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Your Axle bushes worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Small part relevant to the main inspection
The axle beam bearing is a massive rubber block meant to reduce the vibrations and shocks of the axis being transferred to the chassis. While the component is inexpensive, its replacement is somewhat expensive. Brittle and cracked axle beam bearings are one reason vehicles may fail their main inspection. Due to the "silencing" effect of these bearings, they are also referred to as "silent bearings".
Where is this bearing?
The bearing serves to cushion the axes. Thus it is always located in the immediate vicinity of these components. Two construction methods for the axle beam bearings have established themselves. The rubber block bearing consists of a block that is simply screwed onto the axis element. This type of bearing was very popular with mechanics, as it is very easy to replace. Yet, today the rubber block bearing is only found on a few vehicles, mostly from French production. The round or cylindrical bearing design is far more commonly found on axle beams. These components, which are also called "spherical roller bearings" due to their shape, are pressed into the provided recesses on the axes. Therefore, a special tool is needed to replace them.
Damage to the axle beam bearing
Axle beam bearings are solid elements made of solid rubber. They are constantly exposed to weather, temperature changes and whirled up dirt. Just as any other rubber material, the axle beam bearings begin to lose their elasticity and become brittle over time. The loss of elasticity at the bearing becomes noticeable through a shrinkage in volume. This leads to the loss of a positive connection between the axis and chassis, and consequently results in blows when the load changes. Driving becomes uncomfortable and is accompanied by permanent knocking noises. Furthermore, the risk of skidding of the vehicle increases and directional stability is affected.
Repair of axle beam bearings
A silent bearing has a very long service life due to its massive construction. Yet, after about 60,000 km, it is advisable to check the bearings. In normal cases, their wear and tear is rather unlikely prior to a mileage of 120,000 kilometers.
The axle beam bearings are fairly easy to replace, however, a special tool is required for this. It is very difficult to remove the press-fit spherical roller bearings from their guide. A complete set that is suitable for the most common types of bearings costs approximately 100 euro. Yet, this is an investment you shouldn't save on, or at least proceed to borrow a such set. Makeshift solutions involving socket wrench nuts usually lead to frustrating failures of the repair attempt.
Although replacing the bearing using the suitable tool is simple, it is also costly. Above all, the axis must be slackened completely. This requires the removal of the strut, which is only possible with a special tool. Today, a tool for releasing the strut can be purchased for under 20 euros. This eliminates the need for dangerous makeshift solutions involving straps.
When disassembling the front axle, the steering linkage is usually also dismantled. The exact position should be noted when dismantling. Tape can be used for marking, or one may remember the number of threads. If this step is omitted, re-calibration of the alignment is required after assembly.
The steering system is heavily dismantled during removal of the silent bearing. It makes for a great opportunity to check all moving parts and rubber parts. From a car's mint condition on, all of its components age equally. If the massive rubber elements of silent bearings are already damaged, further damage, for example to the axle boots, ball joints or other rubber buffers, are also very likely. Cost for axle beam bearings Even elaborately designed spherical roller bearings essentially consist of nothing more than guide bushings, threaded studs and the massive rubber block. The simple design consisting of rather undemanding components generally means that this spare part carries a very low price. Silent bearings are always sold as a set of pairs. These start at approx. 15 euro. Even highly strained silent bearings used in sports cars are rarely estimated at more than 100 euro. Improve performance, increase safety The axle beam bearings improve a vehicle's handling immediately and noticeably. Stability during turns increases, directional stability is restored and the annoying rumbling and knocking disappears completely. Although the silent bearings are not too technically sophisticated, they have a huge impact on driving. Thus, one should not save here. Axle beam bearing by brand manufacturers don't just convince with a hassle-free installation, but also and in particular represent full comfort and a long service life.