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Front wheel bearing problem  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: 08-07-2017 07:41 am
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Bluekaos5
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I purchased my Jensen Healey last year and parked it till I had time this year to go over the vehicle and get it inspected and licensed. When I was going over the vehicle I found the front wheel bearings were a bit loose and adjusted them as per the shop manual prior to its mechanical vehicle inspection for licensing. After about 50 miles of driving the left front wheel bearing was loose again and would cause a shimmy in the steering wheel while driving at highway speeds with a bit of steering load, the right side wheel bearings were not loose after its adjustment. Figuring the wheel bearing might be worn or the race was not seated; I purchased and installed a new set of bearings and seals (for both sides of the car) and made sure the races were seated into the hubs. I installed and adjusted the bearings as per the manual and after about 50 miles the left side was loose again, the right side was fine; adjusted the left side a second time and it still got loose. Decided to re-seat the bearings and put a bit of pre-load on it; enough to cause a bit of drag while turning the wheel. Did a short test drive and found no loose wheel bearing or shimmy, but hub was warm/hot. Re-seated the bearing again and gradually backed off the nut till the wheel spun free about the same as the right side (more than a quarter turn tighter than by hand tight). The bearing did not get loose in 50 miles and the hub was cool, but there is a slight shimmy, I may need to tighten it a little more. Has anyone experienced the same problem or have an idea what the problem might be? I suspect something is causing the bearing to unseat itself after one tightens the nut to seat it and back it off; prior to turning it hand tight, as I have to add some pre-load to keep it seated. Is it by coincidence that I have another bad bearing on the left side? I suspect I may have to look at replacing the hub and spindle if no one knows what might be the cause of problem, as I have no problem with the installation and adjustment on the right side hub.

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 Posted: 08-07-2017 01:49 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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You don't mention if the fastening NUT is a Castle Nut, that is held in place with a cotter pin, if this is not the case that is your problem. Otherwise I would double check to see that the bearing CUPS inside the hub are seated correctly, with no dirt or debris hindering there seat.
Brett.

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 Posted: 08-07-2017 04:24 pm
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redracer
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As Brett explained, I imagine you used a cotter pin(otherwise your right side would have become loose as well) but you did not say whether you replaced the cups when you replaced the bearings?
Unless you're in a "race" situation where time is a factor, one always should replace the cups as well; I am guessing the cup on the left side was not fully seated and driving would move the inner or outer one farther towards its "stop", thus constantly creating "looseness".

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 Posted: 08-07-2017 06:50 pm
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Bluekaos5
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The nut is retained by the nut retainer part#93245 and a cotter pin. I checked the seat area when I installed new cups; both sides showed no dents; burrs or any damage, other than a rough machined surface (record type surface finish from a rough feed on the lathe, British craftsmanship at its finest!). It sounded seated with a solid sound and I checked with a 0.0005" feeler between the hub and cup and would not fit; as my first thoughts was the original cup was not bottomed out and wanted to make sure the new one was seated. The only difference I noted was after I installed the cups on the left side; the right side outer cup appears to be installed a little deeper, as the aluminum insertion tool got a light groove from the bearing cap flange; possibly due to allowable machining tolerances (British craftsmanship again) and will measure the difference when I get back from my holidays; I estimate it is less than 0.010" deeper.

Last edited on 08-07-2017 07:01 pm by Bluekaos5

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 Posted: 08-07-2017 09:19 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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What kind of condition are the stub axles in, is there any difference between the two, is the inner shoulder showing any wear, (base of stub axle), new bearings & cups, both acting the same way as the old, would say not a bearing issue, sounds like you installed things correctly, so has to be axle or hub. I have seen a bent stub axle twice, but that usually just shows up with the tire looking odd. With Red Racer helping you, he probably has a dozen or so spare units available.
Brett

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 Posted: 08-08-2017 04:33 am
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Bluekaos5
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I did not notice any damage or anything different with spindles, no worn areas or high contact areas when I cleaned them. I am leaning towards a bad hub; possibly the seat where the cup butts against is not perfectly flat and square to the bore; possibly slightly higher at the spindle bore, as it was making contact there and I could not get a 0.0005" feeler in there, but could have a gap under the rest of the cup out towards the cup bore. The lack of full contact could be enough to cause the material to compress a bit when loaded; giving a little more clearance in the bearing. I will probably try a bit more preload and check hub temps with a infrared thermometer on a long run for now and put some miles on it and see what happens. If the bearing fails and I have to replace them again; I will have a closer look at the hub. It really puzzles me, as I have never come across this type of issue with wheel bearings before.

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