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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Wheel Bearing

Last few times I've gone into the shop they tell me my Front Drivers side wheel bearing is loose. I plan on doing this my self, but how urgent should I be in getting this done. Also, at one shop they said I might need an alignment after I did this. Would I? I'd imagine if it was really bad then maybe, but I don't know. Also, I occasionally get this popping noise while I'm turning at a fairly quick speed. Like, through a neighborhood going around a corner at about 15-20 mph. It seems to come from the passenger side, could this be a sing that the passenger side is also loose? It's not the lower ball joints because it made the noise before and after those were replaced. Might be the uppers. When I replace the hub assembly should I just do both at the same time, or is this just a "as needed" type job?
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sdavis872 View Post
Last few times I've gone into the shop they tell me my Front Drivers side wheel bearing is loose. I plan on doing this my self, but how urgent should I be in getting this done. Also, at one shop they said I might need an alignment after I did this. Would I? I'd imagine if it was really bad then maybe, but I don't know. Also, I occasionally get this popping noise while I'm turning at a fairly quick speed. Like, through a neighborhood going around a corner at about 15-20 mph. It seems to come from the passenger side, could this be a sing that the passenger side is also loose? It's not the lower ball joints because it made the noise before and after those were replaced. Might be the uppers. When I replace the hub assembly should I just do both at the same time, or is this just a "as needed" type job?
First of all, changing the wheel bearing/hub assembly has NO affect on front-end alignment at all, so you will NOT need an alignment after replacing one. Second, you don't need to replace both just because one is bad - just replace the defective one.
Third, that popping noise you hear could be upper ball joints, but it also could be worn or defective sway-bar end-links. I doubt it's your wheel bearing/hub assembly, unless it's really loose or worn.

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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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The shop said I might need an alignment. Maybe because it's so loose that the last alignment wasn't accurate. Or they just want money.

So I just need to replace the one loose one. That's good. Save me a little $$$ for now.

I figure it's probably the upper ball joints. I don't think it's the way bar end links, it's a fairly repetitive noise, not like a clunk that I would think an end-link would cause. As I turn the wheel, it goes "pop" then as I keep turning "pop" and so on. But it doesn't happen that much any more, it seems like it's less and less noticeable.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sdavis872 View Post
The shop said I might need an alignment. Maybe because it's so loose that the last alignment wasn't accurate. Or they just want money.

So I just need to replace the one loose one. That's good. Save me a little $$$ for now.

I figure it's probably the upper ball joints. I don't think it's the way bar end links, it's a fairly repetitive noise, not like a clunk that I would think an end-link would cause. As I turn the wheel, it goes "pop" then as I keep turning "pop" and so on. But it doesn't happen that much any more, it seems like it's less and less noticeable.
If you took your car to a shop for an alignment and they aligned the car with a wheel bearing so loose as to "throw-off" the alignment they were charging you to perform, I'd avoid that shop like the plague - they're incompetent! If any shop is telling you that you need an alignment simply because you're changing a wheel bearing/hub assembly, they're trying to rip you off.

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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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If you took your car to a shop for an alignment and they aligned the car with a wheel bearing so loose as to "throw-off" the alignment they were charging you to perform, I'd avoid that shop like the plague - they're incompetent! If any shop is telling you that you need an alignment simply because you're changing a wheel bearing/hub assembly, they're trying to rip you off.

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Well, I had a number of things done to the car regarding the front suspension and that was when they first found it to be a bit loose, but at the time there were more things important to me that needed fixin, so I just had the needed things done and an alignment by my request because I drove it home (about 10 miles) and was holding the wheel like I was making a pretty good left turn just to go straight, and you could just tell it was pretty off so it needed to be done. Then the next shop I took it to was because I needed a new motor mount, and they took it on a test drive (I'm not sure why they needed to do that) and told me my shocks were pretty bad (but they look to be the original 12 year old shocks, so they probably are bad) and thats when I was told "You LF wheel bearing is pretty loose. And then you might need an alignment after that, we'd do an alignment check first though." So it's not like they were out to rip me off, I think they just wanted to make sure I knew all that could need to be done. I don't know.

So I just need to replace the drivers side wheel hub and the nut that goes with it and I'll be fine? I plan on lowering the car soon and would get an alignment then, but was thinking I might do the wheel hub later. But if it's just one I could just do it while I've got the wheels off.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 09:27 PM
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Yep. Tire off, caliper/rotor off, dust/grease cap off, nut off, hub off. Hub on, nut on (188-254 ft-lbs), grease/dust cap on, rotor/caliper on, wheel on. Easy; took me under 30 minutes from jacking it up to pulling out of my driveway. No alignment issues. You'll need a 36mm socket though.

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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yep. Tire off, caliper/rotor off, dust/grease cap off, nut off, hub off. Hub on, nut on (188-254 ft-lbs), grease/dust cap on, rotor/caliper on, wheel on. Easy; took me under 30 minutes from jacking it up to pulling out of my driveway. No alignment issues. You'll need a 36mm socket though.
Thanks. I've got a Haynes Manual, so it should say what I need to do, but will probably exclude the 36mm socket part and the 188-254 ft-lbs part. It seems to do that, all the detailed important things.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Does this need to get fixed soon, or can I drive to Sioux Falls with it (about 4 hours, because I need to drive through Wayne first)?
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 04:39 PM
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Does this need to get fixed soon, or can I drive to Sioux Falls with it (about 4 hours, because I need to drive through Wayne first)?
It depends on how loose/worn it is. I just know if it was my car and I was driving it that distance, I would NOT want to chance getting in an accident or killing myself or those I love because a wheel bearing/hub assembly I knew was bad failed.

