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How I changed my 05's Front Wheel Bearing

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by High_Order1, August 27, 2007.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. edwx

    edwx Active Member

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    Probably doomed, but it will be a fun $50 experiment. Who knows, maybe you'll get a good one. Are you sure it's the bearing that's humming? I did both my fronts last winter, and my front is humming a bit again, but more likely old tires, not bad hubs.
     
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  3. jakedrew

    jakedrew Active Member

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    tires are decent. I plan on rotating the tires before I tear into it, but I dont have my hopes up.

    update= tires were fine like I expected. We will see how long a ebay wheel bearing holds up when I get it installed.

    My thoughts are what is the different between a ebay china bearing and a local parts store china bearing, besides $50?
     
    Last edited: October 12, 2013
  4. MTLotts

    MTLotts New Member

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    Just my experience ... 50/50

    I did both front bearings on my 03 XLS in 2008. I purchased some "cheap chinese" ones from an online source. I just had to replace them again. So 5 years on OEM, and 5 years on 1st set of chinese ones.

    Now for my experience on the second time around on the next chinese ones. I ordered a pair of them on eBay last month from "PrimeChoiceAutoParts" for $98 shipped. I thought the same thing, what could be different from the Chinese ones from eBay versus the chinese ones from AdvanceAuto? Well... the ones from eBay showed the replacement bolts in the picture (3 hub bolts, 2 caliper bolts) but were not included. I ordered the correct part for my vehicle (515050) but the tire stud spacing was incorrect and my rotors would not fit back on. The spacing was off by about 1/16 of an inch. The bearings were even engraved with the correct part number as well. So my second set of eBay bearings were not a pleasant experience. I did return them to the seller, at their expense, after providing photo evidence it was their parts. Since my car was in pieces in the garage and the bearings were really really bad, I had to purchase a replacement set at my local AdvanceAuto. Same part number as the eBay set and marked "made in china". With an online coupon, it took some of the sting out of their markup.

    So, the moral to the story...
    Make sure you confirm that the eBay ones included the replacement bolts, you try fitting your rotors on before mounting the assemblies, make sure you know the sellers return policy (most don't cover return shipping) and allow several weeks to return them if they don't fit.

    Good luck!
     
  5. jakedrew

    jakedrew Active Member

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    thanks!
    I didnt get 5 years out of the timken one, so if I get 5 years out of a chinese one I will be happy.

    I was going to order from that seller but went with the other seller who seemed to have better feedback. on the negative feedback he had a few, but everyone he took care of (mainly sensors and other electrical parts).

    here is a link to who I ordered from.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-Auto-515050-Wheel-Hub-Assembly-/261080505827?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year%3A2004|Make%3AFord|Model%3AExplorer&hash=item3cc99c5de3&vxp=mtr
     
  6. IREALLYHATEFORDS

    IREALLYHATEFORDS New Member

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    Spindle Bearing Part Number???

    I know someone must be looking for a part number for these bearings? Its got to be cheaper to press new bearings into these hubs rather than buy the complete assembly with sensors.
    Has someone pulled apart there old hubs and noticed any part numbers on the bearing?
    Can one of you that has replaced your hubs press the bearing out and check the seals for a part number .. Any reputable bearing will have a part number on one of the seals.
    If nothing else can someone get the dimensions of the bearing? Bearings can be looked up that have the same physical dimensions.

    More often than not there is even a bearing available that will FAR EXCEED the original bearing in load bearing capabilities!!
     
  7. Bobmbx

    Bobmbx Active Member

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    These are non-serviceable bearing assemblies. I wouldn't attempt to re-man one myself...too much is riding on it, no pun intended. If it was just bearings, why not just swap out the OEM and replace with an older spindle/bearing knuckle?

    As far as load-bearing, what sort of increase in service load are you expecting to obtain? If you plan on putting that kind of load on your bearings, buy a truck made for that type of service.
     
