I6MT6
I6MT6 New Reader
7/8/20 1:02 a.m.

Basically, does it ever make sense to replace wheel bearings as preventative maintenance? I've only heard no, but I'm not sure if that takes almost 200k and the loads of track driving into account.

I have a 2007 civic SI with 190k on it, about 140k was previous owner mostly highway miles (Michigan highways though, I bent one wheel on the highway in this car). In the last 50k I've taken it to 5 or so track days without a problem (but its been a couple of years).

I just replaced just about everything you can in the front suspension and the important parts of the rear. For some reason, I'm experiencing a phobia that my old ass wheel bearings will seize and send me into a wall or something at the track. I have no reason to expect that they have gone bad other than the high mileage (and the fact that my header makes it a bit hard to hear noises in the car so I could be missing early warning signs). I'm not running super sticky tires or spacers or anything that I would expect would make a difference. Just high miles.

Any thoughts?

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
7/8/20 7:03 a.m.

Neon ACR hubs have a recommended life of 12 track hours, and I've broken one at about 20.  Stock ones last 12 ish hours, SKF about 9.

Yes, I'd replace front hubs and bearings with oe Honda parts.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/8/20 7:21 a.m.

I just replaced all the bearings on my 350Z for this exact reason. It's cheap insurance to replace critical parts of unknown origin.

On a related note, check them after every session, too. Worn wheel bearings are fairly easy to catch before they explode. 

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf Reader
7/8/20 7:37 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

 It's cheap insurance to replace critical parts of unknown origin.

This . . . plus

The old bearings while still usable can be spares in case of an unexpected failure.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
7/8/20 7:40 a.m.

Yup, makes a ton of sense.  I knew a guy who replaced the bearings on his autocross VW every other season because they were dieing regularly if he didnt. 

 

If they arent sealed, repacking them with a high temp / good quality grease is also not a bad idea for a car that will see track use. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/8/20 8:18 a.m.

Absolutely. 

But I'm also the kind of person that when I built my NA track rat.

I rebuilt/powdercoated a set of sport brakes, removed all the control arms, powdercoated, and pressed in poly bushings, replaced bearings/hub, and every bolt and nut that came off with the suspension refresh was replaced with OEM fasteners directly from Mazda. 

 

I tend to go a bit overkill on prep.

 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/8/20 8:41 a.m.

Sealed press in bearings (like those found in the front of a Mazda 3). Then yes replace them. If they are a standard taper bearing that can be  re packed (like those used on the front of a 944) and do need adjustment now and then. I would inspect and if they are smooth and tight I would re pack with quality grease and keep on using and keep a set of spares as they are easy to swap. In my experience taper bearing that are inspected and adjusted regularly and are re packed with good grease will last a really long time. They are usually killed by neglect as they are a service item. The sealed bearings that are on some trucks and on the mazda3 (my daughters car) are not serviceable and will give that tell tail humming as they start to die.
 

When racing with cars that had the non serviceable bearing we would keep a complete strut assembly with the hub or just a complete hub and rotor depending on how things bolted together. We could swap a bad corner this way in less tha 5 min. Much easier and neater and you don't have to touch the really hot rotors to fix the car. This was also part of the crash cart we would have set up for each corner of a car. Often replacing an entire corner is much faster than trying to figure out what is bent or broken and just replacing that part. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
7/8/20 8:48 a.m.

Tib got all new bearings. A.) I had no idea how old they were and 2.) I was putting 30mm more tire, larger brakes and expecting a LOT more lateral loads on them. No need to take a chance with 18 year old parts.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
7/8/20 10:00 a.m.

Wheel bearings are cheap, even when buying a complete hub assembly. Even if they aren't likely to fail the peace of mind is worth it.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
7/8/20 10:11 a.m.

In reply to I6MT6 :

Pull them and check them. Something that should be a regular part of track maintenance.  On my Blackjack spl. (150+mph ) I did it every year.   Never had a problem,  never saw any wear considering they dated from 1958 I was pleased. I did use the best available wheel bearing grease.  

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
7/8/20 10:13 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

unfortunately for most modern cars there's no greasing or "checking" them. They're sealed, press in bearings. You either trust it or replace it. Not much for options.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/8/20 10:15 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Not to mention, no need to pull them off to see if they are developing play.

Sonic
Sonic UltraDork
7/8/20 10:21 a.m.

