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Premium Member 2014 SLK55 AMG Silver
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1,640 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
MOT on my 2014 SLK 55.

28000 miles and there is *very* slight play in the front wheel bearings. Just enough to be able to feel it when jacked up and rocking the wheel ..... but it's there.

Any suggestions on course of action apart from remove the wheel and disk and check the end float?

Is this a known issue?

Perhaps just replace out of hand!
 

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Super Moderator CA 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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11,917 Posts
WELL, seeing as you asked:

NOT A MECHANIC: from what I've read in these forums about how antsy MOT-checkers are in your neck of the woods
(ie "translate"--> fail you for misaligned headlights :surprise: ), personally I'd keep it in mind, note how your buggy handles over the next year and decide THEN how you want to proceed.

Unless you notice something really wrong, I'd wait.

PS I've had to have the bearing replaced in our Civic. It is noticeable if there's an issue. FWIW, I noticed a NOISE when cornering before I felt an issue in steering/while driving.
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK350
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4,281 Posts
MOT on my 2014 SLK 55.

28000 miles and there is *very* slight play in the front wheel bearings. Just enough to be able to feel it when jacked up and rocking the wheel ..... but it's there.

Any suggestions on course of action apart from remove the wheel and disk and check the end float?

Is this a known issue?

Perhaps just replace out of hand!

I am preparing to replace my wheel hub and I need to adjust the bearing play so I order :
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Magnetic-Base-Stand-Metric-Precision-Clock-Gauge-Dial-Test-Indicator-DTI-Gauge/372083312185?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=2&asc=49138&meid=0dc2d87ae65a463db73182ab3f0d8b9f&pid=100005&rk=6&rkt=12&mehot=ag&sd=272011270783&itm=372083312185&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851


videos on how to:

 

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Registered 2007 SLK350
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525 Posts
Is there something unusual about adjusting the play in a merc ? Expose nut, remove pin, tighten to about 20 lb-ft, loosen, hand tighten, replace pin.

Can also repack if feel like it.

Nothing stopping you doing that...but:-


If the bearing needs adjustment after being used for some time (as opposed to fitting a new bearing) then the bearing must be worn or damaged!


For a bearing to wear, then some material from either the taper rollers, or the bearing faces, must have worn away.


This can remove any surface treatments the bearings have had when manufactured, and risk catastrophic failure of the bearing in the future!



If the bearing is worn, why not just replace the bearing, is is quite easy and relatively cheap.
 

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Registered 2012 SLK 55 w/P30
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3,421 Posts
Nothing stopping you doing that...but:-


If the bearing needs adjustment after being used for some time (as opposed to fitting a new bearing) then the bearing must be worn or damaged!


For a bearing to wear, then some material from either the taper rollers, or the bearing faces, must have worn away.


This can remove any surface treatments the bearings have had when manufactured, and risk catastrophic failure of the bearing in the future!



If the bearing is worn, why not just replace the bearing, is is quite easy and relatively cheap.
Emphasis on cheap! Will you drive around on worn out brakes? I didn’t think so. Fix it!
 

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Registered 2012 SLK 55 w/P30
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3,421 Posts
Both are valid, guess I just learned in a different era.
Vehicles were built differently in the 60s. They didn’t use this statistical minimum amount of material to accomplish the task. The margins of error far greater, and you could let things slide. Today, no longer. Turning disc rotors are a classic example of that. Now everybody replaces and does not turn. In the 60s you could turn rotors two times sometimes even three. Excess material. Bearings are the same. Less material, less weight, better performance! Your advice is valid for a much older car.
 

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Registered 2009 SLK200
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4,936 Posts
Bearing end float play is quite common on front wheel bearings on mercs and a majority of them can easily be taken out the play and tweaked .

They do not need to be replaced .
 

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Registered 2012 SLK 55 w/P30
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3,421 Posts
When you consider how cheap replacement bearing is, versus the cost of the labor just to adjust the existing bearing – you might as well change it out. Sort of like when you change the timing belt on a Japanese car, you might as well change the water pump at the same time, you know it’s going to go! I understand that it’s not strictly always necessary to replace, but I look at this like I would look at a crush washer on am oil drain plug, sometimes you can reuse the old one but for less than a dollar why bother? Wheel bearings, even for Mercedes, are pretty inexpensive.
 

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Registered 2009 SLK200
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4,936 Posts
When you consider how cheap replacement bearing is, versus the cost of the labor just to adjust the existing bearing – you might as well change it out. Sort of like when you change the timing belt on a Japanese car, you might as well change the water pump at the same time, you know it’s going to go! I understand that it’s not strictly always necessary to replace, but I look at this like I would look at a crush washer on am oil drain plug, sometimes you can reuse the old one but for less than a dollar why bother? Wheel bearings, even for Mercedes, are pretty inexpensive.
To adjust slight play on a 171 front wheel bearing once alloy wheel is off takes about 5 mins if that and that includes marking allen key bolt with paint after .

Cap off , allen key slacked off , adjust bearing retainer pinch nut and re tighten 7mm allen key after and paint mark .
[ note do not overtighten bearing ]

Very simple and quick job to do and at no cost if done yourself .
 

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Registered 2012 SLK 55 w/P30
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3,421 Posts
Once again, this forum has provided me with information – virtually impossible to get anywhere else.
 

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Registered 2009 SLK200
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4,936 Posts
Once again, this forum has provided me with information – virtually impossible to get anywhere else.
Its so common after the mercs have done circa 15,000 miles plus you can just start to feel very very slight play in bearing on certain points of rotation of wheel etc .

Provided no noise emmiting from wheel bearing just adjust out .
Better to feel very slight end float play at least you know someones not overtightened it .

Front wheel bearings seem to last on these slk it seems .
 

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Registered 2009 SLK200
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4,936 Posts
Wheel bearing play on r171 is 0.01 to 0.02mm i doubt you can get it spot on with no dial gauge.
After literally doing thousands of wheel bearings in all the years you get a feel for adjusting bearings and never had one burn out on me or come back apart from one had faulty / damaged cap and had water penertration .

They all eventually with miles have end float play even properly dial gauge before hand .
 
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