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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figured I would start a second thread for the front end of my overhaul/maintenance fun. My intention was to replace the front axles and a-arm bushings and to check everything to see how things were holding with just under 7900 miles. No real issues with the front end other than a torn lower ball joint boot, which will result in me replacing all the ball joints.

I forgot how much fun it is to dismantle the front of the X3. It has been a while since I had everything apart. Thankfully the axles popped out easily.

The stock a-arm bushings were in decent shape just a little on the dry side. I probably should of hit them with the grease gun. LOL! I am replacing them with the Sandcraft bushings I have been holding on to for almost 2 years.

The wheel bearings and hubs look like they are in decent shape considering I never added any grease to the wheel bearings. Maybe they do come with enough grease from the factor. I do ride in wet or muddy conditions so I am sure that helps. I was expecting the retaining clips to be all gone but everything was intact. I will be replacing the wheel bearings and hubs just because I have everything apart and might as well do it now. Plus it is not a super expensive part to replace.

I am happy to report my HMF gusset kit has maintained the bolt holes to the original factory shitty tolerances. No extra wallowing of the bolt holes. Also my stock lower a-arms with the Extreme Performance taco kit are holding up.

Have to order up some parts and hope to have it all back together by next weekend.
 

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Nick at Adrenalin SAYS Can Am makes and sells a knuckle that takes a larger, more durable wheel bearing - says they sell em to race teams.

Learned this AFTER I bought several OEM spare knuckles, but the ones that came with the car DO seem to hold up alright.

Original FRONT knuckles made it to 35,000+ miles with zero issue -the only knuckles that busted or broke during that time were rear ones - wallowed out toe links in the OEM ones and wallowed out radial joint holes and broken bearing rings on the aftermarket ones.

Went back to stock on the rear ones with the LSR toe link gusset - 2,000 miles on them so far; fix’n to find out if they’ll go the distance.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nick at Adrenalin SAYS Can Am makes and sells a knuckle that takes a larger, more durable wheel bearing - says they sell em to race teams.

Learned this AFTER I bought several OEM spare knuckles, but the ones that came with the car DO seem to hold up alright.

Original FRONT knuckles made it to 35,000+ miles with zero issue -the only knuckles that busted or broke during that time were rear ones - wallowed out toe links in the OEM ones and wallowed out radial joint holes and broken bearing rings on the aftermarket ones.

Went back to stock on the rear ones with the LSR toe link gusset - 2,000 miles on them so far; fix’n to find out if they’ll go the distance.


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I am probably going to order the hubs from CT Raceworx and have them install the bearing with the bigger retainer clip. I will just keep the old ones as spares.

My assault toe link brackets seem to be doing there job. The hole is still round and not wallowed out. I may just replace the rear hubs as well.

Stupid car is costing me money these days. The cost per mile/smile is going up. LOL!!!
 
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Looks very similar to how my car looks at the moment. Tore mine down that far to remove the differential. I didn't remove the knuckles as the axels can be dropped out without removing them maybe it's something I need to look at about 5500 miles on the car. Ill be changing the diff, axels, and bushings at a minimum

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·






Stopped at Harbor Freight today and picked up the ball joint tool kit. Made removing and installing the ball joints a breeze. 36mm socket works perfectly to cup the bottom ball joint to press them in. A 32mm works for the upper.

3 of the 4 old ball joints and tears in the boots.

I decided to replace the wheel bearings. I have everything apart so might as well get it done. Called CT Raceworx and ordered new hubs and bearings with their bigger retaining clip. Figured it was easier to order it all complete.


