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Please HELP! '93 Ranger front wheel bearing/Auto Hub question.

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Old 12-18-2010, 07:55 PM   #1
Carguy3J
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Unhappy Please HELP! '93 Ranger front wheel bearing/Auto Hub question.

Ok guys, I could really use some advice here. I consider myself a pretty good mechanic, including diagnostics, and I feel a little stupid asking this stuff. However, I'm just not real familiar w/ the front drive train setup on these things, as I've never dug into one before.

I've got a '93 Ranger 4.0L-OHV / M5ROD 5-spd, manual t-case 4x4 w/ factory auto hubs.

From what I was told, it had sat for over a year before I got it. From the day I started driving it, the front end was making a crunching/whooshing/scraping sort of noise, when turning at all in either direction. Quiet (Relatively)when going straight. My first thought was wheel bearings I had a couple of shops take a quick look, and several suggested it may just be tire noise. (somewhat aggressive Cooper's) The tires were all worn evenly at this point. Now, 4 months later, the fronts are worn weird on the inside edges. By weird, I mean uneven height/tread depth on adjacent tread blocks (As if the tire were "hopping", so I guess it could be contributing to the noise, which hasn't really changed much.

Also, the t-case shift lever was "stuck" until recently. I soaked it w/ some "Kroil" ( like PB Blaster, but way better), and now it moves fine. The t-case seems to be ok, as I can shift it through the ranges. I can def. get into neutral, as well as 4lo, based on the rpm differences when moving. However, I don't seem to get any engagement in the front hubs.

Ok, now questions:
1.) First, front wheel bearings/spindle bearings? With the outer hub removed ( the part that usually falls off w/ the wheel), there is definite "play" up/down and side-to-side, of the axle stub shaft. Is this normal w/ the outer hub removed? Does the bearing in the hub support the end of the axle shaft, such that this play is expected w/ the hub removed? If not, then would you suggest it indicates inner and/or outer wheel bearings, or the "spindle bearing"? Is it relatively easy to change? It looks like, from the exploded diagrams I can find, that it should be relatively easy to access everything, including removing the spindle itself, from the "outside" without having to touch the pumpkin/beams,etc... Is this true? Is the spindle bearing/seal pressed into the inner end of the spindle much like a wheel bearing?

2.) Auto Hubs / engagement and condition:
a.) When I turn the front driveshaft and/or axle shafts by hand, it feels like they hubs start to lock/catch, but w/ a little more force on the shaft, the hubs "pop" loose.

b.) They appear to be in good condition, generally. I don't see any broken pieces or anything obvious. However, the splined "cup" in the outer end of the hub feels a little sloppy (ie, where the bearing is, in the end of the hub. I thought I read that this bearing is replaceable, if you know what to buy. True? Or is a little play normal (side-to-side wiggle of the splined cup) Is there a complete rebuild/overhaul kit available for the auto hubs? How about a detailed how-to thread on taking them apart?

c.) They do appear to be pretty well packed w/ grease. I also remember reading that that can be a problem, but I'm a little hesitant to flush them out w/ tranny fluid or anything. Is this a good idea to try?

d.) I was under the impression, from a thread I had read on here, that the plastic cam should not be able to be slid off the axle shaft, until the snap ring is removed. I was able to easily slip the cam assembly off, and back on, by hand, and w/o removing any other parts. Is this indicative of a problem? Also, where is the spring, that I've also read about, that's supposed to keep tension on the whole thing? I don't see any springs involved, except for the "garter" spring around the cam assembly.

Oh, and before somebody says it, manual hubs, or new auto's, aren't an option right now. If these hubs are bad, then the only choice, due to finances, would be to try some junkyard auto hubs. Normally, I wouldn't even be asking. Under better circumstances, if I suspected anything was wrong, it would already be apart, with brand new everything all ready on the way. Unfortunately, I need to keep it running as cheap as possible right now.

