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Wheel Bearings

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monarchd's picture
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'94 420E: Are wheel brgs factory packed and sealed or do they require repacking
once in awhile? No mention in maintenance schedule.
Ash

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rogo's picture
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Bearings are obviously factory packed but they are not sealed. I know that repacking is not required but I cannot provide a reference as to why not.

I can tell you that the newer synthetic wheel bearing grease used by just about everyone does not seem to break down, melt, deteriorate or require replacement.

If someone else has better inf, perhaps they would share it with us.

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Jackd's picture
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I don't know if they are packed or unpacked, sealed or unsealed, all I know is that my W124 has been rolling on its original wheel bearings since 1989 for close to 400K.
I don't remember having ever had my bearings serviced.

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Front wheel bearings are the only ones I would service on a regular interval. Rear wheel bearings usually seem to go a VERY long time. Stu Ritter does say that the rear bearings are "fairly easy to replace for a DIYer, although some special tools are required." They have been known to fail but I believe it is rare. This is one time where I would deviate from the O.E.M. grease. As stated above, the name brand full synthetic greases available today are superior to the original grease used in your front wheel bearings. I know that the green MB grease is high temp., but I don't know if the current version is synthetic. Not only is synthetic much more resistant to heat breakdown, it is less susceptible to moisture absorption. On the 124, my personal preference is to pull the hub, clean, inspect, and repack the front bearings at around 90K miles. MB specifies 15g. in each grease cap and 50g. in the bearing hub. I have used the synthetic grease for some years in my other cars as well as in my GMC motor home front wheel bearings, which are notorious for being over stressed. GM calls for replacement every 25K miles!!

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ds190's picture
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Vehicles
1984 190D
1991 300TE
1993 300CE
1995 E300 Diesel
MB green wheel bearing grease

And I do the same as OliverB, although I do it every 100k miles on my and my family's and friends "old" 124 and 201 Mercedes Benz cars. I reuse the bearings (but use new inner seals) and have never had any failures. When soaking the bearings to dissolve the dried out grease, let them air dry before repacking. Some people blow them with compressed air, which makes a cool sound but can damage the now unlubricated bearing surfaces. Should I admit that many years ago I bought a small food scale that is only used to weigh the green MB wheel bearing grease? No, I probably should not let that be known.......ds

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OliverB's picture
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ds190;
Right-on for new seals. Intended that but neglected to mention it. I, also, purchased a small scale that measurers in .1g. units. Light blasts of air to blow cleaning fluid out of the bearing won't harm it but, as ds190 said, don't use a high pressure blast and spin the un-lubed bearing parts!

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dakota's picture
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As far as I know, the front bearings should not be set (adjusted) "like any other car." Mercedes requires that you use a dial indicator and adjust play to between 0.01 and 0.02 mm. See job 33-0300 for procedure.

That is a very tight tolerance and you can not adjust to that tolerance by 'feel' which is how most other cars are done. Some say they can, but I doubt it.

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bobyd54's picture
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on the same subject

I have a 1989 260E, I hear a wine type of noise comming from the rear when I get obove 30mph. I took it to a local repair shop. I live in a small town and the closest MB dealer is 100 miles away.
The repair shop said I needed a right rear wheel bearing and an estimate of$350.00.

I bought a set of 2 cd that where suposed to be repair manuels but they dont show step by step instructions.

I was an army Mechanic years ago and have basic tools and skills , is this something I should attempt ? does anyone have a procedure or advise for me?

Also the cost of the bearing was $115.00 any one have a good parts website? or can I just buy from the local autoparts store?

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Jackd's picture
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The price of the rear bearing is roughly $60.00.
CHECK THIS OUT
My shop manual gives a flat rate of 1.3 hours to replace;
Total cost: Roughly $150.00

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update

I took the car and rotated the tires, the rear where worn in the middle (overfill I figure) while in the air I checked the rear and they do not move at all no sighns of wear. Also took a temp gun and measured the temp after driving a half hour and the temp was not hot on any wheel.
The front wheels have a minimum amount of play when I try moving the wheels back and forth, but its hardly noticable.
Any other ideas on trying to narrow down the bad bearing it definatly sounds like the rear, doesnt seem to make a difference if I,m turning right or left.

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rogo's picture
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Driveshaft bearing?

Rear axle carrier dry?

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dakota's picture
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Something in the parking brake assembly rubbing?

Are the lug bolts and wheels original equipment? If the lug bolts are a bit too long, then can reach the parking brake - but usually it sounds like a click, not a whine.

How about the rear rotors - do they have a large ridge on the outside edge which might be rubbing on part of the caliper or a pad?

Could also be the pinion bearing (not a pleasent thought).

When you say it doesn't change sounds when turning right or left leads me to shy away from a wheel bearing issue.

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lkchris's picture
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Took Wife's 300E to mechanic complaining of noisey (roaring) wheel bearing.

Mechanic said to replace Goodyear tires with Michelins.

No problems since.

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update

well its not the brakes, tires are michelins, drained and filled differential so its not that.
I took the car on a long drive today and at about 60 mph it gets a bit loud. Along a curvy road it gets quiet on sharp right turns. So i figure it has to be bearings. The question is witch one?
The shop thought right rear , to me sounds more like left rear. When car is on hoist I have no play in the rear but a little in both front.

What to do? SHops say 3.5 hrs labor for rear per side. Should I try replacing the front myself first? how critical is the dial tolerance? I dont have one so I would eather have to buy one or just do without.

maybe I should just have a shop do all four and get it over with. What do you guys think? If it was you would you spend the money and have all four done? almost 160 k on th 89 260E.

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I have a 1995 E320 wagon that had a bad bearing sound in the rear. The MB dealership said that it was the right rear that was bad, and I had them replace that one. The noise didn't go away, so they then said it was the left rear that was also bad. Had that one replace and the noise went away. The only reason that I wasn't upset with them was that I also know that sometimes it appears that it is on one side, but next to impossible to know for certain until you replace it. If the replacement doesn't fix the problem then it has to be the other side. I only wish that there was a fool proof method of diagnostics that always works. Having twisted wrenches for over 20 years, I know that not everything is black and white, and that sometimes you just have to admit that you have made a mistake, even if it is an expensive mistake that the customer has to pay for. I will say that they did give me a break on the labor and parts cost for the other side.

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I have an '89 260E that had the right rear wheel bearing replaced about a month ago. It made a "roaring" sound which would lessen or go away when turning right (which would unload weight from the wheel). It got progressively louder rather quickly. My experienced Mercedes mechanic charged me $160 for the bearing and $300 to fix it.

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bobyd54's picture
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Thanks

Its nice to get so much feed back , it helps when making decisions. I think I'll have the right rear replaced and see what happens , worse case is I'll end up with new bearings all the way around so I know they'll be good for anothe 150k miles :)

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bobyd54's picture
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fixed

I had a local shop replace the right rear bearing at a cost of $265.00 and the bearing cost $60.00.
And its fixed......
I cant beleive how quiet the car rides. I must have just gotten used to the noise untill it got loud enoph to realy bother me.

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