  8. esclamada

    esclamada Active Member

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    I actually tried one of those chinese front hub assembly from prime choice, it never touched my car after all. The shipping was so messed up, what they did was package it in a box with no protection. It arrived in UPS with the box torn and the label wasn't readable so the shipping got delayed. What's worst was that the bolts were missing too. The possibility of the abs wiring being not reliable anymore is just too high. I requested a refund for the product and they did (showed them the picture)

    I ended up using GMB, not sure if this will last but I'm installing it myself.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    MY MOUNTY
    http://www.facebook.com/diyfordexplorer/photos_albums
     
  9. jakedrew

    jakedrew Active Member

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    Ya I am glad I didnt go with primechoice. I will let you guys know for sure how this seller is and how the bearing is. I am reusing the bolts as I got new ones with my older bearing and pretty sure I saved the OEM ones.

    Here is what the ebay said to me when I QUESTIONED the quality/ China bearing myth and asked him out of the hundred or so he sold how many came back.
    "HI,
    So far we have had zero complains about these bearings and these are from Taiwan and a very good quality part

    Thank you
    RA

    - trueblueautoparts"
     
  10. Fudman

    Fudman New Member

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    I have twelve (12) of the Ford OEM hub bolts available #1L2Z-1107-AA (four pkgs of three bolts). They're in Ford packaging. $25 for a set of six bolts + shipping. PM me if interested.
     
  11. dgrinnan

    dgrinnan New Member

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    A couple notes. I just did this on my 2004 Explorer AWD. Front Driver side. First, in many of the forums it was suggested this would resolve "skipping" of the wheels in tight turns. I was skeptical. This was an issue I was having in addition to the grinding noise coming from the front end. Well, it worked. not only did replacing the hub eliminate the grinding noised from the bad bearing, it eliminated the skipping (similar to have 4 wheel drive locked). As far as the level of difficulty, not easy, but very doable, with patience. Removal of the 3 bolts is hampered by the housing of the drive shaft as it enters the rear of the hub. If you remove the axel bolt first, smack it with a hammer to free it up, there is enough play in the drive shaft to allow you to push it back some and give you more room to access the three hub bolts. I did have to by a 15mm box end wrench but maybe could have done it with the ratchet if I had removed the axel bolt first. Lesson learned. Once you remove all three bolts, begin smacking the hub from behind with a hammer and you can walk it out and free. Clean any corrosion from inside the housing where the hub slips in. Re-installing the new hub is s piece of cake. Nice new clean bolts go in much easier than removing the old ones that fight you with every turn of the wrench. I would recommend doing this yourself. It took me about 3 hour’s total. 2 hours and 50 minutes to get the old one off, about 10 minutes to put the new one in.

    I found my replacement hub on www.1aauto.com for only $75. Free shipping.
     
    Last edited: October 15, 2013
  12. jakedrew

    jakedrew Active Member

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    update/funny story.
    Put the Ebay bearing on the left front. Everything fit perfect and it came with new bolts even! I reused the stock ones from my first replacement though. So these are not original bolts, rather the ones that came with the Ford OEM replacement I did at 25k ish' miles ago.

    I would not hesitate to order another front bearing from this seller. We will see how long it lasts, I wrote down my mileage. I have faith though. AT $47 shipped I couldnt go wrong I think. Not sure what the difference would be from this Chinese one vs local parts store Chinese one.

    Took it for a ride and the noise was still there! Damn it, so I just put the left one with at least 25k miles I replaced onto the right side. Quite as can be!. The right one was the bad one.... I could have swore it was the left. After I got the right one off I spun/turned it and it was clear it was bad.

    I had a little bit of a tough time removing the bearing as I put black silicone back around the bearing mating surface like it was on there stock.

    Best advise=- Please put anti seeze on everything. I put it on the axle shaft,bearing mating surface, you name it the first time and I am glad I did.

    The first time I did the bearings it was a workout. 2nd time around I could run the "p.i.t.a" 3 bolts out with my finger after I broke them loose. Axle shaft I could just push back instead of beating on it. Axle nut didnt require my "earthquake" impact gun.

    The right side took me a hour from pulling into my garage to pulling out with the bearing swapped/ clean up/ loading up the kid and dogs to go for a ride.

    So thanks again to this forum for the how to's. That offset wrench is a must. :)
     
    Last edited: October 19, 2013
  13. danblackwood

    danblackwood New Member

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    So, who has the part number for the bearings? I have access to a press.
     
