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I had some service done about 3,000 miles before my front bearings crapped out in a big way.

Immediately after the service, on a long trip, I heard for the very first time an occasional weird metallic burp noise vaguely from the front end. I went from thinking it was a burst of CB static to worrying about my ADG or drive shaft to somehow convincing myself it was the front fender shaking because the service guy didn't put the rubber washers back on. Intermittent. Then it kind of went away. Mostly. After I put some o-rings on pending a trip to the hardware store for washers.

Well, this past weekend, things went sideways real fast and it was clearly a front wheel issue. Same noise, then lots of it, and some wobbles and chunks. When I took the wheel off, the seal was out flopping around and I could see bearings all over the place.

One thing I noted was that the axle nut was TORQUED on there like !!!!. At least it was an act of God to unscrew it. And very believable that's what they did, because he must have used a hex drive on an impact wrench to attach my seat the way he did, deforming the rubber seats for the anchors.

So...

Coincidence? Or culpable incompetence from my service guy? And what is the litmus test for your opinion?

What makes a bearing go bad, besides just wear? Just shy of 70,000 on the bike.

I'll own my inability to chase the burping gremlin to the source earlier than I did.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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I had some service done about 3,000 miles before my front bearings crapped out in a big way.

Immediately after the service, on a long trip, I heard for the very first time an occasional weird metallic burp noise vaguely from the front end. I went from thinking it was a burst of CB static to worrying about my ADG or drive shaft to somehow convincing myself it was the front fender shaking because the service guy didn't put the rubber washers back on. Intermittent. Then it kind of went away. Mostly. After I put some o-rings on pending a trip to the hardware store for washers.

Well, this past weekend, things went sideways real fast and it was clearly a front wheel issue. Same noise, then lots of it, and some wobbles and chunks. When I took the wheel off, the seal was out flopping around and I could see bearings all over the place.

One thing I noted was that the axle nut was TORQUED on there like !!!!. At least it was an act of God to unscrew it. And very believable that's what they did, because he must have used a hex drive on an impact wrench to attach my seat the way he did, deforming the rubber seats for the anchors.

So...

Coincidence? Or culpable incompetence from my service guy? And what is the litmus test for your opinion?

What makes a bearing go bad, besides just wear? Just shy of 70,000 on the bike.

I'll own my inability to chase the burping gremlin to the source earlier than I did.
What service was done to the front end?
 

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Sounds like somebody got carried away with their impact wrench. Front axle torque is 45 ft lbs if my memory serves me right and should be very easy to remove. An impact wrench in the wrong hands can be a very dangerous tool. >:)
 

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Coincidence? Or culpable incompetence from my service guy? And what is the litmus test for your opinion?
For me, I'd say you've already done the litmus test, and the guy failed in 2 ways. First, he should have caught the failing front axle bearings, and he over torques things. Unfortunately, that tech might be your best choice in a 500 mile radius.

A few weeks ago, I came across a front spinal bolts that was so tight I could hardly budge with a 5 foot cheater bar. I was using a 6pt 1/2" drive 22mm Snap-On socket, and the 6 corners on the bolt head began to round. Fortunately for that guy, I had a new spinal bolt in stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For me, I'd say you've already done the litmus test, and the guy failed in 2 ways. First, he should have caught the failing front axle bearings, and he over torques things. Unfortunately, that tech might be your best choice in a 500 mile radius.

A few weeks ago, I came across a front spinal bolts that was so tight I could hardly budge with a 5 foot cheater bar. I was using a 6pt 1/2" drive 22mm Snap-On socket, and the 6 corners on the bolt head began to round. Fortunately for that guy, I had a new spinal bolt in stock.
My thought is they weren't failing until the over torquing. So just 1 fail, but a big one.

I've got a little list of various things that pissed me off because I was stupid enough to let someone else touch my bike. Sure, some are petty. Some are a surprise and disappointment, where I expected better from an alleged pro.
 

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Sounds like you just got a lesson in business ethics.
And a big lesson in finding a new tech to do your work. :wink2:

If a Honda dealer tech did the work I would definitely have a talk with the service manager or the owner. While it won't help your situation it may help the next person who takes their bike in for repairs.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Bushings, seals, oil. Drive in, not carry in, so the whole remove & replace. And mount a new tire.
Ok, I don’t think the over torque caused the bearings to fail, but as Greg mentioned, the mechanic should have caught those bearings on their way out of useful service. He probably was in too big of a hurry to properly check them for smoothness. I hope he wasn’t so over zealous on the fork and bridge bolts or you’ll never get it apart in the future. :frown2:
 

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Sucks to hear stories like this but they are the reasons why nobody but me touches my Bike. I have seen parts come loose on a bike while riding a motocross track and doing 75 ft triple jumps. Not worth it to find out someone is a bad mechanic or worse.
 

