443 wheel bearing issue

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Mac

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Feb 24, 2008
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Bought a 443 that has been stored for quite some time. Know the history of the machine:eek:nly 240 original hours. Had wheel bearings replaced as they were in pieces. Bad enough to take out the rear axles from scoring. My question: Are the wheel bearings supposed to be lubed by the chaincase oil? This seems to be the case as there are no suggestions in the scheduled maintenance to re-pack wheel bearings. I went a few rounds with Bobcat because the check/fill hole for the chaincase oil is lower than the axles which means the oil can only get into the bearings when the machine is tipped at extreme angles from level. Dealer said they pack the bearngs with grease when they install them. I just want them to last more than another 240 hours. One suggestion was to overfill the chaincase. Any knowledge/or help would be appreciated.
 

Tazza

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They do get lubricated by the chain case oil, when the machine is moving the oil splashes around. Could it have just been a bad set of bearings?
They should last many thousands of hours.
 
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Mac

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Feb 24, 2008
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They do get lubricated by the chain case oil, when the machine is moving the oil splashes around. Could it have just been a bad set of bearings?
They should last many thousands of hours.
Tazza: The bearings could have been a bad set from the factory. But it makes sense the oil level has to be at the axle height at least for oil to get through the inner bearing to lube the outer bearing. Splash oiling will seem to work for the inner bearing but I don't see how the outers can get oil this way. Is the chain case oil level in the machines you have worked on at least as high as the axles?
 

skiddz

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Feb 25, 2008
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Tazza: The bearings could have been a bad set from the factory. But it makes sense the oil level has to be at the axle height at least for oil to get through the inner bearing to lube the outer bearing. Splash oiling will seem to work for the inner bearing but I don't see how the outers can get oil this way. Is the chain case oil level in the machines you have worked on at least as high as the axles?
Mac, the age of the machine,with such low hours, I would think the premature bearing failure is more from lack of use than anything. the sprockets and brake discs do sling quite a bit of oil around the chaincase and splash oil will make it to the outer bearings. also during normal operation, moving dirt or digging, the machine will have periods of not being in a level attitude allowing oil to enter the axle tubes and keep the outer bearings lubricated. So if you are planning on using the machine on a regular basis, you really shouldn't have to worry about bearings only lasting 250 hrs.............you should be able to get at least a few thousand, if not more hours out of you bearings. Do not fill the chaincase over the height of the plug on the front of the chaincase ( it is considered at The correct level if you can reach the oil with a finger through the plug hole) For this reason.......If your dealer, or a mechanic that knows bobcats, is performing a typical service, and checks the oil level in the chaincase (assuming the machine is on level surface).....and oil comes pouring out of the plug hole, their natural reaction is that the machine is leaking oil into the chaincase through the drive motor seals, possibly causing you unneeded repair expense by suggesting that the motor seals need to be replaced....
 

