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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NOS Bearing! External oxidation means its shot [PICS]

Guys, I need to replace the front bearings from my 98 AEB and looking around I came across this VW dealer which is selling a bunch of a NEW OLD STOCK VW parts for very good prices.

I was able to pick up this OEM bearing for something like US$ 30 but when it arrived I started worrying about its condition. It is a brand new part but there are signs of oxidation among its external and internal surfaces like the PIC above:



I also noticed that if I make some force from the inside I can move the rubber section a little far from the bearing.



Question is: did I just buy a piece of junk? Is this safe to use?? When I turn the inner part of the bearing all I hear is a SQUISH sound like there was jelly inside.

These are the *Rare do find here* 75mm 4B0498625. Even with the part in hand I couldn't read NOTHING to check who is the real manufacturer of this thing, ***, SKG, etc.. :(

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd clean that up with some WD-40 and steel wool.

Nothing in the bearing itself holds it together.

From your description it has plenty of grease.

It's fine.
Thanks zak, I'll give it a shot with WD-40.

One more question. When I push the inner part against the outer one and turn, I hear I really tiny grounding noise.

I know that grounding noises are a common symptom of dead bearings but even tiny noises would mean the bearing is shot or would it be just normal?

Thanks,
Vitor
 

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loose bearings - not yet installed will be noisy. Once they are installed, with proper pre-loading (torque on the axle nut) they are quiet for at least 140,000km ~ 200,000km - depends on your road conditions and if you like to hit potholes at speed.
 

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I don't know about the parts situation in Brazil but that bearing is not worth $30 NOS in the condition it is in here in the US. Although "Old Stock", it is definitely not "New" as it is now rusted. True, the surface rust on the race surfaces will probably clean right off and not affect a thing but did moisture get INSIDE the bearing? How well was the bearing sealed? :confused: Was the bearing under water? What condition was the box in? Since you have already lifted the seal I would look inside to see if it is greased or rusty. You should be able to spin the bearing and determine if it is "growling" even if not installed.

I don't know what is so rare about a VW/Audi wheel bearing... I searched the number and a Chinese copy appeared on Zamazon for $16 shipped (in US). I would rather use a Chinese copy than that "OE" bearing in the condition it is in. The fact that you can't find any markings makes me suspicious--are there markings on the seal portion?

The inner bearing races are two halves and are pressed onto the hub which holds them into the bearing. It is not uncommon for the innermost race to stay in when the hub is pressed out of the old bearing. I'll use an air chisel to tap the stuck inner race off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know about the parts situation in Brazil but that bearing is not worth $30 NOS in the condition it is in here in the US. Although "Old Stock", it is definitely not "New" as it is now rusted. True, the surface rust on the race surfaces will probably clean right off and not affect a thing but did moisture get INSIDE the bearing? How well was the bearing sealed? :confused: Was the bearing under water? What condition was the box in? Since you have already lifted the seal I would look inside to see if it is greased or rusty. You should be able to spin the bearing and determine if it is "growling" even if not installed.

I don't know what is so rare about a VW/Audi wheel bearing... I searched the number and a Chinese copy appeared on Zamazon for $16 shipped (in US). I would rather use a Chinese copy than that "OE" bearing in the condition it is in. The fact that you can't find any markings makes me suspicious--are there markings on the seal portion?

The inner bearing races are two halves and are pressed onto the hub which holds them into the bearing. It is not uncommon for the innermost race to stay in when the hub is pressed out of the old bearing. I'll use an air chisel to tap the stuck inner race off.
Ok, from the beginning.

The suggested price on VW dealers for this bearing is exactly R$ 1,000.39, which would mean something like US$ 300 per unit. When i FIRST had the issue with the front bearings I realized the hard way there were absolutely no reliable brands around here that would carry this specific 75mm size. The only option I had was taking my chances with a set of chinese branded ASH bearing. THIS WAS ON JULY/17, which means that it only took 3 months for the chinese parts to fall apart. :(

Option 2 would be ordering this from the US on a reliable store like FCP, AZ, ECS, etc and wait something like 45 days for the part. IF I GET LUCKY I won't have problems on BR customs / postal-office and even so the total cost would be way more than the R$ 400 (~ US$ 130) i paid for this pair. If the order get stuck on customs it would probably mean one extra month of waiting plus 60% on taxes over the TOTAL cost (parts + shipping). This is what made me choose the ugly NOS bearings.

Now, back to business, I took a good clean on that using WD-40 as suggested here and the final result was pretty nice. Now I can actually see that the bearings are made in France and SNR branded. There's a part number stamped there which seems to be GBJ2309S01. As i could not track down this code on Google I searched a little on SNR catalogue and there I could find that they do manufacture bearings for the 1998 1.8T under the code R157.23 - whatever, good enough for me.





Now, regarding my first concern on rust over the external surface, I believe that's probably because this bearing was not very well stored as you mention. Even so, the external oxidation could almost be completely removed on WD-40 meaning that's not that deep. Also, this oxidation is probably because the external surface was exposed without any kind of coating/lubrication and since the internal surface is stiffed in grease (it sounds pretty jelly) I'm sure that the inner part was not affected the same way. Anyway, so far I'm pretty confident on taking my chances with these bearings, if that's a fail I'll go on route 2 and order new ones from the US. I'll update this after getting these guys installed.
 

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I agree that because of the grease, it is very unlikely that there would be any internal damage.
The external rust is not a problem, it just needs to be removed (don't worry about staining) then coat it with a smear of oil or grease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just to give this thread some feedback.

I had both bearings installed on November 23 and ever since I've got no problems at all with any of the bearings, pretty smooth and silent ride actually.

The external oxidation, as suspected, doesn't matter at all.
 

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Glad to hear all is well now. :thumbup:
 
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