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Re: NBC- Wheel bearing question

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Products for your Boxster, Cayman and Carrera.
If I had a really bad wheel bearing is is possible that I could have enough play/wobble to loosen up lug nuts?

when I grab the rear tire I get motion like a bad wheel bearing...

I am chasing an issue in my Wrangler but want to be at least 80% sure of cause before I rip out the rear axles...
is this a soild axle or IRS ?
It is not a solid axle. Rear diff with mechanical limited slip. I have the diff opened up and see nothing wrong in there
if by half shafts you mean a passengers side and a seperate drivers side axle then yes (like our Boxsters)
Actually the axels are in a housing, they are NOT exposed like the Boxsters
most wheel play will come from wheel bearings not inside the diff.
I am asking about WHEEl bearings specificathey are pressed onto the axle at the outside ..

I have broken off a few lug bolts and am losseing up the lug nuts in short distance However, I have heard no classic wheel bearing noise. But when I grab the tire I get a typical feel of a bad whell bearing.
I am a little confused as to the cause of this I checked the wheel holes and there is no egging of the holes, they are nice and round
If I had a really bad wheel bearing is is possible that I could have enough play/wobble to loosen up lug nuts?

when I grab the rear tire I get motion like a bad wheel bearing...

I am chasing an issue in my Wrangler but want to be at least 80% sure of cause before I rip out the rear axles...

that if driven enough could cause the wheel lug bolts/nuts to loosen.

Here where I live once in a while on the traffic reports one hears of a vehicle losing a wheel. No way to know if the wheel was improperly installed or was due to a bad wheel bearing causing the wheel lug nuts/bolts to loosen.

Sometimes I see a vehicle that has lost a wheel/hub assembly that looks like -- as I drive by -- as if there was a hub/bearing failure.

(Some months ago -- last summer IIRC -- on the way east across the SM bridge I came upon a nice Porsche 356 heading east on the bridge. The driver wasn't driving the car very fast and the car was in the far right hand lane. I could see why. The car's left rear wheel had a heck of a wobble, almost like the wheel had a shape like a potato chip. I followed behind the vehicle a short while -- I saw no evidence the wheel's lug nuts/bolts were loose -- then pulled up along to let the driver know. He signaled he already knew and by some means I forget know managed to convey to me he was prepared to continue on with the wheel like it was. I figured he knew what was wrong, what he was doing, and believed he could get to wherever he was headed ok. Had he indicated otherwise, I would have pulled in behind him and offered him assistance.)

I'd eliminate the wheel bearing and loose lug studs/bolts before I dug too deep into the axles. One test is to with the wheel in the air wiggle the wheel. While there might be play -- loose bearing or axle problem -- with your finger on each lug nut you should not feel any movement. The lug nut/bolt should be solid and secure.

If you feel any play this suggests that something has caused enough movement to cause one or more of the lugs' fit in the hub to become loose. These lug studs are generally held in place by a 'press' fit the shoulder of the stud has ridged surface (ridges running with the length of the shoulder like sharp splines) that is drawn into the hub's lug stud hole the first time the lug nut/stud assembly is tightened (or more lkely these are pressed in at the hub manufacturing assembly/factory facility).

There is enough grip to prevent the stud from turning as the lug nut is torqued tight and enough friction to keep the stud from falling out when the wheel is removed and possibly even the hub is removed to perhaps turn the brake drum. In a few cases I've found one or more studs to be loose enough that they can be pushed out by hand. (Also, I have had to remove a couple when the stud snapped off and these can be a right pain to remove if they're factory tight.) But they still have enough grip in the hole to resist turning when the lug nut is torqued.

Remove the wheel. Remove the hub. Inspect the wheel bearings and replace if in doubt. Check the studs for signs of looseness/play. Replace them or even the hub if necessary. For some vehicles I used to replace the bearings every time I did the brakes. The bearings were not very expensive at all and easy to replace.


A little play in the bearing may be OK on that type of axle. Any lube leaking in the area? A bad wheel bearing will be noisy and if bad enough, leak axle lube.
If the Wrangler has hub centric wheels, perhaps it didn't seat firmly the last time it was off. After running a while it became fully seated leaving the lug nuts loose. (Or maybe you forgot to tighten them)

Ed eye popping smiley
Hey Ed hows it going?

They are getting seated- torqued them 3 times on ride home from Manchester Airport Thursday...I m at a loss right now on this. There is definetly more play now when I rock the tire than use to be BUT I have heard no bearing noise. The bearing in there right now are the originals with 171K miles on them.

Last night I rotated the tires and am going to see what happens.

I see no egging of the holes in wheels- I will monitor with tires rotated and see what happens then maybe can start making sense of it

BTW- The Vario Cam Actuator has not acted up again since we fired it off at idle, seemed to have fixed it for now...

With 171K if those are the original bearings and you have play I would replace them period.
Is the play more axial or radial? Some rear axles have a clip in the diff housing to limit axial movement. They have been known to break. Limited slip OK? Worn clutches might contribute to axial play.
Is there an axle nut or is the flange part of the axle? (Loose axle nut/worn splines)

Garage is finished. No more shoveling the roof!

Spring is a long time coming. Think snow!

Ed smileys with beer
I pulled the wheels last night and put my plumb bob (no comments please) in each hole and looked to see how the hole looked- I found several holes on 3 of the rims that were showing signs of egging- the wheel that had snapped lugs had 3 holes egging and I would say they ere the worst 3 of all the holes

Time for new rims- luckily Wrangler rims are cheap (at least compared to Porsche rims)
Clever way of determining the roundness of the holes. In this age of digital sight lines, to have a plumb bob is probably becoming unusual. Wonder what my kids will think it is when they clean up my stuff?
Same thing I thought cleaning out my fathers stuff & I came across this thing called a Slide Ruler...
In high school or college we had a 6 ft slide rule. Didn't need batteries either. Do you have a nice leather case for yours?

Re: Slide rules grinning smiley
jwdbox - 8 years ago
Ed, while I don't have a 6 footer, I still have a mix of original leather and plastic slip cases for most of my slide rules and related non-battery driven calculating tools cool smiley

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/2010 03:24PM by jwdbox.
(view changes)
Re: Slide rules grinning smiley
Ed B - 8 years ago
While we are on this thread, anyone else have a Curta in a metal can?

Ed B cool smiley
Re: Slide rules grinning smiley
jwdbox - 8 years ago
Nope, no Curta. Do you have an original?
Re: Slide rules grinning smiley
Ed B - 8 years ago
Yes, an original, small version. i used to do a lot of rallying. Home made electric odometer and a stop watch or two. My car of choice was a '55 Porsche powered VW or a '54 1300 Super Cabriolet. The 1300 Super was featured in an issue of Christoforus in the late 50's.

Ed B smiling smiley
... this is my Dad's Alpina with which he calculated many structures, such as bridges, buildings, roads, etc.
We then mounted it on a board together with two Heuer stop watches and used it when we ran road rallies to calculate the route.

Happy Boxstering,

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 293,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
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