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How To: Replacing Front Hub / Bearing 1995+ Ford Explorer IFS

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by ncc, August 26, 2006.


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    1. ncc

      ncc Member

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      Okay, continuing on my list of how-to's it's now time to change the front hub/bearing assemblies.

      Work was peformed on a 1997 Eddie Bauer 4.0L SOHC 4x4.

      I purchased a DynaPak hub assembly from Advance Auto for $177. Seems to be a solid unit and I've heard from people in the past that have not had any problems with them. They do have a one year warranty against defects.

      [​IMG]

      You should also purchase a new axle nut. They're not that expensive and since you're going to waste a lot of lactic-acid getting it off, you may as well put a new shiny one in its place.

      Tools you will need:

      Jack
      Jack stands
      Lug nut wrench (should be with your jack in your vehicle)
      1 1/4" socket OR
      32mm socket
      1/2" drive breaker bar
      1/2" drive ratchet
      3/8" ratchet
      15mm socket
      3/8" drive 3" extension
      1/2" drive 3" or 6" extension
      8mm wrench
      Rubber mallet
      Safety glasses
      Long bar that will fit over your breaker bar's handle
      Anti-Seize
      Lok-Tite (blue tube)

      *If you haven't noticed by reading my other how-to threads, I am an anti-seize whore. I believe in the stuff very strongly as I tend to hang on to my vehicles long enough to run into these repairs more than once. So it's a good way to plan ahead for the next time and you WILL thank yourself when that day finally comes.*

      Hub Removal:

      1. Loosen lug nuts

      2. Loosen and remove axle nut with either 1 1/4" OR 32mm socket on a breaker bar. Try not to use your ratchet as you could damage it with the amount of force you'll need to get this nut off. You may need a long bar to put over your breaker bar for leverage.

      3. Jack up vehicle and support it securely with jack stands.

      4. Remove wheel.

      5. Remove brake caliper. Two 15mm bolts hold this on.

      6. Remove brake rotor. This just floats on the hub so a few good whacks with your rubber mallet should break it free.

      7. Remove dust cover. Three 8mm bolts hold this on.

      This is what you should now see:

      [​IMG]

      8. Remove the 8mm bolt that holds the ABS Sensor wire to the back of the steering knuckle:

      [​IMG]

      9. Disconnect the ABS Sensor wire quick-connect under the front bumper and any other clips securing this wire to the body:

      [​IMG]

      10. Remove the three 15mm bolts holding the hub assembly to the steering knuckle:

      [​IMG]

      11. Hit the lug side of the hub with your rubber mallet a few times; it should break free. Then it just slides off the axle splines and into your hands.

      You should now see this:

      [​IMG]

      Notice the huge amount of rust, fried grease and debris that was in the hub/bearing aperture.

      12. Thoroughly clean and inspect the axle splines and hub/bearing aperture. Use a degreaser spray if necessary. Lay a film of anti-seize along the mating surfaces of the aperture and center flange of the axle.

      [​IMG]

      13. Install new hub assembly by sliding unit onto axle splines and pushing back until it mates with the steering knuckle. Put some Lok-Tite on the axle threads and install the new axle-nut (just needs to be finger tight at this point). This will help hold the unit in place while you line up the three bolt holes and install the bolts.

      Since this is a piece that usually does not come off the vehicle until it's time for replacement, I choose to Lok-Tite the three mounting bolts and then torque them down.

      [​IMG]

      Tada! Pretty easy, wasn't it?

      14. Connect ABS Sensor to connector. The DynaPak hub assembly comes with new retaining clips to hold the wire to the frame. This was a very nice feature of the unit. Simply pop out the old crappy clips and pop the new ones in.

      15. Reinstall dust shield, rotor and caliper assembly. DON'T FORGET TO TORQUE THE CALIPER BOLTS DOWN TIGHT!!! These have a very bad habit of falling off on people.

      16. Reinstall wheel and lug nuts (don't forget to anti-seize the lugs!) and lower the vehicle.

      17. Perform final torquing of the lug nuts and axle nut (250ft/lbs).

      That's it. You're done! No more God-awful rubbing noises announcing your presence wherever you go.

      Jeremy
      '97 Eddie Bauer 4.0L SOHC
       
      Last edited: August 26, 2006
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    3. section525

      section525 sextion525 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :cool:
       
    4. ExplorerDMB

      ExplorerDMB Moderator/Technician Moderator Emeritus

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      Very good post! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
       
    5. ncc

      ncc Member

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      :D
      Thank you. I've gotten a lot of help from this site since I bought my first Explorer last year so I thought I'd try and give something back with a few How-To's.

      Jeremy
       
    6. jahomes

      jahomes New Member

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      My first post and I must admit this is pretty thorough. I will be ordering both from hubs this week and will install next weekend. I have seen some post here that directed you on doing this, but nothing like this. Thanks again!
       
    7. Ray Lobato

      Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      Jeremy,
      Great thread! This is definately going into the Useful Threads Forum.
       
    8. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      I appreciate that. I'll set you up with 3 months worth of Elite Explorer status for your efforts :thumbsup:
       
    9. ncc

      ncc Member

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      Hey Rick, that's really nice of you, thanks!