JerryCPP

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Apr 16, 2021
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Bought a 443 that has been stored for quite some time. Know the history of the machine:eek:nly 240 original hours. Had wheel bearings replaced as they were in pieces. Bad enough to take out the rear axles from scoring. My question: Are the wheel bearings supposed to be lubed by the chaincase oil? This seems to be the case as there are no suggestions in the scheduled maintenance to re-pack wheel bearings. I went a few rounds with Bobcat because the check/fill hole for the chain case oil is lower than the axles which means the oil can only get into the bearings when the machine is tipped at extreme angles from level. Dealer said they pack the bearngs with grease when they install them. I just want them to last more than another 240 hours. One suggestion was to overfill the chain case. Any knowledge/or help would be appreciated.
Last spring I bought a 463 bobcat at auction. I soon found out why it was being sold - all 8 axle bearings were trash. It only had 2500 hours on it, but appeared otherwise well maintained. Replacing those bearings and chains was the most difficult job I've done in my 65+ years of bending wrenches. The Bobcat service manual says you must pack the wheel bearings before installation, but I suspect that grease will eventually wash out from the oil that is right at the bottom edge of the axle tubes. If anyone needs step-by-step instructions and a drawing of the special tools you will need to make, let me know and I'll send you a copy. The Bobcat service manual is next to worthless - very limited instructions, and of course you need the special tools available only to Bobcat dealers.
Bought a 443 that has been stored for quite some time. Know the history of the machine:eek:nly 240 original hours. Had wheel bearings replaced as they were in pieces. Bad enough to take out the rear axles from scoring. My question: Are the wheel bearings supposed to be lubed by the chaincase oil? This seems to be the case as there are no suggestions in the scheduled maintenance to re-pack wheel bearings. I went a few rounds with Bobcat because the check/fill hole for the chaincase oil is lower than the axles which means the oil can only get into the bearings when the machine is tipped at extreme angles from level. Dealer said they pack the bearngs with grease when they install them. I just want them to last more than another 240 hours. One suggestion was to overfill the chaincase. Any knowledge/or help would be appreciated.
Last spring I bought a 463 Bobcat at auction. It wasn't long before I discovered why it was being auctioned off. All 8 axle bearings were trash. The machine only had 2500 hours, and appeared well maintained. Replacing those bearings and chains was the most difficult job I've ever done in my 65+ years of bending wrenches. The service manual states you must pack the bearings before installation, but I suspect that grease will eventually wash out, as the oil level is right to the bottom of the axle tubes. The Bobcat service manual is next to useless, so I printed up step-by-step instructions with drawings and dimensions of the tools and adaptors you will need to make. Bobcat tools are available only to Bobcat dealers, and terrible expensive. If anyone needs the instructions and drawings, let me know and I'll send them to you.
 

skidsteerdan

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Jan 22, 2020
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I've had my 443 for a couple of years now, replaced the bearings when I got it. I'll say this things rides so bouncy I have every confidence the oil is making it to the bearings. I also agree with Jerry for the most part. I'm not saying he's wrong, but I did the replacement without fabbing any tools, though I did have a healthy supply of tools from harbor freight, including the front bearing installer/remover and chain breaker (worked great, even though it says it's only for motorcycles). I only have 1/4 the experience as Jerry, but I did grow up on a farm fixing stuff, never professionally. I did all 8 bearings as well, though the manual suggested using the slide hammer, what a joke. I broke at least 4 different brands of these. I finally just bought a threaded rod and some good nuts and washers and used the bearing installer parts and twisted the bearings out and in, which probably took more time than it would take if doing this on a machine where the hammer would actually work.

The only part I stress that you be careful with is when you're removing the bolts on the axles that are inside the chain case. These bolts are 15/16 and difficult to see and get a wrench on and you need to make sure your wrench is on the head perfectly and it doesn't fly off otherwise you will round the heads and then your bobcat is worth only scrap metal price. I just jammed a wood shim in there to keep the wrench on, though having a helper is a bonus.

Once I got the wrench on the head, I simply rented an axle puller from auto zone/oreillys, attach that to the hub where the lug nuts are. Now you have a great way to apply torque to the axle if you have a breaker bar or digging bar or 8ft 1/2" black steel natural gas line (from home depot) to give you a great mechanical advantage. If possible, get a 6pt 15/16 wrench (amazon, $15) - this will be your sacrifical wrench because you will have to remove about 1/4 to 1/3 of the width at the box end (with a grinder) so you can squeeze it between the bolt heads.

Happy to share my personal email if you message me, I can walk you through a lot of stuff and religiously check my email. I will say this is a difficult job, but not in that it takes a lot of experience or special knowledge, but that it takes a good amount of persistence and good old no-fail attitude, but this fits my personality - as long as I'm stupid enough to think I can do something, I usually am able to do that something.

Also, to the people in the future reading this, if you're having trouble orchestrating the symphony of hands, timing and parts for reassembling the disc brake setup, by the 4th time I have perfected my method by using those really strong rectangular neodymium magnets.
 
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
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Great information SkidsteerDan, thank you. I will certainly remember the magnet trick; did a lot of fishing around in the chaincase oil when I was servicing the park brake.


Gunther
 

JerryCPP

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Apr 16, 2021
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Hi Jerry, I would love to have those instructions and drawings if you have a moment!

