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Wheel Bearings

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Just as interest here is a photo of one of my (ex) front wheel bearings!

The senario was.... driving happily along thinking I hadn't spent any money on repairs this month, when CRUNCH, defender pulled to the left and it felt I was driving on gravel. I had to drive another 40 miles to reach home, but it made it! (God knows how!)


I am in the process of relacing the whole stub axle/swivel/half shalft/etc as:

1. The bearing replacement thing looked quite complicated.

2. A whole second hand unit was £50. (reliable source).

3. My Dad picked one up for me and wont let me give him any money for it.

If it is of interest I am documenting the replacement of a stub axle thing etc.

Would this be of use in the Tech Archive when I finish it?

On a side note, how do the inner bearings receive their lubrication? Is it purely on physically lubricating them when built?

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hi mate,

Looks a mess! I'm suprised you managed the 40 mile home to be honest.

I'd vote to have a tech thread on it, I know how to do it but I still pop in the house and remind myself how things go back together by looking at the threads. The timing belt one on here was articuarly good for thatIIR.

~Yup, lubrication is from packing it with grease....but didn't I read some post about leaving a seal out and the lube from the diff would also circulate to it??? Don't take that as gospel mind, I'm still hungover.....


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Personally I would have stopped driving as soon as it was apparent something was wrong and used a recovery service to get home, if you aren't in one I would join one now as even if you don't use them for years it is a nice feeling to know you won't get stranded or have to bodge up some repair on the roadside to get home. The cost of the service can soon be paid back as it can limit the damage caused by driving a damaged vehicle.

With regards to fitting new bearings the link shows it very well and it really is quite an easy job. Had you stopped driving immediately you might have got away with just new bearings (about a tenner and a couple of quid for new seals etc) but I am guessing that there may be more damage in there. Make sure you check the replacement unit before fitting it as you don't want to be doing the same job again in a few months.

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Litch, you are right!

I am in breakdown service, but it was 11.30 at night and in my ignorance I didnt realise what it was!! :o After a cursiory look (and checking the play on the wheels :unsure: ) I convinced myself it was a UJ that had collapsed! Oh how wrong can you be? :lol:

So far I am here:


and as I forgot to collect a gasket, I will take the opportunity to check the other side and the replacement one.

Spare half shafts any one???? :P

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I think many of us have been there and learned the hard way ! I was 200 miles from home when one of my rear bearing failed and luckily had the goodwill and assistance of a fellow forum member to fall back on :)

That was also when I found out that wobbly wheel bearings give you carp brakes :)


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My rear bearing went in Jan this year and did the same pull to the left on the motorway effect. I then drove 60 miles home on it, avoiding harsh cornering etc and ensuring brakes pumped up when required as wobbling disc knocks back the pads.

Bearings were similar shape to those shown and casing welded to stub but it did come apart. A friend had his go 1 mile from home. Limped it back but then found he couldn't remove the hub from the stub due to the welded casing. Ended up taking angle grinder to the disc and hub assembly so he could get it off. He therefore needed new stub, bearings, discs and a 2nd hand hub assembly!

Unfortunately, wheel bearings seem a common problem with landies and always raises the discussions on if you want oil from the axle to get to the bearings so you have a grease and oil mix or if grease only is best!

Well all part of the landy experience!

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a job I couldl probably do in my sleep now.. manged to save my hub and stub axle when I had similar.

mine had been making a funny noise for a few days but couldn't pin it down, took it in for the Mot anway - failed as he could waggle the wheel. A LOT..

drove it home thinking he was being a bit picky and found the wheel had scary play!

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