  14. joejv4

    joejv4 New Member

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    A learning experience

    My '05 started making bearing noise. Seemed to be coming from right front. I would turn to the left to load it up and it would get louder, turn to the right to take some load off it and it got quieter.
    1st lesson learned: For some reason, the '05 Explorer XLT 4WD acts backward from what I'm used to. It turned out, after replacing the right one, to actually be the left causing the noise. Since it's not a bad idea to do both, I went ahead and ordered one for the other side and did that one too. NOTE: I got the cheapest Chinese bearings I could find.

    Later I went through a similar experience on the rear end.

    Same deal, different procedure, cheap Chinese bearings.

    About 13 months later (1 year warranty), I started hearing bearing noise again. This started the fun again as I worked my way around the vehicle again. This time I shelled out the extra $$$ and got the SKF kits all around. it's been 2 years and still no failures.

    2nd lesson learned: Cheap Chinese bearings (1 year warranty) last about 12.5 months in Upstate NY (lots-o-road salt).

    Now, to the hub that won't come off after the infamous PITA bolts are removed. I tried lots of things: slide hammer, screw driver, 3 cans of PB Blaster, MAAP Torch - those babies weren't moving. My final Solution involved a couple different size cold chisels and a 3 lb hammer. Working around the flange until I got a little spacing to show up, then it wasn't too bad prying it the rest of the way off.

    a 3 claw puller helps with the hub bolts, pushing the CV back a little bit to get some room to work in, but I bought a set of those deep offset wrenches at AutoZone when I was in for something else one day, thinking about those bolts and how hard they are to get to. They really do help, but I really need to get a swivel adapter for my sockets - that's on my to-get list. I think either would do the trick. that 3 claw puller is also the way to go to get the axle freed up from the hub splines.

    I had to do the front bearings on my RAM 1500 about a year later, and it's almost identical with the exception of wrench sizes - so getting those offset wrenches paid big dividends for that and the replacement of the Chinese parts on the Explorer not long after.

    Once you have the right tools and know how they go together, changing the front bearings really isn't a tough job. Just like anything else, getting the old part off is always a bear, then putting the new part on is easy-peasy.

    And a side note on the rear bearings. Maybe I'll start a separate thread, but my first one took me 6 hours (not counting taking the wheel knuckle to get the parts pressed), and the last time took me 30 minutes - so there is definitely a learning curve. I'll just say that the guys that design this stuff must lie awake at night trying to come up with ways to make it easy for the factory to put together, and as #&$*&#*& difficult as possible to take apart.

    Oh yeah, when using a big hammer on a cold chisel, do yourself a favor and hold the chisel with a pair of vise-grips, not your hand. You'll thank me later for that little tip.
     
  15. MrTeeThyme

    MrTeeThyme Member

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    I just finished doing the front right on my 2010 ST. I used a chisel and hammer to get the hub off, hitting it where each of the three bolts go.
     
  16. UncleGiggles

    UncleGiggles New Member

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    Good lord, I just finished with the front-driver hub assembly and CV axle. What a nightmare! This write-up was a big help and gave me the necessary confidence boost to go ahead and do it myself instead of taking it to a shop. I figured I would have it easier than most people since I was replacing the CV at the same time. I could avoid battling the 3 'evil' bolts since I could unbolt the tie rod and upper control arm, swing the knuckle out all the way, pull the CV out, and then have plenty of room to get to the 3 bolts. Couldn't get any easier I thought...

    And then Murphy's Law happened.