      Jeremy
       
    10. sport01mi

      sport01mi Member

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      Thanks man, this guide will come in handy when I go to do this job in the near future. Well written! :thumbsup:
       
    11. redskins13

      redskins13 New Member

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      I'm having trouble getting the assembly off that holds the calipers. I have them off, and the pads, but the bracket that holds the actual calipers has 4 bolts on the backside attaching it to the wheel assembly. I have a 95' XLT and the bolts are just un-movable. I have sprayed bolt loosener on them and have tried heating them but I can't get them off. I have a stud that I need to replace and it seems that the only way is by taking off this bracket so I can get the rotor off since it seems the rotor needs to come off (the hub is attached to it) in order to get at the studs. Does this make sense? Anybody know how to get these bolts off, or if they are reverse threaded or something, or if I'm doing the whole job wrong and there's a different/better way of doing it.

      Thanks,
      Greg
       
    12. redskins13

      redskins13 New Member

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    13. chrystal

      chrystal Active Member

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      Excellent - I have just done this job following these instructions. The only thing I found was that to undo the 3 nuts holding the hub on I had to use a 15mm spanner as my socket wouldnt fit due to the axle housing. Plus I used a 24" breaker bar and the hub nut came off easily. The hardest nuts to undo were the hub nuts on the steering assembly.

      Once again - Thanks
       
    14. DominicanX

      DominicanX Active Member

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      Awesome Write up you just saved me $900!!!!!!!!!
       
    15. flyncasafo

      flyncasafo New Member

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      Excellent post! Wish I had found this a year ago to save my broke butt money. Excellent Web Site also.
       
    16. dkchrist

      dkchrist Well-Known Member

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      nice write up this is one of the thing I need to do in the near future
       
    17. Big6ft6

      Big6ft6 Active Member

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      :( I wish I would've read this thread 24hrs ago, I just signed the paper to pay my mechanic $500 to do this 01 Limited. They said the part alone was $345 I assumed that becuase there was a drive shaft in there that repalcing the bearing would be a big deal...AAAaarrrh. this makes me agry:mad:

      I look forward to spending more time on this site before I take my explorer in next time.

      keep up the good work
       
    18. Ranger Al

      Ranger Al Active Member

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      When I did mine, I bought the bearing assembly from Pep Boys with Lifetime warranty. The bearing assembly was made by Timken the same company that Ford uses. Maybe a good idea to spend a few extra bucks for peace of mine....
       
    19. daffy

      daffy Active Member

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      Well, I finally got around to doing my right side tonight, this is a great write-up.

      Took me about 2 hours, not in a rush. I must admit, either my torque wrench is off, or I'm stronger than I think, 215 Lb/ft didn't seem to be as much effort as I expected. I didn't even need a cheater on my 3' breaker to get the other one off.

      Just to add a bit of help to those who might try this, the nut you should replace is Ford part # N808985-S100 (Nut and washer) Cost me $16 with tax (ouch).

      I looked at the online places, they were all back ordered, of Autozone, O'Riely's, Advance, nobody had it listed, or they would give me the wrong one.

      Also I used the Timken hub from Autozone, #242591 $154, best price I've seen for these hubs.

      To those that have done this, is it me, or does that nut seem a little smaller than 32mm? My socket seemed loose, on both the one I took off, and the new one.

      Anyways, I'm bummed, I think I have to do the left too, my front end growling got quieter, but not quiet enough.
       
    20. docnpat@hotmail.

      docnpat@hotmail. New Member

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      Same process for 2001?

      Is the process the same for the 2001? Any major differences?
       
    21. 01 Black Sport

      01 Black Sport New Member

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      Yes id also like to know if its the same for a 2001 sport. I think it might be a one piece hub with the brake disc also though????
       
    22. daffy

      daffy Active Member

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      It should be the same through the 2001 model year, but, if it's a late 2001, it could be different.

      01blacksport, is your 4WD? It's a different animal for a 2WD, much, much cheaper too. Otherwise, I'd say remove your caliper and give the rotor a few whacks with a 3lb hammer, it should come loose, it took 5 hits for mine :)
       
    23. 01 Black Sport

      01 Black Sport New Member

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      Ya mines a 4WD, I hope its the same because the one piece buggers are expense. My bearings are starting to go but im gonna wait till this canadian weather warms up a bit before doing it outside!!
       
    24. Top Jimmy

      Top Jimmy New Member

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      Thanks for the details and pix! Awesome job. I performed this operation in last December and am glad to learn that great minds think alike.

      My post however, concerns the ABS light after the wheel bearing was replaced. It remains on. I have checked the connection several times to no avail. I am curious what I may have overlooked or might be missing now. Nothing out of the ordinary and the light was never on before. It seems like all I did was unhook the old connection and plug in the new - and now the problem appeared.

      Ideas?
       
    25. tone_loco

      tone_loco New Member

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      which front hubs would work with a 2WD explorer? all the stores i looked @ only have 4x4 front hubs, or does it matter... im a newb with this...
       
    26. Big6ft6

      Big6ft6 Active Member

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      I'm not sure, but I'm 99% sure you can't use 4x4 hubs becuase they rely on the half-shaft nut to provide the majority of the strength. without front half-shaft your wheel will eventually fall off. People have tried to convert 4x4 to 2wd by removing the front half-shafts. then the hub is only held on by 4 small bolts which turned out to be not strong enough....after a few corners the whole thing falls off. ooops.
       

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