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Old 11-23-2008, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default Wheel bearing failure odds?

So I knew the passenger rear wheel bearing on my protege was going sour. The tire was starting to show flat spots in some places on the inside of the tread so I ordered up a new bearing. One of the mechanics at my dealership from my description wasn't convinced it was a bearing.

When you're driving very slowly it starts making the "wonk wonk wonk wonk" noise that gets louder and louder the faster you go. Classic wheel bearing noises. If you make a left hand curve the noise stops, right hand it gets louder. He wanted me to rotate the tires first, didn't fix anything.

Ordered the bearing and hub assembly just to make things simple. When I picked it up, I think its the exact same damn part the miata uses on the rear! Its made up of TWO different bearing inside also.

Jacked up the rear passenger side and stuck a stand under the jack point, off comes the wheel. Brake drum came off pretty eaily and exposed the need for new shoes soon which I already knew. Spent 10 minutes hammering on the dust cap to get it to let go and pop off then removed the spindle nut with a 32mm socket. To my absolute surprise, unlike with the miata, I gripped the hub and it slide right off the spindle.. Bearings and all! Shake the hub and it rattles. Spin the bearings with your fingers and they're OBVIOUSLY bad.. Grinding noise, oh, and the inner races move laterally about 2mm or more.

Slapped on the new bearing, torqued the nut, slid drum back on, wheel, took it for a drive. WTF? STILL SOUNDS LIKE BAD BEARING!? Only this time its just not as loud.

Returned home and jacked up the drivers side, removed everything and found the drivers bearing in IDENTICAL FOUL condition!

What the hell are the odds of BOTH rear wheel bearings on a FWD car going bad at the same damn time? It DOES have nearly 200,000 miles but thats no excuse!
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:50 PM   #2
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200,000 miles will do that. They've probably been bad for a while, but the rear suspension was doing its job of keeping the rear of the car from dragging on the ground well enough that you didn't notice.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:57 PM   #3
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i had two bad bearings on a car, but it was an 84 (this was this year). i kind of like to do those types of things in pairs anyway, but i'm ---- retentive.
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