Bearings repacked/ serviced

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Humanaquarian

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My front Bearings need repacked, I had it checked at a reputable place and they showed me the play in the wheel when jacked up. I own a class C with the E350 chassis. They wanted $500! This seemed really high to me.
The questions I have are; does this seem high to you guys and does the rear bearings ever need serviced or is it mainly the fronts? I have a dual rear axle, by the way.
Thanks in advance
 

Lou Schneider

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The rear axle bearings are lubricated by the differential oil.  They don't need separate servicing, just make sure the axle oil is at the correct level.  There's a fill plug on one side of the differential, as long as the oil is up to the edge of the opening when you remove the plug you're fine.
 

whokares2

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First of all, how much play was in the bearings when jacked up?.  This is a popular means to scare uneducated owners into spending money.  All bearings have a certain amount of play, but are they in specifications?  Take to truck garage to get 2nd opinion.
 

darsben

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AS Far as I am concerned you should remove the term "reputable Place" from your post.

$500 bucks for repack is about 4 times the money necessary. diagnosing the need for new bearings without actually inspecting the bearings, Ball joints etc is not a good mechanic.

MY question is; Did you take it to an RV dealer or a real service place? Name of place not necessary.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Agree with all the above.  "Play" is often a scare tactic, and in any case repacking the bearing grease isn't the fix. If the wheel is actually wobbling, it probably needs new bearings, not just new grease. And $500 to pack bearings an an E350 chassis is robbery. Even at todays shop rates, $500 should cover replacement of the bearings. And then some...
 

Gods Country

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Agree with all the above.  "Play" is often a scare tactic, and in any case repacking the bearing grease isn't the fix. If the wheel is actually wobbling, it probably needs new bearings, not just new grease. And $500 to pack bearings an an E350 chassis is robbery. Even at todays shop rates, $500 should cover replacement of the bearings. And then some...

Agree completely.  If there is wobble on the front tires, and it's not ball joint related or tie rod end related, it needs new bearings.

 

Humanaquarian

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Thanks for the responses.
It was a Truck service center.
The rig has 37,000mi (I bought it in March and put about 3000mi on it, not sure if it ever had the bearings serviced.
The wheel when jacked up and the guy was wiggling it had a little click click sound . 
 

Bobtop46

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No amount of grease is going to fix a bad wheel bearing.  That would be a very bad band aid fix at best.  With the vehicle on a jack/stand with front wheel off the ground, lug nuts tight, grab the wheel at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock (note not at 9 and 3 o'clock) and push pull it.  If there is significant movement, the wheel bearing needs replaced.  Replacing a wheel bearing should cost a little more then a brake job.  Job entails, jack vehicle up, insert jack stand, take off wheel, remove brake caliper/pads, remove rotor, remove old wheel bearing.  Reverse for install. 

My recommendation is that you do both sides at the same time (both fronts) and consider changing at least the front pads, possibly rotors.  Heavy vehicle, possibly towing, close to 40,000 miles might as well do it while it is apart, otherwise you might be back in there again in the next couple years. 
 

Humanaquarian

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It had a little play, not more than a few mm. It found a place that is close to my house that will do it for $135, the guy is familiar with Ford E350?s. I don?t have a space to do it myself or I would. I?ve repacked car bearings many times...but again, don?t have the tools or space.
 

darsben

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Humanaquarian said:
It had a little play, not more than a few mm. It found a place that is close to my house that will do it for $135, the guy is familiar with Ford E350?s. I don?t have a space to do it myself or I would. I?ve repacked car bearings many times...but again, don?t have the tools or space.

Post a review of both places on RVSERVICEREVIEWS.com after the work is done
 

udidwht

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Agreed....this job is easily for any shop a 20 min job at best. And certainly no where close to $500 bucks.

Less than $100 bucks. It jerks me to high hell when shop owners suggest that it's the customers responsibility to pay for their tools and equipment. It isn't. And tools don't need replacing often. Father had a shop for sometime and it was his belief that you the owner have to carry the largest burden of wanting the latest and greatest tool or equipment not the customer. It's outrageous to see what labor rates shops ask for these days $120.00 per hour :mad:
 

kdbgoat

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If a shop can repack the front bearings on an E350/450 in 20 minutes, they wouldn't be working on my stuff. 
 

Rene T

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kdbgoat said:
If a shop can repack the front bearings on an E350/450 in 20 minutes, they wouldn't be working on my stuff.

I agree. When I do mine on the trailer, I clean all the bearings in a parts cleaner so there's no old grease and metal particles in the bearing and cleaning out all the old grease from the drum and spindle. This takes time. I'm no expert but from start to finish on one wheel, it will take me about 1 hour at least.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It jerks me to high hell when shop owners suggest that it's the customers responsibility to pay for their tools and equipment.
The customer always pays for the shop tools and equipment. And the electric and the building rent too. Otherwise the shop goes bankrupt after awhile.  The only question is how those costs get covered, i.e. in the labor rate, as a mark-up on parts costs, or as separate fees. Or some combination of those.
 

udidwht

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
The customer always pays for the shop tools and equipment. And the electric and the building rent too. Otherwise the shop goes bankrupt after awhile.  The only question is how those costs get covered, i.e. in the labor rate, as a mark-up on parts costs, or as separate fees. Or some combination of those.

And that is the difference between a properly ran shop and an improperly ran shop. The cost is not to be saddled on the customer. As a business owner it is part of the cost doing business (burden of running one). Sharing is caring. Saddling is paddling.

Now we can get onto the ridiculous cost of labor rates given many jobs can be easily done in much less time than the book dictates. I know of a few that refuse to use the book and they've been in business decades.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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A good tech/mechanic can beat the flat rate time with his superior skills, and a shoddy one can beat it by taking shortcuts on the parts of a procedure intended to assure a high quality job. 

And then we get to the incredible hourly shop rates these days, $100-$150 per hour, with nearly all RV dealer shops at the higher end of the range.  Hard to imagine a rate that high and still wanting/needing to add on an uplift percentage for "shop materials" or some such.  The "shop labor rate" is supposed to include all the costs of doing business, of which the actual tech's pay is an ever-smaller portion.  I don't want to get into why it costs so much to operate a small business these days, cause it very likely will soon deteriorate into politics rather than RVing.
 
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