Three new bearings and a new ball joint -- still not fixed

In March I took my 1990 Toyota Corolla in for a state inspection and they said it needed a new front driver’s wheel bearing. I went down to the junk yard and picked up a used wheel knuckle assembly and installed it.

When I took it back in for another inspection, they said it still wasn’t right. I checked again, and sure enough, it was bad, even though I thought I put a good one in. I took it to a Japanese auto repair shop and they put a used knuckle on themselves, and this one was fine until the five months later – it started making noise again.

I took it in to them and they replaced the bearing. Two weeks later I was back and they changed the bearing again. The very next day (today) I was back in there to tell them it still wasn’t right. It was making noise and it still had movement in it when I move the wheel holding the top and the bottom of the tire.

The mechanic replaced the lower ball joint last time and it still hasn’t been solved. Any ideas? Does it need a whole new hub assembly? Anything outside of trying to put a brand-new steering knuckle in?

Nothing damages a new wheel bearing faster than improper installation. I had a co-worker ask me to go for a ride in his car to listen to something. As we picked up speed I started hearing a growling noise coming from the front. I looked at him and told him it sounds like it needs one or both front wheel bearings replaced. He looked at me and stated they were both replaced yesterday. I looked at him and said no they weren’t or they messed up the installation. He brought it back and either they actually replaced the wheel bearings, or installed them correctly this time. But the noise was gone.


The hard learned lesson of used parts. Cheaper ? how ?

I’ve used many used parts before…but NEVER will I use used bearings or ball-joints.