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Old 01-06-2017, 08:16 AM   #1
Beej '86 325es
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Re-packing FAG front wheel bearings

I was wondering if any of you re-pack your front wheel bearings with a higher performing grease for the track? Specifically on the FAG bearings.

I've found some older posts on Bimmerforums where the E36 guys used to do that, but it sounds like the internals of the SKF and FAG bearings were becoming more difficult to tear apart.

For reference, FAG bearings have about 6,000 miles with about 15 track days on them. The front left is just barely starting to show signs of needing replacement.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:25 AM   #2
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That's exactly what fcpeuro did on their race car.

https://www.fcpeuro.com/blog/posts/p...acing-with-aer
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:50 PM   #3
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I haven't done it myself ever, but it's not a bad idea.

I guess it also depends on how long you run and how often as well. If you are only doing short sprint races or track days, then it's probably not neccessary because you can usually tell when a bearing is starting to wear and change before the next session or race. In an enduro situation, you don't get that luxury..
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:10 PM   #4
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I will say this, take it with a grain of salt.

We use only FAG bearings on our endurance car and we get 3-4 14hr races out of them, plus any test/track days between (last 3 yrs have been 3-4 weekends of 4 sprint/Spec races), for the last 2 yrs the endurance car doubled down as my Spec e30. We never re-pack them, and change them yearly regardless of wear (hence the 3-4 races pending how many we enter).

A close friend who also has an endurance race e30 swears to repack all bearings, and he goes through them 2x faster than we do. He literally has to change them every other 14hr event. He does do a couple more track days between the races than we do, but not enough to warrant the bearing wear IMO.

Not sure why, but it seems like our bearings last longer leaving them sealed from the factory. It's not like it's a thing about what track, since we run the same tracks/events. The only difference between the cars is he runs Miata wheels with spacers, we run wheels that have proper offset, but final track width is the same. Only other difference is he runs Hoosiers a couple times a year for Time Trials, and when I use the car for Spec, I run Toyo RR or RA1.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:42 PM   #5
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The Hoosiers are part of the issue for him. The extra grip does provide a bit more sideways force against the bearings, we did notice the difference on another E30 car with going to a stickier tire for Thunderhill (vs. the previous year with RA1's.)

I'd kinda echo everything you said too, I don't know a single person who repacks theirs because we do the same each season as well - just replace them.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:02 AM   #6
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Very interesting feedback, guys, I really appreciate it. Most of the searching I did on the google machine led me to topics back around 2009-2010. My bearings were installed before then, so perhaps FAG has made some improvements since then.

You guys are clearly putting your bearings to harder use than I am. I think I'll just leave well enough alone, and just replace them. I'm probably going to tear apart an old bearing, though, just for sh*ts and giggles.


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Old 01-07-2017, 09:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Beej '86 325es View Post
Very interesting feedback, guys, I really appreciate it. Most of the searching I did on the google machine led me to topics back around 2009-2010. My bearings were installed before then, so perhaps FAG has made some improvements since then.

You guys are clearly putting your bearings to harder use than I am. I think I'll just leave well enough alone, and just replace them. I'm probably going to tear apart an old bearing, though, just for sh*ts and giggles.


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..and honestly, replacing the fronts isn't that difficult. It's the rears that nobody wants to do!
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:12 AM   #8
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I think re-packing hubs is more in an effort to free them up and decrease rolling resistance, not so much to increase life. For an enduro car with a limited budget I would not do it
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:21 AM   #9
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..and honestly, replacing the fronts isn't that difficult. It's the rears that nobody wants to do!
With a press tool, it's really not bad. Takes me longer to reassemble the e-brake than the press in/out the bearing lol.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:54 PM   #10
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With a press tool, it's really not bad. Takes me longer to reassemble the e-brake than the press in/out the bearing lol.
I'm thinking more at the track. The fronts can be done in a pinch, the rears, that's put it on the trailer time!
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:30 AM   #11
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I'm thinking more at the track. The fronts can be done in a pinch, the rears, that's put it on the trailer time!
Nah, my bearing tool kit takes up the space of a small laptop bag.

We do a lot of endurance racing, if an engine swap didn't stop us from finishing, don't think a wheel bearing will either lol.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:12 AM   #12
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Nah, my bearing tool kit takes up the space of a small laptop bag.

We do a lot of endurance racing, if an engine swap didn't stop us from finishing, don't think a wheel bearing will either lol.
LOL, I guess my Give a Damn breaks earlier than yours!

Unless it's something like the 25 hour, once an engine dies, I'm done..
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:24 PM   #13
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Jeremy, I bring the rear bearing kit to the track, too.
If it goes on Sat, you can fix it for Sunday...

Likewise, a rocker, etc, it's all fixable in the evening... with beers... and swearing.
We even did a rocker on the 2002 one Sunday morning at Spokane, for the afternoon race.
And on the M10, that's a head- off job.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:42 AM   #14
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Likewise, a rocker, etc, it's all fixable in the evening... with beers... and swearing.
Seems commonplace lately for at least on of the m20's down here to break a rocker and have it fixed between sprints (NASA FL region has 2 races per day).
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:11 PM   #15
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I've done the rockers at the track before. Haven't drilled the holes for the shafts on all the racecars yet.. but also haven't broken one in a while.
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