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great write up ! its nice to see how well things hold up when mud and water isn't in the picture. I pulled my front/rear end apart last night like you.......its been 250-300 miles since my last full break down of everything. I trail ride but being on the east coast its fricken mud and water.

new brake pads 250 miles ago....down to the metal in the rear, no pad left, fronts had a tiny amount of pad the thickness of a credit card. Race driven new mud rat pads...they suck. Back to oem
Brake calipers, pistons and guide rods were covered in hard clay mud and wouldn't even slide or move, I had to pull the calipers apart and clean and lube.
Wheel bearings were replaced and grease filled 250 miles ago and the grease was nasty and wet...took 15-20 pumps each.
My a-arm bushings were replaced last year from being worn down due to mud and grit, these are still super tight...they are the greaseless ones but i grease them after every ride anyway

I had to pressure wash the engine since it was so mud covered i couldn't even see it anymore

Ill be repeating all of this in another 250-500 miles :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
great write up ! its nice to see how well things hold up when mud and water isn't in the picture. I pulled my front/rear end apart last night like you.......its been 250-300 miles since my last full break down of everything. I trail ride but being on the east coast its fricken mud and water.

new brake pads 250 miles ago....down to the metal in the rear, no pad left, fronts had a tiny amount of pad the thickness of a credit card. Race driven new mud rat pads...they suck. Back to oem
Brake calipers, pistons and guide rods were covered in hard clay mud and wouldn't even slide or move, I had to pull the calipers apart and clean and lube.
Wheel bearings were replaced and grease filled 250 miles ago and the grease was nasty and wet...took 15-20 pumps each.
My a-arm bushings were replaced last year from being worn down due to mud and grit, these are still super tight...they are the greaseless ones but i grease them after every ride anyway

I had to pressure wash the engine since it was so mud covered i couldn't even see it anymore

Ill be repeating all of this in another 250-500 miles :(
Thanks.

I was told to not overfill the wheel bearings with grease. Too much grease causes heat build up and premature wear. I would maybe try adding only a few pumps of grease and see if you get more life out of them.


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Thanks.

I was told to not overfill the wheel bearings with grease. Too much grease causes heat build up and premature wear. I would maybe try adding only a few pumps of grease and see if you get more life out of them.


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I've heard a few people say that, not sure if there's any proof ??... "they" say it will blow the seals out or get hot and slow you down due to resistance and so on. I had my rear bearings fail because they has too little grease in them. Because I'm constantly in water, rivers and creeks i need the bearing full with no voids for water to enter. You cant overfill/pressurize the bearings as the grease will just flow out. My bearings were full of grease just 250-300 miles ago and they needed 15 plus pumps to fill and push the old grease out. There was grease around the front and rear of the bearings so I know they are pushing out what they dont need

Ive never heard of a bearing failure from over-greasing but i know of many from under-greasing
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've heard a few people say that, not sure if there's any proof ??... "they" say it will blow the seals out or get hot and slow you down due to resistance and so on. I had my rear bearings fail because they has too little grease in them. Because I'm constantly in water, rivers and creeks i need the bearing full with no voids for water to enter. You cant overfill/pressurize the bearings as the grease will just flow out. My bearings were full of grease just 250-300 miles ago and they needed 15 plus pumps to fill and push the old grease out. There was grease around the front and rear of the bearings so I know they are pushing out what they dont need

Ive never heard of a bearing failure from over-greasing but i know of many from under-greasing
I never touched mine. Just conveying what I was told from CT.

As your bearings currently don’t last long it might be worth a try not pumping them until the grease oozes out. Mud riding is way more maintenance. Lol!


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I never touched mine. Just conveying what I was told from CT.

As your bearings currently don’t last long it might be worth a try not pumping them until the grease oozes out. Mud riding is way more maintenance. Lol!


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Not using enough grease is 100% the reason my rear bearings went out / seized . They would still be in there if I would have loaded them up. Going from a trail ride to a water ride is very hard on bearings, they get hot and expand then get instantly cooled off and tend to pull water and dirt into them.
I have to flush the bearings of the old grease and contaminants each time I re-grease and that takes pumping them until all the old grease has been pushed out by the new grease.


Mud is the devil ! It sucks ! You almost never hear of bearing failure on the west coast ......very common in the east coast
Maintenance on a vehicle that goes in the mud is a full time job :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not using enough grease is 100% the reason my rear bearings went out / seized . They would still be in there if I would have loaded them up. Going from a trail ride to a water ride is very hard on bearings, they get hot and expand then get instantly cooled off and tend to pull water and dirt into them.
I have to flush the bearings of the old grease and contaminants each time I re-grease and that takes pumping them until all the old grease has been pushed out by the new grease.


