Advice on front wheel hub/bearing replacement

Discussion in 'Generation 4 - Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by shaker281, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. shaker281

    shaker281 SHO Member

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    Noticed a constant light grinding and hum (like a snow tire) that seems to come from left front. It does not change with braking and might be a little worse with the steering off-center. Feels/sounds a bit like when your rotor has been sitting in wet weather and the rust has yet to be rubbed off via braking. Assuming a wheel bearing is going bad. Bought two Timkin units.

    Any advice? I've got a 3 jaw puller and my torque wrench only goes to 150 lb-ft.
    Do the symptoms match a wheel bearing failures?
    Can I reuse the axle nut with blue threadlocker? Or is it imperative I buy new axle nut(s)?
    What size is the axle nut?
    Is the hub/bearing assembly pressed into the knuckle or just held on with the bolts.
    Torque spec on the 4 bearing/hub bolts?

    TIA
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  2. SHOdded

    SHOdded SHO Member

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    Would also suspect a CV joint in the axle, be sure to check that out.
     
  3. shaker281

    shaker281 SHO Member

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    Very good point.
     
  4. SHOdded

    SHOdded SHO Member

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    Not sure on the hub nut size, but here is the FSM procedure for the hub/bearing
     

    Attached Files:

  5. glockcoma

    glockcoma SHO Member

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    Check the backing plate/rotor guard.
    It's very thin metal and gets bent easily if you hit snow pile or road debris.
    I had a similar issue that started all of a sudden.
    Turned out wifey ran over a smallish snow pile .
    The backing plate bent and was rubbing against the inside of the rotor.
     
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  6. SHOdded

    SHOdded SHO Member

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    Know the axle nut size by any chance, glock?
     
  7. glockcoma

    glockcoma SHO Member

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    I think it's 32mm
     
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  8. shaker281

    shaker281 SHO Member

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    Great guys, thanks for the help. The backing plate doesn't seem to be rubbing.
    I really appreciate the PDFs SHOdded. (98 lb-ft for the hub bolts).

    After today's test drive I can only concur it is the driver's side front that is going bad.
    Very hard to tell from raising and rocking the wheel, though there is a bit of play on the driver's side, that I do not feel on the passenger side.

    I went ahead and ordered a couple front axle nuts from Ford. They are 32mm (or 1 1/4").
    Already bought both Timkin hub units from Rockauto.
    Part number for the nut is -W712435-S439 and it appears you order in pairs ($20.22 shipped). Only found them through Ford.

    The O'Reilly's near my house, loans out the "front wheel drive hub puller", the 32mm socket and a torque wrench that goes to 250 lb-ft. I should get to it later this week, when the nuts arrive. I will post up results.
     
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  9. SilverSH0

    SilverSH0 SHO Member

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    I did a QUICK glance at what SHOdded posted for removal/installation of the bearings to see if it's like the many other's I've done on vehicles and it appears to be almost identical. I've done bearing assemblies way more times than I care to admit on a lot of vehicles. Depending on how bad the bearing is and how rusted everything else is, if you pull on the hub you could separate the bearing in two.

    What I do for all my bearings is remove everything to get to the bearing and the bolts holding it to what I call the steering knuckle (not sure if correct term or not, but it's the metal piece that holds the bearing assembly). Then I remove the bolts holding in the bearing and if it's like vehicles in the midwest rust belt, the bearing assembly will be firmly rust welded in place. At this point the only thing holding the bearing in place is the rust in the bore of the steering knuckle. What I do is use a 3 jar puller to apply a little bit of outward pressure on the hub assembly. But I don't put too much as I've had several pull in half. Then I get a hammer (sometimes also need a bar) and hit the bearing assembly where the bolts go in sideways. Basically, I'm hitting it in an attempt to get the assembly to ROTATE in the bore of the steering knuckle. When it rotates a little the pressure from the 3 jaw puller will pull it out a little bit. Then add pressure back on the puller and repeat until it falls out. When installing, I always run a wire wheel over everything so it's clean and put some grease on the mating parts. I had to change the CV joint on my Jeep front axle shaft (required removing wheel bearing assembly) 4 years after doing the bearing and it came off freely after removing the bolts, no pulling required.
     
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  10. shaker281

    shaker281 SHO Member

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    SilverSHO, you are exactly correct! That thing is solidly fused to the knuckle. I sprayed it down (front and back) with penetrating oil 12 hours ago and have tried several "tricks". Using an impact socket and short extension with the bolts backed off several turns and beating it from behind. Using an air chisel to vibrate it loose. Jacking it up from underneath with a floor jack. Jacking up the end of a serious pry bar (30" hardened). That one was a little spooky, as I had a lot of pressure on a jury-rigged apparatus. Even putting an impact socket and extension onto a backed off bolt and the other end on the frame rail and using the power steering, which I think would work if I had a piece of scrap metal to put between the extension and frame rail to spread out the force. Without, it the frame rail starts to divot a bit! I'd rather not screw up the frame rail or a tie rod, so not liking that approach too much.

    I like your plan to try and rotate with outward pressure and will try that tomorrow morning. Thank you for posting. And yeah, I plan to wire wheel and anti-seize it, if I ever get it off.

    One question though, with the axle nut removed , is it safe to apply pressure on the axle with the screw of the 3-jaw puller?

    There is a tool called a "hub buster" that costs $108.05 on Ebay, that apparently works really well, but would require shipping.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wheel-Hub-R...308891?hash=item2efe70ebdb:g:EScAAOSwhlZYthAy

    Youtube video shows it takes about 30 seconds.

