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Wheel bearings and crickets

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by stuts, Nov 12, 2010.

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    I have two separate issues going on with my '02 535t. The most serious is a howling comming from the rear that is directly related to wheel speed. I am hoping to god it is a wheel bearing and not the differential. It starts at 40mph and gets louder as speed increases. Turning left or right does not seem to change the pitch or level so it is hard to isolate it to either rear bearing.
    IF it is a bearing, how easily does the rear hub come off of the axle? Do I need to make a puller like the factory model, or will a mallet do? I assume this is not that hard of a job to replace the bearing carrier.
    2nd, and I have asked this before, but occasionally, and randomly, I hear a noise like a cricket comming out from behind the pass. glove box. I liken it to hearing a referee's whistle on the field when I am high up in the bleachers. It comes on for a minute or two and then goes away for a day or so. There seems to be no pattern- hot/ cold, lights on/off, speed, A/C on or off, etc. My uneducated guess is it is a relay or some electronic device going haywire. What is back there anyway? :confused:Has anyone heard this before on their car and isolated it???
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    I don't have specific experience with your model, but most would rate replacing BMW rear wheel bearings as among the least desireable tasks to tackle on one's own, & presumably there's nothing any easier about an E39's vs. other models.






    Sounds like you have some familiarity with what you'd be facing, but I don't know if it can be expected to not be a hard job.

    IF the blower fan motor is the same design as BMW's of 20 yrs ago, you could be hearing the early stages of your blower motor shaft wearing through the solid metal bushings at either end, allowing the stators/rotor to make contact variably, and yielding a chirping or squeaking noise. That only gets worse, ultimately the blower motor wouldn't be able to spin, but it would be squeaking consistently before that point. For me that's popped up after many years and miles, 100k+. Try and correlate the noise to the blower being on.
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    Thanks for the tips. I have not tried to change blower speeds when the crickets come out. I will.
    Regarding the 'special' puller, I can fabricate one in my friend's shop. The Bently manual seems to show, on installation, the puller threaded on to the end of the axle and pulling the hub on to the axle stub and into the bearing carrier. I am not quite clear about this inner bearing race that is pressed into the wheel hub. I guess I will find out when I open it up. I would like to have most of the tools ready when I start so I can drive home the same day.
    Again, thank you for the help. Stuts

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