On our Civic track car they are a wear item, we usually get about 5 endurance races out of them.  At this point we just keep a spare set of knuckles loaded with new bearings and ball joints and will swap that at the track at the first sign of play, and we usually get plenty of warning. 

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
7/8/20 11:02 a.m.

 We seperate brand new koyos for the civic endurance race car clean and repack with redline race grease.

 

 Not a single failure since adopting that practice.

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/8/20 11:07 a.m.

I have successfully removed/reinstalled the seal and replaced the OE grease with Amsoil racing grease in the bearings on our Chumpcar civic.   We still swap them out after 6 races or so. 

drock25too
drock25too New Reader
7/8/20 4:58 p.m.
I6MT6 said:

 For some reason, I'm experiencing a phobia that my old ass wheel bearings will seize and send me into a wall or something at the track. 

If for no other reason than peace of mind, replace them. If your worried about a part failure, your not going to be comfortable at speed. And you will never find out what you or the car can do. 

I6MT6
I6MT6 New Reader
7/8/20 10:46 p.m.

Wow thanks GRM so many informative comments in 1 day. 

I'm pretty sure they're sealed, the annoying thing is having to remove the spindle to get them pressed out after I just had the damn thing apart. I guess that's life. At least I won't be fighting the rust this time around.

Definitely want to have confidence and not worry about things. I'll the the wheels a good tug to see if there is any play, but I will have to replace them before I track it again. It's definitely an essential part.

 

sergio
sergio Reader
7/8/20 11:27 p.m.

In reply to Sonic :

The sealed front bearings on our SHO Lemons car started eating bearings during a lemons weekend. So we got some Neo HP800 grease, it's made for circle track racers. Got some new bearings and carefully pried the seals out and packed in this grease. That was the end of our bearing failures. Incredible as it may sound,the same bearings are still on the car after 10 races or more. We have a set of spindles with new bearings and Neo grease but haven't needed them yet. 

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
7/8/20 11:53 p.m.
bobzilla said:

In reply to frenchyd :

unfortunately for most modern cars there's no greasing or "checking" them. They're sealed, press in bearings. You either trust it or replace it. Not much for options.

Thank you for that bit of information.  I repacked the bearings on my last truck.  When did those switch to sealed bearings?  

Sonic
Sonic UltraDork
7/9/20 7:13 a.m.

In reply to sergio :

Thanks for the tip! 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/9/20 7:28 a.m.
sergio said:

In reply to Sonic :

The sealed front bearings on our SHO Lemons car started eating bearings during a lemons weekend. So we got some Neo HP800 grease, it's made for circle track racers. Got some new bearings and carefully pried the seals out and packed in this grease. That was the end of our bearing failures. Incredible as it may sound,the same bearings are still on the car after 10 races or more. We have a set of spindles with new bearings and Neo grease but haven't needed them yet. 

Many of the "upgraded" bearings for sale for certain marque's are basically this.

OEM hub/bearing assembly, pull apart, clean out the cheap grease, put in quality high-temp grease, reassemble, maybe press in some ARP studs and done. 

 

Of course, that ignores the upgraded options for the NA/NB Miata. Very different. 

We must not drive hard enough. The Lemons Civic has never had a bearing failure and it's run 10+ events and several hundred rallycross runs. I'm pretty sure the bearings in it are the original junk yard parts that came with the Integra brakes. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
7/9/20 10:00 a.m.
frenchyd said:
bobzilla said:

In reply to frenchyd :

unfortunately for most modern cars there's no greasing or "checking" them. They're sealed, press in bearings. You either trust it or replace it. Not much for options.

Thank you for that bit of information.  I repacked the bearings on my last truck.  When did those switch to sealed bearings?  

gmt800 (99-06) made the switch to sealed bolt on bearing/hub assemblies. I'm not sure about ford/chryco because I stay far far away from them

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/9/20 12:08 p.m.
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) said:

We must not drive hard enough. The Lemons Civic has never had a bearing failure and it's run 10+ events and several hundred rallycross runs. I'm pretty sure the bearings in it are the original junk yard parts that came with the Integra brakes. 

It's a big function of the platform. NA/NBs are notorious for eating hubs.

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
7/9/20 12:31 p.m.

My Datsun uses the ubquitous 280ZX struts, as the 280 is 1200lbs heavier the bearings last decades. The first set went 26 years and I only replaced them because it'd been 26 years. Regardless I use a high quality grease. 

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