Mud is the devil ! It sucks ! You almost never hear of bearing failure on the west coast ......very common in the east coast
Maintenance on a vehicle that goes in the mud is a full time job :(
Many years ago we ended up on a mud ride due to rain in the desert. The mud was a red clay and got everywhere. $30 at the coin op and I still had dry mud falling off months later. It was miserable.


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It’s stains metal ! It stains plastic ! People behold houses out of it ! It laughs at pressure washers !
I had to chisel a lot of it out this week ......yes a hammer and chisel, it was like concrete in many areas . At my main ride area/ off road park they have about 6 different types of mud and clay, the whitish clay is slick as glass, step on it and you’re on your ass , it’s like modeling clay.
they have a giant diesel pump for the pressure washer area and you have to wash the mud off a few times a day because it’s weighs hundreds of pounds ! Not kidding , you can pick up hundreds of pounds of clay and it’s not coming off until it’s hit with the 5000 psi pressure washer .

when you get stuck in a mud hole you have to get your body into the same hole to winch out .....double sucking !
 
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I hate mud but its part of eastern riding . When i have to be in mud I always come home and purge my bearings( you would be surprised how much mud/water comes out). I know long speed runs are not typical in eastern riding so I keep my bearing full to help prevent any place for mud and water to go. A properly greased bearing for higher speeds wont have much grease in it due to heat buildup but that air space internal to the bearing gives a cavity for mud and water to go. Most of the bearing on our sxs are designed for cars and are not sealed very well at all . Keep the dirt out and the bearing will have a long life but its not really possible in the environment most of us ride in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·



Finished installing the a-arm bushing and axles. Had a little issue with getting the front driver’s side axle to seat properly in the the diff. Thanks to Mega and his genius ways he helped me figure it out. Yes I called him a genius.

Turns out the inner splines in the diff were not lined up with the outer splines. Once those were lined up it slipped in no problem.

The Sandcraft a-arm bushings I used were kind of pain. Once you get them greased up you have to make sure you press the sleeve into the bushing and then install in the arm and press the other bushing on. I used a C-clamp to do this. A bench vide would make quick work of it. I suppose they would press in when you tighten the bolts, but I wanted them pressed tight before that.

The outer part of the bushing has an o-ring grove you can put some grease in. Because of the groove I used the wear plates to make sure it was a smooth matting surface and to keep dirt out of that grove.

Once I get my hubs and wheel bearings I will finish off the front and be ready to ride.


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Forgot to add my front swaybar is now a two piece. LOL! I notice last dune trip my car was pushing more in turns, but did not really think much of it. When I went to attach the driver's side link to the a-arm yesterday I notice how easy the bar moved, which it should not when the other link is attached. Sure enough it broke inside the bushing.
 

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Damn dude,,, one thing after another!o_O I get that stuff wears out and needs repaired/replaced as the car ages, but damn,,, would be nice to spread the cost over a longer period of time for ya!!
 

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Damn dude,,, one thing after another!o_O I get that stuff wears out and needs repaired/replaced as the car ages, but damn,,, would be nice to spread the cost over a longer period of time for ya!!
longer period? He has over 7k miles on a 2018. Miles to smiles seem to add up to me. Nothing last forever, just ask Tim about elastic in his undies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Damn dude,,, one thing after another!o_O I get that stuff wears out and needs repaired/replaced as the car ages, but damn,,, would be nice to spread the cost over a longer period of time for ya!!
It did add up quickly. Just one of those things where you start and find more stuff. I did not need to replace the hubs are wheel bearings, just figured I would get it done now while everything is apart. Still cheaper than buying a new car.

I should be good to go for a lot more miles.
 

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longer period? He has over 7k miles on a 2018. Miles to smiles seem to add up to me
Wasn't a bag on the car,,, just sucks that it's all piling up at one time for Shark. It would still be $X,000 over the same time/mile period no matter what,,, but it seems to "hurt" less when it's a few hundred here, and a few hundred there. At least it does for me.🤷‍♂️


Just one of those things where you start and find more stuff.
I do get that. Mods / Repairs seem to go the same route,,, "While I've got it apart, may as well add a couple more zero's...";)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·






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