WHAT WENT WRONG?? -- wheel bearings

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#1
Make
Scion
Model
xD
Year
2008
Miles
215000
Engine
?
My husband and my father-in-law just replaced the two front bearings on our Scion xD. Standard procedure, took of the wheel, the rotor, the brake pads, the caliper, disconnected the ABS sensor, the lower arm, the upper bolts, and the tie-rod end. While they were removing the lower control arm, the boot for the lower ball joint was damaged on both sides. Finally got the knuckle off (after much rust).

They used a press from my FIL's work (he is an airplane mechanic) and pressed in a new bearing and hub into the knuckle. When they spun the knuckle independent of the car, they sounded smooth and ready to go. They also purchased and replaced the lower ball joints entirely, as a boot is not sold separately for this make/model (too small). They put everything back together, and now the vehicle sounds like BOTH bearings are bad. What happened?

Note: my husband is not an amateur, he has been working on cars/trucks/motorcycles his entire life, and like I said, my father-in-law is similarly experienced with his entire profession being an airplane mechanic.

Factors:
- could the axle nut be too tight or too loose? If so, which is more likely?
- We changed the tires/rims as well -- went from our winter to summer (I know it's July, we have been remiss). The new tires are a larger rim low profile (thanks to the guy I bought the car from originally). Could it just need an alignment?

PLEASE HELP.
 
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#2
There are two classic mistakes made when "pressing in" that type of spindle/bearing/hub repair.

1. When pressing the bearing into the spindle, you cannot press on the inner race to accomplish that. It can damage the ball bearings and/or the surface they roll on.
2. When pressing the hub into the inner race, you must press on, or support, the inner race. You cannot press on, or support, the outer race or spindle. It can damage the ball bearings and/or the surface they roll on.

If I was trying to determine the knowledge of a person who would appear to be qualified, I would not first tell them about right way/wrong way, I would first ask them to explain to me the wrong ways to do that job, and why. Root objective during re-assemble.....at no time shall the force of the press be applied to the ball bearings.
 

billr

wrench
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#3
I doubt you could ever over-tighten the nut enough to affect the bearings; the threads in the nut or on axle would strip long before. Likewise, I doubt wheel alignment is causing the noise, especially if there isn't something grossly obvious about how the wheels look or how the car steers.

I gotta ask... did they tighten the nuts enough, to the proper specs? What brand and number bearing did you use? Was there any use of heat or big hammer getting the bearings off or on?
 
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#4
Jack up front end and spin wheels independantly. When tightening axle nut no pressure on bearing itself only the solid inner races. No alignment needed all parts replaced are non adjustable. Put old rims/tires back on after you jack and spin wheels if no noise heard