The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Garden hose band aid

Club Car golf cart wheel bearing temporary repair diy low budget

The golf cart front wheel bearings started making an awful grinding sound that created a situation where the tire was rubbing against the corner of the steering thingamajig.

We really wanted to haul in some more lumber, so I came up with the above garden hose band aid to protect the tire.

It bought us about 2 miles worth of hauling before the bearing started giving out in a different spot.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Is that the second wheel bearing that's breaking down? That's rather uncommon.

In any case, have your mechanic replace the bearing, and don't forget to have him replace the seal as well, and lube the bearing properly with the correct grease. A faulty seal will drastically shorten a bearing's lifetime because soil particles like sand are very abrasive.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon May 21 18:16:12 2012

Roland --- Mark was thinking the same thing --- that it's odd two bearings would break down in fast succession. But maybe this is just the time they're likely to go since they're all the same age and have dealt with the same rough wear?

The seal was what fell off the second time and made Mark stop driving until we get the wheel fixed. My job this morning is to hunt it down along the floodplain as I walk Lucy. :-)

Comment by anna Tue May 22 07:06:04 2012

What I suspect as that your off-road use falls somewhat outside the design envelope, to put it mildly.

Second is maintenance. Even bearings need inspection, occasional lubrication and replacement of worn-out parts. If that has been overlooked, it will eventually lead to failure.

Furthermore, if a bearing seal can fall off, I suspect there is something seriously wrong because such a thing should not be able to happen with normal use.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue May 22 12:45:05 2012
Roland --- Yep, we work the golf cart hard. It still doesn't explain why we didn't have any problems with bearings for the first couple of years then two in a matter of months. But now that we understand how the seal works, I think we can prevent problems going this far in the future. I had noticed a little bit of noise from that front wheel for weeks, but figured it wasn't anything we could do anything about. Next time I hear a noise, I'll poke around and see if a seal has been compromised and something needs to be lubricated.
Comment by anna Tue May 22 19:18:48 2012

If a seal is missing, the bearings probably need to be disassembled and cleaned before lubricating them. Ball- or roller-bearings and dirt are never a good mix.

You can check the condition of a bearing by lifting the axle off the ground with a jack, grabbing the top and bottom of the wheel and try to wiggle it to and fro. There should be virtually no play. If there is play, the bearings are either done for or badly adjusted (some configurations can be adjusted) in which case they probably won't last much longer.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed May 23 17:00:18 2012
Roland --- Mark actually ended up ordering the whole bearing assembly for exactly that reason. It was only $17 more than replacing the parts we knew were broken, and the salesman explained that other parts in the assembly that weren't obviously broken could have been gouged out by dirt that got into the grease. Hopefully the assembly will arrive tomorrow and we'll be back on the road. (Well, back into the mud... :-) )
Comment by anna Wed May 23 18:59:57 2012

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