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Wheel bearing - "play" whats acceptable? - robert
Hi,

I'm trying to get to the bottom of a problem with my 61,000 mile Omega. I can't get to the bottom of a vibration through the steering @ motorway speed. he car has factory fitted 17" wheels and 235/45 tyres.

Since getting the car I've:

Had the balancing checked more times than I care to remember
Swapped wheels front to back
Run on a replacement set of wheels/tyres for a few days
Had the front & rear suspension bushes checked for wear

So far all ok - no fault found. It was suggested to have a full four wheel alignment - I had this done with only minor corrections made - however they did comment that there was a "some" play in both front wheel bearings. On asking what "some" was - the answer was "not enough to worry about".

What does that mean exactly? How much is acceptable? Shouldn't it be zero? What symptoms would "some" play/wear cause? Arghhhhhhhhh!!

The symptoms are that sometimes on an open clear motorway I get vibration through the steering - other times not, sometimes worse than others. Today was a classic example of two 20 mile runs on the same road, this mornings journey was ok - this evenings wasn't.

If I go to the time hassle & expense of changing the bearings (£100 in parts plus say 3 hours labour) will I notice any difference?

Comments very welcome.

In frustration .......

Robert
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - David W
Robert,

Jack up the front wheels and rock them. If you can feel/hear the slightest click of bearing movement I would say it is a sign they are quite worn.

I guess you know but getting a friend to put the brakes on hard as you check can help prove if the play is in the bearings or the suspension.

If the play goes with the brakes on it is the wheel bearings.

David
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - Mark (lost in Brazil)
As David said, but with your hands on the top and bottom of the wheel rather than either side.
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - Ian Cook
Mark - why are you suddenly lost in Brazil? You didn't go off-roading and lose your way, surely?

Ian
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - Mark (Brazil)
I'm not now.

Occasionally I have to wander from the warmth and security of my office and mooch around Brazil doing stuff.

That "lost in Brazil" computer happens to be in Manaus in the Amazon forest. It involves dialing in using a pulse-dial phone and connecting around 2400 whilst sitting on the front deck of a small wooden hut getting bitten to bits by mosquitos.

Getting there involves a flight to Manaus, a 2 hour charter flight and then 1 hour in a boat.

"Lost" is very, very accurate.

M.
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - robert
Thanks Dave - I'll try it & see - probably over the weekend - its too cold and dark these evenings ....... Have you seen anything like this before?
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - richard turpin
Shock absorbers?
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - robert
Pray expand on this point ......... or is it a guess? I say that as this is the first that I have heard the shockers mentioned. I don't think it is the shocks as I had the suspension checked by Micheldever tyre's high tech machine recently & was given a clean bill of health.
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - Ian (cape town)
You say "motorway speed". Is it at ALL speeds on the motorway, or does it fall off (no pun intended) if you increase the speed by 10 mph or so?
My astra had a bloody annoying vibration at 110kmh. but at 120, it disappears. I've tried the same solutions, and finally it was diagnosed as an out-of-balance wheel, which only developed a 'harmonic' judder at certain speeds.
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - robert
ok, I can drive throught it if I go fast enough - which I'd rather not have to do - 'cos its just too fast to be sensible. @ 70/75/80 its irritating as described - go faster & the symptom goes away.

I know it sounds like a balance problem but I've tried balance on the car & even a precison balance off the car - to no avail! Ian (cape town) wrote:
>
> You say "motorway speed". Is it at ALL speeds on the
> motorway, or does it fall off (no pun intended) if you
> increase the speed by 10 mph or so?
> My astra had a bloody annoying vibration at 110kmh. but at
> 120, it disappears. I've tried the same solutions, and
> finally it was diagnosed as an out-of-balance wheel, which
> only developed a 'harmonic' judder at certain speeds.
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - mike harvey
Robert, OK, running on another set of wheels did not cure it, so rule out balance of wheels and tyres. Wheel bearings is a distinct possibility. Other thought is driveshafts, as they are the only significant rotating part left. I have come across them with sufficient play in the CV joint to cause vibration, and by the very nature of their design, they move out of perfect alignment, and then can centralise themselves. That might explain why the vibration is intermittent. Diagnosing it is another matter. Try jacking one front wheel at a time up, securely with an axle stand in situ, and get someone to put the car in gear and get the wheel rotating. Look at the driveshaft and see if it is running concentrically, and move the steering from lock to lock while you are doing it to see if it 'moves'.
Best I can think of,
regards,
Mike
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - Charles
Mike

Good diagnosis procedure but remember the OMEGA is REAR WHEEL DRIVE!!

Charles
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - robert
Thanks Charles & Mike ....
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - Brian
If you can "drive through it" then it certainly sounds like balance at the wheel end of things.
A long shot:
Have you got hub caps fitted? Is one of them out of trim?
My daughter's Metro developed an alarming judder due to a hub cap not being on true.
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - robert
Thanks Brian,

The car dosn't have hub caps - it has alloy wheels. The problem stayed when a replacement (borrowed) set of steel wheels was fitted.

Regards
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - Andrew Barnes
Have you had the wheels balanced on the car? Some places will do this, but you have to mark the wheels if you ever remove them to make sure they go back on in the same position.

Andrew
Re: Wheel bearing - "play" whats accepta - Dave N
Why is it that when you have new tyres fitted and balanced, then you go down the road and it shakes like hell. You go back to the fitters, they rip all the existing weights off that they fitted the day before, and add new ones in totally different places?
 

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