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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. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    This is the problem with Ford ball joints. All the boots rot long before the joints go bad. Then, the joints go bad because of the missing boots and you end up having to replace 8 joints!

    Every Ford I've had so far has had the same problem. Hey Ford, learn how to make a damn boot!!! You're costing me nothing but money.

    If you find the boots separately, let me know.
     
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  3. roush9799

    roush9799 Active Member

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    I might be in luck. Energy suspension makes universal ones. I have to get out to the shop and measure them up. They have a video how to measure them on their website. I hate to have to go to the work to replace good joints or possibly spend even more to replace the arms after having to buy bearings, bushings, and parking brake pads since they came out unattached. I have my kids the rest of the day, so I'll let you know my findings tomorrow.
     
  4. roush9799

    roush9799 Active Member

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    How do I know when the hub is seated all the way in the bearing? Its hard to see around the parking brake shoes.
     
  5. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    The bearing (actually two tapered bearings facing in towards eachother, sitting in a single outer race) is pressed into the spindle until it can't go any more. It sits pretty flush with the bottom of the snap ring groove, and a snap ring is placed in the spindle to keep the bearing from moving outward (yeah, right!).

    I can't really remember how far the hub goes, but as I recall, it can't go any further than you put it in. You could also look at the old one as a guide.

    I remember something now! The brake backing plate has to go on after the bearing is pressed in, but before the hub is pressed in! Also, the bearing needs to be supported just right, so that pressing the hub in doesn't damage the bearing. I'm a bit rusty here. You would do well to go back and read my older posts in this thread, written when I did the job. Whatever I did worked well. It's still going strong 68k miles later.
     
  6. roush9799

    roush9799 Active Member

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    I got them together this morning. I used an old bearing since they came out in one piece to press the new ones into the hub with a flat plate on top of that. Then I put my new park brake shoes on. Then I rested the hub on top of an old bearing ,which was on a flat plate, and pressed the hub into the bearing. After that I put the snap ring in. It's ready to back together. I have about 4 other intermitten jobs going on here at the farm, and two people are gone, so I work on it 20 minutes at a time. I'm in the process of pressing the cross axis joints out of the lower arms to replace. I got one out, gonna press a new one in after lunch.
     
  7. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    Can you upload pictures of that cross axis joint, and the spindle? I cant remember what that was all about.

    I've been working up prices to see how much all 8 ball joints are gonna cost me. Moog carries a lot of interesting stuff, including Problem Solver replacements and entire control arms. You can buy the rear upper arm complete with joints and bushings for $105, for example.

    The front joints can be bought separately, with part of the control arm, or with the entire control arm. And all the joints can be bought in Problem Solver series.
     
  8. roush9799

    roush9799 Active Member

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    I can take a pick of one of the joints. I got everything back on the road this evening minus a rear end alignment. Much quieter now. I think the cross axis joints were like $11 a piece at O'Reilly. Took a bit of effort to press them out of the arm, but the new ones pressed right in. The cross axis is in the part of the lower arm where the bottom of the knuckle bolts to. My rear uppers were good yet so I let them go for now. On my fronts I replaced just the joints and tie rod ends all with the Moog greasable ones. They didn't cost too much. I used my old a-arms. I did remove the uppers to make it easier to press those in and out. But I didn't see any reason to replace the arms unless the bushings are bad.
     
  9. MerkurRS

    MerkurRS New Member

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    I tackled this whole job today- the fronts were a piece of cake, took less than 30 minutes.

    The rears...a whole other story. This is on a 2006 mind you, so the disassembly process is a bit different- but a helpful thread none the less. However, I broke my 15 ton press trying to press out the LH side bearing. I took it to a friends garage and used his 20 ton press- IT STILL WOULD NOT BUDGE!
    I guess my only choice is take the part to a machine shop and have them press the old one out. I might as well have them do both sides and the hubs since my press is broken.:mad:
     
  10. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    If you don't break the press, you will break the spindle!

    Knock the bearings out of the outer race, then take a whiz wheel and cut thru a good portion. Of the middle of the race where it's the thickest. Don't cut so much that you dig into the spindle though! Less than 1/8" on the thin outer portion. You just want to weaken the race to the point where it will bust when you press it out.

