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How to: 2002 Explorer rear wheel bearing replacement (pictures)

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Tyler92, August 15, 2009.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. ponkotsu

    ponkotsu Active Member

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    That big nut is holding the two bearing center races together and maintaining the correct preload. If it's not there the bearings will fail very quickly and yes your wheel will eventually fall off without it.
     
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  3. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    This is true. The bearing is one outer race with two tapered bearings inside facing each other. And given the huge amount of torque they apply to it, it's important it remains preloaded.

    Even though they call for replacing it each time, it would appear that reusing it is fairly safe to do. At least once.
     
  4. rocco123

    rocco123 Active Member

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    You're right. Didn't think of it as also holding the inner races together but yea thats important.
     
  5. Kerminator

    Kerminator New Member

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    Thanks for the super pics and outline of work & tools needed...
     
  6. danielhrdy17

    danielhrdy17 New Member

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    Do you happen to know what causes them to fail so early?
     
  7. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    I personally think it may be water contamination of the sealed bearing. Driving thru shallow water or backing down a boat ramp maybe. Or it could just be not heavy duty enough.
     
  8. mfay71

    mfay71 New Member

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    Thanks Tyler92.

    5 years after the original post, and still paying dividends.

    I pulled both sides off the rear of my 2002 Eddie Bauer yesterday, and thanks to this post, it was pretty easy. The only challenge was pulling the passenger side with the hub puller...sucker did not want to come off, but I finally won the battle. :salute:

    After inspecting everything, and noting the shape of the previously turned rotors, I also decided to replace the rotors.

    Taking the new hub/knuckle to the press shop on Monday morning, and then putting the whole thing back together.

    Time to remove both sides in the rear, about 4 hours. Guessing the put-back-together phase will take 2 hours or so, barring any set-backs.

    Thanks again, Tyler92! :D
     
  9. Traillover

    Traillover New Member

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    Thank you Tyler92.... I'm doing my 03 (RDS) since it's siren (singing) has increased and I'm NOT in favor paying some guy a towing fee because I was stupid enough to wait to long (not this guy)....

    Anyway, your instructions (pictures) and guidance are right by my side....
     
  10. eddie baller

    eddie baller New Member

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    should I replace my axel nut when I replace bearings
     
  11. jpoprock

    jpoprock Active Member

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    The Timkin bearings I had installed a couple years ago on the rear are starting to roar a bit. So it won't be long before they need replaced. Replacing them isn't hard, but the problem is finding someone to press the bearings in for you on a weekend. It's almost impossible. NAPA doesn't do it any more. My neighbor had a press, but didn't have the proper sized ring and messed up one of my bearings once. Wasn't his fault. I was desperate. But it failed quickly and I had to replace it.
     
  12. Jumpjets

    Jumpjets New Member

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    My wheel bearings tried to kill me this weekend! My disc brake was the only thing keeping the right rear wheel attached. The bearing puked out balls when I barely pulled on the hub!

    The outer race welded itself into the knuckle and ruined it. I had to order a whole new knuckle and bearing.

    I had installed master pro Chinese bearings about 10k miles ago. They are already total trash.

    I do a lot of heavy towing, and the bearing gets wet from dunking my boat.
     
  13. Snowcone

    Snowcone Member

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    My Chinese replacements have started howling this week.
    I have just ordered a pair of Timken bearings for it this time in the hope it will last longer than 2 years.
    I don't drive in any water or mud, but I do a lot of heavy towing.
    I am praying that the bearings come out easier this time because last time it took me 3 workshops to find a press strong enough and on the second one the housing cracked first
     
  14. jpoprock

    jpoprock Active Member

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    Yeah, my first rear hub replacement went haywire because we pressed the rear bearings in on a neighbors press, but didn't have the right sized sleeve to set the bearing and sorta pushed the race out too far. It didn't last long. Months maybe. The shop that did the repair broke their press getting out.

    So old or new, sometimes those bearings are a nightmare to get out. I wonder if using that anti-seize on the outside of the bearing would help for next time? Or if that is a no no? Seems like Timkin or cheap bearings mean little because my left rear is Timkin and lasted 2yrs. The right rear is Autozone caliber and no less shot. So it looks to be a constant replacement part either way. Hard to believe the factory bearings last 100k+ miles, and everything else 10-40k.
     
  15. jpoprock

    jpoprock Active Member

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    You certainly could, but it's not really a wear part... So it's not at all neccasary IMO.
     
  16. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    I believe that they use green Loctite (for bearing races) to hold the original bearings in. I would have thought the second set would have pressed out easier. When you press them in, you have to press only on the outer race. The outer race is one piece, but the inner bearings are two tapered bearings, back to back. So you can be pushing one side in, and the other side out!

    To get them out without breaking a press, try this. Bust out the bearings so nothing is left but the outer race. Then, use a cutting wheel to cut a big groove in the race. Be careful not to go thru. You can cut a lot in the middle, but only a little on the ends. With the race significantly weakened, press it out until it breaks.
     
