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Author Topic: How often should wheel bearings be repacked or checked?  (Read 3764 times)
belfert
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« on: March 25, 2012, 10:14:32 AM »

How often should wheel bearings be repacked or checked?  I have grease on the tag and steering axles.  I had all of the bearings replaced when I first got the bus, but that was six years ago and perhaps 28,000 miles ago.  The manager of the bus garage said I was lucky I hadn't lost a wheel due to bearing failure.  He showed me a bearing they had removed that fell apart when it was removed.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
wg4t50
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 10:41:29 AM »

Timkin Bearing will tell you, using new bearing, proper preload adjustment, running in synthetic oil will not need attention for 500K miles.  That said, most folks no longer pack wheel bearings with grease.
Everyone does what the know and understand.
I recommend going to Timkin bearing webpage for current info on this subject.
Seems there are at least 15 versions of proper bearing adjustment, depending on who you ask. I find it best to learn from the folks that know.
Cheers
Dave

Google  timpin.com and dig into from there.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 11:08:33 AM by wg4t50 » Logged

MCI7 20+ Yrs
Foretravel w/ISM500
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Central Virginia
belfert
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 11:10:09 AM »

For some reason my bus had grease for tag and steer axles when I got it.  I saw no reason to spend the money to convert to oil.  The only other running Dina bus I have seen up close has oil bearings.  I don't know if my bus came originally came with grease or oil.

Is the lifespan reduced with grease versus oil?  I believe the mileage on my bus is around 400,000 miles so the first set of bearings was completely shot in under 500,000 miles.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
wg4t50
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 11:17:23 AM »

Yes, My MCI came with grease front and tag bearings, I changed to oil hubs and never had any issues in the 20+ years.
YOU need to  do what ever you feel comfy with, either way its yours.
Me, I want the max longevity and least problems, but that is just me.
Everyone will tell you something different, so find someone that likes your method and smile.
Dave
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MCI7 20+ Yrs
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Central Virginia
belfert
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 12:51:43 PM »

Isn't one of the issues with oil that the upper part of the bearing isn't bathed in oil when the bus is parked?  My bus generally stays parked from November through April or so.  It has been a really mild winter so I did have it out in February this year for a short run.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
luvrbus
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 01:29:11 PM »

Oil or grease Timken doesn't care use a soap base grease for wheel bearing but oil will carry the contaminates away from the needles better that grease IMO then the down side to oil are the leaks a good wheel bearing pack should last a 100,000 miles using the right grease.

The story about the upper part of the bearing is a myth the bearing stays coated if not you would have the same problem with all bearings transmission,differential on the bus including your engine    

good luck
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 06:47:28 PM by luvrbus » Logged

Life is short drink the good wine first
Seayfam
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2012, 01:32:00 PM »

Isn't one of the issues with oil that the upper part of the bearing isn't bathed in oil when the bus is parked?  My bus generally stays parked from November through April or so.  It has been a really mild winter so I did have it out in February this year for a short run.

Not to argue this point, but I have never been able to understand why so many people are worried about that. The way I look at it is...the upper half of your drive axle bearings are not sitting in oil when parked nor is many other parts of the drive train that are lubed with oil. Personally, I prefer the oiled bearings, gives me peace of mind out on the highway knowing all I have to do is look and see if it is full.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Xparent Green Tapatalk
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
1969 MCI MC-6 unit# 20006
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2012, 01:40:03 PM »

Sorry about that Clifford, I must have been typing while you were posting. Smiley
Tapatalk won't tell me if someone just posted.

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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2012, 01:44:59 PM »

I've still got a ways to go then if grease only needs repacking every 100,000 miles.  I won't wait that long because I would be at 15 years or more to hit 100,000 miles.  I know that the bearings on my trailer like get water in them over time, but the bus bearings I'm sure are better sealed.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2012, 02:14:17 PM »

You can check the adjustment easy enough any time the wheel is off the ground - just give it a push-pull to feel for looseness.

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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belfert
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2012, 02:45:22 PM »

Unfortunately, I don't have a jack big enough to lift the bus.  I take the bus to C&J Bus Repair every year for oil change, lube, and inspection.  They place the bus on a lift so I could have them check for loose bearings easily enough.  Every time I think about getting a jack big enough for the bus I decide it isn't worth spending the money.  I did just buy a torque wrench so I can check the lug nuts before trips.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Mex-Busnut
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2012, 06:29:58 PM »

A good thread!

I once had a wheel bearing on a truck fail and weld itself to the hub. That was expensive! So I would highly recommend anybody acquiring a second-hand bus make this a priority. Disassemble all four corners, and check brakes, clean and repack wheel bearings, and KNOW FIRST HAND what you are starting with.

In our case, the PO said our bus had great brakes. Our diesel mechanic discovered the rear brakes were plenty thick, and yet "crystallized", whatever that means. The front ones were in great shape.

So while the mechanic was at it, he pulled out all wheel bearings, and thoroughly cleaned them. Two required replacement. All were then packed with good-quality grease. 

It is usually cheaper and less thrilling to do preventive maintenance in a shop, than in the middle of nowhere on a lonely highway in the middle of the night.
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
RnMAdventures
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2012, 06:53:35 PM »

It is usually cheaper and less thrilling to do preventive maintenance in a shop, than in the middle of nowhere on a lonely highway in the middle of the night.

Where's your sense of adventure? Huh

Good post Doc, I agree. I have done the "middle of the night in the middle of now where" thing. Now having had that fun, I try to avoid that fun now.
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2012, 08:40:49 PM »

(snip)  in the middle of nowhere on a lonely highway in the middle of the night.

    You forgot about the "pouring rain" part.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 09:13:07 PM »

Good comments, everybody!

 Grin

By the way, while you are at it, when was the last time the oil in the bus's rear end (differential) was changed? In our case, the oil was milky white, so contaminated with water. And the transmission oil?

When I get any used vehicle, I like to start with:

    1. Wash everything carefully, including engine and under body.
    2. Change all oils and check for leaks.
    3. Change all hoses and belts.
    4. Get the radiator thoroughly checked out. (Ours was rotten!)
    5. Carefully check out all brakes.
    6. Check out alternator, starter and batteries.

Keep a log (diary) of what you do or have done, with date, mileage and exactly what was done.

Most problems on the road can be avoided this way.
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
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