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Hey everyone! Typical story: poor student, . . . etc. This is why I am asking this DIY question.

My front bearing is out. Got quotes from shops in San Francisco and they will break my piggy bank.

Went to a shop and they said that I could pull the entire hub assembly out my self (As opposed to pulling the bearing out from the hub which requires a tool and then putting it in again which requires another type of tool) and bring it out to them where they will press the bearing in for a small fee. This would cost about 100 plus for the bearing, new hub (if needed), and pressing fee. I have done a lot on cars before, but this will be my first with suspension. I have got a lot of time to get it to work.

Here is my question: Assuming I could even get the entire hub assembly out detaching it from the control arms, etc (Someone said it was tough), would I still need a press tool to attach it back to the halfshaft? Or would the entire assembly just kind of slip back onto the axel?

I'm worried I will be able to take it off, get the bearing and new hub pressed together and then not be able to get it back together without the aid of an expensive tool.

My Helm's manual seems silent on this point/or I am just confused. (Again, I have never done this before.)

Any advice? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

BTW: 88 Mec. Sable 3.0 Vulcan with a rebuilt transmission and neglected suspension.
 
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The whole thing is pretty simple. You don't absolutely have to have a puller to get the axle shaft out of the bearing. You can take the nut off the axle (at the hub), and tap it with a hammer. It's a slide fit, but gets a little stubborn to get out because of corrosion, etc. Getting it back on is a snap, it slides right on.

Here's what I would suggest, on a budget. Get a whole spindle assembly from a junkyard. It will be much easier to change out, and that bearing will most likely last for a long while.

The procedure would go like this:

-Loosen the axle nut at the hub
-Loosen the lug nuts
-Raise the car, SUPPORT WITH JACKSTANDS--I can't stress this enough!
-remove the wheel/tire
-remove the brake caliper, bracket and rotor, hang the caliper with a piece of wire, rope, whatever so the hose doesn't get strained.
-remove cotter pin from tie rod nut and loosen nut, tap tie rod stud with hammer to loosen
-remove the pinch bolt from the knuckle that holds the lower ball joint in
-using a chisel or large screwdriver as a wedge, spread the lower ball joint mounting point on the spindle, and use a large pry bar or pipe to remove the lower control arm/ball joint from the spindle.
-remove the axle nut at the hub, and tap the axle end to dislodge it from the hub/bearing assembly.
-remove the strut pinch bolt, and remove the spindle from the strut. At the same time, push the axle the rest of the way through the bearing.
-If you have ABS, you'll need to remove the sensor from the old spindle.
-replace the old spindle with the new one, and put everything back together.

This job is pretty simple to do, however without air tools it may take a little longer. Make sure you get a new pinch bolt for the lower ball joint and the strut (should be available at parts stores or the dealer).

When buying a used spindle, you can check the bearing by spinning the hub. You should not hear any loud or abnormal noises. Also, grab the hub and try to wiggle it around. Any movement indicates a bad bearing.

A Chilton's or Haynes manual is also a valuable tool, and they are readily available for under $15. Some libraries also have them, so you may be able to find one there and make photocopies of the information you need.

Good luck, and let us know if you need any more help!
 

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*edit* Bob beat me to this one lol!

No you won't need a press tool for the halfshaft. In my experience I have never needed one. And I wouldn't worry too much about this job. I did it about a year ago. The lower control arm is much easier to disconnect on gen 1 and 2's (what you have) than on gen 3 and 4's.

$100 to press the old bearing out and the new one in seems kind of high. It should only take a good mechanic 15 mins or so to do. Of course I had my mechanics teacher do it for free. (Well not exactly free, I bought him a nice bottle of vodka). Figure on spending about $30 for the bearing.

Also, unless you are real careful with marking the strut when detach it from the steering knuckle, your camber will be off after doing this and you will need an alignment.
 
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Originally posted by dIESEL600@Feb 11 2004, 12:42 AM
Also, unless you are real careful with marking the strut when detach it from the steering knuckle, your camber will be off after doing this and you will need an alignment.
Nope. The strut is mounted in a bore in the spindle. Camber is adjusted by moving the upper strut mount, which won't be disturbed in this case.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey everyone.

I am in the process of moving, so I haven't tackled hub assembly yet (I am not driving the car). I will keep you all updated, as well as get back to you if there are any problems.

Most important, though, just wanted to thank you all for the help and encouragement. There is no way I was going to tackle this without your help. The step by step instructions are great! Thanks again. I will get back to you with my progress next week. Have a great weekend.
 
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Originally posted by hobo1@Feb 12 2004, 11:47 PM
Hey everyone.

I am in the process of moving, so I haven't tackled hub assembly yet (I am not driving the car). I will keep you all updated, as well as get back to you if there are any problems.

Most important, though, just wanted to thank you all for the help and encouragement. There is no way I was going to tackle this without your help. The step by step instructions are great! Thanks again. I will get back to you with my progress next week. Have a great weekend.
Any time, that's what we're here for! We're like a 12-step program for Taurus repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey everyone! Well, just wanted to finally give you an update. Got the hub assembly at a yard (15 bucks) which was a little hard. As a result, took it to a local shop and had them put it in for 40 bucks, since I was afraid I would damage the bushings on the arms. It was overall pretty easy. Thanks so much. I'm at the library right now and cant write too much, since there is a line. I'll follow up later with more details. Thanks again!
 
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