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Re: [T3] T3 Wheel Bearing Adjustment

On 23 Jan 99, at 7:49, Steven Ayres wrote:

> Don't take this as gospel, but this is how I've been taught: The 
> indicator is the washer under the spindle nut. When the tension is 
> correct, you can *just* move the washer with a screwdriver.

I have seen this method in some of the older manuals. It works, sort 
of, but its failing is that it's so subjective:  How much force am I 
allowed to put on that washer in order to get it to move.

The point of adjusting is to make sure that there is always SOME play 
in the bearings, because if the amount of play goes "below" zero the 
forces on the bearing races skyrocket and they will fail from fatigue 
much more quickly.  Too much play, on the other hand, will give 
sloppy handling and will also have adverse effects on the bearings, 
as well as other parts of the suspension.

I have found from experience, using a dial gauge, that if you do the 
bearing adjustment with the wheel and tire in place (and the car 
jacked up!) then the "book" adjustment leads to an amount of play 
that is easily discernable by just grabbing the tire and wobbling the 
wheel back and forth.

My usual method now is to adjust the bearings as tight as I can while 
still being sure I can feel play at the edge of the tire with one 
hand.  You MUST make sure that you still have play in ALL rotational 
positions of the wheel, and you MUST check this AFTER the 
split/clamping adjustment nut is locked.  Tightening the socket head 
bolt changes the adjustment.

This will leave you at the bottom end of the factory endplay spec.

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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