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Discussion Starter #1
I need some advice please re replacing the front wheel bearings on my 81 Spider.

I've ordered new front wheel bearings which have arrived. I thought I'd try the inner races on the hub spindle before fitting them and although the smaller one slides on fine, the larger one (next to the oil seal) will not slide on at all (at least manually).

Is this correct?? The hub (with the old bearings still in) slides easily on and off the spindle. Clearly it won't do that with the new bearings in.

I would expect it to take rather a lot of torque on the end nut to get the hub on with the new bearings in, although the workshop manual suggests 18lbft to seat it initially.

Any help VERY MUCH appreciated!

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #2
ps I think my terminology might be wrong. I mean I'm trying the part with the rollers on the spindle. I know the parts in the hub itself need to be drifted in carefully.
 

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ps I think my terminology might be wrong. I mean I'm trying the part with the rollers on the spindle. I know the parts in the hub itself need to be drifted in carefully.

If you have a harbor freight near by, I'd recommend this tool:
10 Piece Bearing Race and Seal Driver Set

I've used it now on 3 cars and it is a simple, high quality tool that makes placing bearings extremely easy (and does not harm the bearing surfaces).

Now to your questions... Here is a copy of area as represented by the parts catalogue:



There are two bearings, an inner and outer. each will have an outer race you tap into the hub (in which you drop the bearing), but neither should have an "inner race" as I believe that the hub spindle itself acts as that inner race.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks MNVXer

Yes I got my terminology wrong. I meant the bearing itself. I'm learning as I go! I've got the old ones out now, including the races. The outer race came out with a few taps on an appropriate socket with a 6" extension. The inner one I tapped out carefully from the other side with a drift.

The old bearing has the same number as the new but is manufactured by FAG as opposed to the new one by ASK (whom I can't find anywhere on the net). The old one slips on and off the spindle easily, the new one jams solid as soon as looks at it. Too tight for my liking. I'm going to try some SKF ones just to see if it's a tolerance thing and the ASK one is underbored slightly. At this stage the extra expense is nothing to the cost of all the rebuilding I've done so far lol!

Martin
 

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I ordered a set of front bearings from rock auto at the beginning of my rebuild two years ago. I found that they didn't fit, and I kept the originals on. They were fine anyways. Perhaps the bearings are worth ordering from centerline/IAP? If you do find a good fit, I hope you list the P/N.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mine are showing signs of wear, with discolouration and a little scoring, so I'm going to replace. Good (?) to hear I'm not the only one to find they don't fit well. I just don't want to start cranking on the hub nut to find it all locks up and I then can't get them off to start again.

I'm in the UK so UK suppliers.

Will definitely post here with progress.

Best wishes
Martin
 

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I have found that the quality of parts sold by Highwood Alfa, Classic Alfa and Alfaholics to be generally superior to some of the stuff that is sold over here and I am often prepared to pay the extra shipping to get them from England. I am surprised if you got a poor quality part from one of those vendors.
 

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I have found that the quality of parts sold by Highwood Alfa, Classic Alfa and Alfaholics to be generally superior to some of the stuff that is sold over here and I am often prepared to pay the extra shipping to get them from England. I am surprised if you got a poor quality part from one of those vendors.
Quite often with shipping, they are cheaper. I have placed several orders with English supply houses. Everything I have received have been great quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes those suppliers are all fantastic - and very helpful too. I've had to get a couple of bits from Centerline too but the customs charges make that very expensive.

I'm probably being over-cautious and should just go ahead and fit them as I'm sure it's down to my inexperience of what's OK and what's not.

I'll keep you updated...
 

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Don't take that 18 ft-lbs too literally.
The important thing is to have the bearing races well seated (ie that they will not start to move further into place after you've finished working with them), and that you set the bearings to have as small a non-zero end play as possible.

Fred DiMatteo from AROC new england once told me that to seat the new bearing races, to mount the wheel, and spin it with one hand while using a rubber mallet with the other hand to whack the hub area.

Regarding the end play - when choosing the cotter pin location and how tight to put the nut, you need to have at least some small amount of in-and-out play. I mean the play when you grab onto the hub, try to pull it off the spindle as far as it goes, then reverse direction and push it onto the spindle as far as it goes. You can measure that very nicely with a dial end gauge with magnetic mount (which is useful for other things too). You put the mag mount on the face of the hub and the pointer of the dial gauge on the end of the spindle (stub axle). The point is that if you finalize things and don't have any play there at all, the bearings are too tight and they'll be wrecked pretty quickly. The play should be as small as you can get it, but non-zero...
I've also seen that valve spring shims (the ones between the valve spring and the head) can be useful to fine tune the end play, they fit perfectly behind the spindle nut, and if you have one that's a small amount off the "right" thickness (0.250 mm if I remember right??) you can change the end play by that amount.
Anyhow, just some things I've found useful.
/Neil
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone - fantastic advice and very helpful!

I've just received 2 sets of new FAG bearings - much happier with these as although the inner one doesn't slide on and off like the old one (which I suspect was too loose anyway from all this discussion) I can walk it gently on a little and back off again without it jamming completely.

Martin
 

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I've just received 2 sets of new FAG bearings - much happier with these as although the inner one doesn't slide on and off like the old one (which I suspect was too loose anyway from all this discussion) I can walk it gently on a little and back off again without it jamming completely.
Your experience is pretty typical - the inner bearing can be a tight fit onto the spindle, while the outer bearing is generally a looser, and will fall right into the dirt as soon as you remove the nut.

As long as the inner bearing's press fit isn't too tight, using the spindle nut to push the bearing back onto the spindle is acceptable. If your new part will go on by hand, that's great - it will make disassembly much easier down the road.
 
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