Advice on rear wheel bearing/rear end replacement | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Advice on rear wheel bearing/rear end replacement


New Member
July 10, 2007
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Year, Model & Trim Level
99 XLT
99 XLT 4x4, > 300K miles.

The original rear end has been on her last leg for some time, and I think that leg is broken now.

The driver's side wheel bearing seal has ruptured. That axle currently has an axle-saver bearing on it...which was installed probably two or three years ago.

I read Gavin's excellent how-to on replacing wheel bearings...and while I've done a lot of surgery on this car, I'm not sure I want to tackle it. Anybody have any thoughts on the relative difficulty, say compared to the front hub/bearing assembly? questions are these:

1. Should I replace the entire rear end, or just the worn sheel shaft?
2. What rear end oil should be used in this vehicle? When I had the bearing replaced before, the mechanic said it needed to be some high dollar synthetic. Is that really necessary?
3. If I am able to find an axle shaft at a parts recycler, what telltale signs should I be looking for? Is there a specific diameter that the shaft should have where it's resting on the bearing?

I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible...this vehicle will most likely be traded off within a couple of months.

Thanks for any info.