub. The gap you are describing sounds much too big, and a logical cause would be the outer races not allowing the inner races in towards each other enough.
            The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.


            • #7
              When I installed the races, I ensured they were seated firmly against the central seat. What would I look for to diagnose a worn hub? I didn't see any areas with a worn look.

              I'll pull the hub and check the races again.

              As I said in the first post, the gap between the inner races with my new bearings was equal to the gap between the old (ball type) ones.
              British eyes... only


              • #8
                If the outer race seat is worn it usually is narrowed which results in bearings that are too loose, no matter what you torque them. That's not your issue. I was thinking that if the inner diameter of the hub was worn bigger (you can tell when putting the outer races in place -- they go into the hub with almost no effort) then it might have been possible for you to have tipped them so they didn't seat.

                It's also possible you have a bad bearing set.

                Bring the hub(s) by tomorrow or this week end and I can have a look.
                The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.


                • #9
                  Here's a follow up. The rear bearing was the type with the built in spacers. There was a visible gap. The outer races were removed and the seat cleaned, just in case. The races were reinstalled and the gap remained. Eventually, the only solution was to shim between the two inner races/bearings until the bearing would torque without binding and without being loose.

                  Just for kicks, I measured the combined width of the same type of bearing set I had on my shelf. It was only .002" thicker. We put way more shims in place than that. Unless the one hub 4Brit. had was just an odd ball, I look forward to having to shim the bearing I have as well!
                  The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.


                  • #10
                    Thanks Again Chuck! I was obviously in way over my head on that one...
                    British eyes... only