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When I installed the BBK on the front of my car last year shortly after I developed a minor front end shake at certain interstate speeds. I figured I had lost a wheel weight, flat spotted a tire during brake testing, or the two piece rotor/hat was slightly out of balance some how. It was minor and I was not overly concerned, I was going to have the wheels re balanced at some point.

Fast forward to last week when getting ready for a track day and doing the "self tech" they allow. One of the steps is checking wheel bearings. I was surprised to find a loose front wheel bearing on the drivers side. I pulled the cap and tightened the castle nut, problem solved. The next day on the way to the track I noticed the minor vibration was gone!

When installing this brake system the hub is removed to get the brake rotor off the back of the hub and I must of not tightened the castle nut quite enough. I have found wheel bearings are a little tricky, I believe when they are fresh packed with grease they can seem tight, but as the grease works in the bearing becomes loose and the nut needs another half turn.

I have discovered loose wheel bearings on cars several times over the years but it never resulted in a wheel vibration. It surprised me that tightening the bearing fixed it.

Could the fix actually have been the wheel being remounted with the imbalance in a different location relative to the rotor?

Perhaps some of the pros will chime in with tricks for getting the wheel /bearing tight correctly the first time. I have had several issues on several different cars over the years.
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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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5,850 Posts
The 'open' type of wheel bearings used in many cars of the Esprit's design vintage need to be tightened securely (and checked every few thousand miles...it is part of Lotus' B Service on the Esprit, so 12,000 miles/two years).

While the Service Notes says to tighten the axle nut until a certain amount of force is required to turn the hub (I use a fishing scale of questionable accuracy to measure it that way), the old-timer's method of torquing the axle nut to a certain value, then loosening the nut just enough so that you can pry the backing washer back & forth, works well too.

BTW, when was the last time you flushed and re-packed those axle bearings with fresh grease????
 

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The procedure in the book makes the bearing on the tight side. IMHO too tight. When I redid my bearings the grease was very dark from running WAY too hot. It also matters if you do this to a new bearing or a used one. The way I do it now is to tighten it up till I get 1-2 thou play on the rotor. Leaves a little room to expand when hot and takes all the play out. The bearings are NOT sealed like on modern cars and that adjustment is VERY important to get right.
David Teitelbaum
 
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