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I spent another father's day working on the car (how else to spend it?). I had been wanting to replace my front wheel bearings (the hub assembly actually) for a while. My car had felt progressively "less precise" in the front end from 50k-60k miles.
I had mentioned it to the dealer and my local independent, all ok they said. I specifically asked about the wheel bearings while at my last dealer visit, while in the shop. THe tech grabs my front wheel, gives it a shake and says "no they're tight", not a very careful inspection to me.

These were some of my symptoms: Increased "tramlining" (following ruts in the road). Clicking on hard turns, which initially was track only, but started to occur on moderate street turns. I think the bearings were loose enough that the rotor was hitting the splash shield. I think i was also getting some "brake pad knockback." See Dave Z's site for more info on that, but in a nut shell, if the bearings are loose/worn, hard cornering allows enough deflection for the rotor to move, causing the pads to push the pistons into the calipers. Probably not as big of an issue with stock brakes, since the caliper is 'semi floating' i believe. So after some hard corners, the 'esses' at sears point for example, the first push on the brake pedal goes softly to the floor... not reassuring.

I followed the instructions on Dave Z's site, and peeked into the bentley manual as well, took about an hour and a half on the first side, and about an hour on the second side, but that also included bleeding my brakes (while i was in there you know). The old hubs/bearings did feel loose, one of them was making a kind of soft grating noise, so i don't think my time was wasted. Look forward to giving it more of a test tomorrow!
Mike
 
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