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Project X = Wheel Bearing Issues


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March 4, 2007
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City, State
anaheim hills,california
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
...i talked to maniak about this and i was wondering if everyone else with a first gen. 4x4 (91-94) is having the same issues and what there remedy was for this, If they are wheelers or not...

...the problem is i replace the front right wheel bearing sets each time we do a good trail seems to loosen up about 200 mi. after i get her back about 45 bucks a set it's getting old and re-tightening it all the time is redundent...

...any and all suggestions of known fixes would be appreciated, thanks...:D

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That's not normal, even for a wheeler. I'll guess not enough preload when you set them up.
Are you finding the outer locknut loose when you go to disassemble? If so, not enough ft-lbs on the outer, too.

...yes and yes...:D

i was talking to maniak and he goes thru the same thing...he was saying put about 100 pounds torque on the outer and some locktight too...whats driving me nuts is that it's the same side and everything looks fine except loose...:scratch:

..i want to add that i redid them and made sure they were to spec torque previously and thats why i'm checking on this ...

... and made sure they were to spec torque previously

Torqueing to spec isn't good enough when you're running oversize tires, at least for the inner nut. Also, I thought the outer gets 150, not 100?

Locktite seems like a good idea.

I have not seen the first gen's spindle nuts but if its anything like the D44's and D60's where its comprised of two large nuts and a keyed lock ring, then it sounds like the little prong on the inner nut is gone.

D44 spindle nut set:

In the image above, you can see the prong on the nut on the upper right.

...thanks rangerX, you can be assured it will be tight this time

...izwach, it was on there the last time i checked ...

more info:
...when i got the truck all the tires were shaved to one side and other than parking tickets i had found a ton of tire shop receipts in the glove box with bearings and repairs to the right front...i didn't think nothing about it till now...:scratch:

I haven't really done any wheeling in mine at all, and the passenger side front wheel bearings only seem to last a few months at the most before they start "roaring". I have also had a hell of a time putting the inner wheel bearing seal on. By the way, this has continued even after I replaced the front rotors a while back, I had to replace the bearings just yesterday! If I'm not the only one with this problem, then maybe there is a bigger issue here.


...just pulled the wheel and it was way loose...the prong is now gone too...i wonder if i snapped it tightening it last time plus i checked and i tightened it to 100 pounds last time...

...since i will be going for 150 torque this time with some loktite, is that prong crucial still???

Yes it is still crucial. I will go and say that you have more wrong.

My D44 is doing the same thing on the left side. I have to tighten mine every 2-3 months. I believe that i have a spindle prob.

...burns, can you elaborate on the problem or are you still working on it???

...woohoo, i am not going nuts...i hate it when you know you did something and the problem is back...i'm not sure if my trip for my tires had anything to do with it but let's just say i was making up time on the way home...:eek:

I tend to see that the more that i wheel the more that i wheel the more that they do come loose and the more long trips i make the worse it gets.

I at first i thought that it was just that little prong missing that was causeing my probs but after i spent 40 bucks on a new set of spindle nuts(all three items in IZ pic) and the prob still occured i knew there was something was wrong. The only thing i can figure is that it is the spindle. I have already wore off the new prong from the new set. It has not occured in the last 3 months but im waiting on it

Quick question, when you guys do notice that the bearings are loose again, and remove the outer spindle nut, is it loose? Or do you need a breaker bar to remove it?

What I'm trying to figure out is whether or not the three parts are backing off as one unit, or if only the outer one is backing off so far that the keyed lock ring comes out of the inner nut's prong.

Right now I'm thinking that the three can not possibly back off as one unit unless the keyed lock ring's inner tab/tooth thingy is broken or worn out -- because it should not be able to come off of the spindle's groove.

Both spindle nuts will be loose.

Did the same thing after i got new ones.

So is the prong getting sheared off? In other words, when you notice that the tire is loose and you remove the spindle nuts, is the prong always gone?

Yes you are correct. I never find and reminants of the prong tho. No silver in the grease or anything like that

...mine too, i think it might be one of those design things that runs a fine line of it works or it doesn't...i read somewhere awhile back that someone was torquing as much as 200 pounds meaning as he said, all he could do and he had the same problem...

...i am also thinking that if this happens 1or 2 times it can actually thin down the thread at the tightened location wearing it over and over, leaving this as an inevitable problem until the spindle is replaced...:scratch:

Thats my thought tbars. I just have been tightening when it becomes a prob for now.

Oh and i dont check my outter spindle nut pounds. I have lately cranked the heck out of it and it stays longer.

...well, i might have to make this weekend run without that little tab and fingers least it last a bit and like the others i heard before, tightening this will be a before and after routine, at least till i buy a new spindle...the more i think about those receipts i mentioned earlier, i am thinking they lost that tab and was not tightening it enough over a couple years like 6-7 times, and when i got it and fixed that part, it's too late...:scratch:

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the only way to keep the wheel bearings tight on the d35 spindles are to:

1) increase the preload on them from factory. Not a whole lot, I used to set it so it took a little extra force to spin.
2) Really, really torque down the outside nut. Like, to 175 ft/lbs or even 200ft/lbs. Anything less, and they work loose. I don't know why - it's like the whole spindle flexes and loosens up the nuts.