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Wheel Bearing Change

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:22 pm
by Ramsden
During a recent service of my Plus 2, I was told that I would probably need to change the rear off side wheel bearings in the not too distant future.

As the cost of the service had already climbed to a considerable height, I declined the kind offer to have the job done there and then and am contemplating doing it myself.

The Brookland's manual makes it all sound delightfully easy "...and now remove hub". From previous experience, I know that such sentences can equate to half a day sweating and swearing whilst struggling with some stubborn lump of metal.

Has anyone performed this operation before and if so what difficulties did you experience?
Is it necessary to remove the entire hub carrier or can the operation be carried out "on car"?
Are the any special tools other than std. bearing puller required?

All advice appreciated!


Re: Wheel Bearing Change

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:08 pm
by tdafforn
Hi Simon,
"...and now remove hub"
is probably the biggest underestimate of any job I've attempted so far on the +2.
1) you need a special puller (not one of those 3 legged jobs as that will distort the hub).
2) you need to tighten it up to an incredibly high torque :blink:
3) heat the hub with a blow lamp
and if Mars is in your star sign and the moon is waning the hub will "pop" off.
I tried this with no luck, so gave the hub to Paul Matty's and they did the job for about 20 quid including cleaning and painting the hub and carrier! much easier...
PS if you are in the UK and want the hub puller I can let you have one (hardly used!)

Re: Wheel Bearing Change

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 6:56 pm
by BillGavin
I didn't have much trouble with the hubs, I have K/O hubs and the puller marketed by RD. Stubborn cases can be difficult indeed, though.

Do yourself a favor and take the strut off the car. It may be possible to do the job in situ but the axle will be in the way and there won't be much room for tools.

The bearings are pressed into the hubs and retained by large circlips: right angle circlip pliers are really helpful. Clean the recesses around the circlips before you pull the circlips, then clean them again before trying to remove the bearings. Get rid of all traces of dirt, grease and corrosion - even a small amount can hang up the bearing and damage the aluminum hub carrier. The area that retains the circlip is rather thin and very easily broken.

Heat and a hydraulic press is very helpful in removing the stub axle: if a press is not available use heat and a hammer. There is no way to support the bearings so they won't be damaged in removal - you might be lucky but it's a bad gamble - replace both bearings and the shields. Make sure you have the correct bearings for your hubs - early cars use two identical bearings, later cars use a wider inner bearing. Warm up the hub carrier around the inner bearing and press/drive the stub through the hub carrier. The outer bearing will stay in place, the inner will come out with the stub axle. Remove the circlip and press the inner bearing off the stub axle. Warm up the hub carrier around the outer bearing and tap it out. Clean the hub carrier, especially the circlip grooves scrupulously. Clean the stub axle carefully and inspect for cracks or other damage, and make sure the bearing seating areas are a bit larger than the ID of the bearings. Dave Bean's Elan catalog gives some good ideas about some mods to the stub axle that will prevent future problems.

Drop a circlip and a bearing shield onto the stub axle, then press a new inner bearing onto the stub axle: heat helps a lot, but be careful not to cook the bearing seals. Install the small circlip.

Warm up the hub carrier and drop/drive/press in an outer bearing, and fit the circlip. Warm up the inner end of the hub carrier and the ID of the outer bearing, support the outer bearing on its inner race, and press the stub axle and inner bearing into the hub carrier. Tap the outer race of the inner bearing to set it in the recess, and fit the big circlip. Be careful not to preload the bearings by pressing the stub axle too far in.

Reinstall the hub and refit the strut to the car.

Re: Wheel Bearing Change

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:25 am
by type26owner
Suggest you not ignore the corrosion issues with this assembly unless you're never going to get it wet or drive the car. Even so just about every fit is also prone to some fretting. Liberal use of a high strength anaerobic adhesive is advised.

Re: Wheel Bearing Change

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 9:10 am
by Ramsden
As I may not have access to a press, it sounds like the best plan for me will be to remove the hub carriers myself and get a lotus mechanic to handle removal/re-install of the bearings etc. I can then re-fit the assembly.

Thanks to all for the advice.


Re: Wheel Bearing Change

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 4:45 pm
by paros
Don't give up, Machine Mart hydraulic puller, lots of heat and regular thumps with a big hammer gets them off. Never distorted one once.
BUT keep clear as when it comes off the hub travels at speed for quite a distance. I have done it in situ as well as off car.

Re: Wheel Bearing Change

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:40 pm
by tdafforn
Did someone email me about my puller?
I have had an email problem and lost the message, can you contact me again whoever you are?