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I just replaced the passenger / right front bearings on mt GTV6 but I have a question about adjusting them.

I followed the book procedure - tighten to 20-24 NM spin, loosen, retighten to 5-10 Nm, loosen 90 degrees then insert cotter pin. I even went an extra 1/8" turn for good measure, but I have what seems like a lot of play in the wheel and a noticeable clunk when I rock the wheel.

Should I tighten more as long as I can still move the washer with a screwdriver?


Let me know if that video link doesn't work.

Thanks!
Ian


Sent from my GM1917 using Tapatalk
 

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I just did this on my Alfetta GT. Is there any other noises such as grinding and does the "clunk" happen with side to side movement, up and down movement, or both?
 

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Should check for play before completing the job.

This is not a job for a torque wrench, but feel. You do up tilght, back off and then up again to it feels right. Double check there is no wheel bearing playing, then split pin, job done.

Best
Pete
 

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Tighten the nut using the torque wrench method to seat the bearing then use the screwdriver method, a little effort with a twist from the side of the hub against the washer. Move the washer side to side a couple of times it should take a little effort then rotate the wheel a few times grab the wheel at 6 oclock top and bottom and give it a shake, then check if the tension has changed and adjust if you think it needs it . I know it's not very technical but it has worked for me many times over the years
 

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It's difficult to determine the amount of play from that video. Ideally, there should be a very slight amount of play, but it should be almost imperceptible.

The Alfa factory torque specs are assuming perfect dimensions of the wheel bearings and hubs, and perfect threads on the spindle and nut, etc. The Porsche factory method for air-cooled 911s, 944s, etc was always very arbitrary for this reason. They simply stated to tighten the spindle pinch nut down all the way and spin the wheel to seat the bearing, then back it off, and tighten the nut again as much as possible while still being able to move the washer underneath. This would be finger pressure with a screwdriver, not prying against the hub.

This basic method will work on anything with tapered roller bearings, though there sometimes needs to be a compromise made with a cotter pin setup---sometimes one setting is too loose, but the next step tighter is a hair too tight. If this is a street car that doesn't see track use, the tighter setting is OK. For a track car, I'd probably replace the bearings and re-check. There always needs to be a bit of room for expansion with heat, hence the need for the tiniest amount of play.
 

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It's difficult to determine the amount of play from that video. Ideally, there should be a very slight amount of play, but it should be almost imperceptible.
Yep, the Milano always had a very slight bit of play after following the factory procedure. Never wore them out: a tad loose is better than too tight. But a clunk sounds like too much.

As AlfaTasteless suggested, make sure the play you're feeling isn't somewhere else like the tie rod end or ball joint.
 

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As AlfaTasteless suggested, make sure the play you're feeling isn't somewhere else like the tie rod end or ball joint.
This is a good point. If you are by yourself, tighten the spindle nut to the next hole and check if the play goes away. If not, get a helper to rock the wheel back and forth while you check for play elsewhere.
 

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Speaking from experience with my various Alfas with standard front wheel bearing designs, the Sprint GT, the three Alfettas, the two GTV6s, and the Milano, you do want a little clearance, not a tight bearing. Always error on the side of slightly loose rather than the tight setting.
 

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I just want to give a big shout-out to @crackie for posting the Hagerty wheel bearing replacement link, Instructions to replace front wheel bearings. Perfect timing for this post, I was getting ready to start wheel bearing replacement on my 115 and this is really a great how-to. A few comments specific to the 115 (sorry for the slight hijack):

1) The 115 hubs don't have the notches for a drift to drive out the races. A big socket (30 mm?) and extension make a perfect driver for the outer race, but for the inner race I had to use a large screwdriver against the outer lip of the race. Worked ok, but I did scar up the hub bore a bit in the process. I used emery cloth to work the scars down, but worried about leaving abrasive residue. Cleaned with a bunch of carb cleaner and paper towel, so hopefully got it all.

2) To install the new races, I didn't have a socket big enough to drive the inner race, so got a loaner tool from O'Reilly. Part # 67034; paid a $65 deposit, which is refunded when tool is returned within 48 hours. This works great; the handle helps to start the race straight and keep it from getting c*cked. And the tool is aluminum, so less worry about damaging the steel hub or races.