  17. xcbuc

    xcbuc New Member

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    Thanks for all the info and tips guys!!
    I had to replace my rear passenger side 2 months ago. I went with the Timken part. I also replaced my rear shocks/struts.
    I called ahead to a couple shops to make sure I could get it pressed. I gave the shop a heads up that I would be in Saturday morning.
    I started dis-assembly on Friday night. I figured the earlier I got the knuckle into the shop, the better. Air gun for the bolts and air chisel for removing ball joints made the job easier. Air gun couldn't handle the axle nut though. I needed a big cheater bar for removing the axle nut. I thought the breaker bar was going to snap in half! I put a floor jack under the bar to keep it level and get all weight on the bar. Worked great.
    I dropped the knuckle off at:
    Parks Automotive - Towing and Repair
    625 W North St
    DeForest, WI 53532
    (608) 846-3311
    Open Saturdays till 1

    Dropped it off at 9am, and picked it up at 11:30am. Nice guys there. He said it was a huge pain to take off, probably took him 2 hrs he said. Only charged me for 1 hr.
    During the time I waited, I went back to my house and replaced my shocks and struts. My house is only 8 minutes away. Perfect timing with everything.
    Assembly went well. I had a helper for the assembly. The Explorer was back on the road early afternoon! And was feeling smooth!!

    Another option I found for Northern Dane County.
    Adler's Automotive Services LLC
    119 E Main St
    Waunakee, WI 53597
    (608) 849-5713
     
  18. Snowcone

    Snowcone Member

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    My Timken bearings just arrived from a USA eBay site but I am concerned to find that the Timken bearings are made in Korea.
    I had expected them to be USA Timken but live and learn I suppose.
     
  19. SyberTiger

    SyberTiger Active Member

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    I believe the South Korean Timken bearings are very high quality as are the Candian or USA Timken bearings. The South Koreans have a reputation for very high quality mechanical components so use them with confidence.
     
  20. Snowcone

    Snowcone Member

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    Fitted the "Korean" timkens at the weekend.
    It went a lot smoother this time except that the bearings disintergrated when I pressed out the hub so I was left with the outers on the hub and in the housing. Had to do a little grinding to weaken and then break out the left overs.
    I also managed to do the whole job without removing any of the hand brake this time so now I am wondering why I removed it the first time.
    Whatever, i just hope the Timkens give me longer life than the last set of Chinese bearings.
     
  21. EricSC

    EricSC New Member

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    Tyler92

    Hey Tyler92,

    I just wanted say a BIG THANK YOU. You saved me a few hundred bucks by taking the time to help. I have a couple of things to add as well for other members that may help even more:

    1. Make sure the 18mm, 21mm, and 35mm sockets are deep well, preferably hooked up to an impact wrench if possible. If not, make sure to use a heavy duty 1/2" ratchet, a heavy pipe (I used my floor jack handle as a braking bar), and lots of PB Blaster. Luckily a friend lent me an impact wrench fore the other side. The 10mm for the caliper doesn't need to be well. I had a 1 3/8" socket, but it wasn't deep enough for me to get a bite, however after I backed the nut off a bit, I tried it and it worked too, so if you have a deep well 1 3/8" you're good to go.

    2. Get the axle nut lose BEFORE you jack it up. No need to worry about damaging the already tweaked bearing and it's easier.

    3. The order of dis-assembly that worked best for me was loosen axle nut, loosen lugs, jack and secure, remove wheel, remove caliper, remove parking brake, remove upper ball joint stud, remove lower control arm, remove hub and knuckle to swing rearward and place on a block, and finally remove toe link. I took all the pinch bolts and fasteners out before actually removing each part, but this order worked more easily mainly because you can get easier access to the pinch joint on the tow link when it is away from the axle, ball joint, and lower control arm.

    4. I had no need for a new hub, as the splines that run through the bearing and attach to the axle were fine, and it pressed out ok. I did need the retaining clip for the new bearing though, on both sides. I would imagine most would. Just don't buy the hub until you see what yours look like. They are way stronger than the bearing.

    5. I also had no need for the hub puller. I PB blasted right after taking the axle nut loose so it could soak while I was working. When I was ready to pull the hub and knuckle away from the axle to remove the tow link, I only had to tap it through with a mallet a couple times, and it came right off. I did back the axle nut so that it was flush with the end of the axle, put my 35mm socket on the nut and used a board, just to make sure I didnt damage the end of the axle, but it went through so easily, I probably didn't need to bother.

    6. If you still have friction material on the parking brake shoes, by all means, leave them alone. The springs and shoes are hard to get off, and more relentless to get back on. Unless you have a lot of experience with drum style brakes, only remove the control cable through the back of the wheel knuckle.

    7. A really short chisel and a heavy maul hammer are key for that upper ball joint stud removal. It is a must to get good separation on the pinch joint to remove it. It's just as hard to get a pickle fork in there and you're guaranteed to tear the boot if you use one, which would mean a whole upper control arm. My tow link boot was torn already, so I did use one at that joint on one side.

    8. DO NOT tear the upper ball joint boot or the axle (CV Joint) boot.

    Listen to everything Tyler92 said and look at his photos. Again, many thanks for your time and effort. I wouldn't have tackled this job before I read this. It's 6 nuts and bolts, not including the lugs, and I was quoted from 450.00 to 700.00 per wheel. I bought 20 bucks worth of tools, 60 bucks for parts, and 40 bucks at the place that pressed my bearings. One day for me taking my time, and one day for the pressing. It all went back together in a couple hours.
     

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