Hubs getting way too HOT...

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Woody73
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Hubs getting way too HOT...

Unread post by Woody73 » September 11th, 2008, 10:26 am

Can anyone please give me some advice..

I have a 2001 Patrol DX wagon with manual locking hubs and find that they are extremely hot after driving, to the point I can't set them back to "free" by hand.

Is it because there is not enough grease or something and if so are they easy enough to repack or is it a job that must be done by someone that does this everyday?:truck:

GQpete
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Unread post by GQpete » September 11th, 2008, 1:48 pm

Woody I have a 91 GQ and noticed the same thing some time ago. I have had the bearings checked and they were fine and was advised it was probably the heat from the breaks and is pretty normal. I am interested in hearing anyother explanations as well.

Cheers
91 GQ ST 3.0 RB30
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BJ73 LX Lover
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Unread post by BJ73 LX Lover » September 11th, 2008, 2:49 pm

I doubt very much it's brake heat, unless the wheel rim is getting realy hot too! I would think that there is a serious internal problem (maybe manufacturer fault) because for you to not be able to even touch the hub for any length of time, that is some serious heat. Could be CV joint but I've never heard of that before and is it only when hubs are locked.... that would be very interesting....????
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GQpete
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Unread post by GQpete » September 11th, 2008, 3:44 pm

BJ73, it seems to be only when the hubs are locked in, I was a little concerned but was put to rest by the mechanic that advised it was probably break heat. Givent hat I have no bloody idea I just accepted it. I will get the CV's checked on the next service and see what happens. Thanks for your thoughts. Cheers
91 GQ ST 3.0 RB30
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4x4traveller
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Unread post by 4x4traveller » September 11th, 2008, 3:56 pm

G,Day until recently had 92 ford mav with similar issue couldn,t touch hubs from heat, 4wd or 2wd not much differance. Came to conclusion brakes dragging as bearings replaced and even repacked for second time with little result. Made some enquiries at a couple of brake places, here on the forum and at a 4wd repair shop where Nissan is their thing. They all came away with that brake drag wasn,t that unusual for this model, so replaced pads had calipers rebuilt and new discs fitted and on mine made a huge differance.
But first off I would get your wheel bearings checked and then go from there.

Cheers

bendobinson
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Unread post by bendobinson » September 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm

hey champ i would say it would almost definetly be ya wheel bearings. same thing happend to my gu the got so hot they collapsed and had to replace some expensive parts. pul ya hubs apart and have a look its not to hard to do, doesnt take to long.

cheers
FJ73 cruiser 37 claws, rear lokka, xr6 turbo engine.

Peter Aawen
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Unread post by Peter Aawen » September 11th, 2008, 6:38 pm

Before you start pulling anything apart, you really need to get a good idea of what the problem is likely to be. To do this, put the car on a level section of ground and chock the rear wheels. Jack up one front wheel (chock the other side front wheel too) and once in the air, put an axle stand under the raised axle to hold it all in the air! It's still a good idea to keep the jack there and set to the raised height too, just for safety's sake (it makes it easier and quicker to lift the car off your head/hand/foot if it collapses!) When you've got the car secured with the wheel in the air but before you take the wheel off, try rattling the wheel on the hubs &/or wheel bearings. To do this, Grab the wheel with one hand on top of the tyre, and the other on the bottom of the tyre, and move the tyre back and forth, pulling the top out while you push the bottom in, then pushing the top in while you pull the bottom out! Repeat firmly for a few seconds, but not long enough to make you breathe hard! If you get anything more than the very slightest of movements in the wheel rim itself, then your wheel bearings need torquing up!

While you are there, spin the wheel by hand and listen for any noises. A reasonably audible grating or grinding noise suggests that your brake pads need attention, they are possibly worn to the metal at least in part. It could also be gravel between the disc and the pad, or the disc and the backing plate. A metallic rattling is usually a loose or broken backing plate, while a low but clearly audible rumble thru to a loud rotational squeak is a worn wheel bearing. So check them all out next! Only once you've checked that lot do you move on. Take the wheel off (a rattle gun is good for this, or you might find it hard to get the wheel nuts undone unless you drop the wheel back onto the ground to stop it spinning as you try to undo the nuts!) Once the wheel is off, check out the brake pad thickness by eye.

If you can't see the thickness clearly, you might need to move around the disc a little to get a good look, use a bright torch, or you may even need to undo the bottom caliper mounting bolt and swing the caliper up and off the disc. While it's up there, DO NOT press the brake pedal! You should be able to see the pads clearly now, and you should be able to see that both pads for each disc have at least 3mm of pad material right across the pad face, and that they are not worn thinner anywhere or down to the metal anywhere! If they are thinner, or they are worn to the metal anywhere, then the pads will be the problem!

