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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK Ladies and Gents of TCCA, being that I had to replace the front wheel bearing on my 03 Sable I figured I would make a writeup as other ones no longer have pictures to go along with the text. LOTS of pictures here so if you are on a slow internet connection, grab a coffee and hold on. This writeup shows you how to get the wheel bearing off without having to remove the ball joint from the LCA!

This applies to all Gen3 and Gen4 Bulls (1996-2007)

List of tools:
- Floor jack
- Jack Stand
- 2lb Sledgehammer(or whatever BFH you have;))
- Long breaker bar, or long tube which is what I used
- Penetrating oil of your choice
- 30mm socket(1/2" ratchet)
- 10mm, 15mm, and 18mm sockets(3/8" ratchet)
- 15mm wrench
- Anti seize

Mechanical difficulty level(1-5): 3

Your results may vary, this is for informational purposes only. Neither I, nor TCCA, are responsible for what you do to your car. If this is beyond your skillset, please take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for repairs!


First thing's first. What I recommend doing is soaking the wheel bearing housing where it mates to the steering knuckle a day in advance with your favorite penetrating oil. The 2 dissimilar metals of the hub and the knuckle can fuse together making it extremely difficult, especially if you live in the rust belt.

This is the penetrating oil I use:



First, apply your parking brake and chock up a rear to keep the car stationary! Safety first.

Next, take the center cap of your wheel off:



The axle nut, seen here, needs to be broken free while the car is on the ground. The bolt is 30mm:




My axle was new, but you will more than likely have rust on the threads. Spray with penetrating oil, then crack it free:



At this point, loosen(do not take off) your lug nuts while the car is on the ground:



Jack your car up:



Now take the lug nuts off and remove the wheel.



I like to place a jack stand under the subframe as it gives a nice and sturdy location to keep the car secured in the air. Make sure that you support your car properly! You do not want to be under the car or in the wheel well if a jack gives out! Safety first, use your head.






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Discussion Starter #2
Now comes the fun part. Disassembly.

Remove the 15mm bolts that hold the caliper bracket to the knuckle:



I do this to get myself a lot more swing room. Remove this 10mm bolt which connects the caliper hose to the strut so you can swing the whole caliper out of the way:



Now carefully take the caliper and bracket off the rotor and move it out of the way. I put it on a cinderblock so it doesn't stretch the line. Be careful not to kink or break the line if it's brittle:



Remove the rotor and you are down to the hub:



At this point, here is where you need to spray the hub with penetrating oil. Spray liberally where the hub inserts into the knuckle



Remove the 30mm axle bolt all the way and remove the thick washer:



Now time to remove the tie rod end. Remove the castle nut cotter pin and remove the 18mm nut:



Now..... get your breaker bar under the tie rod end between the knuckle and TRE, and while applying downward pressure, tap on the knuckle with a hammer till the tapered end pops out. Be EXTREMELY careful because if you are not paying attention, you or a tool can go flying! This keeps your TRE boot intact without using a pickle fork to get it out:




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Discussion Starter #3
Now we are down to the wheel bearing/hub. Here you see the 3 bolts that need to be removed to get it out. They are 15mm as well.




Being that the TRE is no longer attached to the knuckle, you can move the knuckle by hand and get a longer range of turn. Now turn the knuckle to the left to expose the front of the knuckle. Push the shaft of the axle as far back as possible to expose as much of the rear of the hub as possible. Grab your 15mm wrench and remove the forward lower bolt:




They will not back all the way out so just get it loose so it's not attached to the hub anymore.



Turn the knuckle the opposite direction and remove the other lower bolt with your 15mm wrench. Same thing.... it will not come all the way out, just get it out of the hub so it's no longer attached.





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Now for the dreaded(for us with ABS) upper bolt. If you don't have ABS, then you will be able to reach that bolt without a problem with a 6" extension and a short 15mm socket.

Here you can see the bolt, and what little room you have to get anything in there:




What I did is turn the knuckle back to the left to expose the front of the knuckle as there's more room to work on that side. Be sure to push the axle shaft back as far as you can. I put my thumbs on the shaft and fingers behind the hub and push with my thumbs as far as it'll go.

