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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so here is the deal. My mechanic is telling me that all FOUR wheel bearing need to be replaced. Here is my problem.

Car handles Perfect up until about 60mph. After that the steering wheel starts to shake. I can feel wheel vibration and some wheel hop. The tires are used but not worn. The shocks are used but are still in Great working condition. There is no visible damage to the suspension system.

My mechanic is a trusted one. He has done some work that i didn't have the tools or knowledge for. I came to him after my car was hit on the passanger side. The rim was scratched badly but no visible damage was done to the suspension. My mechanic told me that when he tried to do an alignment to just recheck everything that there was excessive wheel play.

I need your guys help. I just got the estimate to replace all FOUR wheel bearing assemblies for $1200.00. Is there ANYTHING else that it could be or could it be JUST the one wheel causing all the problmes?
 
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well. this is just my experience.


when your wheel bearings are going out, you'll have lots of
problems at low speed. in my camaro I experienced alot of
popping regardless of speed.

a true method to test is to jack the wheel up that you believe is
giving you problems, and try to move it side to side. if you're able
to rotate it side to side, then you need new bearings.

as for the shaking.. does it feel like it's coming from one specific
area? one tire or the front end? you'll notice the front tires
shaking before the rear ones.

if you're driving on radials, and the belts are broken in one or
more tires, the car will shake at about 60mph. and it won't be
a steady shake, not from what i've experienced. like a roaring
ruble that fades in and out preety quickly depending on speed.

if the belts are broken in the tires, then traveling at very low
speeds, your steering wheel will move left and right a little bit.

of course the best way to make sure you're not getting screwed
is to go up there and find out why he thinks the bearings need
replacing, inspect them yourself. if he refuses, take your car
somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Don, my mechanic, is telling me that there is Play in all FOUR wheels. I have yet to check this for myself. I don't know what would be deemed excessive wheel play. One inch, two being able to barley move it?

Good point i think with the low speed issue. It rides like a Lexus until i hit 60mph. So could this still be a bearing problem.

I can't tell if it's coming from a specific wheel. It doesn't wander, just hops more or less. It's like i'm on a Really bad set of tires that have been sitting for a few years in the back yard. It's just a shaking motion.

I have Complete control of the steering still.
 

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boost freak
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if you develop problems @ a certain speed, 9 times out of 10 is simply a wheel balance issue. take your car in, get all 4 wheels balanced.

$1200 for a wheel bearing fix is outrageous. the parts are all of $75/each (that's a non-discounted price).....get your car back, grab each wheel and try to move it- in/out, side/side, etc. NO play should be felt @ all....
 
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balance of the tires!! Wheel bearing tolerances are specified in the TSRM, I believe. Basically, you shouldn't be able to move them radially or axially much at all. And they should spin w/ little to no roughness. These are completely sealed bearings, so there are only a few ways for them to fail.

1. You hit the wheel on a pothole or other object at a pretty good speed or the object is unmovable, like a large speed bump for instance. You would have to hit it VERY hard, and FAST.

2. You damage the seal(s) and then dirt and grime gets in

3. You submerge the bearing in water for a LONG time (say a flood), this might allow water to seep in, killing them

4. Improper installation at the time of build...not likely because you have a pretty old car now.

5. Finally, TIME can wear one out, but because our bearing are rather robust, rather well sealed, and frankly, JAPANESE...I doubt it is time for them to go!

I would look for grossly misbalanced tires, or perhaps a steel radial belt bubble or damage of that type. One thing you can do to check for this is to lift the tire off the ground, and spin it, looking for irregularity in the tread region. But, for high speed balancing, you must use a dynamic balancer, like the ones at walmart tire center or NTB. If the shaking occured suddenly to you, and not gradually, you can look for a missing wheel weight on the outside or inside of your wheels. Finally, a remote possibility is that your wheel is BENT. This will show up in the balancing techniques though.

Good Luck!

EDIT...DOC beat me to it!
 

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If there is less than 300 kmiles on the car, I find it hard to believe they need replacement. The setup is VERY robust, when I re-greased mine at 125k everything still looked like new. You shouldn't see more than 20 thou of axial play. Like the others said, I would go after wheel balance first.
 

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Missing my supra
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Check the wheel that was hit... Good chance it was bent. I got in to an accident a few years ago where the car was hit in the wheel. The wheel looked fine, but the car virbrated at about 60mph or so. Turned out the wheel was bent from the accident. Check your rims could be one of them is bent.

either way like the good Dr. said $1200 is mondo expensive for 4 wheel bearings. Go get your ride, your mechcanic is trying to get a little extra cash for the holidays.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well thanks everyone. Tomorrow i will take a look at all the wheel ans do a visual inspection. I will test the play in each wheel.

I have a brand new Toyota Sawblade where the other was hit. There was no real damage to the one that was hit. There was a little bit of paint. But it was one of those things that i could have buffed out.

As far as the $1200 goes. It $300 for the front bearings alone and then about $350 for the rear. My mechanic told me an entire day if they have to sent the bearing off to get pressed on or off.

My mechaninc told me that he couldn't align the vehicle b/c of the excessive wheel play. The new rim and old tire were balanced and placed on there. If i can't find excessive whell play i will just go to a tire shop and have them balance all four wheels.
 
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