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Old 06-04-2004, 02:18 PM   #1
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Anyone replace MH Front Wheel Bearings?

On our way back from FL I noticed a telltale "click", "click", "click" coming from the left front hub. Sure enough when we parked her in Louisville there were grease streaks radiating out from the hub to the tire. We just turned 180,000 miles so I guess it's time for bearings and seals on both front wheels.

Has anyone already done this? I've done front hubs before on cars and a Ford van once but wondered if there is anything "special" about the P30. One thing that has me puzzled is how to get the "Key" out of the brake caliper. Do you just drive it out with a punch once you remove the hex bolt?

Do these hubs have pressed races and cups? If so do I need to remove the spindle assembly and should I go ahead and replace the upper and lower ball joints too?

So far I've been able to complete all of the major repairs to the chassis myself. While Im inclinded to keep up this behaivior (read insanity) is this job just a good candidate for an RV mechanic?

As always all advice and opnions are welcome. I'll try and take some pics of the operation for those that follow but (after saving countless hours following the lead of other members) I'm hoping someone has tried this before.
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Old 06-04-2004, 06:05 PM   #2
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similar to other vehicles

If you are comfortable performing the work, I have found it to be no harder than on any other auto or truck without front wheel drive. The only thing to remember is the weight and size that you will be dealing with. Be extremely careful not to damage the new seals on the spindle when re-installing.

I did find that our left front was "ticking" shortly after purchasing and I never really found out what it was because I did the brakes, re-packed the bearings and greased the wheel covers all at the same time.

I've replaced the seals & repacked the bearings, re-done the front brakes, including the lines, shocks (PO had wrong stroke length shock and one broke completely off), steering components, ball joints with pretty much standard set of tools that I work on other vehicles and trucks.
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Old 06-04-2004, 07:11 PM   #3
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front wheel bearings

you will need to remove the brake caliper first.
remove allen bolt and drive (brass punch) out the flat spring. remove caliper and hang out of your way. coat hanger works well for this job.
don't need to be a rocket scientist to do this job, but do need muscles.
other than the weight it is about the same as any other bearing replacement. to get the carter key out use a pair of long nose to straighten then take a hook tool and pull out. remove nut and front bearing and then get ready to do some heavy lifting. good luck watch the back.
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Old 06-04-2004, 07:14 PM   #4
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to replace the grease cup you need a piece of plastic pipe that will fit over the cup. then drive it in slowly. then you might be lucky enough to do it with a screwdriver.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:08 PM   #5
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Doesn't sound too bad. Just a bigger version of other front hubs. Thanks for the encouragement.
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by swebster@myrvadvanta
Doesn't sound too bad. Just a bigger version of other front hubs. Thanks for the encouragement.
Steven, just a quick note to let you look for a small hole in the side of the hub/rotor. It is there so you can easily remove and install the cotter pin that goes through the castle nut in the spindle.
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:12 PM   #7
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With 180,000 miles (I'm impressed!!) and the front wheels off it would be a good time to check the rest of the front suspension. Get a big bar and start prying on everything looking for movement, have someone turn the wheel and look for movement. I would also check the dust cap on the hub that is leaking, it shouldn't be letting grease out like that. The races are pressed on/in, but come out off/out ok. When you tap the key for the caliper out there is a spring that goes over it. Also a good time to check the fornt airbags if they haven't been replaced. If you do ball joints and even think you need airbags, do them, the springs will fall right out.

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Old 06-05-2004, 03:13 PM   #8
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John - thanks. I just did the airbags last month and the front brakes and rotors are one year old. I have a few clunks, groans and squeaks in the front end that I fully intend to investigate..after all if I'm going to get that dirty...might as well stay under there.

I checked everything last year when I greased the chassis but i've put 20,000 of those mile on myself since then.
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Old 06-11-2004, 08:19 AM   #9
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Well unforetunately I didn't have my camera when I did the bearing replacement. I ended up doing it on lunch hours as the forecast was for rain all week so I needed to get it done quickly. It was not too hard at all - just heavy.

One more question for anyone still reading this thread. The front brake pads had what looked like shims on them. The inner had two and the outer had one. They were very thin steel and all pretty beat up. While at one point may have been connected to the pads (with glue or paint) they weren't anymore and it looks like the moved around in there getting themselved pretty bents and crunched in places. I removed them all since both my front brakes were dragging a little.

Now both front wheels spin freely and the brake squeaks are gone. My question is: are these shims necessary? My front calipers, pads were replaced and the rotors turned by the selling dealer before I took delivery last year. I took a short test drive without the shims and everything seems fine. Just not sure if they are for controlling brake squeel or something the mechanic did to compesate for turned rotors last year.
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Old 06-24-2004, 06:49 PM   #10
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I put new front pads on my '74 Argosy a while back, using shims that sound similar to the ones Steven used. And I had the same experience - a couple of them wadded themselves up in pretty short order. I also threw them away and have seen no bad results.

On another issue, have any of you other motor home owners used or considered the Correct Track (www.correctrack.com) spacers for your front wheels? I know the arguments against them - changed bearing load and suspension geometry, extra nuts to loosen, etc. From an aesthetic standpoint, though, I'd sure like to get those front wheels a little closer to the outside of the fenders! I'm thinking the wider track might help the vehicle resist sway, too.

If my measurements are correct, the standard 2" model they sell will align the front wheels exactly with the outer rears. This might help to reduce tramlining or wandering in ruts. While the Correct Track website only mentions rear wheel applications, I know some GMC motorhome owners are using these for their fronts with good results.

Bob
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Old 06-24-2004, 07:08 PM   #11
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sounds to me like those throw away covers are dust protectors to keep the wheel from getting brake dust on them. They never work anyway. ( if that's what they are)
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Old 06-24-2004, 07:16 PM   #12
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The shims I'm talking about are thin sheet metal the same size as the brake pads, and they stick to the back of the pads. At least until they wad up!

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Old 06-24-2004, 09:29 PM   #13
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i don't have and never had the shims on my front brakes. don't know what they would do , maybe to eliminate the brake pad noise??? i got my disk pads from auto zone and they had a coating on the backers to eliminate pad noise and squeal. one thing i did have was a caliper locking up and it wasn't the caliper. it was the rubber flex line. line had collapsed internally. master cylinder could push fluid to the caliper but the line held the pressure and would bleed back real slow. finally found the correct line at Napa.
ruined a tire but the wrecker would have cost more. that was a long 50 miles i worried i would blow the tire.
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:16 PM   #14
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Well we just finished a 300 mile round trip last weekend without any issues related to the brakes or the hubs. I noticed that the squeeking and clicking was gone so I'm going with the "you didn't need those things anyway" theory on the shims.

I had the selling dealer replace the front brake disc, calipers, lines and pads before they transported it from PA to KY. So I didn't really know how any of this was done and what to expect. Taking it all apart was a lot easier than most car brakes I've worked on. Sometimes there is an advantage to working on "big" parts.
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