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Old 04-13-2010, 10:12 AM   #1
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Front Wheel Bearings

I see where the SMB maintenance check list called out every 20K to check and re-grease the front wheel bearings. I have done this several times on my trailers, but for the SMB I think I will turn it over to a mechanic. Just looking for a heads up, if there is anything special the mechanic needs too know. I guess the local Ford garage will have no problem with it, but might go to a mechanic that does lots of 4x4 modifications. I imagine it is pretty straight forward, but with these rigs that often is not the case.
Thanks in advance,

Scott
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

Yes. It should be very straightforward. However, given a choice, I wouldn't let a Ford Dealership touch the Dynatrac axle. I would take it to a rock-crawling shop that has experience with Dynatrac. Otherwise you are likely going to get the excuse matrix from a Ford Dealership.

The only exception I would make is if I had a long-standing, trustworthy relationship with a dealership.

Just my $.02 worth... Which together with someone else's still won't get you a gum ball.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:35 PM   #3
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by stikine
I see where the SMB maintenance check list called out every 20K to check and re-grease the front wheel bearings. I have done this several times on my trailers, but for the SMB I think I will turn it over to a mechanic. Just looking for a heads up, if there is anything special the mechanic needs too know. I guess the local Ford garage will have no problem with it, but might go to a mechanic that does lots of 4x4 modifications. I imagine it is pretty straight forward, but with these rigs that often is not the case.
Thanks in advance,

Scott
Fortunately, I've got a great local (sort of) mechanic that is familiar with SMBs. I needed to replace my front wheel bearings at about 30k, and he tells me that it is a very straightforward job using basic OEM parts. That said, SMBs are tough on wheel bearings due to their weight, especially if you do a lot of off-roading. Hence the recommendation to check every 20k.
Good luck
R
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:44 PM   #4
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

Anyone know where there is a how to?
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

I ended up having the Ford dealership do them while I was having other work done. I, like Saline, would prefer to have the knowledge to do them myself, so I too would like to see a "how to" document or link.

Phil
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:20 PM   #6
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

I agree, find a good off road shop or a mechanic you can trust. Stay away from a dealership as a rule. I had a couple of friends working at a dealership but never knew if they were assigned to the job.
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:40 PM   #7
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by stikine
I see where the SMB maintenance check list called out every 20K to check and re-grease the front wheel bearings. I have done this several times on my trailers, but for the SMB I think I will turn it over to a mechanic. Scott

I was looking at the maintenance schedule for my 2008 Quigley 4x4 and see on their website, that the wheel bearings are not servicable:

<<<ROUTINE MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE:
There are two types of Quigley 4x4 Ford solid axle systems. Since 2003 our Quigley Ford 4x4 system solid axle utilizes a sealed non-serviceable hub and bearing assembly. All previous generation Quigley 4x4 Ford systems have a serviceable hub and bearing assembly.>>>


In the schedule for the older hubs, they call for lubing the bearings every 15,000 miles. I guess you just wait until the wheels fall off on the new ones, since there is no mention of life expectancy, etc.

Steve
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:51 PM   #8
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

That is the Ford F-Series axle. On another site I've heard the bearings last about 70K. I'm there and don't really know what symptoms to watch for.

Mike
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

Its not that hard to do yourself, and for the Dynatrac axle I would echo the 20k mile period. We ended up waiting till about 30k for lack of a place and time, and the grease was starting to get pretty black and lumpy, especially in the outer bearings of the hubs.

We carry a spare set of wheel bearings and a hub grease seal. For tools its all standard except a (for us) 6pt spindle nut socket (its huge, and not cheap), and a seal puller is very handy too.

I am rolling through it again this week and can try to take some pictures and put a write-up on our website along with the new transmission flush page I'm putting up (tracking down all the steps necessary to flush the Torqshift was a PITA due to the internal thermostat).

Basic steps:
Make sure you have wheel bearing grease for disk brakes (handles high temperatures better)
2 New grease seals
Spanner nut socket

-Remove wheel
-Remove caliper & place on springs (don't hang it by the brake line, unclip ABS wire first)
-Remove locking hub cap and big O ring
-Remove spiral snap rings (2 of 'em in our case) in inside rim of hub
-Pull out locking hub body (2 of the screws from the hub cap can help here)
-Use screwdriver to reach in and bend out lock-tab on spindle spanner nut
-Use spanner nut socket (huge, 6pt for us) to unscrew spindle nut
-Remove lock washer with bent tabs
-Remove 2nd spanner nut in same manner
-Carefully pull off hub, supporting its weight so as not to scratch up spindle or drop out outer bearing

-Outer bearing pulls right out, clean, inspect
-Inner bearing is behind grease seal, loose seal by tapping in with punch and hammer to release glue
-Pull out seal with seal puller
-Remove inner bearing, clean, inspect
-Clean all the grease out of the hub (there is a lot between the bearings, its never used, but may be of incompatible type with new grease, causing failure)

-Pack bearings with grease (squeeze in from large end till it fills carrier and comes out at small end and around rollers
-Fill hub between races of inner and outer bearings with grease (to keep from that area sucking up all the grease in the bearings at speed)
-Put in inner bearing
-Push in new grease seal till flush with hub, put grease in seal groove
-Put hub back on spindle, careful of the grease seal, support the weight of the hub till it bottoms on inner bearing
-Push in outer bearing till it is in its race
-Screw on inner spanner nut, 50ft-lb, back off 1/4 turn, tighten up again with hand on socket only. Hub should spin smoothly, no looseness.
-Lock washer with tabs goes on
-Grease & screw on outer spanner nut, 70ft-lb
-Bend a tab from the lock-washer into a spanner nut slot (w screw-driver) to lock it in place
-Put in locking-hub parts in reverse order to disassembly
-Put on caliper (166ft-lb)
-Put on wheel

Check brakes before you go drive, may have to pump them a bit to get the pads back down to the rotors.

-e
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:21 PM   #10
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Re: Front Wheel Bearings

Thanks for taking the time for the write up - can't wait for the pictures on your site. I have previously repacked the bearings on a couple of trailer and this gives me the confidence to give it a go on my '07 E350 with the Dynatrack front axle.

Scotty
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