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Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by Onoratos, Oct 6, 2008.

    Onoratos guest

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    Hey E30 fans,

    I'm planning on replacing my rear wheel bearings on my 325is this week/weekend. I've consulted my Bentley manual hoping that I could determine the best type(s) of puller(s) to use to get the job done quickly and easily. The Bentley manual just says, "You may want to consult your BMW service center".... which I thought was rather lame for this DIY manual. I saw Bavarian Auto has BMW's special tool for ($250!!), but I was curious if anyone has any suggestions for more common tools, mainly what pullers I need, to do the job quickly and relatively painlessly? Any tricks/tips? I'm aware that I need to do some differential and axle removal (I have to put a new gasket on the diff anyways).


    I'm also thinking of selling her. Maybe.... Any suggestions on selling price? Collector sites say around $2500, but I've seen as low as $1500 private party. With the condition of the car, I'm tempted to start her around $3000. I really want an e36 M3.... (can't afford an e30 M3 or a e46 M3 yet... lol)

    Who she is...
    1989 325is 271K miles, 3.73 LSD, 5-spd, Cinnabar, Functioning R-12 A/C, M3 CSL style 17" wheels with offset, Bav. Auto Lowering springs, Short Shift, Upgraded stereo to look factory, couple blemishes, burns a quart of oil every 3-4 fill ups, way too many new parts to list, prob need a new engine in the near-er future... (A lot of miles, I know, but one of the nicest e30's in the Denver area hands down)
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    mooseheadm5

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    You will want a puller. You will want a puller. Repeat after me, "I will get the puller by any means necessary." Trust me. Without it, you will need help, big azz hammer, colorful language, etc. Check to see if your local car club has the tool to loan. Ours and many others do. You can do without it, but you will regret it. The puller doesn't just pull the hub for you, it also pulls the bearing, then it presses the bearing back in without damage. If you have it and have never used it, 3 hours tops on the left (exhaust is in the way) and 2 hours on the right when doing it on the ground. You do nto have to remove the exhaust, just lower it enough to get the axle out. You need a 30mm (IIRC) socket to get the axle nut off (after removing the lock tab), a very large breaker bar (loosen them while the car is on the ground and someone is on the brakes and it is in gear), 8mm allen socket, large snap ring pliers and some flat blade screwdrivers (that snap ring does not like to come out), possibly a dremel with a fiber reinforced cutting wheel for when the inner race stays on the hub, and that special tool. The special tool may require wrenches larger than you own, but Sears stocks them. Post back if you have trouble.

    Why do you think it needs a motor?
    You do not have to remove the diff or even loosen it. You can do the cover gasket while you are there, but you will have your hands full otherwise. You do not have to pull the flanges from the diff, either, so don't unless you plan to do the seals, but I wouldn't unless they are leaking pretty heavily.
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    az3579

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    Just as a side note to a part of your post:

    The reason you've gotten "low" offers for it is because of the mileage. No matter how good condition the engine is, the mileage will always kill the value. If it was less than half that mileage, then you'd probably get $3k for it, but otherwise, I wouldn't expect more than $2k...


    ... unless you sold it to an enthusiast AND have ALL receipts since original purchase of the car in '88/'89...


    I don't think it's worth selling to be honest. With that kind of mileage, I think it's just better to ride it out until it gives out, and THEN buy another car. Is it really worth selling (after you put all that work into it) for let's say that minimum price you were given ($1.5k) and then buying another car for a lot more money and having to start building that one up again? Major loss.


    At least if you wait till the car dies, then you got your money's worth. If you've taken care of it, then I guarantee you'll get AT LEAST another 50k out of that engine.

    Onoratos guest

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    Sorry replying to both posts here...

    1) Thanks for the suggestion on bearing tool. I'll see if I can borrow one from someone in the RMC. I just can't afford to shell out the $$ on the special tool right now. As for the engine question, it's consuming oil, it sometimes lets out a significant blue cloud on start up, during hard acceleration I notice she is starting to puff out blue and black smoke and it has been running a little rough lately after a tune up. Maybe just need to rebuild the top end, but I'm getting a little worried about bearings and rings at this point.

    2) I haven't put it up for sale yet, but I have a few people interested in the car. Was more curious if what a fair price would be if I let it go in the eyes of some other BMW guys. I'm kinda getting tired of putting money into it. I'd like to see it go to someone who might want to put money into it and enjoy it like I have. I'm starting another restoration project on my '72 Mach 1. Maybe I'll keep her... who knows. Thanks for the reply though...
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    mooseheadm5

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    Change your brand of oil. Also, if you go too long between oil changes you can stop up hte oil control rings. I would bet the engine is actually just fine. I have 270k on mine too, and had stopped up oil control rings (I had planned to build a motor for it, so I let the oil changes go too long.) Flushed the cylinders and the oil consumption nearly stopped, even on synthetic. Some of that acceleration smoke is fuel, some is oil. Some is probably coming past the valve guide seals. As for bearings, I wouldn't worry unless you run it out of oil or hear it knocking.
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    az3579

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    Then a BMW just ain't for you... lol

    Bring Money Withya :p

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