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Loose wheels, side to side play, but tie rod ends solid as a rock?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by tonydmm2, April 11, 2018.

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  1. tonydmm2

    tonydmm2 New Member

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    2005 ford explorer steering issue, just replaced everything 2 yrs ago (33 k miles) with all moog stuff (tie rods, upper & lower control arms, & strut assemblies), now tires are getting worn on the inside, which usually indicates bad tie rods or ball joints, alignment is so far off that I can't drive it, makes too much noise & pulls. I jacked it up and had excessive side to side play & clunking while wiggling the tire. I assumed that the moog components had failed prematurely, I heard they were selling cheap chinese crap. So I bought the Napa tie rod ends, removed the old moogs, & ****, the moogs are still tight as can be, solid as a rock??? So what could the problem be? The control arm bushings seem to have failed prematurely, they are cracked & separated, or could it be a rack & pinion issue? I'll put the tire back on and wiggle it some more for further diagnoses.

    Control Arm Bushing 2.jpg

    Control Arm Bushing 1.jpg
     
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  3. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    Could be bad hub bearings, could be the axle nut is loose.
     
    Last edited: April 12, 2018
  4. Hitchhikingmike

    Hitchhikingmike Well-Known Member

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    Hello. Check your wheel bearings. Sounds like your wheel bearings are bad.
     
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  5. tonydmm2

    tonydmm2 New Member

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    Here's a video of the tire side to side play. I mistook this for the tie rod ends being bad, but they are solid as a rock, just like new.
    I replaced them last year. They are in perfect working order.
     
  6. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    If you did then last year, I would say try and re-torque them. You may be surprised ton find the nut not fully tightened any more.
     
  7. tonydmm2

    tonydmm2 New Member

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    I removed the spindle, lo and behold, the ball joints are loose as a goose, esp the lower one. These were new moog’s i installed 2 yrs ago. The lower one looked suspisious with no grease fitting, i guess its a cheap chinese ball joint the pressed into their control arm. I’ll try calling them for a warrantee replacement.

    252546A5-A865-4176-8342-6DE9C61D7F53.jpeg
     
  8. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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  9. XploX

    XploX Active Member

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    The axel nut does nothing more than hold the axel in place. It has no effect on the wheel movement, other than to rotate it.

    The bearings are in a hub and utilize three bolts to hold the hub in place. There is no nut to torque.
     
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  10. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    ?????

    Have you read any of the manuals?
    Or manufacturer info?
     
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  11. 07gtman

    07gtman Active Member

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    actually the axle nut is torque to yield one time use, Anytime you remove that nut it should be replaced.
     
  12. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    Strangely enough, my local Ford dealer didn’t have any in stock. Shop didn’t have any. I said “you must just be re-using them then.” They just shrugged.
     
  13. 07gtman

    07gtman Active Member

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    blue loctite....i used it once.
     
  14. tonydmm2

    tonydmm2 New Member

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    Also found the passenger wheel bearing went bad, loud grinding noise and noticable play and click when jiggled. Another moog component i replaced 2 yrs ago and the last item i checked of course. I wont be buying any moog components ever again, it all expensve napa parts from here on out.
     
  15. XploX

    XploX Active Member

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    Have you?
    I've actually replaced the hubs, axel nuts, upper and lower ball joints, and the tie rod ends.
    The axel drives the front wheels and can be removed independently of the hub assembly, where the bearings are housed. It does not hold the hub or bearings in place.
    However, to remove the hub assembly, the axel nut needs to be removed and the axel pressed out. The front axels can be removed and the vehicle will still be drivable.
     
  16. tonydmm2

    tonydmm2 New Member

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    I have a 2 wheel drive and I'm working on the front, no axel to deal with, but thx.
     
  17. tonydmm2

    tonydmm2 New Member

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    You were right HitchHikingMike, my passenger wheel bearing was bad, the new moog I installed 2 years/33k miles ago (my son was working on that side, took me a while to get over there and QA his work, lol). Their Moog brand is now questionable, the tie rod ends are still nice and tight, but the ball joints, wheel bearings, and control arm bushing failed prematurely. I'll just stick with all Napa parts from here on out.
     
  18. mbrando1994

    mbrando1994 Active Member

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    If you're referring to the hub bolts, they most definitely should be torqued properly since they are radial and there are more than one, It's imperative they are all holding with the same amount of force
     

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