CLK wheel bearing failure resulted in a big bill

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by Oli, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Oli

    Oli Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My car was absolutly fine, no sign of wheel bearing wear at all, then suddenly a noise and the steering started to feel very funny and practically no brakes, when i got to the garage they said I was lucky the wheel didn't drop off.Th bearing had just suddenly gone, and very badly, fused to the stud axle so a new one of them was needed and my brake discs were also damaged, result a £600 bill!!, is it common for bearings to go like that?, on every other car I've owned they have started to whir long before anything has happened and obviously I've had them replaced.Does that sound about right for the parts and labour?, I had to take it to a very local independant as I really didn't have much choice, I'm a bit gutted about it but these things happen, it was on the front offside.
     
  2. Ian B Walker

    Ian B Walker MB Club Veteran

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    post deleted due to me not reading properly. Bill would be about right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  3. johnsco

    johnsco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Unusual for wheel bearings to fail suddenly.
    Some mechanics feel the need to over-tighten taper-roller bearings to remove the last tenth-of-a-thou of play.
    This could have contributed to sudden lubricant-failure and then partial seizure.
    With normal wear and tear, you usually hear a growl long before total failure.

    Johnsco
     
  4. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Club Veteran

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    I tried to adjust my CLK front bearing and I'm not too sure that I did more harm than good. The adjustment between too tight and too loose are very fine IMHO. You did well not to crash and not cause much more than £600 of damage.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Oli

    Oli Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have to look at it like that, I'm a bit annoyed about it but when I think about it, it could have been much worse.
     
  6. yachtman

    yachtman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    that was the moment to stop driving. you might have got away with only the bearing. continuing to the garage probably caused the stub axel & hub damage.


    unlikely for wheel to drop off as the brake caliper should help to keep it on unless driven to the limit. suprised it was as cheap as that, on a daf 7.5t truck the similar parts & fit cost over 2k. would suspect the stub has been cleaned up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  7. Harley Man

    Harley Man Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Last year I repaired exactly the same fault on a friends E55, he was driving when there was a loud bang and the front of the car dropped one side. I assumed the spring had broken but when I checked the wheel bearing had broken up the rollers locked and friction welded the bearing to the stub axle, I tried my 30T press to remove it to no avail :mad: , I had to cut the hub off with my gas axe to recover the brake disk shield :eek: I think the parts came to £380. I suspect the bearing had been over tightened by someone who didnt understand taper roller bearings.
     
  8. Number_Cruncher

    Number_Cruncher Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Some (I hesitate to say all) rear wheel drive MBs have a specified front wheel bearing end float which is too small to be met by typical methods of tightening taper roller bearings (including the method given in the Haynes manual). To do the job properly, you must use a dial test indicator. Alas, few people do the job properly.

    For the OP, if the inner race develops a bump or spall, it's possible for the inner race and rollers to effectively jam together. Then, instead of the bearing rolling properly, the inner race spins on the stub axle - a rotary friction weld soon develops! If the bearing keeps rolling, then, as each roller crosses the spall, you get typical bearing noise - if the inner race spins, it tends to do so quietly.

    Bearings which have been correctly fitted, and correctly lubricated can develop spalls - it's effectively a fatigue process in which a crack begins just under the surface of the race, and when the crack comes to the surface, a portion of the race surface spalls off.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Oli

    Oli Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I would have stopped driving had there been anywhere I could have left the car, unfortunatly it happened on a main road at 3am with no pavement so I feared for the cars saftey if I had parked it, as someone could have easily driven into it.
    Definatly a new stub fitted, apparantly a Mercedes only part and I think it was about £215, I will know definatly tomorrow as I'm picking it up then, I wish I could have stopped and left it where I was, or thinking on it now called the RAC as I am a member *bangs head on wall*, but it was so close to home I thought it would have been better to limp it back very slowly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  10. OP
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    Oli

    Oli Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the information, is it a common fault on them?, I've known many friends who have had various Mercedes and mine and the poster above who mentioned the same thing happening on thier E55 are the first I've heard of, I'm now worried as the garage that is carrying out the work are an independant and not a Mercedes specialist, is there any questions I should ask the mechanic who did the work when I pick it up tomorrow as I would rather it didn't happen again.
     
  11. johnsco

    johnsco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Three questions:
    1. Does he have a dial gauge indicator ?
    2. Does he know how to use it ?
    3. Does he know the specified end-float range for the particular model ?

    I'll cross my fingers for you.
    Johnsco
     
  12. Number_Cruncher

    Number_Cruncher Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I agree with the questions as written by johnsco - very pertinent.

    I don't know about the problem being common, but owing to the very high stresses caused by the tiny contact area between roller and race all rolling element bearings are susceptible to early failures via the fatigue mechanism I described. Usually bearing life (L10 or B10, depending upon whether you define using hours or revolutions) is defined as a life which 90% of bearings will meet or exceed - that is, up to 10% may fail to meet this life.

    Sometimes, bearings will also fail early because they have been abused in some way - mismounted, mis-adjusted, contaminated, etc, etc.
     
  13. DJP1970

    DJP1970 New Member

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    CLK Sudden Wheel Bearing Failure

    Hi all,

    Had exactly the same happen to me last night - driving at 60mph on dual carriageway, bit of a thud from the front, followed by a bit of wheel wobble -puncture I thought!

    No previous noise or judder as is usual when bearings are on their way out.....

    Was 1/2 mile from home, so limped car home barely breaking & taking bends with less enthusiasm than usual :(

    Jacked car up, noticed some light scoring on brake disc & a bit of wobble on the disc, so tapped hub off......to be greeted with a pile of dry brown flakes, which appear what would have happened if you put ball bearings & grease through an industrial shredder....

    My mechanic has just given me the good news that the bearing is friction welded to the axle stub, and the main stealer want to £200 & VAT to get one in for Friday at the earliest!?

    Thankfully partsgateway exists, so hoping a breaker comes up trumps in the meantime with a new stub - obviously brand new bearing needed.

    Just get them checked guys, as it's worrying that there can be no sign of any wear & then catastrophically fail like this.... if I am lucky this will only cost £200-£300 (ahem) :rolleyes:
     
  14. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    I've had one go exactly the same and the bill was also similar.

    What happens is that the roller cage breaks so the rollers roll around unevenly. Best to replace at 150k miles.
     
  15. NOMONEYBUTAMERC

    NOMONEYBUTAMERC Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You have a number of motor factors near you. Call one of them and ask if they have a BRT wheel bearing kit. This will contain the O.E. part.BRT deliver to S.Wales on monday , weds , and friday every week. Ensure it is correctly fitted - over 99% of bearing failures are due to incorrect fitting or lack of correct lubing. Beware of cheap bearings from China, India etc , unless they are of quality brand.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. EuroCarParts

    EuroCarParts Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    That is some scary stuff, you all done well not to damage anything else!

    As for partsgateways remember to beware of premium rate numbers -
     
  17. nick mercedes

    nick mercedes MB Club Veteran

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    I can't see it costing more than £50, which is all another stub axle and hub will cost, and an hour to fit it.
     
  18. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Just checked. It went at 145k miles, so best to replace before then.

    It was unfortunate in one respect as I hadn't got breakdown cover so couldn't recover the car, but in another it was Ok as I had just pulled off the M6.
     

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