Here we will explain to you the types of wheel bearings and the 10 best replacement tips. Since the wheel bearings may be hidden by many other components, most mechanically-minded drivers and owners consider them insignificant until noticing the rumbling sound.
Wheel Bearing Has Complex Components
Most vehicle owners do not know if the wheel bearing components are very complex. We will look at the various types and reveal the right fitting technique crucial for durability and safety.
Production and development of wheel bearings will not stop, like almost all other auto parts. This complicates the repair process in most situations to the extent that you need special skills and equipment before attempting to fix it.
The Types of Bearings Will Determine the Proper Installation Procedure
Wheel Bearing Types Based On Generations
Bearings Generation 0
The conventional single tapered roller bearing structure within each hub is arranged in pairs and distinctive on undriven wheels. They are quite popular in classic cars.
Bearings Generation 1
Multi-pole velocity sensor encoders can be integrated into the assembly according to the car’s requirements. You press this bearing configuration as a group into its bearing housing, which is positioned on the vertical link of the steering knuckle or suspension.
Press the outer race as the bearings are pressed into the seats.
However, when pressing the mounting flange of the road wheel into the installed bearing, apply pressure to the inner race’s reverse side.
If a speed encoder exists, ensure the bearings are located in the proper direction. If the bearings are sealed with a circle, make sure that the opening is towards the floor. So that water flows out of the housing.
Bearings Generation 2
The most noticeable difference between the 1st and 2nd generations is the flanges, where the roadwheel bolts are located, are supplied with the bearings.
2nd generation bearings appear to be among the most common component for road-mounted autos and one of the simple and easy to fit. However, as long as it follows the appropriate techniques and also uses the right tools.
If not, repairs will be quite challenging because there is a chance of pressure damaging the bearings.
The removal of the existing assembly is likely to lead to the inner bearing race retaining its position on the stub axle, needing more work with the suitable puller.
It could impact even the flanges or hubs of some Gen One bearings. The replacement of second-gen pieces can also be pre-assembled as well as sealed. However, the manufacturer doesn’t always configure the float-ends in the manufacturing plant.
To avoid any internal damage, the rollers have to be mounted to the suspension stub, along with flanges. If installed, the initial load is set by tightening the center bolt or nut to the particular torque.
Bearings Generation 2D
Because of its capacity to carry numerous loads, the 2D gen roller bearings are being used rather than the ball bearings of Generation 2. Compared to the simple second-gen wheel bearing models, the road wheel does not mount to the 2D flanges. Alternatively, the steering knuckle is protected with a bolt or nut.
The flange of a road wheel is pressed from the old bearing into the new one. Before the mounting is returned to the vehicle. Of course, hammering bearings and hubs can break almost any part.
Another problem is that even the car’s weight cannot be helped by the hub until the center bolt is tightened to its determined torque value.
Bearings Generation 2.1
Instead of using a circlip to keep the bearing position, bearing model 2.1 has used a snap ring. Some gen 1 bearings also have it. Specialized tools are essential for a successful installation of both contexts.
When the old bearing is removed from the steering knuckle bearing seat using a tow, it is crucial to use a special clamp on the replacement before pressing the new one.
The clamp guarantee that every force is applied just on the outer bearing races and not with the bearing rollers. It also keeps the snap ring in place until it fits into its groove. Hence the hub nut torque will not impact pre-load bearing in this configuration.
Bearings Generation 3
Unlike the bearing designs of the 2nd gen, the wheel bearings of 3rd generation have a pair of flanges, rather than one.
They are also much simpler to install, as they can be quickly unbolted, disassembled, and reconstructed as a single assembly. But then the concepts are easy to overlook.
Both nuts and bolts must be removed and drilled according to the proper specifications, including the center nut/bolt. While it may seem trivial, we need to use specific additional components that complement the new bearings. Overall, do not use power tools on any binders, such as wrenches.
Bearings Generation 3.2
The most up-to-date wheel bearing developments are installed on several of the latest models related to academic work.
Seeing how bearing design changes, it is interesting to note.
Since the 3.2 generation has dual flanges, the new technology helps automakers meet their goals for emissions and fuel efficiency and a weight reduction of about 10%.
The modern system removes the existing driveshaft spines. The drive shaft must move through the bearings on the driven wheel by a face-spline fitted on the bearings’ back surface.
The spline face enables a further 50% torque through a redesigned driveshaft to be provided to the road wheels. Enhanced driving dynamics are possible, as additional benefits are reduced unsprung weight and easier installation.
10 Important Wheel Bearings Replacement Tips You Need To Know
- Before starting work, review the technical specifications and installation instructions for the car’s wheel bearing.
- You should understand how it operates whenever you need to purchase or rent some special equipment.
- Only if you want to mount them, remove the bearings from the package.
- Follow the instructions for your bearing and tool kit carefully.
- Be aware that the magnetic encoder inside the bearing can be damaged if accidentally dropped, subjected to magnets, or laid-down on the encoder side.
- The bearings you accidentally dropped need to be replaced.
- Using all the accessories that the wheel bearing kit provides
- Change the steering knuckle immediately whenever you see a deep mark, potential deformation, or some abnormality that might cause the bearing to move in its seat.
- Never use extreme force through a fitting, such as hammering a flange.
- Before the fixing center is secured and fastened if relevant, do not fit the road wheels, move the vehicle, or lower it to the ground.
Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast, and he has years of experience in the automotive field as an engineer. Now he is also active as an automobile blogger and member of the auto community.