Anybody, who really knows these 1st gen setups, have any thoughts/suggestions? I still don't even quite grasp how these things functions. Is all the stress/torque going to the front wheels really on that little plastic cam assembly, and it's "teeth" meshing with those on the hub?
- Thanks

PS. Also a little confusion on wheel bearings/seals. It looks like, according to Autozone and Napa websites, that the Dana35 uses the same wheel bearing and seals for both the inner and outer. Is this correct? Timken "Set37" bearings (Cup+Cone) x4 / and Timken "4250" Seals, also x4




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Old 12-18-2010, 08:05 PM   #2
ragajungle
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Ok, now questions:
1.) First, front wheel bearings/spindle bearings? With the outer hub removed ( the part that usually falls off w/ the wheel), there is definite "play" up/down and side-to-side, of the axle stub shaft. Is this normal w/ the outer hub removed? Does the bearing in the hub support the end of the axle shaft, such that this play is expected w/ the hub removed?

Yes normal

2.) Auto Hubs / engagement and condition:
a.) When I turn the front driveshaft and/or axle shafts by hand, it feels like they hubs start to lock/catch, but w/ a little more force on the shaft, the hubs "pop" loose.


Hubs bad///grease bad



c.) They do appear to be pretty well packed w/ grease. I also remember reading that that can be a problem, but I'm a little hesitant to flush them out w/ tranny fluid or anything. Is this a good idea to try?

You may be able to clean out the grease with a few cans of brake kleen. Make sure to actuate the hubs and get all the grease out. Then dry and soak with ATF - drip dry again and reinstall.


The hubs "pop" out because of the grease - grease is not a hubs friend.

As far as I know there is no overhaul kit for OEM Autohubs - people normally get replacement manuals by warn or mile maker
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:45 PM   #3
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Ok, now questions:
1.) First, front wheel bearings/spindle bearings? With the outer hub removed ( the part that usually falls off w/ the wheel), there is definite "play" up/down and side-to-side, of the axle stub shaft. Is this normal w/ the outer hub removed? Does the bearing in the hub support the end of the axle shaft, such that this play is expected w/ the hub removed?

Yes normal

2.) Auto Hubs / engagement and condition:
a.) When I turn the front driveshaft and/or axle shafts by hand, it feels like they hubs start to lock/catch, but w/ a little more force on the shaft, the hubs "pop" loose.


Hubs bad///grease bad



c.) They do appear to be pretty well packed w/ grease. I also remember reading that that can be a problem, but I'm a little hesitant to flush them out w/ tranny fluid or anything. Is this a good idea to try?

You may be able to clean out the grease with a few cans of brake kleen. Make sure to actuate the hubs and get all the grease out. Then dry and soak with ATF - drip dry again and reinstall.


The hubs "pop" out because of the grease - grease is not a hubs friend.

As far as I know there is no overhaul kit for OEM Autohubs - people normally get replacement manuals by warn or mile maker
Hmm. Ok, I guess I'll try cleaning them out tomorrow. Would you suggest cleaning the grease off the stub/locknut area/cam assembly as well? I would think they need some grease? No? How clean should it be? Doesn't the needle bearing in the outboard end of the hub need some lube?




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Old 12-18-2010, 08:52 PM   #4
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yes, clean and lube everything w/ grease ACCEPT the hubs - those should only be cleaned and lubed with ATF. Grease in the hubs will cause them to either get stuck off or get stuck on particularly in cold weather.

If you still get a ratcheting sound they are probably worn out. Check the classifieds here - there will always be someone willing to off there autohubs cheaply. - people seem to prefer manuals.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Carguy3J View Post
Also a little confusion on wheel bearings/seals. It looks like, according to Autozone and Napa websites, that the Dana35 uses the same wheel bearing and seals for both the inner and outer. Is this correct? Timken "Set37" bearings (Cup+Cone) x4 / and Timken "4250" Seals, also x4
Yes, the wheel bearings are the same for inner and outer. Not sure of the part number offhand, but Timken is your best choice.
You only need two seals total, one driverside and one passengerside. It goes on the inside side of the rotor.




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Old 12-19-2010, 05:21 AM   #6
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One other thing you might want to check is the notch on the interior of the cam to make sure it has not broken off.




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Old 12-19-2010, 10:02 AM   #7
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Also, check this thread for tons of info and links: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=232754




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Old 12-19-2010, 10:49 AM   #8
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One other thing you might want to check is the notch on the interior of the cam to make sure it has not broken off.
Does anybody have a clear pic of what a good one should look like, and what this "notch" looks like?

