E30 front wheel bearings

I have a medium pitched whine when I first drive off in the morning. It starts at around 20 mph, turning or braking has no effect on it, no vibrations, but after maybe 1/4 mile the noise is gone until the next
day. 130,000 miles on the car.
So far it seems that the noise is coming from the front passenger wheel, but as you can tell from my description I have only a few seconds to listen to it before it is quiet for the rest of the day. Although I will investigate this some more, I suspect it is the front wheel bearing on the passenger side.
First off, is there any way I can check this by raising the front end and checking for excess play?
Second, the Bentley manual gives a decent description of how to replace the bearings, removing them with a puller, but gives no photo or drawing. My only concern is pressing the new bearing onto the "stub axle" while making contact with only the inside bearing race.
I've replaced wheel bearings on other things before and was wondering if the configuration of the E30 parts was such that I could use a large socket, roughly the same diameter as the inner race, as a die so that I could tap in on nice and evenly with a hammer.
Christopher
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 09:38:45 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hello, that's what I did but mine was noisier and more persistant at 144k miles than you're describing. I jacked up the wheel (using the designated BMW lift points) and found that rotating the wheel produced a crunchy feeling but no play. The passenger side was fine so I didn't spend the $140. (carquest- same german part that came off- same numbers and everything). I just did this and I can't imagine getting it done without air tools as the fender wells hinder you from getting a cheater on your breaker bar. I think the socket was 36mm but don't quote me. These things cost $20 each so find out for sure. I didn't need a hoist, just a floor jack and a level place to stand as they say. I found a description of the job online which described using the tire as a ram to pull the failed bearing out. After you get the brake caliper out of the way and the spindle nut/keeper off, (bitch) you put the wheel back on and run the bolts in evenly about half way down the threads so it leaves the play you need. Shove the wheel in all the way and then jerk it out with a certain amount of vigor. It will stop when it hits the bolt heads and pop out the bearing- hopefully not knocking you on your ass and pulling the car off the jack onto your toe. Mine came out in one piece- super lucky, as this can be a blood bath if it turns out you have a rusted inner bearing. I did use a socket to tap in the new bearing as you suggest. It didn't go smoothly as I'm out of practice at this kind of thing but the car drives fine now. The two halves came apart and I ended up mounting the inner bearing and then the hubs and outer race on top. They say don't do it this way but that's all you can do once it's apart. I'm not a natural at this type of thing, I just do it out of necessity.

Yep, that's what I did but the bearings are in two halves and float inside the new assembly which is comprised of the ABS brake system sensing wheel on the inside and the wheel mounting hub on the outside- it's not just inner and outer races like a chevy. It's kind of heavy and awkward but you won't have any problem. It goes on kind of tight like you think somethings wrong and it's taking too much force. I used a rubber mallet, socket and some grease. The bearing assembly came with instructions but no new keeper or nut. Bentley is emphatic about replacing these with new so you will need to ask about these when you order the assembly.

Courage, Christopher!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks, Cosmo.
The air wrench is a good idea for busting that that hub nut loose. The manual says it takes a lot of force. I'm gonna need to buy a socket for that nut anyway so I might as well buy an impact socket in that size so I can put the air wrench on it.
Your idea for pulling the old bearing using the wheel for a slide hammer effect is genius. However, since I can borrow a puller from a local auto parts store at no charge, I will probably go that route.
First thing I have to do though is jack up the front end, spin the wheel and see if anything doesn't feel right. Hopefully the wheel bearing is the source of the noise. I can post an update if you want to know how it turns out, but given that this is the holiday season and I am busy with other stuff, it might be a while before I get to it. The car is not a daily driver so it can wait.
Christopher
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.