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Front Wheel Bearing Failure?

724 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Hydro
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OK, I replaced my front wheel bearings back in Dec 2022. I only used her once since then, just because I was lazy and didn't feel like shoveling the 2" of snow we got in Dec. Other than that, we haven't gotten any real snow fall, so she has been sitting in the garage since then. Well today I had to get rid of about 6" of the stuff. I was going pretty good and I looked down and noticed the left side front wheel was wobbling a bit, like it did before I replaced the bearings. I didn't think much of it and finished up. As I was heading back to the garage the left front wheel fell off. This is the aftermath:

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The wheel shaft looks ok. The one bearing outer casing is broken. I could not find the other bearing race. Did I just get a bad bearing?

I am hoping it is just a bearing failure as I just want to get this fixed before Friday's next storm rolls in. All winter and nothing, and now this. Go figure !
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Might want to check the ID of the wheel and the OD of the shaft and make sure they're right for the bearing. Those bearings look like they aren't rated for a bunch of axial force so maybe some slop in the movement cause them to fall apart quickly. Also could've gotten unlucky with chinesium bearings and they just bought the farm, doesn't hurt to do a sanity check though...
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I'm wondering where the bearings were purchased? Provided the wheel and shaft are not worn, a bearing should last many many years in that application.
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I got them from Salem, so they should be decent. Part # on the invoice says C44499. They were listed as their Heavy Duty bearing.
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Oh, and I did both wheels. When I installed, no wobble or anything, just an ever so slight movement back and forth on the axle shaft. Shims on both sides, snap ring on the shaft to hold everything on.
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That’s nasty. Must of bin bad right from the start. I’d have a look at the other wheel to see what it’s like.

Noel
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Pretty bummed out. She is garage kept and I greased the crap out of each wheel before and after install. Don't know what happened. Wheel shaft and inside of wheel itself look good, so no damage there. I'm going to replace both sides.
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Hydro, get in touch with me by eMail and we'll get you set up with replacements.

Never seen a failure like that on this bearing.

Only thing I can imagine is if they got over pressurized during greasing, but I don't know how that could happen if it was greased in the wheel (it should just run through the bearing). If done on a grease tool, maybe it would. In some cases though, we have seen new bearings that would build a fair amount of pressure before seeping grease through the bearing.

Happy to help get it resolved quickly.

Brian
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I would get a hold of Brian from Salem. I’m sure he would make things right. ✌. Harry
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First, I think this was some kind of unknown defect in the bearing and I don't hold Brian responsible for anything at all. That said, he got a hold of me (above) and with a quick call, he made things right without me even asking. Awesome customer service and a big thank you to Brian !
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Was just wondering if some how water got into the bearings and it froze. Breaking the bearing. 🤦🏻‍

Noel
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Kept in the garage, which I do at the start of every snow season. She doesn't see freezing temps in there. Plus, not only did I hand pack the new bearings, but I also filled the wheel hub with grease before I mounted the bearings on the wheel, then after. I also put two pumps each side after the wheels were mounted to make sure there was enough grease in there (messy !!).

The right side has the same bearings and is still good, wheel spins as it should. I am going to monitor that one carefully to see if the bearings hold up (I think they will be ok).

I think it was just a weird, one off fluke occurrence. Even new parts fail.
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Final (I hope) update to this. Brian, thank you for the quick ship of the parts. Received them about an hour ago and they are now installed and my 448 is ready for tonights weather event (whatever it may be). Again, thank you for all you did.
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