While you are there, don't drop or misplace any of the little metal anti rattle or squeal pads. Without them, over time you will find it a problem, and it is really worthwhile to get a new set if your brakes don't have any or all of them fitted. They help hold the caliper in such a position that the pads won't vibrate off the discs on corrugated or rough roads, and to stop the pads squealing on each and every application. Cheap enough to replace, and it means that every time you sink your foot onto the brake pedal the pads will be instantly in contact with the disc. Without them, you will often find that you need to 'pump' the pedal a couple of times before the pads touch the discs, cos the vibrations have rattled the piston well clear of the disc! So either refit them, or get a new set. And if your pads are worn, it's better to get a new set early than it is to put them back and try to catch them before they wear down to the metal. That metal on metal situation in the pad/disc area can be expensive! You REALLY want to avoid it if you can!!

When it is time to refit the caliper, it should be easy enough just to rotate the caliper back down and slip it and the pads into position again without any real problems. But if you do have problems, try to push the inner pad in towards the centre of the car, compressing the piston just enough to slip the pads back over the disc. Sometimes you will need a 'G' clamp or brake piston compressor (do NOT press on the pad with either of them, or anything that will gouge a hole or dent the pad!) to compress the piston enough to refit the caliper. Don't get any oil or greasy fingers onto the pad material or onto the disc, keep it all clean so that it works properly. Once down again, replace and tighten the lower caliper mounting bolt and then apply the brakes firmly a couple of times to re-seat the pads on the disc. You don't need the car running to do that! Make sure that you check the pads on both front wheels (and while you're at it do the rears as well!) and make sure that the hub and discs will spin freely once the brakes have been applied hard then released after you've checked the pad thickness. If they DON'T, then your problem will most likely be brake drag!

That lot should keep you looking for a bit of a while, maybe even a couple of hours if you've never done it before! But it is all easy enough for anyone who can hold a spanner to do. Just make sure that the rear wheels (and maybe even the opposite front wheel) are chocked firmly, and that you NEVER get under the car or stick your head into the wheel space above the disc while the car is only supported by a jack!

Enjoy!
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sudso
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Unread post by sudso » September 11th, 2008, 9:25 pm

Hey Woody73 just to add more to whats already been suggesed........do the hubs get as hot after driving in 2wd?
Check this and it might tell you if its locked hub related or not.
Nevertheless its normal for the hubs to be warmer after 4wdriving as the bearings and hubs are under more stress.
Also after driving on windy roads in 2wd the hubs will be warmer than normal as all the turning puts more stress on the bearings.
May pay to check your diff oil level and oil condition too.
Also take off the swivel hub seals and check the grease (or water contamination) condition. Been through lots of water or mud?
Water contamination in any bearings?
Brake drag will cause hotter hubs especially if mud and crap is caught in them. Also water contamination in the pistons can cause the brakes not to retract properly although the pads should be "just" touching the discs anyway.
cheers
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Unread post by Peter Aawen » September 11th, 2008, 9:49 pm

On the Patrols, you don't actually need to take the seals off the swivel hubs to check for water or contaminated grease, just remove one of the 4 bottom bolts on the swivel hub bearing, usually the front inner bolt is good. Any liquid contaminants will run out, so be ready to catch it to see what it is made up of - oil and diluted grease, or just plain old muddy water.

If you don't get anything at all coming out of the hole, it could still be blocked by grease, so it is worthwhile checking further. You might need to put a probe up thru the hole, just to push thru that blocking grease, but it's usually a good thing to do that anyway, cos then you get a little bit of grease from deep inside the hub that you can check out for contaminants.

If you don't get water running out the bolt hole, and you don't have oozing grease or white/grey or even muddy grease on the end of the probe, then all is OK inside (except maybe the CV could be busted, if it is it WILL make noises or reduce steering!)

You shouldn't really need to take the hub seals off unless that probe test indicates or you've got CV noises or steering issues. Saves a lot of effort!

Cheers!
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Woody73
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Unread post by Woody73 » September 12th, 2008, 9:50 am

Cheers Guys, for all your help. There is things there that I will check.

I have lifted the front wheels and tried to move the wheel and got no movement at all, and all seem fine, plus there is no noise coming from front wheels when spinning them.

I have only recently had the brakes done (2 weeks ago), so don't think that is the problem.

I will however check the hubs for contaminants. If I need to repack the hub with grease, what type of grease would you suggest and is it a easy job. And is it grease on it's own, or with oil from the diff.

Could a CV joint or wheel bearing be damaged without making the normal noise that one would hear?

Lookfar
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Unread post by Lookfar » September 12th, 2008, 11:04 am

The wheel bearings could be too tight as well.


