What does a bad wheel bearing do? - Polaris Riders


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Old 05-12-2008, 07:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What does a bad wheel bearing do?

I'm reading that alot of you outlaw guys have bad front wheel bearings.....so I'm kinda wondering what the sighs or noises a bad front wheel bearing makes?

Mine have almost 50 hrs on them of trail riding. They spin KINDA freely, but you can hear the ball bearings rattling around in there as the wheel spins.

How hard are they to change? Is it a easy job, or do you need a press and all kinds of stuff?

Thanks........just never really did any wheel bearings before!
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can hear the bearing then either you need to add some grease or replace them. A good indicator that they are bad is if you can grab the top and bottom of the wheel from the side and it moves back and forth. I really do not understand why they use these type of bearings on a ATV with all the side load the get. It looks like to put good quality bearings in both sides it will be around $100 in seals and bearings.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Any suggestions on who makes a quality one?
And how hard are they to change?
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am not sure how hard they are to change, if you go to any parts store they will tell you which are good ones and which are not, you can also tell because of the price. Timken is a good brand.

I have wondered about the tapered upgrade you find in the back of magazines. I meant to call on them but I got outlawbills hardkor hubs.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Like Jeff said. Jack up the front end and grab the tire and try to move the top or sides in and out. Any slop and your bearings are going out. Or when you spin them if you hear any "grinding" type noise I would go ahead and replace the stock bearings. It is not if they are going to go out but when.

This thread here I have the bearing numbers for SKF bearings from NAPA.

http://predatorowners.com/index.cfm?action=thread&catid=99&topid=436&thrid=4 7684

Take off the wheel, the spindle nut and remove all the brake components and slide off the hub. Take a pry and pry off the seals. If you look in the middle you can see where the middle spacer, which is tapered, is. Push it to one side or the other exposing the edge of the bearing. Start tapping on it with a punch working around on it till it eventually comes out. Once out take the tapered spacer out the same end. You can now use a large socket from the other side to easily remove the other bearing. Once out cl up the hub, especially any metal shavings from the original bearings and tap the new bearings in carefully and put the seals in. Reassemble.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Did you put in dual seal bearings? You can getthese bearings with no seal, one sided seal or dual seals and then of course there is the dust seal that go on the outsides of the bearings. At O'Rielly Auto parts he had one with metal seals. They were salty and I do not see the point of the metal seal.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You have to have dual seal. Without dual seals as soon as the grease in the bearing gets hot and thin it will simply run out of the bearing. The single seal bearings are for axles with gear oil in them where there is oil in the whole axle, therefore no need for an inner seal.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Another option for single seal bearings is to drill the hub, add a grease fitting, and keep it full of grease to lube the bearings.
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just changed mine three days ago. Went to local NAPA store and tried to get Timken or SKFbearings but didn't have either one. The Timken bearings were $19 each. They would have to order them and the seals, so about $100 for the job is right like SSJEFF said. I wanted to ride so I got the NAPA brand bearings for $4 each and reused the old seals since I got them out without damage. I opened the bearings up like mentioned on a previous thread and packed them with with grease since they only had a dab in them. I am trying marine type grease because of its extra tackiness and resistance to water. I also used this grease on my steering stem mod and it seems to work better. The grease holds in place better and seems more slippery. If you take the bearings out like PALERIDER said you won't have any problem. Just remember to put the spacer in the right way when reassembling. I would also suggest running steel wool around the spindle shaft to smooth any minor imperfections. Also, all 4 of my balljointsare bad. An easy way to check is to jack up the front and put a small pry bar under the tire and lift up and watch and listen to the balljoints. If they are bad you will see, feel and hear them move. The cheapest place for joints was through my polaris dealer, whoordered them from Moose for$30 each. No zerk fitting but I will drill and tap when they come in.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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"Another option for single seal bearings is to drill the hub, add a grease fitting, and keep it full of grease to lube the bearings. "

Thats what I was thinking.
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