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How I changed my 05's Front Wheel Bearing

Fordfan02

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16 XLT, 13 Edge
I just got done doing both my front hubs on my '02 "X". I had what I thought was a tire hum, but was reading these threads and figured out it was my hubs making the noise. I couldn't have done it without all of your suggestions!

Taping the axle back just a little was the ticket to getting the socket on the PITA bolts using a breaker bar with 1/2 by 3/8 adapter, a short 3/8 extension and 3/8 15 mm socket. Put some heat on the end of the bolts and a lot of PB blaster made them come out a tad easier. Also loosened each bolt a little at a time and kept banging the slide hammer (I had it attached to the lugs) to keep the bolt heads tight against the spindle, that way I could keep using the socket with the breaker bar. I did take the back bolt out all the way so that I could turn the steering wheel and work on the top and front bolts a little at a time. I did break my 3/8 15mm Craftsman socket, went and got a new one to finish the job. I used a lot of anti-seize on everything while putting it back together, hopefully I don't have to do this again.

I'm glad I made it almost eleven years on the first set of hubs. I did buy Timken hubs because the originals are Timkens too (made in USA). I can't understand High Orders going out in 2 years, an '05 having to be done in '07. Maybe Ford switched to Chinese hubs in '05. Well thanks again for all the great threads!
 
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Mill1978

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I have the three bolts out and im using a slide hammer and this damn hub wont budge.....lol...I need more beer
 

edwx

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Yeah, and I had to beat the crap out if it from behind with a 3 lb hammer maybe 20 times before it budged. Just keep pounding away, it'll go.
 

Mill1978

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3 beers later and its off....lol
 

dave56

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I did both of mine 2005 exp .if u just tap the axle back its pretty easy to do those three bolts.
 

Mill1978

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The three bolts are were pretty easy but the hub was welded on with rust...lol
 

pdsr

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Just wanted to say THANK YOU to the OP and those who contributed more detail and technical info. You saved me at least a couple hundred bucks and made it possible for me to take on a repair that I wouldn't normally have done. Did the right side today, took about 2.5 hours, used the deep offset wrench, and cut the bolts when i could get to them. Great to drive without the growling.

Again, many thanks.:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

XCAMP

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I think this is probably a different experience for each person depending on the age and condition of their vehicle... mine was pretty bad. Used the offset wrench to start but soon I couldn't get a turn on the top bolt and ended up cutting it off with a dremel. I finally rented a hub puller to push in the hub, but I would recommend straightening out your wheels before trying to push it in if you cocked your wheels all the way to one side. Get the hub puller first to gain space for your wrenches. Lastly, getting the hub separated almost beat me, finally I took a sledge hammer to it and it gave way enough to get a crowbar in there... I tried everything before going for the sledge, heat, PB blaster, chisel and hammer, etc, couldn't even get it to budge. I have the opposite side to look forward to now, but I think it will go easier now I have all my tools and more knowledge. Thanks to the original poster.
 

Donystoy

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I am just about to tackle the front bearings on my Explorer. Good quality (non off shore) ones are around $200 each here in Canada. For interest sake I got estimates from garages and dealers which were close to $1000 including labour for the two. Sure glad I do most everything myself. My first job is to soak the bolts and get one of those handy off set box end wrenches mentioned in this thread.
 

puff-daddy

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Does anyone know if the MOOG or TIMKEN hubs come with new bolts?
 

edwx

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The SKF hubs, made in the USA, with Timken bearings, made in the USA, that I used, came with the bolts also.
 

puff-daddy

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Thanks for the info Mill1978 and edwx. The Moog part also says National. The Timken bearing I put in my other car was a timken/national part. Sounds like they might be branding the same hub.
 

puff-daddy

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The Timken one I just install had new bolts

Mill1978, where did you get your parts from? I am talking to Rockauto.com and they say their Timken sets are not made in the usa and don't come with bolts.

edit: when i say bolts, i am not referring to the 5 wheel studs. i am referring to the three mounting bolts.
 
