A bit of play after replacing rear bearings, is it normal?

ytk

Active member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Location
IL
TDI
MK3
Hi,
Replaced my rear roller bearings today , after replacing them went for a short drive and when I checked again they both had a bit of play that wasn't there just after replacement.
I believe I did every thing correctly , race replacement , properly packing them, only tightening the bolt loosely etc..

Is it normal to have a bit of play?

Thanks
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
Did you 'set' the bearing and then back off the nut and reset it to the specification? To where you can just move the washer with a tool?

There shouldn't be much play at all. Typically play in the rear wheel means the bearing nut needs to be adjusted again.

This is one of the reasons people really want to move to the sealed bearing assemblies on the rear.

Steve
 

iluvmydiesels

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Location
phila area
TDI
AHU
my personal opinion of this is: when you set bearing nut snugness, you want to rotate the drum when setting tightness.
if now you just 'tighten' the bearing nut statically (w/o turning the drum, or disc) and you go for a drive, it may well 'loosen up'.
putting in new matched races when doing rear wheel bearings is a better deal. takes a work bench, a vice is good, and some extra tools to do.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
Northern MD (HAGERBUSH)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress)
no, no play
that is to say that you should have none what so ever.
When your tightening the castle nut, put your arm or 3 to 5lbs resting on the end of the wrench to tighten, gravity is the tool here. rotate the drum in reverse until the wrench stops moving. loosen it up and do 3 more times. insert cotter pin and move on. Anything else will destroy the bearings. DO NOT USE A TORQUE WRENCH. you want constant even pressure on the wrench parallel with the ground as your rotating the drum.
 

ToddA1

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Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Location
NJ 08002
TDI
'96 B4V, '97 B4, '97 Jetta
Just snug it up again, and move on. Maybe a little tighter than you did, previously. It’ll wear in fine. No need to overcomplicate this.

Bentley states tight enough so the washer can’t be easily moved with a screwdriver. That’s going to be a subjective value...

As the bearings wear, they’ll need to be snugged up again. Check it again, when you rotate your tires. Honestly, it’s something I rarely do, and I’ve only had 1 rear bearing fail catastrophicly. Got so hot, it melted a centercap. That had to be 20+ years ago.

-Todd
 

iluvmydiesels

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Location
phila area
TDI
AHU
yea i was thinking of the same thing. races that are close to being seated wont 'loosen up' bearing that quick tho. it ll usually take a while.
i make sure i have drum where race goes in and seats clean, and clean race as well(outer seating area). and seat against the backing of drum or disc well.
 

burn_your_money

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Location
North Bay, ON
TDI
99 Beetle, 96 B4V, 05 Passat wagon
Did the check the bottom of the spindle for wear? You might have a small lip there which is causing the play. I don't know the spec for VWs specifically but 0.001"-0.005" play is a good target to shoot for.
 

JETaah

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
mi 48836
TDI
96 B4V, 1999.5 jettaIV,2005 BEW Beetle
If your car is a high-mileage car (and who's isn't anymore) then there may well be wear to the stub axle where the bearings seat which will leave the inner bearing races loose upon the shaft and tempt one to excessively tighten the castle nut in an effort to remove the wobble. This needs to be a very close fit.

I have noticed that the cheapo aftermarket stub axles tend to be on the undersized direction probably to insure that you can slide on the bearings.
 

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Vallejo, CA
TDI
2014 Passat SE DSG, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
When it comes to tapered roller bearings, there's supposed to be a small amount of movement. If you overtighten them in an attempt to completely remove the play, you may find your bearings don't last all that long...

The play should be very small, but should be there nonetheless.
 
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