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Peter Aawen
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Unread post by Peter Aawen » September 12th, 2008, 2:06 pm

You won't ever find a CV or wheel bearing damaged without getting some noise variation, but it is the variation bit that is critical, so if you don't know and/or remember what it (or any other) sounded or should sound like when it was new, then you might not recognise the variation. Generally there will be some harsher noise audible tho, and almost always associated with either some steering difficultly or compromise (CV) or some movement in the wheel whilst it's unladen & in the air (wheel bearing)

So since you can't feel any movement or hear/feel any CV type noise, it's almost a given that you don't have excess wear being the problem. BUT, it certainly could be an overtightened wheel bearing, except that will show up as a wheel that is harder to spin, or doesn't spin freely! Then again, it could be too much grease in the Free Wheeling Hub (even if it is Manual OR Auto!), but that usually shows up as difficulty in engaging the hub(s) manually and if it is them, once they get hot you tend to get melted grease running down the the rim from the FWHub, or being sprayed all around the rim if you keep driving! BTW, you shouldn't ever have oil in the swivel hub or FWhubs, if you do then it means that the axle oil seal has failed and you are probably damaging your wheel bearings/CV's by continuing to drive - but it's not a massive amount of damage in a short time, it's usually very minor and builds up over a long period! But it IS normally Grease only out that far!

Other things that could tend to exacerbate the problem of hot hubs include tyre pressures that are too low; wheel bearings that are worn, tight, or too loose; similar FWHub issues; brakes dragging or otherwise malfunctioning; or even just excessive brake applications. One hard brake application can put a lot of heat into the hub. Repeated hard applications can put so much heat in that it takes a loooong time to cool down! And when you are driving in 4WD areas, it is often a temptation to use the brake a lot more than you probably should, even as many already do in their normal On-Road driving! Driving down a steep hill and using your brakes can have discs and hubs glowing at the bottom, and you really shouldn't do that, or drive straight into a cold water crossing at the bottom, if you like keeping the discs in one piece and the brakes working, anyhow!

With a big car like a Patrol, many of the 'Off Road' safety techniques or 'skilled driving' techniques can be carried across into On-Road driving. Things like always keeping the engine in it's torque/power band, and using your gears to give you the correct road speed for your needs at any given time. By being in the right gear all the time and using the accelleration AND decelleration ability of the engine you will enhance your driving both on and off road, it will minimise your need for hard brake applications, and if you team it with reading the track/road from as far ahead as you can see, scanning back to the front of the car, envisaging your vehicle passing thru that space on your planned track, and anticipating every move from other road users; then you'll probly get better fuel economy and less engine/vehicle/tyre wear as well!

Do you practice 'Late Apexing' for your cornering, or the 'Gentle, gentle, gentle' method of brake application rather than the Gentle, firmer, gentle' method? Both of those will further minimise brake usage, and therefore hub temperature, so it might be worthwhile looking at improving your driving techniques or even just revising them once again (maybe doing or re-doing an advanced driver training course?!) Some professional Drivers are required to regularly attend various driver training courses, defensive driving, anti skid training, high speed driving, etc, often doing a set series of courses within each 2 year period and it almost always highlights some bad habits that have crept in, as well as reminding them of particular skills and techniques that they may not be using properly or at all - do you consider your driving needs or the value of your passengers to be any less than theirs? Maybe a regular driver development program is in order?!

And I guess one other thing that is worthy of note is that Patrols that are driven hard have been known to have photo's taken with hubs and disc brake rotors gently glowing red, as well as being seen by onlookers with hubs and discs in that condition. That means that they were HOT at the time, and yet they always seem to recover and continue on, in fact Patrols are renowned for their robust nature, even when they get that sort of treatment often. Les Siviour is a prime example, for many years his Patrols never gave up and always backed up for more without significant extra maintenance. Were your brakes that hot? If not, then you may be worrying over nothing significant (still worth checking and excluding the usual suspects, tho!)

Good Luck!
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

baron
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Unread post by baron » September 16th, 2008, 8:25 pm

Woody73 wrote:Can anyone please give me some advice..

I have a 2001 Patrol DX wagon with manual locking hubs and find that they are extremely hot after driving, to the point I can't set them back to "free" by hand.

:truck:

Gday .
I converted my hubs from auto to manual using DX hubs, and I found that the drivers side hub was running hotter than the left. I pulled it all apart again thinking I made a blue, but everything looked fine, the clearances were all fine between the end of the driveshaft and the retaining clip, so I gave it another grease and put it back togetter and took it for a run and it still was hotter than the left side. I had another look at it, and it ended up being that the brake rotor had high spots on it, which caused the brakes to heat up thus transfering the heat into the hub. I got the discs machined and the problem was solved. Cheers.

Woody73
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Unread post by Woody73 » September 18th, 2008, 3:10 pm

Cheers for all you input, all were very helpful.
I have just had dics machined so will check them on next drive.

terrano2buck
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Re: Hubs getting way too HOT...

Unread post by terrano2buck » March 18th, 2015, 12:58 pm

My Nissan Terrano 2 just had the boiling hot hubs saga. Got the bearings done. That wasn't it. The problem was that the brake caliper slides had seized. Get your brake caliper slides serviced. I bet that is the problem. Mine are good as gold now.

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