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Old rule of thumb that they thought back in the day when they actually had mechanic apprentice classes...


Impact wrenches for mechanical disassembly.. well.. OK.
Impact wrenches for mechanical assembly... perhaps he better become a brick layer!:surprise:


Corventure Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, I don’t think the over torque caused the bearings to fail, but as Greg mentioned, the mechanic should have caught those bearings on their way out of useful service. He probably was in too big of a hurry to properly check them for smoothness. I hope he wasn’t so over zealous on the fork and bridge bolts or you’ll never get it apart in the future. :frown2:
I value that opinion.

What I'm hearing is that he is certainly wrong but realistically perhaps not at fault. I can live with that, and don't think I have a right to blame him for all my problems. Although I certainly want to.

I am wondering what follow up I want to do. It will be a bit, because right now my bike is at a dealer 100 miles in the other direction, waiting for parts.

I am certainly going to inform him (AKA complain) about the clear over-torquing in several places. For his info, for the next guy (perhaps), and we'll see what he says. Perhaps I'll ask for someone with more of a touch and a clue to go over things again for QA? Or maybe just take my lumps and self-righteousness and run, cutting my losses.

What do you think? And how unusual is bearings going at 70,000 miles?
 

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What makes a bearing go bad, besides just wear? Just shy of 70,000 on the bike.
I have had really good luck with front wheel bearings, but I did have some go bad on a 1500 with just over 30,000 miles for no apparent reason. Sometimes, stuff just happens. Dealers often over torque, however, so any time they do anything to the front end I check when I get home. On my 17, the dealer replaced a bad fork tube under warranty, so I checked after a 130 mile or so ride home. The axle bolt was so over tightened that it took a long breaker bar to break it loose, but haven’t had any problems with the bearings so far, and I’ve put quite a few miles on it since. The pinch bolts were so tight that I rounded off at least one breaking them loose. On another occasion the seat bolts were so tight, I was afraid it was going to strip it before it broke loose, so it pays to check when anyone else has reason to work on your machine.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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I value that opinion.

What I'm hearing is that he is certainly wrong but realistically perhaps not at fault. I can live with that, and don't think I have a right to blame him for all my problems. Although I certainly want to.

I am wondering what follow up I want to do. It will be a bit, because right now my bike is at a dealer 100 miles in the other direction, waiting for parts.

I am certainly going to inform him (AKA complain) about the clear over-torquing in several places. For his info, for the next guy (perhaps), and we'll see what he says. Perhaps I'll ask for someone with more of a touch and a clue to go over things again for QA? Or maybe just take my lumps and self-righteousness and run, cutting my losses.

What do you think? And how unusual is bearings going at 70,000 miles?
It’s not totally unheard of. It really depends on the seals integrity and the installation of the bearings and seals to start with. If the seal allows water into the bearings, it will be very little time before they go bad. As has been mentioned, you would have to put a huge amount of force on the axle/nut to squeeze the inner/outer spacers enough to side load the bearings. Hopefully the shop that has it will do a proper inspection of everything up front and do a correct repair/installation.
 

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I wonder if the reinstallation of the front wheel caused the bearing seal to become compromised by less than perfect methods. Like the spacer damaging the seal surface. And they just put it back in straight and sent the bike on it’s way. Or backwards? Then turned it around? I think it’s a little more than coincidental. I’d be letting that dealer know that you have the bike somewhere else for repairs because.... Then I would make it right and move on. Life is short, lesson learned, don’t go there again.
 

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IronMan
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I just had rite front go bad on my last trip. Had used wheel with new tire and rotors on it . Supposed to had new bearings put in. Was in a valley and lost pandora so heard a little squeak . Not constant . Drove 15 miles to kids house n checked next day. Thought was brake pad . No such luck. Took off wheel n just rite side felt like gravel in when i put finger in it. Maybe not enough grease when put in or faulty bearing ! ?? Chit happens . Just for record 2001-17 front bearings the same !!GLAD YOU CAUGHT IT BEFORE ON TRIP N STUCK SOMEWHERE . MOST DEALERS DONT STOCK !!!!
 
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