bent wheels = bad bearings? - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-09-2008, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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bent wheels = bad bearings?

last time i got new tires it seemed like the shop didn't balance my wheels correctly. i went back and had them rebalanced, and there was still shaking/vibration. so i went to the dealership where i used to work and watched them balance them....yup, all 4 rotas have a slight bend to them. i no longer drive the bumpy, rocky dirt roads.

my question is will this affect my wheel bearings? they have probably been bent for a good year now and i haven't had the $250 to get them straightened. i feel the vibration only at speeds above 70mph and it continues on through higher speeds though it doesn't get much more severe the faster i go.

would it be a good idea to get new wheel bearings when i straighten my wheels? or should i drive on the straight wheels and see if there is still vibration first?

thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-09-2008, 11:47 AM
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I think it more likely that you got crappy rims to begin with than them getting bent but I guess your wheel bearings could be the problem as well... I'd just think it would be more blatantly obvious if they were so off that they were bending your rims!

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post #3 of 12 Old 04-10-2008, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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i wasn't implying that i thought the bearings were causing the bent rims. i bought my rotas new from subydude.com so i'd like to think they were'nt bent when i recieved them. considering the potholes here in colorado and the massive bashing i have put my rims through hitting unseen washes and such on dirt roads i don't doubt i have bent them all. they are not bent very badly, just slightly out of true. i never felt the shaking when the rims were new and seeing them wobble on the balance machine i'm sure they are bent.

i'm just wondering if the stress of driving on bent rims would cause damage to the bearings. how would i be able to tell if the bearings are bad, if there is any way to tell without removing them?
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-18-2008, 10:16 AM
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take them to a shop that has a road force balancer- it will measure runout, it will also let the tech adjust the tire optimally around the rim- it also allows force to be applied to the mounted tire/wheel for a "real world" look see

if they can't get it balanced out, it can't be balanced out. they should also be able to tell you if one (or two) rim is worse than the others and that way maybe your only replacing one wheel (maybe none depending on how out of round they are)

as far as wheel bearings if they can get them balanced out prpoerly they shouldn't impact your wheel bearings anymore than other wheel/tire combos- if they can't- yes that could have impact on bearing life

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-23-2008, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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since i'll be in the market for new tires soon i think i'll go to discount tires and get the new rubber (prorated of course, who actually gets 40K out of kumho 711s anyway hhaha? i only get 10K). then i'm going to take the rubber to the wheel straighteners since they will mount and balance after they straighten the wheels, saving me the $15/wheel. i know there is runout on all 4 wheels, nothing too severe but i've seen them on the balancer and it was obvious.

i'm hoping this will fix my problem. i'll need an alignment too since aligning on bent rims must have not been too precise.

i'll look into the road force balancer if that doesn't fix my problem. since i know the rims are bent and i'd rather not buy new ones. thanks for the help and i'll be researching road force balancing.

no noise from the bearings yet, and since the steering wheel shudder doesn't happen until 70mph i'm hoping the wheels aren't bad enough to require new bearings immediately.

...

sorry, i realized maybe you were saying that a road force balance could fix the problem even on bent rims? if this is the case and the balance is cheaper than the straightening i may just try that first. so what do you think?

sorry for all the questions but i respect your opinion and appreciate the help.

...

well, i just talked to my buddy at the suby dealership and he said he'd hook up a free road force balance. i'll let you know how it goes.

thanks again big sky.

Last edited by mosc; 04-23-2008 at 12:13 PM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-23-2008, 12:13 PM
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grrr, tripple posting is bad! Please use the edit button

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-23-2008, 03:08 PM
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yeah the road force balancer will tell you how bad the rims are and whether they can be brought into balance- that will be the first step.

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-23-2008, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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sorry abt the triple post mosc....wont do it again.

so the road force balance was telling. we were able to get them all into balance. the car feels a little better, much less shimmy. and after balancing the wheels shook the balance machine much less (that's how bad they were). the machine said to replace one of the tires (more like wheels) but not the others, i guess they were within tolerance. the runout was messed up on most of them, but the more concerning part is that some of them are "jumping", or they're bent in an oval shape. one of the techs told me the guy who i was planning on getting to straighten them is very good, so that makes me feel better.

we'll see how it goes, but i'm definitely going to try and straighten them when i have the money and get new tires.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-23-2008, 11:19 PM
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Well sounds like you made a little progress. I hope the rest goes well. Good luck with it.

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post #10 of 12 Old 04-24-2008, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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thanks newtothegame. my next step is seeing if a miracle metal worker can straighten these things.
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-24-2008, 10:46 AM
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I work at a tire and brake place and we see bent wheels all the time. a good wheel shop should be able to get it straight. the place we use have surprised me on some of the wheels they straighten.

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post #12 of 12 Old 04-25-2008, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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thanks nagy for the confidence boost. i definitely feel better now. mine are really not THAT bad and from what i've heard about the guy at the wheel shop he should be able to get them true......then i just have to sand blast them and repaint them hahaha. drifting in the dirt will do terrible things to wheels. mine look like they're black and steel grey speckled.....hmmm, the salt and pepper look.
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