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Front axle play

Chrisman889

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Lately I've been having a lot of play in my front end. Just replaced the bearings about 4 months ago with new races and Timken Set 37. I thought maybe the spindle nuts had worked there way loose again, because that has happened before. I have a stock 93 Ex, with Warn manual locking hubs. Finally I removed the tires and checked the spindle nuts, they were fine. I noticed quite a bit of play in the actual spindle that wasn't there before. U joints seemed fine, play was coming from the whole shaft inside of the axle. Is there bearings in there I need to check? Yes the play goes away in 4x4.
 
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arco777

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Yes, there are needle roller bearings inside the spindle.
 
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RangerX

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With the hub off, some axle movement is normal. It will be ablt to be wiggled side to side 1/8", maybe 1/4".
 
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Chrisman889

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That's about how much play there is. It just feels so loose in the front end and I can feel every little bump. New shocks installed last summer, new radius ARM bushings just after that and as mentioned new bearings. Guess that only leaves ball joints and tie rod ends. By the way I am not very happy with the Gabriel ultra shocks.
 
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Chrisman889

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Sway bar bushings maybe?
 
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arco777

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That's about how much play there is. It just feels so loose in the front end and I can feel every little bump. New shocks installed last summer, new radius ARM bushings just after that and as mentioned new bearings. Guess that only leaves ball joints and tie rod ends. By the way I am not very happy with the Gabriel ultra shocks.

Yeah, Gabriel shocks are pretty bad.

Have you lifted each front wheel off the ground and yanked on it to check for play? You can often tell if the balljoints or tie rods are sloppy this way.

The sway bar bushings usually manifest themselves as a clunk in turns. You can check them easily for excessive slop or play but unless there is significant damage or deterioration they don't often affect bump feel.
 
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Chrisman889

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The driver side wheel always had a little play in it moving it up and down while jacked up. This is something different though. Really rattly sounding and very bumpy.
 
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