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Thread: Enjoying Daytona 24 and wrenching on BMW

  1. #1

    Enjoying Daytona 24 and wrenching on BMW

    My M3 has seen its share of track time in its 10 years with me. Vader has logged about 160 track days. During these events stuff is bound to wear out. For a while now, I have been pretty sure my passenger rear wheel bearing was shot. Left hand bends sounded horrible with throttle applied.
    Greg Nolte has been aware of this issue and he called me suggesting I visit Greg's Garage to perform the repair. He has a scissor lift, bearing pulling equipment, air tools, and other tools required for the job. He also installed a TV at my request so we could follow the action in Daytona.

    In my haste to get started, we tore down the passenger rear to the hub. While I went for coffe Greg read the Bentley Manual

    The Bentley Manual reminded Greg that the collar nut is to be removed with weight on the car so he put everything back on excluding the hub cap.

    We mangled 3 breaker bars attempting to remove the collar nut. Turns out a 1/2" breaker bar is not the right tool for the job. We headed over to Sears to get a new Craftsman for the one we mangled under warranty. While there, I picked up a 1-7/8" 3/4" drive socket (IIRC) equivalent to the 36mm. Along with a BFP, the collar nut came right off.

    With the collar nut removed, we yanked the half shaft. Before we could get it out, we also needed to lower the sway bar and detach the shock.

    Once the half axle is removed, we can see the splines in the hub. This is the differential's view of the hub. Removing the hub is rather brutal. We pounded the hub out using a 32mm socket, a brass bar, and two determined NCC members.

    Once the hub popped out, the gruesome remains of the bearing are visible. We were able to pull the bearing out with Greg's tool with no difficulty.

    Close inspection of the outer race shows the damage that caused the groaning. At the bottom of this photo, the pitted section of the smooth shiny surface is all it takes to create the issue. The damage was at the bottom illustrating that the cause is water entering the bearing once the seals are burnt and water can seep in.

    We are ready to install the new bearing except there is one problem. The outboard side of the inner bearing race was still pressed on the hub. It did not want to come off. Greg offered comfort and told me he has faced this common hurdle before.

    Out came the hammers and chisels followed by a 4" angle grinder. Greg left me to my aggression while I waged war on the delinquent bearing remains. I ground a spiraling groove to avoid touching the hub with the grinding wheel. Finally it cracked along my groove and slid off with several whacks.

    My hub was none the worse for wear. From there it was smooth sailing as everything pressed in easily. Remember, the red seal faces out on the new seal if you want your ABS sensor to work. Greg and I got the corner assembled and torqued quickly so we could watch some of the race on TV. Congratulations Montoya. Now Vader is one step closer to being ready for the track.

    Thanks again Nolte.
    Bob Hopkins
    M3 1997 Black "Vader"
    911 1986 Red "Baron"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Warrenton, Va.
    Nice writeup and pics. My day is coming with this repair.
    Joel Bossard
    1998 M3/4, Silver driver
    2002 4X4 Dodge 2500 Cummins HO 6-speed hauler
    2006 VW Jetta TDI commuter

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