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Spindle bearing?

falls guy

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'91 XLT
I've got a howling noise coming from the front end of my '91 X manual hubs. It seemed like a pass side wheel bearing because when I make a hard right turn the noise pretty much goes away. I changed the inner and outer bearing on that side and it still makes the noise. It almost sounds like the transfer case(manual) is still in 4x4 but I looked underneith and the front axles aren't spinning, so I know it's in 2 wheel drive. Any ideas like the Transfer case or the inner spindle bearing perhaps?
Peace
 
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410Fortune

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well jack up that side of the truck, spin the tire. Does the axleshaft inside the beam (wheel to diff) spin?
This will tell you if your hub is working
You see one axleshaft can spin without spinning the driveshaft, with an open differential.

Howling noise can be caused by many things, worn out spindle, bad preload on the bearings, etc.

The spindle bearing (inside the spindle, supports the axleshaft) will only howl if the axleshaft is spinning. If the hub works and is unlocked then the axleshaft should not be spinning :)

Your spindle may in fact be worn out.
Could it possibly be from the rear, or coming frm something else, under the truck?

Whenever you have a noise like this, the best thing to do is a "shakledown test" basically get hte truck up in the air, get under there and start looking around, grab onto things, look for abnormal loosness, check U joints, ball joints, tie rods, exhaust hangers, engine mounts, etc etc..
 
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falls guy

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I didn't think the spindle bearing turned unless the hub was locked. With it up in the air, spinning the wheel the axleshaft does not turn. The bearings feel tight. Too tight perhaps? I just tightened them with a screw driver and a hammer until there was no play but still spun freely, then tightened the lock nut the same way. Could they be too tight? Hmmm.
Thanx
 
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410Fortune

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There's your problem.

Wheel bearings are not just tightened. They must have the pre-load set properly and then torqued properly. this is a 3 step process, and must be started over brand new each time the bearings are removed or re-installed, or if you screw up the process.

Inner spindle nut gets torqued to 35 ft lbs, then backed off 1/4 turn.
Then torqued to 16 in pounds
Then the lock ring washer is installed
then the outer nut is installed and torqued to 120 ft lbs.

Now that is from memory, but I posted it to give you an idea of what the book says.
I do mine by feel now because I have done them so many times, also the base numbers need adjusting when running larger tires.

Here's what I do.
grease inner and outer bearing.
Clean and grease spindle (light coaat on surface where bearings ride)
use marine grade bearing grease (Ford recommends)
Install rotor and outer whele bearing.
Install inner spindle nut. Tighten till there is no play.
SPIN ROTOR IN BOTH DIRECTIONS SEVERAL TIMES
Back off about 1/8 a turn, or until it jsut gets loose.
SPIN ROTOR
Tighten inner spindle nut WHILE SPINNING ROTOR to about 10-15 ft lbs (with 35" tires I got to about 25ish, but again I do it by feel, no torque wrench)
Install lock ring washer, align pin on inner spindle nut.
If your lock ring washer is worn out (tab fits loosly in slotted spindle) get a new one!
If the pin does not line up, DONT loosen, tighten slighty to get it to the next hole.

Intstall outer nut, torque to like 120 ft lbs (I go really tight, but not too much, it can spint he lock ring washer right out of the spindle groove and also mess up your preload)

Done.
 
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falls guy

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Right on, I'll try that. I did it by feel too but maybe I tightened it too much. I hope this is the problem. Thanks again.
 
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410Fortune

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You cannot simply tighten a set of wheel bearings.
YOu MUST set the preload and torque them properly, this is how the rollers inside the bearing works.

You right now are metal on metal, when done properly the preload gets the rotor actually floating on both bearings so grease can get in between the rollers and the metal.

Just tightening the setup is worse then leaving it loose.

You will need the spanner wrench, you cannot do it with screw drivers and a hammer.
 
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