Question about possible play after hub replacement

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Apr 28, 2007
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I replaced the rear hubs in a Mazda3 this weekend due to the OEM ones making a clicking noise during rotation. When checking everything out afterwards, I noticed something with the new bearings that I’m not sure what to make of — I wanted to describe it here in case anyone can shed some light on it or comment on whether or not it’s probably “normal”. I can’t feel any play when grabbing the wheel at 9 and 3 and shaking it (with the old hubs OR the new ones). But, I noticed the following: when spinning the wheel by hand after the brakes have been applied, the brakes drag a slight amount as is normal. However, after trying to shake the wheel back and forth for a bit, the brake drag goes away. This implies to me that the rotor is moving against the pads and slightly repositioning them. But, of course, the hub and all the brake parts are bolted to the knuckle and should move as a unit. Does this mean there’s some very small amount of (otherwise undetectable) play in the bearing? Seems like the only other possibility is that the knuckle is flexing somehow, but it’s pretty stout and I doubt I could apply enough force to do that. This vehicle has a “control blade” style rear suspension and I *can* move the suspension in general by jerking the wheel around but I wouldn’t think that would affect the brake pad position at all. Both of the new hubs behave the same way, so I’m hoping it’s normal. But I don’t have another vehicle with the same type of rear suspension setup to compare to so it’s kind of bugging me. Does this sound like it could be a problem?
 
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A few thou (under 3 thou) of end play, I think, is normal and this little play is retracting the pads enough to reduce drag. Seems normal to me.
 
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rationull, did you try waiting a few moments or minutes before spinning to see if the slight brake drag was time related?
 

rationull

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Originally Posted By: The_Eric
rationull, did you try waiting a few moments or minutes before spinning to see if the slight brake drag was time related?
Good question. I did not specifically try waiting, but by the time I was finished checking over one wheel and moved onto the next I'm sure at least a couple minutes had passed and the normal drag was still there.
 
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