3) I found the author's description of "tapping" to remove and install the races a bit optimistic. It took liberal application of a BFH to remove and install the races, but all went smoothly and the change in sound/feel was quite obvious when the race bottomed out on install. Used little grease on the outside of the race which may have helped also; certainly didn't hurt.

Thanks again.
 

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Ian,
I check my wheel bearing play every spring and before track days on my 82 GTV6. I keep a selection of different thickness washers to prevent the “in between “ cotter pin hole problem. I even stack a combo to get the play acceptable and minimal. Even with new bearings there seems to be too much play after whipping on the car after a track day.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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I check my wheel bearing play every spring and before track days on my 82 GTV6. I keep a selection of different thickness washers to prevent the “in between “ cotter pin hole problem. I even stack a combo to get the play acceptable and minimal. Even with new bearings there seems to be too much play after whipping on the car after a track day.
I think you're way overthinking this. I always followed the factory procedure on the Milano and never had excessive play. You want a very slight amount of play in there and the factory procedure works fine.

There's no cotter pin hole problem, or at least not one that shimming washers will fix. You do the final torque, then loosen 90 degrees to give a little clearance, then rotate slightly to put in the pin. That final rotation is a fraction of a turn and doesn't significantly affect the play.

If you want less play for some reason (which I don't recommend) just loosen 45 degrees or whatever instead of 90. No need to muck around with shim washers.
 

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Man I realise now I am so lucky, for my car hobby, to have a father who was a professional mechanic. He taught me the most important skill; how to feel things.

Wheel bearings should be replaced and until they make noise, never even looked at again ... and roller bearings should not have play. Can you imagine a differential pinion after being installed with play? Yeah different situation but my point is roller bearings are used so the wheel is accurately located, and that is impossible if installed loose so there is play. Just snug is how they should be installed ... but what snug means to me is probably different to you, so you need somebody like my Dad to show you :)

Best
Pete
 

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Man I realise now I am so lucky, for my car hobby, to have a father who was a professional mechanic. He taught me the most important skill; how to feel things.

Wheel bearings should be replaced and until they make noise, never even looked at again ... and roller bearings should not have play. Can you imagine a differential pinion after being installed with play? Yeah different situation but my point is roller bearings are used so the wheel is accurately located, and that is impossible if installed loose so there is play. Just snug is how they should be installed ... but what snug means to me is probably different to you, so you need somebody like my Dad to show you :)

Best
Pete
I hear you about the "feel" thing.

I am also a professional mechanic (Porsche/BMW). The reason for the tiny, tiny amount of play of wheels/hubs that use tapered roller bearings is that in this application they can and will expand with heat from rotating, braking, etc, especially during "sprited" driving or track use. Therefore, there will be no actual play when everything is at operating temperature.

In fact, in the Porsche world many racers will drill tiny vent holes in the wheel bearing dust caps, because the heat generated by very hard driving and braking can result in pressure buildup that causes the dust caps to shoot off while on track! Of course this is an extreme example, but it illustrates what is possible.

There will never be that sort of heat in differential bearings, so those aren't set up with any "play"per se, but even those aren't set very tight (one uses a special torque wrench to measure the rolling torque of the bearings).
 

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Oh well, I'll step out ...

Best
Pete
 

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Oh well, I'll step out ...

Best
Pete
My post above was not meant to 100% dispute what you were saying. I agree with your point about "feel." That is always my final check of a wheel bearing adjustment, not the book spec. Same with certain low-torque fasteners in some applications such as valve cover bolts on certain engines, especially when threaded into aluminum or magnesium. It is possible to be over-dependent on a torque wrench and not feel when something is too tight. You are lucky to have learned this lesson early on!
 

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It's all good Chris. Anybody that is a Porsche mechanic knows their stuff :) ... I was stepping out so I don't confuse people reading

Pete
 

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What about this: The Autobooks manual for my car (granted, a 115) says to set front wheel bearing end play at 0.002" to 0.005". With a dial indicator and magnetic base that's pretty simple and easy, and eliminates the subjective "feel" aspect. Is there any reason this is not a good idea?
 

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The truth is, as long as the bearings are not tight, and are lubed, they all work for a long time. Never had a problem with front wheel bearings in any of our Alfas in the decades of ownership and driving. Did have a defective Milano rear wheel bearing replaced on warranty not long after we bought it new, but otherwise...
 
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