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rear wheel bearings keep going out

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My new to me 08 ktm 530 excr left rear wheel bearing went out on me. I bought a new rear wheel bearing and seal kit. Installed them yesterday rode the bike about 10 miles and bam it went out again. What could be causing this? The only thing I could think if us maybe chain too tight. What else could it be? Any ideas, anyone else have this problem. Why only the left side and not the right?

2008 KTM XC-F 450

2008 KTM EXCR 530

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Or over tightening the axle nut? Could that do it?

2008 KTM XC-F 450

2008 KTM EXCR 530

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How does the axle itself look? Chain adjuster blocks perfectly even on both sides? Chain being to tight would accelerate wear but I don't think it would do it in 10 hours. Sounds like the wheel may be crooked just a touch. Then again if it was far off you would most likely be throwing the chain.

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I agree with hezzdown, sounds like an alignment issue or slightly cocked in the hub.

I use a pair of calipers to measure the distance on the axel adjusters. Also repack my wheel bearings with good quality grease, not the Vaseline they come with.

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10 miles is crazy quick, something is wrong.  Were they OEM bearings, or some aftermarket brand?  Does that bike have 2 bearings on the sprocket side, and if so did you replace both?  Are you riding through water or mud?  Do check the chain tension.  If you're in doubt, remove the shock and lift the rear wheel until the chain is at the tightest point.  Now rotate the tire while checking the chain tension several times as the chain goes around, it should not get taught at any point. 

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The bearing kit was by MSR or Moose can't remember. I used a press to put them in I don't think they're cocked. There's only 1 bearing on each side. The axle itself looked good to me didn't look bent. I'll pull it out again and give another look. How perfect does the axle have to be? I'm riding mainly on the street. Rode up a little embankment onto a canal road on then back on the road. That's it. A total of 10 miles on brand new bearings. I'll give the shock removal tensioning a try when I get new bearings again. And the EE kit.

2008 KTM XC-F 450

2008 KTM EXCR 530

Thanks for the replies so far.

2008 KTM XC-F 450

2008 KTM EXCR 530

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When you press them in, did you press on the outside race or inside race. In this instance you should be pressing on the outside to avoid damage to the bearings inside

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The pipe between the bearings is crushed .

Get a new one and do not tighten the nut to tight.

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spacer inside too narrow and causes side load on bearing when axle is tightened...maybe

Yes....

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i would also suspect your center spacer might be worn out/mushroomed and too short now. you really should replace that every now and then. i tend to replace it every time i replace wheel bearings, but you don't need to go that far.

 

also, while 10 miles definitely means something is actually wrong, in my experience, moose, all balls, pivot works, etc. bearings do not last nearly as long as the OEM ones.

 

not everyone has that experience, but, for me, the OEM ones last literally (i am honestly not exaggerating) 10 times longer than moose, etc. ones. we ride a lot of mud (not by choice...it just tends to be muddy around here), and when i was using the aftermarket bearings, i would have to replace the rears every month or so (which would be about 4 to 6 rides/races). with OEM, they last a full year plus. i always get the whole "KTM wheel repair kit" and replace the bearings, seals, wheel spacers, and center spacer. in the long run, for me at least, it ends up being a lot cheaper. ymmv, of course.

Edited by LittleRedToyota

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i would also suspect your center spacer might be worn out/mushroomed and too short now. you really should replace that every now and then. i tend to replace it every time i replace wheel bearings, but you don't need to go that far.

 

also, while 10 miles definitely means something is actually wrong, in my experience, moose, all balls, pivot works, etc. bearings do not last nearly as long as the OEM ones.

 

not everyone has that experience, but, for me, the OEM ones last literally (i am honestly not exaggerating) 10 times longer than moose, etc. ones. we ride a lot of mud (not by choice...it just tends to be muddy around here), and when i was using the aftermarket bearings, i would have to replace the rears every month or so (which would be about 4 to 6 rides/races). with OEM, they last a full year plus. i always get the whole "KTM wheel repair kit" and replace the bearings, seals, wheel spacers, and center spacer. in the long run, for me at least, it ends up being a lot cheaper. ymmv, of course.

LittleRedToyota:  Can you tell me how you make the determination that your bearings need to be changed?  Thanks!

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LittleRedToyota:  Can you tell me how you make the determination that your bearings need to be changed?  Thanks!

 

put the bike on a stand and grab the top of the tire/wheel and try to move it "sideways". if there is any play, the bearings need to be replaced.

 

(you can usually feel the play even on the kickstand, but putting it up on a stand makes it easier and more obvious.)

Edited by LittleRedToyota
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Well when I pulled it out the first time the middle spacer tube looked fine to me but I'll check again tomorrow afternoon after i pick up my new bearing kit by MSR. Assuming the tube is okay And it happens again I'm gonna give the Enduro Engineering upgrade kit a try since it has steel ends on the tube. Thanks for everyone's input so far. I want to add also that both times it happened, it happened right after I went offroad and got back onroad. That's why I think my chain may have been too tight. The chain looked really loose when I got the bike but the bearings were fine for 2 weeks until I tightened the chain then went for a short ride little but offroad and then the left rear bearing blew up. Same exact scenario after I replaced them.

2008 KTM XC-F 450

2008 KTM EXCR 530

Mud is not really a problem for me bc the bike will be 90% street driven.

2008 KTM XC-F 450

2008 KTM EXCR 530

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your chain very likely is too tight given what you just described...and that very well could be causing your bearing issue (and is also possibly damaging your transmission).

 

you can't set the chain tension by how it looks. KTM chains when properly tightened look like they are about to fall off the bike.

 

if you have a manual, read that for how to adjust the chain. if not, do this...

 

on the front end of your swingarm, there is a plastic/rubber protector that wraps around it and protects it from the chain. push the bottom run of the chain up toward the swingarm right where that plastic/rubber protector ends. the chain should just not quite touch the swingarm (if it just touches, that's fine...a little looser than spec, but a little loose is fine--too tight is very bad).

Edited by LittleRedToyota

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