Need second opinion on bad front wheel bearing diagnosis

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Suspension, Brake Systems, & Body' started by myotis1134, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    1992 SHO MTX

    Hey guys,

    Over the past 3 weeks, I began observing a squealing when making right turns, and light humming at low speeds (10-20 mph) coming from the front wheels. It was hard to be certain, but it seemed to be originating at the passenger tire.

    Gradually it's become a constant thrumming sound, and a sensation like I'm driving over constant small speed bumps or one of the tires is oval - causing a side-to-side motion inside the car, but only at low speeds - the bumping smooths out over 20 mph but the thrum remains.

    I've looked at a ton of posts concerning these symptoms, and there seem to be quite a few potential causes: struts, strut mounts, ball joints, control arm bushings, strut bar/bushing, CV joint, subframe, or tires.

    I've got the car on stands with the tires off and inspected all these areas, but nothing obvious jumped out at me. I was leaning towards a bad CV, until I took a look at the back of the passenger side knuckle and saw grease all the way around the inner wheel bearing seal. This appears to suggest that the bearing has failed, but I'm concerned that this grease could possibly be coming from the CV - despite the obvious appearance of a bearing that is beginning to poop out.

    Would someone take a look at these pics and give me a second opinion please?
    Passenger side bearing.jpg
    Driver side bearing.jpg
     
  2. SHOVNST

    SHOVNST Blood type: SHO+

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    326
    Location:
    Niwot, CO
    A worn wheel bearing usually gets louder the faster you drive. Also, (8/9 times out of 10) the volume or pitch should change when you swerve from side to side.

    Getting your hands on everything is the only other way to determine what the sound is. Grab the tire at the 12/6 and 9/3 o’ clock positions and move strongly in short motions back and forth to see if there is any play in the bearing. Would also be a good time to check ball joints, tie rod ends, etc...


    .
     
    SHOdded likes this.
  3. itwonder

    itwonder SHO Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,878
    Likes Received:
    514
    Location:
    VA
    Looks like failed wheel bearing grease seal. If it is a bearing, they usually are louder when you load or unload them going around a sweeping curve like a highway exit.
     
    SHOdded likes this.
  4. rubydist

    rubydist Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6,724
    Likes Received:
    2,511
    Location:
    Denver
    In my experience with these cars, the first symptom of a bad wheel bearing is generally a scraping noise when turning - the rotor will hit the caliper mounting bracket and make a noise. Sometimes, I had a noise that changed pitch with the speed, but generally not.

    As posted above, get the tire off the ground and grab the tire at 12 and 6 o'clock and wiggle. My bet is that you will feel play there because the bearing is bad. Play at 12 and 6 is either ball joint or wheel bearing. Play at 3 & 9 is either tie rod ends or wheel bearing (or a really bad ball joint).
     
    SHOMON and SHOdded like this.
  5. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Thanks for the responses guys. I've been away for work, and just got a chance to start tearing shit down.

    I picked up a couple new halfshafts from shosource.com, and I'm waiting for new struts to arrive. I figure that eliminates a couple of the more likely causes.

    At present I have the passenger side broke down. I took the knuckle and old strut off, as well as the strut-bar. The ball joints on the tie rod and control arm both feel a little sloppy, so I'll replace them too. The strut-bar bushings look ok, and I can detect no lateral movement in the wheel bearing. I haven't dissected the old halfshaft IMG_0278.JPG yet, but that's on the menu for later tonight.

    I was looking at the back of the knuckle, and found quite a bit of grease. I'm guessing this means that the wheel bearing could still be bad, despite it feeling nice and solid?
     
  6. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I forgot to mention it, but has anybody rebuilt this bearing? It spins smoothly, but when I shake it, I can hear a little rattling inside. IMG_0276.JPG
     
  7. AREA 91

    AREA 91 PA SHO SHOP

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Messages:
    5,325
    Likes Received:
    976
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    ecentric nut
    Location:
    Area 91
    Replace it.
     
  8. AREA 91

    AREA 91 PA SHO SHOP

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Messages:
    5,325
    Likes Received:
    976
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    ecentric nut
    Location:
    Area 91
    No new bearing available. Used is your only option.
     
    SHOdded likes this.
  9. sperold

    sperold Last to Know

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,309
    Likes Received:
    1,041
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mech. Tech.
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    I did not know there are no new wheel bearings for the 89 to 93 SHOs !

    I would put some lithium grease to help retain the bearing grease and put it back together and take my chances. Maybe if enough life is left in your bearing, someone will re-introduce the old series during that time and the problem is remedied.

    If you can't get the old bearing to growl when you analyse it, how can you pick a good bearing from the pile of used bearings you will be looking at? Despite the grease smear on the knuckle, it has not identified itself as your problem.

    The other thought is to get the knuckles from the 94 / 95 SHOs (if those bearings are still available) and have them ready for a future change. To the best of my knowledge, the new series bearings do not have to be press fit into the housing, so that is an encouraging feature.

    Also, you can do more with your front brakes with the newer knuckle assembly.
     
    SHOdded likes this.
  10. zoomlater

    zoomlater SHO Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    644
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm pretty sure Area 91 was referring to the intermediate shaft bearing that is not available
     
    AREA 91 and SHOdded like this.
  11. mavericksav

    mavericksav SHO Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Moscow
    i've heard ford mondeo bearing fits
     

Share This Page

If you wish to help keep SHOforum running, please click the donation button below