    Think about the pressure you are putting on that part. The problem is NOT that your press isn't strong enough at 20k. It's that the thing is in there too tight, and most likely loctited.

    Trust me, cut the outer race to weaken it. Also, be real careful how you press in the new one, and to support the inner race while pressing in the hub.
     
  11. MerkurRS

    MerkurRS New Member

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    Great suggestion! I did read this earlier and I guess I didn't realize the implication or importance! I will definitely do this first!
    Thanks!!
     
  12. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    It's real handy if one comes out without breaking, because you can use that race to press in the new bearing. In fact, you about have to. Don't toss the old races just yet, even if they are cracked.
     
  13. roush9799

    roush9799 Active Member

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    Yeah, save the old bearings, you will need them to put the new in. Even save the inner races if they explode, you need to support the inner part of the bearing too when you press the hub into the new bearing. I used a 50 ton press, it took a lot of force with it. Finally it popped and the bearings came out in one piece. The hardest part was figuring out how to support the knuckle to press the bearings out.
     
  14. MerkurRS

    MerkurRS New Member

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    After looking at the spindle and my grinder, I decided to not fight with it and took it to my local machine shop. They not only pressed the bearings in for me in less than 2 hours- they also straightened the bent rack from my press- all for $65. It was worth not fighting with it for that.
    Thanks for all the help and great suggestions! The job is now complete: new bearing all around, front rotors/ pads, tires and alignment. Next week: the trans shop will replace the valve-body to hopefully correct the low speed trans shudder.
    Then- it's like a brand new truck again!
     
  15. brazosjim

    brazosjim New Member

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    Different thank you.

    Ditto on the thanks! I just started the process for removing the hub due to 4 of 5 lug bolts sheared off my wifes 2003 Explorer Limited. Found 1 Park brake shoe broke off & floating on hub. Had I known about the difficulty of this procedure I would probably have taken it in to service center. Guess since I recently retired I need stuff to do besides playin' guitar & fishin' to keep my mind and hands active. I'll ley y'all know how it goes...:salute:
     
  16. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks OP very helpful.
     
  17. Snowcone

    Snowcone Member

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    I probably posted this earlier but my little whiz wheel was too slow so I used oxy acetylene to cut the inner hub out. On my first attempt a few years back I broke the press and then with a bigger press I broke the hub so I wasn't going down that road again
     
  18. MerkurRS

    MerkurRS New Member

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    EDIT:
    After additional "Googling", I was able to determine that the coil packs needed to be replaced. At least one was causing a misfire under load- which seemed like a transmission shudder issue. Thankfully $170 worth of coils fixed what I thought was a $3700 transmission repair. I am still chasing a P0430 (bank 2 lean)....after that- it's 100% again
     
  19. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    Poor spark plug or boot condition is what causes the coils to have to work harder to jump the gap. This cooks the coils prematurely. They wouldn't go bad much on their own without this problem. Be sure to put in some new factory plugs, and new boots on any coils that you didn't replace. Also, OEM is the only way to go on coils, and you only need replace them one at a time usually.
     
  20. Pontisteve

    Pontisteve Active Member

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    Heed this warning people! He's got it right. Although I would prefer to cut them out with a whiz wheel. I knock the bearings and inner race out with a hammer, leaving only the outer race. Then cut thru the thickest part of the race, being careful not to cut through all the way and accidentally cut into the spindle! When you press it out after weakening it, it will break. This sure beats breaking a press or a spindle!
     
  21. 5whiskey

    5whiskey Member

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    And thank you sir for the write up, if you even still post on the forum. Did mine recently. I did have a shop press the old one out and the new one in (don't have a press). Funny, I got a recommendation from the mechanic that I use when I actually use a mechanic. I called the machine shop they recommended and asked about having a bearing pressed out/in. He quoted me 25, but followed up with "wait, what kind of vehicle?" I told him it was a rear bearing for an '02 explorer. "Naw, that's not 25. It's 45. Things are a PITA, but I've done enough of them to be good at it."

    I paid my man 45 begrudgingly. He asked if I wanted to watch him press the old one out so I could see why he charged extra. Told him "sure." He pressed the hub out easy enough. When he went to press the bearing out of the knuckle, he heated it and put it on a 30 ton press. When it finally did let loose I swear the press actually cleared the floor it jumped so hard. Sounded like a 50 cal in single shot.
     

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