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thammel

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2002 XLS
My experience today

I replaced the hub/bearing on my '02 today. I bought the best NAPA sells and it's a timken bearing and yes, they supply 3 new mounting bolts AND 2 new rotor cage bolts. Getting the 3 bolts out wasn't too bad - used my 15mm offset box end. Worst was getting the rotors off and absolute worst was getting off the hub - stuck. So propane torch heat, pb blaster and a LOT of banging with my 20 pound mallet finally got it. I probably worked for 1-2 hours trying to get it off. The problem is that there's really no way to bang it well from behind. So I hit up at 12/3/6/9 o clock positions and finally worked a tiny gap and managed to get it off. I even tried my 5 pound slide hammer which screwed into the hub puller and hit that about a hundred times and nothing. You probably well need to use a sledge hammer as I did and will have to hit until you're totally wiped out. I think the problem is due to corrosion between the dissimilar metals of aluminum and steel. Oh well, job finally done.

Tom
 

Stangly

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2002 XLT
I just tackled my fronts. Easiest way for the 3 PITA bolts, imo, was to back them out an 1/8" or so and then pull the hub forward so you can get a cut-off wheel on the bolts, didn't take long at all. It's amazing that Ford is asking for $50 for a set of the 3 bolts though ($15 each). But, they are Metric m12 1.75 60, $1.50 each at any hardware store, two ratings, 8.8 & 10.9, go with the stronger ones and use locktite. The bolt heads will be a bit larger than the stock ones, but if everything was prepped right, you can create yourself plenty of room to torque them in simply by pushing the shaft in with your hand while you get your wrench on the new bolt head. There's plenty of room for them. Any $100 USA made bearing will last if installed correctly, Timken and others, all you get extra is the 3 bolts, you make the call, just sayin' ... Good luck to all who decide to tackle this, it's not that bad a job ... -Dave-
 

esclamada

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So I found out that my right front bearing is making the noise (at least I could verify it by turning left and right) so I ordered a cheap wheel bearing from PrimeChoiceAuto. I was satisfied with their Struttek struts for speedy shipment and price, it wasn't a bad product at all. So as a repeat customer I decided to buy their cheap front wheel hub for $50 including shipping. It's supposed to be delivered after 4 days (ordered monday, arrive friday) but got delayed because UPS noted in their status that the address was not legible. It turned out that those guys didn't pack the item properly (my strut doesn't have any proper packaging too but it has no wires or sensors on it) and this item was probably tossed and dropped a million times!!!

The 3 bolts and 2 caliper mounting bolts were missing too.

I think they lose another customer.. I am still in queue for a refund, their customer service might be full of angry customers.


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esclamada

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Just did the replacement this weekend using GMB wheel hub I ordered from Amazon ($65) The old hub is MOOG (stamped "National") and it lasted 50k miles, the left front seems to last longer than the right one (the right one is on its 3rd set)

It's really a quick job and don't have any issues getting the 3 bolts out using an impact. I have to push the axle an inch back to give space to the swivel socket. Once the bolts are out, just pound out the hub, it's broken anyway. It's less than 30mins job, I spent most of the time cleaning and replacing my brake pad. The inner pad got rusted so bad that the wear is uneven. I have to replace both sides.


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jpoprock

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Just to clarify... does anything need torqued? If so I'm going to have to borrow a torque wrench.

j
 
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jakedrew

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Just a update. I did Ford OEM replacement front bearings from Tousley Ford at around 60k miles. Now at 105k miles one of them is humming again up front.

Got a Ebay one ordered for $47 shipped. Not too impressed with the lifespan I got on the both OEM units. Replaced front/back bearings by 70k miles! Really Ford?.

My thoughts is these ebay sellers have sold 150 on one auction and a different guy sold about 400. Things can be "that" bad..... Anyone else care to comment on Ebay el cheapo bearings? Or am I DOOMED to be spending $150 bucks in the near future?
 

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