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M3 Track: Racing and DE Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start!


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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 04:23:16 AM   #1
Tinnit
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Default More interesting carnage

This one happened yesterday at the track. Warmup and qualifying felt fine. First race of the day, the car felt okay until about halfway through, then it developed an oscillation feel through the steering wheel, only on right turns. Also, the brake pedal kept getting softer. The oscillation felt sorta like a tire about to cord, but that and the brake pedal made me think wheel bearing.

Got back to the pit, jacked up the car and tried as hard as I could to wobble the wheel all around by hand. I couldn't find any looseness at all. Since I wasn't sure which corner it was coming from, I did the same test all the way around. Couldn't find anything loose anywhere.

Went back out for the second race of the day. Made it through the warmup/grid lap and 5 turns of the first race lap before something popped and I lost steering. I was extremely fortunate - I had sandbagged the start because I was concerned about the wobble, so no one was around me when it let go. I had also done two very high speed turns no problem before it let go on the slowest turn of the course. If it had let go on one of those high speed turns, I probably would have been in the wall.

Back in the paddock, we only found small pieces of outer bearing and a couple of balls that had flat spots on them. The hub, as you can see, shattered. Best guess: the bearing froze and the heat/friction blew up the hub. Another possibility is that the hub exploded first, taking out the bearing. I think it was the first option.

Lesson learned: well, I'm not really sure. The test that I thought would tell me whether a bearing was bad did nothing to tell me that the bearing was bad. Regular replacement of wear items is the obvious answer, but I think a bearing could die prematurely and I guess you just have to know how it feels right before it lets go. In this case, it felt like a corded tire with a soft brake pedal.




Last edited by Tinnit; Mon, Jul-22-2019 at 06:28:04 PM.
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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 02:24:06 PM   #2
Drewster
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

Don't see any pictures (might just be my work), but my car started doing this on hard turns - now I'm glad I have two wheel bearings sitting on my work bench.. but I wasn't entirely sure it was the problem when I bought them.
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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 05:22:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

How old were the bearings and what type? Just curious so to have a rough timeline of life.
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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 06:05:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

Thanks for the heads up on the pictures. They showed up at home, but not here on my work computer. I changed 'em to links until I figure it out.

The bearings were 5 years old and have about 7,000 track miles on them. Should've been replaced earlier under regular maintenance without a doubt. They're F A G brand and I'm very pleased that they lasted as long as they did. I'll replace with F A G again.

edit: heh, the brand name is a blacklisted word. edited to get around that.
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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 06:08:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

Had this thought on my way driving home yesterday from the track, when we pulled your wheel off, the nut that threads on to the spindle fell out. Which makes me wonder if it didn't back off first, then let everything go to crap after that. The nut didn't look that damaged, or when the bearings froze it bound up and spun off. Either way, good thing both you and the car are ok, and back at the track soon.

Steve E46 #571

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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 06:19:58 PM   #6
Tinnit
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

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Originally Posted by spike64 View Post
Had this thought on my way driving home yesterday from the track, when we pulled your wheel off, the nut that threads on to the spindle fell out. Which makes me wonder if it didn't back off first, then let everything go to crap after that. The nut didn't look that damaged, or when the bearings froze it bound up and spun off. Either way, good thing both you and the car are ok, and back at the track soon.

Steve E46 #571
Hmm, that's a good thought. If the nut backed off, the outer bearing could have slipped off the end. I would have hoped that wrenching on the tire the way we did before the race would have revealed looseness in there. I'm not sure how to spot test for bad bearings in the future. I've lost confidence in the conventional method.
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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 06:21:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

Sorry, images still don't quite work. You can try using postimages.org. Pretty easy to use and you get a hotlink for forums right there.
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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 06:28:38 PM   #8
Tinnit
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinScotty View Post
Sorry, images still don't quite work. You can try using postimages.org. Pretty easy to use and you get a hotlink for forums right there.
That looks way better. Thanks for the help!
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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 07:23:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

Can see the pics. Wait...what was this thread about? Haha

Iíve been kinda wondering how long the front bearings last. Havenít had a reason to think thereís an issue but itís always cheaper and easier to deal with it as maintenance vs a repair.


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Old Tue, Jul-23-2019, 01:53:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: More interesting carnage

Holy crap, look at all that corrosion. One thing I don't miss about the East coast. Yeah, hubs are a wear item often overlooked. I replaced all four of mine last year with the gay kind also. Glad you and the car are fine.

I had a scary one last year when my oil cooler got shot out in a race and didn't know it. I still headed down the long drag strip straight away, but luckily I lifted when smoke entered the cockpit halfway down. Otherwise I would've surely been in the wall too. It was spewing oil all over my front tires and exhaust.
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Discussing More interesting carnage in the M3 Track: Racing and DE Forum - Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)