    My jack died immediately. Shouldn't have left it outside all winter, seals went bad and pissed all the hydraulic fluid out onto the driveway before the vehicle even left the ground. Not serviceable. Went all day with the crappy emergency jack under the cargo area. While removing the castle nut from the tie rod end, the stud popped and started spinning with the nut still on. Tie rod end destroyed, used die-grinder to cut stud off. The boot on the upper ball joint was in good condition so I was really careful separating the tapered shaft from the knuckle. It wouldn't budge with a 5-foot cheater pipe so I lost my temper and ended up ruining the ball joint anyway with a picklefork. Waste an hour round trip going into town to get a new upper ball joint and tie rod end plus rent a press kit. The only tie rod end in stock in 3 stores was a reman with no grease and a weird size grease fitting. Can't find my damn grease gun to see if the fitting will even work. The "universal" press kit I rented for $120 had literally SIX pieces to the whole kit, none of which were the correct ones. No combination of sleeves/dies would either remove the old ball joint OR press in the new one, so I had to rig up a way to get 2 large sockets that are 'sort of' the right size into the press. One of them may be ruined now, and I really hope I didn't damage the new ball joint on the way in. Axle nut required a 5lb hammer on the breaker bar quarter turn at a time to get off because the threads were completely shredded. Can't reuse axle nut on new axle due to that. Got excited when I saw that the new CV came with a nut. "Hooray!" I thought to myself... then realized it's 2mm bigger than the factory nut and I don't have a socket or wrench that size. What the hell? The 3 'evil' bolts came right out with an air wrench easy as pie with the CV removed and not getting in the way. Go figure. Hub assembly wouldn't come out of the knuckle with a sledgehammer. Waste another hour round trip going into town to return the 'universal' press kit, rent a socket set for the new axle nut, and rent a slide hammer. Took 2 people on the slide hammer and an air chisel to get the stupid hub out.

    Around 6 hours for disassembly, 2 hours unexpected travel time, and 2 hours for reassembly and changing the ball joint. It's been a long frustrating day and I'm too damn tired and achy to even test drive it. I just pray it all works and I didn't wreck anything in the process.

    On the bright side, I started the day wanting to fix 2 things, ended up fixing 4 things. Can't beat that :D
     
  17. joejv4

    joejv4 New Member

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    Someone needs to shoot that Murphy guy. His law sucks! Sorry you had such a tough go of it, but at least now, you'll know what you're in for when it's time to do the other side.
     
  18. miker104

    miker104 Active Member

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    Thanks to this thread I did the right side a couple of years ago. It wasn't that bad as I recall. I used heat to get the three bolts out fairly easy. I got the slide hammer from Advance Auto then and it seemed to come off fairly easy. I did not have the RTV stuff on that side, I'm guessing that's why it was not too bad. I bought the Moog 515050 one from Rock Auto. Came with the 5 bolts and they had thread locker on them. Also had the ABS cable. It was made in Korea.

    Fast forward 2 yrs and now I'm doing the left side. Three bolts were a complete pain as others mentioned. Then I had to get the hub out! A zillion smacks later with the slide hammer after spraying it with PB it finally came out! I cleaned the inside and mating surface of the knuckle with Lacquer Thinner and sanded the corrosion off with plumbers sandpaper. I covered it all liberally with anti seize and put it all back together. The Moog hub bolts did not have thread locker on them so I used Blue Loctite. The Moog 515050 hub was made in Korea. Found the upper ball joint boot torn (had replaced the ball joint last year!) so I just replaced the upper control arm this time instead of doing the ball joint again (only $20 price difference). Again I bought the Moog 515050 hub from RockAuto.com

    The removed axle nut was a 29mm and the replacement one I got from Ford W706540-S900 was a 30mm.

    So all told after 122k miles I have replaced all four corner wheel bearings.

    I'm glad that job is done!
     
    Last edited: March 1, 2014
  19. 66stingray

    66stingray New Member

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    Not to be a downer, but I replaced both fronts on my mountaineer exactly two years ago with the same Moog bearings from Rock Auto and they lasted 36 k miles. Just got done replacing them again this weekend. This time I bought SKF assemblies. Got them at Pep Boys for $160. i did some research and they seemed to be better than the cheap ones found at Autozone and Advance Auto. The bearings were stamped Timken on the SKF. Hopefully they will last longer than 2 years.
     
  20. joejv4

    joejv4 New Member

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    That is a hard-learned lesson. I used the less expensive ones all the way around... the first time through. 13 months later, I had to start all over again, as they started to fail one after another again.

    Second time through, used Timkens all around and we're 24 months later with none of them having any issues. Wheel bearings are definitely one of those things where you get what you pay for.
     
  21. miker104

    miker104 Active Member

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    Thanks for the update. If I have to do it again I will use the SKF ones. It was a challenge to decide which part to pick from. I knew I did not want to use Chinese junk but guess that is what I got! At least now I know how to do it easier!
     

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