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Also, check this thread for tons of info and links: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=232754
Thanks. That was one of the threads I already looked through before posting this. (Along w/ many of the ones it linked to) The exploded view of the hub setup was very helpful.
Also, thanks for confirming the bearings being the same. As for there only being inner seals, is it me or is that part of the problem? Is all the grease in my hubs, stuff that was "slung" out of the outer wheel bearing and past the lock nut,etc..? If that is the case, then I guess I should remove and repack the the outer bearing?

I'm still confused on the actual operation of these things. I haven't yet seen a good description, referencing how each part contributes to the actual locking of the hub. Can someone PLEASE describe how and what each of these parts (from the locknut, out to the tip if the "hub") does in the sequence of a hub locking? The way I'm understanding it at the moment, is that the entire locking "action" relies solely on the friction of the inner surface of the cam assembly not rotating on the spindle, and the PLASTIC teeth/nubs in the hub engaging/driving the rotor/wheel by "pushing" on the teeth on the cam assembly (also PLASTIC), and having the cam NOT rotate around the spindle. This can't be right, is it? What am I missing?

Also, where/what is the "spring" I keep reading about? Is it that "garter" spring around the cam, or is there supposed to be a "coil" type spring in the hub or something?

Thanks again.




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Old 12-19-2010, 12:03 PM   #9
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I guess "notch" wasn't the best choice of word. When installing the cam on he spindle you have to line up the slot on the spindle (where the key is located) with the corresponding square protrusion on the inside of the cam. If that part is worn down or broken off I could that causing the hub to fail.




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Old 12-25-2010, 08:51 PM   #10
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Just an update:
After cleaning the left hub thoroughly (brake clean/several rounds of ATF, as well as the spindle surface, the hub will not engage at all. I'm still not real clear on how this thing actually functions ( I feel pretty stupid about that, but I just can't get a good mental picture on this.) However, I think there is supposed to be some "springy-ness" to the guts of the hub, no? Well mine has none. The inner teeth, inside the hub, will slide "up" a bit by hand (towards the inboard side of the hub), so it's not stuck. But, it has no spring action whatsoever. I tried the trick I read of using the cam assembly and squeezing it into the hub, while turning it by hand. The hub internals just spin free. I'm assuming this means the hub is bad?

Well, I hate that these things can't be repaired, when it seems to be something as simple as a "preload" spring. If they are still making new ones, then that means somebody still manufactures all the internal parts. Why can't I buy them??????

Oh well, right now, I don't have the time to track down a source for new "guts", so I guess I'm going to have to go with new manuals, as I have to have the 4 wheel drive.

In a related note, I found the cause of the odd tire wear, and likely my funny front end noises.
1.) Bad lower ball joints on both sides. The right tire moves in/out at least 1/2 inch
2.) At least one bad tie rod end, probably more
3.) I'm pretty sure that at least one of the spindle bearings is bad.
So, I'm just gonna bite the bullet, and replace everything. upper/lower ball joints, all the steering linkages, inner/outer wheel bearings, both spindle bearings, and of course the hubs.

For those of you with experience getting an alignment on these trucks, can you recommend which (if any) camber/caster bushing(s) I should go with? Which range is most likely to be what I need to get the alignment in spec? Yeah, I know, there is no guarantee, but is there a "usual" amount that should be enough, on most of these trucks (assuming no major collision damage)? I don't want the alignment shop to have any excuses for a.) not getting to the exact specs I want (or both sides at the middle of the acceptable range, and exactly the same, except for the correct caster split) and b.) charging me 2 or 3 times more for these alignment bushing then I could have bought them for from Rock. Also, I see that adjustable caster bushings are available for the radius arm bushings. In you experience(s), are these usually needed, to get the alignment within specs?

Thanks again guys.




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Old 12-25-2010, 09:51 PM   #11
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I lucked out on my b2 when i did the upper and lower ball joints - i didn't need any camber bushings. - I am not sure about the ttb on the 93 - but if it is anything like the ttb on my 89 pb blaster and mapp gas are your friend. I would also suggest doing the wheel joints*** and axle seals since you will be ripping it apart anyways.
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:53 PM   #12
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Also forgot to add. uneven "Cupping" of the back tires in the inside tire wall can also be caused by flimsy rotted (front) rear leaf spring perches or (Rear) rear leaf spring hangers.
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:06 PM   #13
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Also forgot to add. uneven "Cupping" of the back tires in the inside tire wall can also be caused by flimsy rotted (front) rear leaf spring perches or (Rear) rear leaf spring hangers.
Back tires are fine. It's the fronts that are worn weird. Really sucks too, as the tires still have the little "nubs". They were nearly new.