I recommend you fix it first.

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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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What would be a good brand to go with from Advance Auto, Auto Zone, O'Reilly's, or NAPA?
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 05:30 PM
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Timken would be my 1st choice, but any well-known brand sold at the major auto-parts stores would probably be O.K.

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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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How about these:
Advance: NTP
O'Reilly: Master Pro

It's not that I'm cheap, I just don't want to pay $100 if it's not necessary. I know you get what you pay for, but I just need something for a replacement, not a top of the line thing.
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 06:25 PM
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How about these:
Advance: NTP
O'Reilly: Master Pro

It's not that I'm cheap, I just don't want to pay $100 if it's not necessary. I know you get what you pay for, but I just need something for a replacement, not a top of the line thing.
How soon do you need it? RockAuto has Timken bearing/hub assemblies for T-Birds for $54.89 each, plus a few bucks for shipping (I'm going to be ordering 2 of those for my '97 T-Bird soon). If you ordered it tomorrow, you'd probably have it in 2 or 3 days.

NTP is probably O.K., but I never heard of Master Pro - it's probably made by someone else for O'Reilly's.

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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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You say I just need the one since only the one side is bad? Maybe I'll just order one.
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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 06:53 PM
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You say I just need the one since only the one side is bad? Maybe I'll just order one.
Yes, you only have to replace the defective one. It's not neccessary to replace both at the same time.

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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 06:54 PM
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Don't forget to order a new hub nut, too. You're not supposed to reuse them and they're only about $8 or $9 at RockAuto.

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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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I might just see if I can pick one up at a local shop so I don't have to pay the $8 shipping on a $5 part. (or what ever the prices are)
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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 07:05 PM
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I might just see if I can pick one up at a local shop so I don't have to pay the $8 shipping on a $5 part. (or what ever the prices are)
Ummm, you might find it's worthwhile to pay $8 or even $10 shipping on the hub assembly AND the nut together - AutoZone wants $99.00 for a hub nut for our T-Birds/Cougars (that's NOT a typo - that's the price on their website)!

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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 07:08 PM
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I'm sorry - they have one for $95 and one for $35!

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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 07:11 PM
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You're kidding, right? When I did my bearing, I paid $70.01 total on RockAuto (with the 5% discount code; look for the thread in the "misc" section for the latest code) for a Timken hub/bearing and a Dorman nut.

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post #21 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 07:19 PM
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You're kidding, right? When I did my bearing, I paid $70.01 total on RockAuto (with the 5% discount code; look for the thread in the "misc" section for the latest code) for a Timken hub/bearing and a Dorman nut.
No, I'm NOT kidding! Go to autozone.com and look for a spindle lock nut - they have 2 cheapo (as in QUALITY, not price!) Motormite nuts; one for $95 and one for $35!!!

I'll be getting my hubs and nuts from RockAuto, too! And, I already have the discount codes - I've ordered several things from them and they keep sending me the discount codes!

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post #22 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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part number 05111
$8.99 for the spindle/axle nut

I'm pretty sure that AutoZone price is for a box of them. There's no way that nut cost more than the whole hub assembly.

Edit: I've looked on Advance's website, but can't find them, so I don't know how much they charge.
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post #23 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 09:40 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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Does this need to get fixed soon, or can I drive to Sioux Falls with it (about 4 hours, because I need to drive through Wayne first)?
Wow... just wow.


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post #24 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Wow... just wow.

Well, none of the shops have been like "this needs to be fixed" they're just like "uh, it's loose by the way". So I don't know if it's something that needs my immediate attention. I wouldn't have asked if I had know.
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post #25 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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So, I take it this should be fixed before I go to Sioux Falls.
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post #26 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 02:23 PM
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Yes!!!

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post #27 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Haha, ok, I just wanted to make sure . I'm gonna call around tomorrow and see if I can get squeezed in somewhere because I don't really want to do it my self.
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post #28 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 02:37 PM
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Haha, ok, I just wanted to make sure . I'm gonna call around tomorrow and see if I can get squeezed in somewhere because I don't really want to do it my self.
Why not?!! It's INCREDIBLY easy to do and you'll save yourself a chunk of cash! All you have to do is jack the front up, take the tire and wheel off, unbolt the brake caliper and swing it up out of the way (attach it to the spring or upper control arm; do NOT let it hang by the flexible brake hose!), remove the brake rotor, remove the hub nut and then the hub/bearing assembly should just slide right off the spindle (it may need a bit of coaxing if its been on there for a long time). Installation is the reverse of removal, but be sure and use a NEW hub nut (Ford says not to reuse them)!

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post #29 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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So you just unbolt the old one and put the new one on huh. Well, maybe I will. Once again, I just don't know what brand to go with. Plus, I'm not sure how much longer I'm keeping the car. Do you think pretty much any hub assembly from a parts store would be fine?

I think I'm going to go to O'Reilly and get the National hub assembly and Dorman axle nut. $54 for the hub assembly, $9 for the nut. Hopefully if any one disagrees you'll speak up soon, because plan on getting it today (if they're open) or tomorrow afternoon.

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post #30 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 03:20 PM
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So you just unbolt the old one and put the new one on huh. Well, maybe I will. Once again, I just don't know what brand to go with. Plus, I'm not sure how much longer I'm keeping the car. Do you think pretty much any hub assembly from a parts store would be fine?
If it was my car, I'd put only a Timken bearing on it, but probably most brands from the major auto parts chains are probably fine - especially if you're not gonna keep the car for a long time.

I forgot to tell you to torque that hub nut down TIGHT when you reinstall it! The torque value is something like 188-254 lb-ft!

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