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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:24 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Vancouver
Hey all ...

I am reasonably competent to tackle disc brake work, however, I've never really gotten into a shoe / cylinder / drum brake job with my '95 Pontiac Firefly - FI 1.0L, 5-spd. std. and didn't have the time to learn properly on this particular recent occasion.

My RR brake cylinder was leaking pretty steadily in SEP13, and, as I needed the car for a long daily commute at the time, I decided that instead of filling the master cylinder with fluid every few days, I better farm out the rear brake job to a local automotive shop, Brian's Auto Service, normally known to be very good at their mechanical work, and get on with things.

Well, they took $310.73CAD from me on 04OCT13 at 265,844 kms to do the rear brakes (both cylinders, all shoes & a chunk of steel brake line on the LR side) on my $<500 car and weren't even able to turn the drums!

Now, I am hearing the rear wheel bearings rumbling and am wondering what they have done wrong.

To back up a little, I had the rear inner and outer sealed wheel bearings replaced on 25NOV08 at 244,075 kms by a highly competent local mechanic, Bill Virtue.

Presumably, Bill replaced the original equipment bearings ... so ... those made it 244,000 kms / 13+ years ... and now Brian's shop is telling me my replacement rear wheel bearings are coincidentally failing after a couple of hundred klicks!!!??? (on top of the 21,769 kms / <5 years logged on them at the time of the recent rear brake job)

So, in order to argue my case with Brian effectively, can I ask someone familiar with these drums / bearings to comment on what the shop may have done wrong when they assembled things?

It seems to me they may have overtightened the final assembly axle nut on one or both sides ... however, I'm not familiar enough with how the bearings are pressed in the drum / on the shaft, or, how the drum / bearing assembly comes off / goes on again and whether there is a critical axle nut torquing procedure / value (or the complete lack thereof, as in older, conventional GM tapered wheel bearings ... you did them up snug and then backed the nut off ever so slightly until you could just get a cotter pin through the most convenient hole in the nut [/ retainer]).

Before Brian's has at it again on Friday morning, should I insist on being present when the rear drums are pulled to see if the axle nuts have been torqued too high?

Thanks for any help offered ...

FFF


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:43 pm
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Location: Greer,South Carolina USA
The axle nuts are not reusable should be replaced.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:16 am
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Location: sidney, nebraska
Brake drum spindle nut torque-
castellated nut 74 ft-lbs
staked nut 129 ft-lbs

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:14 am
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Location: Prince George B.C. Canada
See if they greased them


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:24 pm
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Location: Vancouver
top down ... I'm pretty sure these inner / outer bearing cartridges are sealed and are un-greaseable ...

aqqus ... thanks for that torquing info per nut type ...

hotrodray ... I guess you mean the staked-type spindle nut is not re-useable?

I'm not sure which type of brake drum spindle nut mine uses ... I'll find out in the a.m.

Also, thinking more about this, I wonder if the brake fluid from the RR's previously leaking brake cylinder could have affected the RR sealed bearing cartridge(s)? Could brake fluid get into a sealed bearing and destroy it that quickly?

Thanks for the help guys ...

FFF


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:23 pm 
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Location: Prince George B.C. Canada
It's been a looong while since I needed to do rear bearings. Last ones I did was before I moved here in 2005. You could be right about them being sealed. You'll know when they pull it apart.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:17 pm
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Location: Alberta, Canada
I run a shop, and it's always the shops fault. The shop did you brakes for a fair price, can't get them done for that price anywhere else(book time likely 3hrs x $100/hr or so common shop rate = $300 labour only, add parts etc onto that). I never understand where it comes from that because your car is worth $500, therefore any repair done should be less, as if somehow the value of your car is directly related to the final total of the work order?
Here's the most likely scoop, imagine this. They did the job correctly, and torqued the nuts to correct spec(which put simply, is TIGHT). There is a basically non compressible steel spacer between the bearings, you could tighten the nut until it peels the threads off and really not affect the bearings, as the "squeeze" is on the inner races and not preloading the bearing itself.
The parts that these cars left the factory with in general are a great deal better than the replacement parts that get installed. Wheel bearings and rear wheel cylinders are both parts that I have seen fail significantly faster the second time around. There are different brands of bearings, and some are better than others. The Oem ones are likely quite a bit more money, but offer a known level of quantity. As a shop with a new or untrusting customer such as yourself who was already very unhappy with the bill, how would you have reacted to a bill perhaps twice as large due to added cost of oem parts? It's a lose lose for the shop most times. I avoid this by explaining the whole situation right up front so customer is aware of these things, but it's pretty hard to make all this information clear to every single customer in every situation. My regular customers trust me to choose oem or aftermarket and I do my best to balance cost vs longetivity, but it's pretty tough on a $500 car. Low cost often prevails.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:24 am 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
And perhaps you should blame Suzuki vs Brian for not machining your Brake drums, as Brian would have had to remove the inner and outer bearings in order to machine them. Basically it's just not economically feasible to do on his particular style of drum, and generally not needed. I'm curious as to why the bearings Bill installed failing, are being blamed on brian? It really is best to get informed before bashing a shop on a public forum that hasn't done a thing wrong.

