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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone installed new front bearings on their 451? I recently had new bearings installed and they are pretty tight. They turn smoothly, but after releasing the pressure on the brake pads, the tire will only spin about 1/2 turn before stopping. This is causing my 2009 model passion to keep upshifting and downshifting between 4-5 gears like you are going up and down over hills when you are actually on flat ground. I am just wondering if they will loosen up a little after I put a few more hundred miles on my car. Any replies will be appreciated.
Thanks,
Gene
 

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You posted about this in another thread. You were advised that there shouldn't be any bearing drag with new bearings. If you are truly concerned about this, go back to the shop and have them evaluate the situation.
 

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The new bearing might be defective. If it's dragging, it's basically causing the equivalent of "lack of power" issue and thus the tune-up suggestions I was making. Revisit the bearing if it isn't spinning freely.
 

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Also make sure the brake pad itself isn't dragging. When I installed my pads & rotors I didn't do something right as the one on the right was dragging. Reassembled, and the issue was fixed!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I swung the caliper away from the brake disk and removed the pads before I tried turning the hub. I spun the hub and it only turned around 1/2 turn before stopping. There is definitely quite a bit of drag with the bearings. I was just wondering if they would loosen up after driving a while. I have only driven around 75 miles since the bearings were installed. I am going to talk to my mechanic tomorrow.
 

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I don't think there is a problem with the bearings. I changed out the front wheel bearings on my smart, and they are the same way. But so were the factory bearings. From new, they were a lot "tighter" than I was used to. My originals went 180K, until the left front started growling.

In an effort to reduce consumer maintenance, most manufactures have went to sealed ball bearing units on the wheels. Long gone are the old days of tapered roller bearings that need periodic cleaning and re-packing. On my other two cars, an 83 & an 89, I can jack up a rear corner, and spin the wheel and it will rotate 8-10 times before coming to a stop. But they are tapered roller bearings that you can set the pre-load on, and I service them every 40K or so. With the newer sealed ball bearing units, they run tight tolerances to keep the wheels tight, and avoid play. I don't like it personally, the tapered roller bearings have a higher load rating than ball bearings, but it makes the everyday Joe feel better because they don't have to touch them... IMHO, sometimes newer isn't better...

I also experience the occasional 4-5, 5-4 shifting with my smart. When it happens to me, I just drop it into manual mode, and forget about it. With 183K on my smart, I certainly have no desire to take it in and pay smart's outrageous service fees to have somebody try and tell me what the ECU isn't happy with... It still gets 42-43 mpg, so it can't be too much drag on it. My son is driving the car now, and I explained it to him, and he's ok with manual mode when he needs it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I really appreciate your reply. So far, we are the only two who say they have this problem. I have been driving manual mode while hoping that the bearings do loosen up a little. My only problem is my wife. So far she refuses to drive in manual mode and tells me to drive. I am going to talk to my mechanic today and see what he says.
thanks,
 

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I really appreciate your reply. So far, we are the only two who say they have this problem. I have been driving manual mode while hoping that the bearings do loosen up a little. My only problem is my wife. So far she refuses to drive in manual mode and tells me to drive. I am going to talk to my mechanic today and see what he says.
thanks,
I have a friend of mine who has the same issue with his smart. He took it to the dealer, they spent 3 days on it, and couldn't diagnose the issue. He called me and asked if I'd seen the issue, when I told him the same thing I told you above, he thought it was a simple solution, and took his car back and drives it like he stole it...
 

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Has anyone installed new front bearings on their 451? I recently had new bearings installed and they are pretty tight. They turn smoothly, but after releasing the pressure on the brake pads, the tire will only spin about 1/2 turn before stopping. This is causing my 2009 model passion to keep upshifting and downshifting between 4-5 gears like you are going up and down over hills when you are actually on flat ground. I am just wondering if they will loosen up a little after I put a few more hundred miles on my car. Any replies will be appreciated.
Thanks,
Gene
They should "loosen up" a little bit after they are seated. Drive a 100 miles or so and re-check them, although they sound tight the way you describe them. I have done front wheel bearing in other vehicles, and the tire will spin freely with no binding, except for brake pad drag. Maybe you should visit another mechanic and get his opinion. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes, even an automotive tire store that does mechanical repairs can be a source to get it checked to your satisfaction.
 

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A bad bearing is going to cause excessive noise anyways, which was never a complaint. I personally don't even believe there is anything "wrong" with the car. Just an opinion...
 

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Is it possible that the shop did not use the 3 pins supplied to press the bearing into the hub, and instead pressed on the inner race?

Here is a video of the procedure, posted here before.


~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
My first complaint was that the right front bearing was starting to roar a little. When manually turning the wheel the bearing felt rough and grinding. That is the main reason the bearings were replaced. I have talked to several mechanics and they all said to wait 500 miles or so and then check the bearings again to see if they had loosened up a little. Thanks for all the help.

The mechanic used the 3 pins to install the bearings. I am sure of that.
thanks,
 
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