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Old 04-09-2007, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a bad front wheel bearing on my 2003 Taurus. Just wondering how much of a job it is to replace? Any words of wisdom? Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the club!

First, search. We've covered it before.

Second, the job isn't too bad, but you've got two options:

1- Remove the spindle from the car, and do the work on your bench.

2- Remove the halfshaft from the spindle, and try to do the work with the spindle in the car.

If it were me, considering option 1 is only one or two more steps, I'd do number 1.

JR
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I did acutally search but didn't find too info much for the newer models. I've seen other post for some of the older models but didn't know if I was looking at the same amount of work. Others have posted that it's a PITA to get the front bearings replaced on the older models.
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Old 04-10-2007, 03:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
I did acutally search but didn't find too info much for the newer models. I've seen other post for some of the older models but didn't know if I was looking at the same amount of work. Others have posted that it's a PITA to get the front bearings replaced on the older models.
[/b]
The older models have a bearing pressed into the hub, so you need a machine shop to press it out.

The newer models are also a PITA because the knuckle is aluminum and the hub is steel causing the buildup of corrosion between the two. It is very difficult to hammer the hub out of the knuckle on the car, but I did it twice. I was planning on removing the knuckle but I could not remove the wheel speed sensor from the knuckle on my 2000 Taurus. I purchased the special female torx bit and removed the bolt holding the sensor, but it is very tightly fitted in the knuckle and I did not want to break it.

The axle nut is 29 mm and very tight (torqued 170 to 202 lbs-ft) on mine. You need to loosen the axle nut and remove it before raising the car. Remove the brake caliper and securely fasten out of the way because of the hammering that is going to happen. Remove the rotor.

Disconnect the tie rod end and the lower ball joint on the knuckle. I used a puller to push the axle out of the hub rather than hammer it out. It fits back in nicely with enough threads to pull the axle back into place. Pry down on lower control arm a lot to release the ball joint from the lower control arm. Push the axle out of the hub by pulling the hub forward, but it is scary. Support the axle out of the way.

With the axle out of hub put the knuckle ball joint back into the lower control arm to provide support for the hammering to come. Remove the 3 bolts holding hub to knuckle. They are in behind where the axle fits into the hub and they are tight.

Now you need to hammer the hub from the inside. This is very aukward and difficult because you cannot get a good purchase on anything. Do not put a puller on the outside of the hub, it will just seperate the hub itself. Corrosion is all that is holding the hub in place. After 2 hours of hammering it will be out.

It all goes back together easily.

The extra steps to removing the knuckle and cutting the 2 hours of hammering to 5 minutes are fairly easy.
Remove the wheel speed sensor after removing the female torx bolt. I could not move either of mine after 15 mins of trying. Perhaps someone will post a good approach.
Mark the point where the strut enters the knuckle for depth and angle so you can replace to the same point for alignment purposes. Remove the pinch bolt securing the strut to the knuckle and move the knuckle down and off the strut (the lower control arm is held down off the knuckle ball joint to provide enough room).

Hope this helps.

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Old 04-10-2007, 04:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can change the bearing without removing either the halfshaft or the spindle. Access to the three bolts that hold the bearing on the spindle is tight but not impossible. You will need a hub press to get the bearing off the axle.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just got done doing both front wheel bearings on my 2003 taurus.

Tricks.
1. Note: sprayed everything with WD-40 as I had access to bolts. Procedure requires two 15mm sockets.
2. Loosened Axle Nut to flush with end and hit with a rubber mallet to loosen. (Was'nt really all that tight.)
3. Jacked up car, removed wheel, took off brake caliper, took off brake bracket and took off rotor. (Had to tap rotor with rubber mallet to loosen)
4. Used puller to hold axle in about 1-1.5 inches
5. Sprayed the 3 bearing holding bolts on both bolt head end and little bit that sticks out the bearing collar
6. Loosened to lower bolts with 15mm short socket and 4 inch extension. Used rubber mallet to help loosen. (Note: Beside a good spray with WD-40 I also applied a torch to the bearing collar right next to where the bolts threads through).
7. On the upper bolt I took a 15mm short socket and put it on a 8 inch extension. I then slid the socket in from the side and positioned it on the bolt head. The extension ends up right against the ABS ring so careful. I hit the extension lightly to make sure the socket was seated all the way.
8. Turned the wheel approximately 20- 30 degrees outward.
9. Put on a breaker bar and tapped with rubber mallet to loosen.
10. Note: this socket and extension stays in place during the replacement.
11. Loosened all the bolts and my wheel bearing just slid out (Used both socket and box end wrench)
12. Replaced wheel bearing and retightened bolts. (Make sure spline slides in properly)
13. Note: I had to play with the puller to keep the half-shaft compresses
14 Tightened 3 bearing bolts
15. Removed 15mm socket and 8 inch extension from the upper bolt by rotating extension 90 degrees and removing from the side
16. Removed puller and installed and tightened axle nut to pull axle into place
17. Installed rotor, brakes bracket, brake caliper and wheel
18. Lowered car and tightend axle nut and wheel nuts.
19. Viola Done!

2.5 hours for the first bearing - 1 hour for the second

Last edited by johwil4967; 10-31-2010 at 05:16 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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P.S. Thanks for all the insight especially those indicating the job can be done without removal of the half-shaft and spindle
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johwil4967 View Post
P.S. Thanks for all the insight especially those indicating the job can be done without removal of the half-shaft and spindle
Caution: That all depends on your car - I just did both a few weeks ago and the PS was easier because it had been replaced once before, the DS was a major pain - first time it had been done with 150,000 on the car. The steel/aluminum corrosion effectively welds it in place. Note some of the people stating it can be done w/o removing the half-shaft or not in the north east. Just sayin'
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