Thanks,

Gunther
Hi Gunther - Mailed United States Postal Service from Cashmere, Washington, 3-2-22. Do not reimburse - this is a chance for me to pay it forward for the help I've gotten. USPS does not furnish tracking numbers for Canadian mail.
 
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May 21, 2019
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Wow, that's so kind of you Jerry, thank you! I'm a rookie when it comes to skidsteers, but I will do my best to pass that kindness on.

Thank you,

Gunther
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
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Apparently, when I get my 463 back from the father in law, I will need to replace axle bearings.

I do have factory manual. Looking for any tips or tricks to make the job less painful.

Thanks for any help.
Mike
 

JerryCPP

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Apr 16, 2021
Messages
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I replaced all 8 axles bearings on my 463 last spring. It's not a fun job, to say the least. The factory manual is not a lot of help. I typed up a step-by-step instruction sheet(s) in case I ever had to do it again. I also drew up diagrams of the special tools you can make to use instead of the Bobcat factory tools, which are horribly expensive and available only to Bobcat dealers. The sheet includes after-market part numbers which will save a bundle. If you would like a copy of this, please send me your mailing address and I'll get it (them) on the way. Jerry
 
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May 21, 2019
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I'm in the middle of that job now on my 443, its going well thanks to the great folks on here who are willing to share their expertise! Let me know if you need any pictures of anything in particular. I'm currently sleeving my axles then starting the reassembly.
 

SkidRoe

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Dec 10, 2009
Messages
1,887
I have to do something with my 440b - it is losing oil out of the rear left - I am planning to drop the entire chain case out - looks easier than trying to stand on your head...
 

skidsteerdan

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Jan 22, 2020
Messages
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Hi, I didn't find it too bad once I removed the two drive motors. I think next time I would remove the loader arms just to save wear and tear on the old ribs.
I picked up the bearings at Rockauto for $9 for cup and cone(Timken set 11).
Hah, I forgot about that part. I did mine 3 years ago and I think my ribs are still aching! I did mine outside and don't have a shop or any of the fancy accompanying tools, or I'd rather have removed the body from the chaincase, but it's possible to do with all major components still hooked up (outside of the hydro motors)
 

dfb

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Sep 11, 2017
Messages
100
Hah, I forgot about that part. I did mine 3 years ago and I think my ribs are still aching! I did mine outside and don't have a shop or any of the fancy accompanying tools, or I'd rather have removed the body from the chaincase, but it's possible to do with all major components still hooked up (outside of the hydro motors)
I have a 742b and sent mine out for wheel bearing replacement but have resealed the drive motors myself. Knowing now what I did not know then, I agree and would also remove the body from the chain case to do anything to do with the rear axle bearings. I do have a fully equipped shop with a lift to do so making this more practical. Once the body is off, access to everything is so much easier when the chain case becomes a big roller skate with unobstructed access to the case innards.
 
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Apr 22, 2022
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If the drive motors need to come out of the way anyway. Are there any seals that should get replaced at the same time?
I have been having an issue after sitting a couple weeks. Neither side will drive forward or reverse until I operate the stick back and forth a few times.
I did find a small leak at the tilt ram. Planning on resealing all 3 cylinders while out of commission.
 

skidsteerdan

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Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Messages
19
If the drive motors need to come out of the way anyway. Are there any seals that should get replaced at the same time?
I have been having an issue after sitting a couple weeks. Neither side will drive forward or reverse until I operate the stick back and forth a few times.
I did find a small leak at the tilt ram. Planning on resealing all 3 cylinders while out of commission.
I had a drive motor fail about 1.5 years ago, while backing up a dirt hill. Pretty much stuck fixing it right there, just no movement on one side. Bought the seal kit from loadpartssource, I must have re-assembled it a dozen times trying to get it to work, but never did. Ended up buying a new motor from them (works great). Anyway, I'm not sure if it's because I didn't get it back together correctly or if something else was broken in the motor, but if it were me I wouldn't attempt a seal kit again because my confidence in my abilities isn't so high. Also I don't have a clean room so I was paranoid of dust particles the entire time.

There are o-rings where the motor meets the chassis, I would recommend replacing those, fortunately I ordered 1 spare because during one attempt of mounting the motor I somehow split one of the new ones. I think I got them from bobcat.
 
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