I have a quick question

I won’t bore you on how this conversation came up but it left me thinking this …

I’ve owned my '89 XJ40 for over 30 years and have NEVER ONCE greased, lubricated, changed, or even talked to my rear wheel bearings. Is this normal ? Still working flawlessly with no noise but with 165K on the clock am I living on borrowed time.

I don’t recall seeing any grease fittings for the rear bearings the last 15 times I worked on the rear shock absorbers.

How about you ?

agreed never seen zerk fittings on the later rear hubs, but I’ve been into my hubs more than I like to think.

Over 350 kilometers on mine, everything else but never the bearings, I have never touched the exhaust system either, but the car is stored in the winter months since new.John

Thanks guys for the replies…

Knock on wood haven’t had any exhaust issues either (gotta love that stainless steel) as opposed to my old '72 XJ-6 where I was ALWAYS replacing exhaust parts. The #1 gripe I had with that otherwise wonderful car.

I’m all for preventive maintaince but the bummer is that pulling those rear wheel bearings is no easy task like the fronts.

Any very high mileage owners with input on this ?

Groove, I don’t know what you consider very high mileage. I am at 196,xxx miles / 315,xxx km and my rear wheel bearings haven’t been touched. Somewhere around 175,xxx miles I had the car into a local import service shop for some other work and I asked the owner, a factory-trained master Jag mechanic, about servicing the rear bearings and he advised that unless they were exhibiting wear or getting noisy to leave them alone.

260,000km / 161,500 miles here, no issues at the moment but I always touch wood when I post stuff like this …

Larry …

My trusted ole stead has covered 165k miles.

What got me thinking about my car’s rear bearings was a project I just completed. I have a sliding gate across my driveway which is about 25 years old. Lately it seemed to be opening and closing a little slower than normal. After extensive trouble shooting on the opener and motor nothing appeared amiss. it finally dawned on me that I had never replaced or lubricated the two steel wheels.

So I removed the wheels (which is no easy task on a gate that REALLY weighs a LOT). What I found was that neither bearings had a drop of lubrication, and both were partially seized. Of course these were older “cage” bearings and not the modern sealed type, so the good news was this allowed me to disassemble them, soak them in penetrating oil, clean, lubricate, and reassemble them. Good as new.

I don’t know why but I feel like I’m living on borrowed time with my car’s bearings. What concerns me is the possibility of a catastrophic highway failure. But I guess such is the chance you take driving a 3 decades old car.

Robin … what caused you to revisit your rear hubs so often?

My driving :smiling_imp: I did a couple of Targa Tours in the XJR, maximum speed through the closed road stages for me was 130kph which on the straights isn’t stressful, it was the ‘go as fast around the bends’ where the fun really starts :innocent: the one where I had a real problem was when I did the South Island 5 day event a few years ago, I live 2/3 up the North Island so its a good drive down to the start of the event.
After the event I was driving home and started to notice a strange behaviour going around right hand bends, this started in the SI so I decided to carry on home, turns out the left hand hub had spun the bearings in the carrier, no noise or any indication that something was amiss, I had about 30mm movement at the periphery of the wheel.
Also I’ve had Jags with IRS since 1984 ‘S’, XJ40 x 2, X300 and now the XJR, this doesn’t take into account the XJ40 and X300 I purchased to do charity runs in (again from Auckland to the bottom of the South Island)

Robin …

It sounds like you’re having Way-y to much fun with your “gentleman cruiser”. Hmmm … brings to mind the old cliche about driving it like you stole it :sunglasses:

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My old Sovereign had 180,000 miles when I sold it and I know the new owner took it way past the 200,000 mile mark, the rear wheel bearings were never disturbed and gave no trouble.
I recently (last summer) had both the front and rear suspension completely rebuilt on my current XJR at a respected Jaguar specialists, I mentioned the rear wheel bearings because I had a similar concern to you, he said he would check them but doubted they would need replacement, in 30 years of repairing XJ40’s he’s only had to replace one set and that was on a car that had been left submerged up to the door bottoms in water for a week, and even then it was only as a precaution, he said he wouldn’t have bothered but an insurance company was footing the bill so he went ahead and did it.
Rather than a 'catastrophic highway failure ’ it’s far more likely the rear bearings would warn you first by gradually becoming noisy / or whining on the over run.

Gentleman …

Thank you for the input on the rear bearings. Fortunately it wasn’t, “Are you kidding me 3 decades and you haven’t greased those things!”

Although I’m a big believer in preventive maintenance I think in this case I’ll just wait until the bearings start “talking” to me :grinning:

Tweety’s front AND rear bearings were 1963-OE, and were spinning fine at 200,000+ miles.