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UPDATE 6/30/12 Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? #1047772 06/07/12 03:26 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 173
promodmerc Offline OP
Wheeler
[color:"blue"] After replacing the front wheel bearings & axle shaft support bearing in the steering knuckle I still had the same problem.

Last night I put it up on jack stands and took all the tires off to see if the vibrations was still there. I tried it n 2wd first and had just a slight vibration but nothing like I had been experiencing. I then locked the hubs; put it in 4 hi and man did she shake. I noticed that the passenger side axle shaft was pitted where the needle bearing rides when I replaced the bearings. I didn't think it was bad enough to cause a problem but I'm 99.9% sure this is my vibration/shaking problem. I could really kick myself in the ass for not replacing the axle shaft when I noticed the pitting <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/angry.gif" alt="" /> [/color]

This a little long so bear with me.

In have a vibration/shake that started a coupe of days ago. It does this between 25-35 miles per hour. The whole vehicle shakes & I feel like I have vibrating seats. I noticed when I did my brakes last weekend that the inner left front tire had wear like either the alignment is out or a ball joint is going bad.

I decided to rotate the tires to see if it made a difference but was still there but felt like it moved from the front to the rear. I do notice the steering wheel shaking as well when the vibration/shaking starts. It did this before & after I rotated the tires.

I bought the tires in Nov 2010 from Firestone and had a lifetime balance so I took my Sportage to Firestone after work to have them balance the tires. They come back and tell me I have a bad front left wheel bearing and it is causing the vibration.

For starters they never balanced the tires as I watched them the whole time nor did they even test drive it. They go on to tell me that when they (not in my lifetime are "they" going to work on my Sportage) replace the bearings it will need to be aligned. Never heard of this before. On top of all this the mechanic noted that the transmission (5 speed) is showing signs of excessive play and no parts are currently available to repair it. What a crock about the "excessive play"

So my question is do you think it's possible that the front wheel bearings are bad? I have 157k miles on my Sportage & I am the third owner. And does it need an alignment after I replace the bearings?

Last edited by promodmerc; 06/30/12 11:43 PM.
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Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: promodmerc] #1047773 06/07/12 05:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline
Mudrunner
You don't need an alignment after replacing the wheel bearings. That's a crock of <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif" alt="" />.

If the bearings are bad, you can tell easily by jacking up the wheel and see if you have any lateral play (grab the wheel and push/pull side-to-side. You can also try lifting it vertically with a pry bar. But bad ball joints create play in that direction too. Bad bearings that are loose will have play in all orientations, with the looseness pivoting at the center of the wheel.

They can also be bad and still feel tight. But that's easy to diagnose because the rotor/wheel will have noticeable drag when you turn it. You may also feel the vehicle pull to one side while driving, due to the drag created by the bearings (my Sporty did because of a bad needle bearing - supports the half-shaft on the 4x4's front axle). Lastly, the hub may also get warm or hot due to friction - easily noticed when you feel one hub and then the other. The hotter hub may have a bearing problem.

Getting to your question on vibration, yes, a bad bearing can create vibration due to play in a bearing, much like if you had loose lug nuts (I know because it happened when I had new tires put on my wife's car - the tech forgot to torque one of the front wheels). An unbalanced wheel can do the same. If the shop didn't rebalance the wheel(s) per your request, that can still be the problem. If you have a warranty from a big-chain tire shop, then I'd recommend taking it to another shop. Hope that helps... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: Peabody] #1047774 06/07/12 01:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 173
promodmerc Offline OP
Wheeler
I'll check the bearings this weekend. Since the steering wheel shakes at the same speed (did this before & after I rotated the tires)and then goes away it's possible a bearing is bad. The one thing is I'm not hearing any noise usually associated with a bad bearing.

Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: promodmerc] #1047775 06/07/12 06:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 316
H
homerdog Offline
Mudrunner
I wouldn't waste any more money at a Firestone shop. My son took what is now my Jeep to get it checked out to make sure it was road worthy after sitting quite a bit and me going to be driving it home to Michigan. After $1000 they said everything was working fine and there should be no problem. I get it home, radiator is leaking, boot on the front axle is torn, calipers on both rear brakes are frozen, ac doesn't work, antilocks were supposedly repaired, they weren't. I'm not entirely sure what they did for the money other than change the oil, if they even did that.


2001 Sportage, TJ 106's, Everet spacers and bumpstops, Bilstein shocks on the rear, cone filter, Crager wheels, 235-75-15 Goodyear tires. Custom front winch bumper by Dave Scott. Currently DOA, but it is a work in progress.
2011 Kia Forte EX
Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: homerdog] #1047776 06/07/12 08:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 173
promodmerc Offline OP
Wheeler
The only reason I took it Firestone is because I have lifetime balance. Otherwise I would have never taken it to them as I know of there scams.

Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: promodmerc] #1047777 06/11/12 06:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 173
promodmerc Offline OP
Wheeler
When I checked the play on Saturday there was quite a bit on the left and a little on the right. I took the left side apart and the wheel bearings feel a little rough but not as bad as I have in experienced in the past. It ended up being the needle bearing in the steering knuckle that supports the axle shaft that is bad.

I'm going to replace all the wheel bearings and the right side needle bearing to be on the safe side.

Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: promodmerc] #1047778 06/12/12 01:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline
Mudrunner
Check out what I found on my Sporty: Peabody's OBX diff thread. Scroll down the page and you'll see a few photos of my rusty needle bearings... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/zombie.gif" alt="" /> Everything felt good after the bearings were replaced (all of them). The only issue I ran into was that I didn't tighten the front bearings according the service manual, which states the rotor should require 10 LBS of pull before turning (measured with a pull gauge on a lug bolt). I tightened mine to "feels good with a little drag". That wasn't enough. The bearings and races seated a bit more after a few miles on the road. And I had to tighten them up a little more after a recheck. Don't be like me - obey the service manual... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/baby.gif" alt="" />


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: Peabody] #1047779 06/12/12 03:50 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 173
promodmerc Offline OP
Wheeler
Quote
Check out what I found on my Sporty: Peabody's OBX diff thread. Scroll down the page and you'll see a few photos of my rusty needle bearings... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/zombie.gif" alt="" /> Everything felt good after the bearings were replaced (all of them). The only issue I ran into was that I didn't tighten the front bearings according the service manual, which states the rotor should require 10 LBS of pull before turning (measured with a pull gauge on a lug bolt). I tightened mine to "feels good with a little drag". That wasn't enough. The bearings and races seated a bit more after a few miles on the road. And I had to tighten them up a little more after a recheck. Don't be like me - obey the service manual... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/baby.gif" alt="" />


I read about the pull gauge in the KIA manual. Now where can I get one? I honestly wonder if a hand held fish scale would work. I know it sounds red neck but is that not the same thing?

Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: promodmerc] #1047780 06/12/12 05:52 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Peabody Offline
Mudrunner
Yep. I think a fish scale, or even one for weighing luggage would work well. I used a fish scale to gauge trigger pull on a rifle once. It was crude. But it worked... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/notooth.gif" alt="" />

Oh, one note on removing the old needle bearings - just destroy them. That's the easiest way to get them out... in case you didn't know already. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />
Re: Bad front wheel bearings cause whole vehicle to shake? [Re: Peabody] #1047781 06/12/12 01:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 173
promodmerc Offline OP
Wheeler
I've got a blinnd hole bearing puller. It worked great.

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