Rear Spindle/Hub Help | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Rear Spindle/Hub Help


February 28, 2011
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City, State
Atlanta, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
02 XLT
My 02 Explorer has been diagnosed with a bad wheel hub and bearing on the left front and a bad hub, bearing and spindle on the left rear.

I have read the posts here about replacing the hubs and bearings but don't see a reference to a spindle on this year of vehicle.Is the spindle part of the hub and if so does it press in and out? Can you order a new spindle from Ford or after market?

How do you diagnose when the hubs should be replaced and not just the bearings?

Thanks for all the help you guys give here...

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The front hub and bearings are all one unit. The rear hub and bearing are separate and the rear bearings can be pressed out and replaced separately from the hub. Take the next part with a grain of salt, I'm sure someone here with more knowledge will correct me if I am wrong. The spindle would be the end of the CV shaft. So it sounds like they are saying you need new CV Shaft, Hub, and Bearing for the rear.

You can order from Ford or other places like rockauto. If you go to the rockauto site (or others) you can see the different components. The general consensus is to order replacements that utilize Timken bearings. Check out this post on replacing rears on a 2002. There is another excellent post on replacing for fronts on a 3rd Gen X.

Thanks Icepickjazz,

I thought it might be the CV shaft. If that is bad would it be the splines? If they look ok do I need to look any furthur?

I have seen both of the posts you referenced and they are a big help. The rear post said the spindle nut was 36 mm and the front post said 30 mm. Does anyone know if they are two different sizes?

I am gathering parts and any tools I don't hve before I begin.Thanks again for the advice.

atlgadwag. Sorry, you have exceeded my knowledge, but I am sure someone else here will jump in this thread. I have found this site to be a great resource. I replaced my front hub w/o difficulties. I have seen some chatter regarding front nut being different sizes that 30mm, but mine was 30mm. Be sure to read all the pages of all the post. You will gain a lot more knowledge on that topic. I went to the local autoparts store and borrowed the socket for the nut, hub puller, and large torque wrench. If you do the fronts get the Sears deep offset wrench. I bought a cheap one from harbor freight and it broke in 30 seconds. On fronts I also recommend purchasing a kit that has the 3 bolts. Like a lot of people I had to cut my bolts off. Having the 3 replacements was a life saver.

Good luck

If you are doing the rear, you will need a shop press of at least 10 tons force, or take it to a shop and have them press it out and press in the new one.

Got timken hubs and bearings from Rock Auto. Having trouble with drivers side rear hub. Pulled won't take it off. Suspect splines on CV shaft. How do you remove rear cv shaft? Is there a way to save the shaft or should I replace it?

Thanks for the advice...

Just to be sure, you removed the upper and lower bolts for the spindle before you attempted to pull off the hub and you have the axle nut removed? If so, and with the proper puller, you should be able to pull the hub right off. I replaced my passenger rear bearing and did not need a puller. Spindle came right off with a little back and forth rocking while tapping the CV axle with a 5 LB sledge. Worse comes to worse, you could pull the spindle with the CV axle as one unit. Once out of the vehicle, you could use a small sledge and hammer the CV axle out.

Yes passenger side came off fine. The splines are stuck on drivers side. How do I remove the CV shaft. Is there a clip and do I need a tool?
Can you get after market cv or should I use motorcraft?


I used a wheel hub pulled like I've seen on several posts here. Three lug nuts hold it on the hub and the puller bolt tightens against the spindle. Passenger side took very little effort on the puller. Splines seem to be corroded together on the drivers side.. I am putting tension on it with the puller and am going to heat with torch. Otherwise I will remove the axle from the differential and take it to the machine shop with the new hubs and bearings. Just didn't want the added expense of buying an axle..

CV shaft replacement

So I used a block of wood to hammer out the rear half shaft from the differential. I accidently slipped and seperated the shaft at the CV joint and boot closest to the differential. Can these joints be put back together? Should you re-use these cv shafts or go new?
The price difference between the motorcraft shaft and the one from the auto parts store is alot. Is there any reason to go with the more expensive?

Do the differential seals usually leak when you remove/replace these axles? Are the seals easy to replace while the truck is on jack stands and not a lift?

Thanks to everyone for all the help here...