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Rear wheel play

Steve T

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Just had my 3rd MoT today (passed OK) but it was pointed out to me that there was a bit of wheel play in the offside rear. This was the same last year and has got no worse (even after a couple of track days).


Once the rear is lifted off the ground so wheels are free, you can feel the play, it's not much maybe a few mm's at the edge of the tyres. The nearside does not have any play.


Is this likely to be a wheel bearing or something else, I have rebuilt the rear recently to take out and reinstall my diff but I didnt undo the big hub nuts, I kept the hubs intact. There is nothing obvious, nothing loose etc. should I take a look at the bearings before i go to Stoneleigh ??? (its a DD rear btw)


Edited by - Steve T on 28 Apr 2011 19:10:37

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you can just replace the bearings and seals.

Caterham can supply the kit here. You'll also need to order a replacement driveshaft nut here or here.


Alternatively, you will also find that a local motor factors should be able to supply a Ford Sierra wheel bearing kit that may well (on not) come with a pair of nuts.

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You dont say if the play is evident at all points ie *arrowup* *arrowdown* *arrowright* *arrowleft* of if its just in one plane. There are a couple of other things to check before you replace the bearing which may be the cause assuming that you have checked the torque on the drive nut.

1 that the DD tube isn't cracked

2 that the bearing carrier to DD ear and tube mounting bolts are tight

3 that there isn't a crack in the DD ear

4 that there inst any play in the radius arm or bell crank if fitted

5 or that the DD ear and tube mounting faces are true


This may sound farcical but try swapping the wheels over and check again

What you need to do is eliminate as much as you can.

The bearings are a simple job to replace. All you need is a secure good sized vice, a good sharp edge long drift about 6 to 8mm dia and a big hammer.

The bearing cups should be driven out from their opposing sides making sure that you hit the bearing cup and not the bearing carrier which is alloy so it can be easily damaged.

You need to hit it quite hard!

I always put the new cups in the freezer for 1/2 hour. Put them in a plastic bag having first sprayed them with WD40. Get them square and then drive them in 12 o'clock, 6 o'clock 3 o'clock 9 o'clock. Make sure that they are fully home. The sound changes when they are home.Make sure that you get new seals and not just the bearings as they should be replaced at the same time.

These PICTURES are of a rear wheel bearing that failed whilst on track on my own car. It became so hot that the LM grease was on the point of catching fire!!



Edited by - oldbutnotslow on 30 Apr 2011 22:53:19

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  • 2 weeks later...

An update after taking a look at this today.


Play was is both vertical and horizontal planes, went to undo hub nut and it was only hand tight using ratchet. Hub nut never been undone since it was torqued up after build, even CC checked it at PBC 5 yrs ago (at my request) so they can come undone in normal use !


OBNS - Checked all other potential causes and everything else fine.


As the play had been there for some time and I had a shiny new bearing kit and new hub nut, I decided to change the bearings just in case they had been affected by the play.


Changed bearings, no problem just a bit of patience required, put everything back on the car and tightened up the hub nut to about 100Nm to start with and noticed there was still some play but only in the vertical plane and less than half of what was there before. Managed to get the nut up to near 250Nm and the play almost disappeared but there is still an exteremely minute amount still there, less that 10% of what was there before if that. I am surprised that it takes this amount of force to get rid of the play *confused*


So it was all down to loosening hub nut originally which is something I will now check every now and then. Checked the other side (nearside) at it seems tight as it should be.


Edited by - Steve T on 9 May 2011 00:53:32

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