Gen2 wheel bearings are becoming a more common site for independent workshops. The design of these bearing types is unique, and most of the applications that they cover have an encoder seal incorporated into the bearing. This sends a signal to the ECU, which can then allow the activation of on-board safety critical systems such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control (ASR) and electronic stability programmes (ESP).
Another unusual aspect of the Gen2 wheel bearing is that it incorporates a retaining ring which clips into a locating groove in the hub when the bearing is pressed fully home, securing it in place much like a circlip. To the naked eye this appears as a metal pressing, located towards the flange on the bearing. When the bearing has been fully pressed into the hub it can’t be removed without damaging the retaining ring, so care must be taken to ensure that it is fitted correctly first time.
If you try and fit the bearing by pressing it into the hub using the drive flange you are liable to damage the raceway, leading to premature bearing failure. Because of the specific Gen2 bearing design and the possibility of damage during fitment, the use of special tools for dismounting and – more importantly – mounting of the bearing onto the vehicle is required.
To assist technicians, a universal tool for the fitment of Gen2 wheel bearings has now been produced. Adjustable to fit future bearing sizes, it caters for VW Lupo; Polo Transporter 5; Touareg; Audi A2; Seat Cordoba and Skoda Fabia in the VAG range, Freelander 2, Ford & Volvo, as well as all other models that feature this bearing type, now and in the future.
This is because the design of the installation tool is fully adjustable, and allows for the bearing to be correctly pressed on the outer casing during fitment. An extra tool is available for dismount, allowing the task to be carried out on the car – saving dismantling time and also allowing costly and time-consuming components, such as ABS sensors, to remain in place.
This special tool is available in the UK from Pichler Tools and its demonstration has been one of the main attractions for visitors to this year’s regional MECHANEX exhibitions.
The Pichler Tools stand at MECHANEX continues to prove a popular stopping-point for technicians attending the show. The team’s regular step-by-step demonstrations offer visitors the chance to see how special tools – such as the Gen2 bearing solution – function, and those taking the time to visit the stand can also tap into Pichler’s expertise about the components and systems associated with its specialist tools.
Steve Prince from Pichler Tools says: “After seeing our on-stand demonstration of the Gen2 removal and re-fitment procedure at MECHANEX, customers often tell us they have been incorrectly fitting these bearings because they were unaware of the problem. We are able to demonstrate the capability of the Gen2 tools, along with the endless possibilities of our various upgrades of these tools, to allow all wheel bearings and bushings to be changed on-vehicle, using either our manual of hydraulic system.
“Visit our stand at Sandown to see our exclusive Gen2 special offer, along with our vast range of innovative, problem-solving tooling.”