I'm probably gong to do the axle seal(s), and the one axle bearing (the right side). There is only an axle bearing on the right, right? At least that's all I can find a listing for. I'm assuming the inboard end of the left shaft is supported inside the diff?




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Old 12-25-2010, 10:19 PM   #14
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Does this truck have a lift on it? What size tires?
You should only need different camber bushings if you have a suspension lift.
TTBs are famous for cupping and other uneven tire wear, more so with mud tires.




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Old 12-25-2010, 10:52 PM   #15
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Does this truck have a lift on it? What size tires?
You should only need different camber bushings if you have a suspension lift.
TTBs are famous for cupping and other uneven tire wear, more so with mud tires.
I see no evidence of a lift kit. Although, I do believe it has the factory "HI-Rider" option. It definitely has a slightly higher stance then most Rangers. It has factory 265/75/15 tires. It does sit noticeably higher in the rear. It takes about 900-1000lbs of cargo for it to sit level, and with 1,200-1,500lbs, it will start to sit a little lower in the rear. Although that does put it a bit above the GVW, it stills handles/pulls fine.

The tire wear looks like this, but not that bad yet (on the inner 1/3 of the width of the front tires. It's worse on the right front, where the worst ball joint and tie rod is):

http://www.ohtsutires.com/images/tir...allop_wear.jpg

http://www.thehulltruth.com/attachme...r-dsc_1849.jpg

So, are you suggesting that I won't even need an alignment, other then for the toe (from changing the tie rods/steering linkages), after changing all the ball joints and wheel bearings, and having the whole front end apart? Or are you saying that the factory bushings provide enough adjustment range for it to be aligned successfully?




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Old 12-25-2010, 10:56 PM   #16
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any time you change suspension parts it is still a good idea to get an alignment.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:54 AM   #17
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Or are you saying that the factory bushings provide enough adjustment range for it to be aligned successfully?
This^^.




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Old 12-26-2010, 10:28 AM   #18
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any time you change suspension parts it is still a good idea to get an alignment.
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This^^.
Yeah, I assumed that's what was meant. My concern is that the factory installed one(s) will be damaged/rusted in place, when I go to do all this work. I figured I would replace them too while it was apart, so I could tell the alignment shop EVERYTHING they have to touch is brand new. I was hoping to use that as leverage to negotiate for a cheaper price (less time/aggravation than dealing w/ old/rusty bolts/cams) So, then, what is the range of the factory parts?




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Old 12-26-2010, 10:44 AM   #19
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Ok, just ordered the new hubs: Mile Marker manual hubs, for $84.50/pr, from Summit.
Everything else is coming from Rock, once I'm sure I've got it all in the order.

Also, can somebody just confirm that this is what I need to convert to the manual hubs. (2) of these, right? It's cheaper then the Warn or MileMarker "conversion kit":

http://www.dormanproducts.com/p-1085-05305.aspx




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Old 01-10-2011, 11:34 AM   #20
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'99 4dr. XLT SOHC A4WD
 
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Posts: 1,516

Vehicle Specs

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(Original Poster)
Angry

OOOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!


Ok, there is a possibility I just broke my finger. Just how the hell are you supposed to torque the outer locknut to 150 ft-lbs, when those stupid little 4 "prongs" can't hold it? All they seem to do is cause the socket (brand new) to "cam-out" once you start applying any serious force?

I juts barely managed to get the torque wrench to "click" on the drivers side, before it slipped. I can't even get 150 ft-lbs on the pssngr one, w/o the socket coming out, and nearly causing a trip to the emergency room.

Whoever designed this stupid "4-lug" arrangement ought to be kicked square in the nuts!
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1999 Explorer XLT 4dr, 4.0L-SOHC, 5R55E Auto, A4WD
K&N FIPK Cold Air--XCAL3 w/ custom tunes from Henson Performance
On The Way: Gibson Cat-Back,U/D pulley,Professional Products Polished 70mm Throttle Body **Planned soon:80mm MAFS,Removal of the Cats,Electric Fan
Best Time 15.87 e/t @ 86.6MPH in the 1/4
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4x4, auto hub, hub, ranger, wheel bearing


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