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1995 Swift w/16V 4.39s, 3tech cam, Esteem t-body, Header, needs more.
1995 Gt Mustang "Boss Shinoda" package.
1999 F150 4x4 Supercharged
1967 Mustang 428 auto, never ending expensive project
1993 Civic si h22a, fell in my lap, couldn't resist!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:24 pm
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Location: Vancouver
codyb ... thanks for the perspective ... your points are not lost on me ... however ... the bearings were not making any noise before going into Brian's and then I could hear the beginnings of bearing noise almost immediately thereafter ... coincidence? I have to think not.

The reason I'm posting now is because I'm trying to become better informed and I am only now able to get this vehicle back to Brian's for a follow-up visit.

FFF


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:16 am
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Location: sidney, nebraska
Outer bearing has no seals, the inner bearing has one seal. There is a spacer between them.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:19 am 
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Location: Prince George B.C. Canada
aqqus wrote:
Outer bearing has no seals, the inner bearing has one seal. There is a spacer between them.


That seems familiar. I think the first time I did one, I F'd up by not installing the spacer (DOH!).


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:28 am 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
Forgetting the spacer is a sure recipe or bearing failure. But the shop that did the brake job did not remove the wheel bearings, so there would be no reason the spacer would have been affected. This is simply a case of an "ever since you..." customer. Every shop has them, eventually they usually go away(if Brian's is lucky!). The poster is accusing without understanding. I've explained pretty thoroughly, but apparently there is no way a bearing can make noise without it being someone's fault. For this service, the drums would have been slid off(slide hammer pull is sometimes necessary), brake repairs done, then drum slid back on and torqued and staked nut. This procedure won't damage a bearing. The 20k and 5yrs usage got to the bearings, it happens, and sometimes happens the day after someone touched them. We all know the deal working on our own cars. Take everything apart, but leave one thing cause it seems fine. A week later that one thing you left acts up. Dammit, back apart again!

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1995 Swift w/16V 4.39s, 3tech cam, Esteem t-body, Header, needs more.
1995 Gt Mustang "Boss Shinoda" package.
1999 F150 4x4 Supercharged
1967 Mustang 428 auto, never ending expensive project
1993 Civic si h22a, fell in my lap, couldn't resist!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 824
Location: walsh,alberta,canada
I myself have seen new bearings fail quickly, while others have gone a fair distance. For example, i recently did my rear brakes on my metro---new drums, bearings and shoes -----only to have issues with the stud holes in the new drums (spinning studs) and a coarse grinding when I turn right.....I replaced three items, do I blame them or myself, the installer?
I re-checked my work, all was well except for the backing plate had a rather large rock dent in it, that was the source of my coarse grinding noise.
as for the drums Can tire told me I pressed the studs in wrong (when I got the new drums I could push the studs in by hand) he said I used too large of a press, and to strong of an impact to tighten them up.(I have 12 mm studs, not 10 mm) I did not drill the drums.
and as for warranty the drums are N.L.A from can tire. :huh: figures

some new parts may be cheap, and there usually a reason why. poor castings, poor quality control, subgrade materials
I used name brand bearings,(DID NOT REMOVE SEALS OR ADD MORE GREASE TO THEM)
factory O.E brake shoes
Chinese brake drums (Canadian Tire re-labeled, Chinese boxes)

All in it cost me about $80$ for a rear brake job, about an hour of my time
but more of a pain in the ass with sub-grade parts :evil:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:12 am
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Location: Brainerd Minnesota
Quote:
I used name brand bearings,(DID NOT REMOVE SEALS OR ADD MORE GREASE TO THEM)

It's always a good idea to check the grease. The seals remove quite easily. I've found this,

Image

More times than not, in the so called sealed non-greasable bearings.

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