I am installing new rear wheel bearings.
The new bearings have;
the outer race, a METAL spacer and the inner race - on one side,
the other side has the outer race, a PLASTIC spacer and the inner race.
When I removed the old bearings, one had the metal spacer facing the hub, the other side had the plastic spacer facing the hub.
I have checked the WSM and found nothing about orientation. I found a couple white papers and they did not specify this detail. I did a search here on the list and found a lot about replacing the bearings, but nothing about the orientation.
So, does it matter which side (METAL vs. PLASTIC) faces the hub (or the axle)?
The original bearings on my '89 were both installed with the rubber seal towards the hub face, metal shield over the seal on the transmission side.
'89 S4 Auto, black