     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  11. Johnbigdog

    Johnbigdog SHO Member

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    Go buy a bolt That it several inches long with threads all the way up, a nut for the bolt and some washers. The bolt has to be long enough to pass through the hub and touch the knuckle.

    Pound out a wheel stud and remove it.

    Put bolt through the stud hole then on the back side put the washers and the nut. Hold the nut and turn the bolt to press against the knuckle and press/push the bearing out. You may have to work the bearing out by pressing in various spots of the knuckle.
     
  12. SilverSH0

    SilverSH0 SHO Member

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    There are a few problems with this method and I've done it before (and don't use it). First, removing a stud isn't necessarily the easiest thing in the world to do. So there's a good chance you're going to spend some time beating on a stud get it pushed out. Second, depending on how bad the bearing is there's a good chance that you'll pull the bearing in half. It's much easier to get a 3 jaw puller and simply pull on that same plate. But again, if it's rusted in really well you'll simply pull the bearing in half. That's really my issue with using the plate where the studs attach is there's a decent chance you will pull the bearing in half and then it really sucks to remove (I've replaced buddies bearing where I remove the axle nut and the bearing pretty much falls in half). I know because I've pulled bearings in half a few times before figuring out to hit them and rotate.

    If you do what I mentioned above it will work and come out in one piece. Hitting the case (usually triangle shaped) to cause rotation cause rotation breaks the corrosion and since you're hitting on the assembly housing there's nothing to break. The 3 jaw puller with some outward pressure will cause the bearing to slowly pull out a little bit when it does rotate.
     
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  13. shaker281

    shaker281 SHO Member

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    Thanks for all the advice to everyone. Job is done and was mostly easy, except removing the hub assembly. I tried the puller and attempting to rotate the hub, but it didn't seem to be budging. I bought the hub buster and it is one heavy duty mofo! In the video they give it a single hit with a 5 lb sledge and viola. I had to hit it 30-40 times with an 8 lb sledge! I don't think I could have gotten it off any other way. There was a 3/8' wide band appx 1/16" thick of some rock like residue inside the knuckle bore and I ended up using a dremel to clean the bore before wire brushing and applying a coat of anti-seize. This hardened residue broke up into a fine grey sand like substance when I ground it out!

    The good news is , it seems like the problem was the bearing and I no longer hear or feel any grinding. Thanks again for all the ideas and to SHOdded for the PDFs!
     
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  14. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    I just replaced front bearings when i installed my coilovers. Couldn't get them to budge! I didn't want to risk damaging the ball joints on the lower control arm and tie rod, so just pulled the whole knuckle. Only added maybe 45 minutes per side. Once knuckle was off I placed it bearing side down in the top of an old milk can and knocked it out with a 3/8 socket extension in the bolt holes. 3 or 4 whacks and out they came. Mine also had the white residue. The Ford manual has a caution to "remove all adhesive residue"prior to installing new bearing. Pretty sure they GLUE the damn things in at factory. I brushed mine with never-seize and installed. The Hub Buster looks all well and good, but will leave the race in the knuckle, plus its pricey! Socket extension cost me maybe $4.00!
     
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  15. shaker281

    shaker281 SHO Member

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    Thanks for the idea re: the extension. A very good idea. The reason I did not remove the knuckle was that (in theory) you should then replace the ball joint nuts (one time only according to Ford) and while that is relatively insignificant, then an alignment is also recommended/required. It is possible that there was some sort of adhesive, in retrospect it looked like adhesive that hardened from age and heat. There IS a small gap between the hub and knuckle.

    Of course, mine has spent 100K miles in the rust belt (Detroit and Chicagoland) and maybe that is why it was so recalcitrant. . Based on what it took to knock the hub loose on mine (30-40 hits with an 8 lb sledge), I am not sure anything short of a hydraulic press would have gotten the job done otherwise. Hopefully this thread will give some ideas to others and they will post up their experience for comparison sake. Also, while some units might break apart and leave behind a separated bearing race, mine was not in that bad of shape ( I believe I caught it very early) and these SHO hubs are built pretty substantially, given 365 HP. Even after all those whacks with the sledge , it showed no signs of coming apart.

    Thanks for the input.
     
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  16. marlopainter

    marlopainter SHO Member

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    I'm dealing with this now on the rears... seized on pretty darn good.. I tried the 3 jaw device and it just pushes the axle in. I've soaked a can of PB on them and hit them with a 4 pound dead blow... Nothing... Not sure what else to do except try the hub buster, but it's 10 days out according to their shipping...
     
  17. gamefanatic

    gamefanatic SHO Member

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    Tried hammering a chisel or screw driver between?
     
  18. OgreSmash

    OgreSmash SHO Member

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    it is 32mm. I just changed one out last week
     
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  19. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    Easiest way I found is as described above. The adhesive Ford uses to glue the bearing in is STRONG! I just take the knuckle out, use a 3/8" drive extension thru the bearing bolt holes and bang it out. 3 or 4 good whacks in each hole and out comes the bearing. No muss....no fuss. That's my unsolicited 2c worth. Good luck!
     
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  20. kcobra

    kcobra SHO Member

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    I remember having to have the front bearings replaced at 20k miles on my 2010. Warrantied and fixed the issue. Crazy low mileage for problems though. The tech said they were all like this.
     
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