For my 3/8" ratchet(1/2" will be too wide so use the 3/8") I used a 6" extension with a short 15mm socket as shown here:



This takes a little finesse but its do-able. Take that and put it between the knuckle and the ABS tone ring like this:



Then turn it so you can get the socket on the nut. There is almost no room to get it in there, but it absolutely will fit in there. You might be able to get an extra MM or 2 if you push down on the axle very slightly. At this point you need to use your better judgment to get it in there like this:



Remove the bolt. Just like the others, it will not come out all the way so just get it disconnected from the hub.

Now that the bolts are out, it's time to knock that assembly out of there! Grab your BFH and tap on it to get it loose. BE CAREFUL! The knuckle is aluminum so using light, alternating hits(top/bottom, laft/right) it should knock it loose to where you can grab it and pull it out.



And it's out. The worse part is over...... take a breath! ;)




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Now that it's out, you have to clean the knuckle up. Clean out the center and mating surface shown here:



Now that it's clean, put some anti seize on the circular mating surface so if you ever need to do it again, they will come apart easily.

Here you can see that the hub assembly can only go on one way.



Center the knuckle so it's straight, put the hub assembly over the axle shaft and carefully slide it into the knuckle, putting it in the right orientation to tighten it back up.




Now that it's in, reverse the order of removal starting with the top bolt, and working down to the 2 lower bolts:





Your wheel bearing is now secured!

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Make sure the knuckle is still straight, reinstall the axle washer and nut, then tighten it as snug as you can get:





Reinstall your tie rod end into the knuckle. Tighten the 18mm castle nut and don't forget the cotter pin!



Put your rotor back on and secure it with one of the lugnuts so it does not move around on you:



Now reinstall your caliper and bracket securing it with the 15mm bolts you removed:



DO NOT FORGET to reconnect the caliper hose bracket to the strut!!



Make sure you didn't forget to tighten anything back up. This is your last chance;)

Remove the lugnut you put on the rotor to hold it in place, then put your tire back on. Raise the car, remove the jack stand, then lower the car. At this point you need to torque the axle nut to 185 Ft lbs.

With that done, Torque your lug nuts to 100 ft lbs, then put back on your center cap.





Sit back, crack open a beer, or 3 :rolleyes2: and take your car for a drive after cleaning up.




Congratulations.......... you just replaced your wheel bearing/hub assembly!! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the great write up John! Posted a link in the TF. You left out a pic though



See what I did there? Made sure I used your flavor
Thanks Mark. :thumb: Unfortunately no Miller High Life in the house, so I had to live with Corona;)
 

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Ah, the joys of being multicultural. Although I think the job merits a taste of your favorite, it would be deserving of at least a couple of fingers of straight from the freezer CR here.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
^ John, nice tutorial with pics! Would a 2-3 jaw gear puller help to push the axle shaft in more?
You could use the puller just to keep it in place so it doesn't move, however I wouldn't suggest pushing the axle farther than the 'bind point' with it to prevent damage to the cv joint.
 

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Hey Sousa. Just wanted to say thanks for writing this up. I wasn't really looking forward to this job but with your excellent write up I finished my passenger front in just a couple hours for my first time. You rock!

If anyone has trouble getting the hub out, I recommend checking out some youtube videos of people using bolts/nuts/couplers to press the hub off the spindle.

PS to hold the axle shaft in place I used the closed end of a wrench on one of the wheel studs, positioned the body of the wrench so it laid across the axle shaft, and tightened down a lug nut on the stud/wrench end.
 

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Hey Sousa. Just wanted to say thanks for writing this up. I wasn't really looking forward to this job but with your excellent write up I finished my passenger front in just a couple hours for my first time. You rock!

If anyone has trouble getting the hub out, I recommend checking out some youtube videos of people using bolts/nuts/couplers to press the hub off the spindle.

PS to hold the axle in place I used the closed end of a wrench on one of the wheel studs, positioned the body of the wrench so it laid across the axle shaft, and tightened down a lug nut on the stud/wrench end.
Can you post the link to the You Tube video you describe?
 
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