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Old 13th October 2009, 16:41   #1
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Default Does a Tire/Wheel Upgrade Damage Wheel Bearings??

Hi guys,

I own a 2005 Swift Vxi Petrol and have already changed my wheel bearings twice in the four years. However, I noticed that the wheel bearings got busted only after I upgraded my wheels and tires.

The first time was in 2006 when I upgraded my stock rims to a +1. I fitted 15" X 6.5" OZ Racing Canova wheels with PCD 100 & Offset 43 shod with 195/60/R15 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. After a month or so the wheel bearings were busted.

The second time was during my tire change in May 2009, where I got rid of the Goodyears and fitted the 205/55/R15 Yokohama S-Drives. The wheel bearings have got busted again and I will be giving the car tomorrow for an entire suspension check and service.

In addition to the humming sound due to the busted wheel bearings, I am also getting a wierd 'tak' sound every now and then when the clutch is released and car starts moving and sometimes even while turning the steering wheel. Ive noticed it only comes from the left wheel.

What are the reasons for wheel bearings to usually fail? Are there any ways to prevent it? Do you think that tire/wheel upgrades are the cause for the same?
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Old 13th October 2009, 17:00   #2
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Hey Epic,

It surely does affect to deviate from the manufacturers spec's. Each and every aspect and the technicalities of the car is properly looked and studied by the R & D before any design is finalized.

Based on the many road tests and other lab experiments, especially the bearings, suspensions, Rim size , tyre size & widths are designed.

If you would like to go through any manual, it clearly says any modifications to the car would void the warranty.

So its better to hold our temptations to a large extent and not deviate from the manufacturer's design recos.

Also to a large extent, we may compromise on safety if the modifications are done improperly.

If you have taken notice , the car performs better if left untouched without any modifications.

The above opinion is purely with regards to normal driving.

More opinions will come by, lets check it out.
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Old 13th October 2009, 17:55   #3
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You compromise on safety if you drive the stock Swift with those crappy tyres.

So, in the end, it is a question of losing warranty vs saving your life on the highway.

I completely disagree with Nandan. Most Indian cars are designed and specced with only economy and mileage and cost cutting for the manufacturer in mind. I will always advocate changing the OEM tyres especially on cars like the Swift, etc which come with 165 section tyres which are totally inadequate given the speeds the car is capable of.

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 13th October 2009 at 17:57.
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Old 13th October 2009, 18:34   #4
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Hey guys,

I can possibly agree with both of you i.e. Nandan & Nikhil.

Nandan is right in his own accord that one should not tamper with the manufacturer's specification and not compromise on safety. This being said, I dont believe I have compromised on safety here as I have fitted probably one of the best (if not the best) brand of alloy wheels here as per manufacturer's specifications along with way better tires than the ridiculously thin stock ones provided by the company.

NOW, Nikhil is also right in mentioning the above BUT my wheel bearings are still busted which can also compromise my safety whether on better wheels/tires or not.

My question is, what is the cause for wheel bearings to fail? How can it be prevented & what are the effects of driving on busted wheel bearings?
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Old 13th October 2009, 18:52   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
You compromise on safety if you drive the stock Swift with those crappy tyres.

So, in the end, it is a question of losing warranty vs saving your life on the highway.

I completely disagree with Nandan. Most Indian cars are designed and specced with only economy and mileage and cost cutting for the manufacturer in mind. I will always advocate changing the OEM tyres especially on cars like the Swift, etc which come with 165 section tyres which are totally inadequate given the speeds the car is capable of.
replacing tyre and replacing wheel RIM is not same , While one may change tyre there is no justification to fit alloys of different PCD as in this case , How exactly they enhance safety ?
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Old 13th October 2009, 19:11   #6
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As long as you upgrade to a new alloy with the recomended wheel offset, it shouldn't affect the bearings.

Heres a simple test to see if your bearings have gone bad.




Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 13th October 2009 at 19:13.
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Old 13th October 2009, 20:07   #7
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Hi Shan2nu,
I recently had my 800's wheel bearings overhauled.The mechanic removed the front wheel , rotated the rotors and asked me to listen to the sound.
There was a scratchy rough grinding noise that was heard.

The videos you have put show the wheel rocking in it's place if the bearings are bad.So does that mean one has to detect fault by the rocking and not by the grinding sound ?
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Old 13th October 2009, 20:12   #8
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Thats just another way of testing the bearings. You can use either.





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Last edited by Shan2nu : 13th October 2009 at 20:14.
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Old 13th October 2009, 20:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epic View Post
I own a 2005 Swift Vxi Petrol and have already changed my wheel bearings twice in the four years.
Isn't something extremely wrong here? And this is the first time I'm hearing the reason for upsizing rim/tyre size.

Point in case: I've changed my Optra's stock 14" wheel to 205/55/15 to 205/60/15. Last one is of course very recent. But the car is running with original bearings for last five and a half years.
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Old 13th October 2009, 20:27   #10
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Quote:
Point in case: I've changed my Optra's stock 14" wheel to 205/55/15 to 205/60/15. Last one is of course very recent.
Why'd you go from 55 to 60 profile? Better ride?

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Old 13th October 2009, 20:34   #11
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Sorry Shan. It's 50 to 60. My mistake. And yes my ride is now really better. Previously I could feel every small pebbles on the road. Sorry again, I think we're going off topic here.
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Old 13th October 2009, 21:08   #12
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Does upgrading the wheel/tyre damage the wheel bearings? I don't think so.

Can it increase the probabillity of wheel bearing damage? For sure, especially if the wheel bearing for the Indian market was built to a lower specification, or the component quality is not what it should be.

Agree with Shan2nu that wheel offset should not be increased when upgrading to a wider rim/tyre. Anything which increases the scrub radius is sure to increase the load on the bearing, both in the vertical (normal) direction and longitudinally (such as when a disturbing force such as a pothole is encountered by the wheel)

In fact, I would say the wheel offset should be decreased as far as possible (given the constraints of the wheelwell) since the moment of force on the wheel bearing increases as the center of mass of the rim goes further away from the bearing (all other things remaining equal)
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Old 13th October 2009, 21:18   #13
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If you stick to specs for alloys and avoid going overboard with upsize, nothing of this sort will happen.

Stock tire on stock rims, bearing gone bust at 25k kms, 2 size upsize tire on stock rims 38k kms going strong.

Offset if gone too radical can put undue stress. Generally 1-2 upsize tires no issue with wheel bearings.
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Old 13th October 2009, 21:25   #14
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Quote:
In fact, I would say the wheel offset should be decreased as far as possible (given the constraints of the wheelwell) since the moment of force on the wheel bearing increases as the center of mass of the rim goes further away from the bearing (all other things remaining equal)
I think the more negative you go wih the offset, higher the load exerted on the bearings. But ideally its best to have the bearings in line with the center of the wheel (or rather the weight center of the wheel).

This is prob like standing with your feet right undeneath your torso, then slowy moving them apart. As you move them apart, you feel more strain on your joints, ligaments and muscles even though the weight of your body remains identical.

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 13th October 2009 at 21:26.
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Old 13th October 2009, 21:34   #15
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Epic, please keep us posted on the solution to your problems. I am currently facing the bearing and the "tuck" sound from the left side in my Xeta (2006 - 56K km). I upgraded the tyres at 50K km to 185/60/R14 from stock 165/65/R13. But am sure the bearing noise had already appeared slightly before the change.

guys, I am waiting for the 60K km service to resolve this issue. Is this safe and recommended or should I get it treated urgently?
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