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Discussion Starter #1
2004 Taurus front wheel bearings are starting to make the “woo woo woo” noise, noticeable when driving quietly on a very smooth road. I’m not surprised as the car just clicked over 210,000 miles and I’m glad I got that many miles out of my wheel bearings.

I went on Youtube and now I’m confused. I searched; Taurus front wheel bearings:
  • The first and most popular video is 1 A Auto Parts there are many of his videos on Youtube and they are very well done. He removes the tie rod end, pinch bolt to strut and entire drive axle. This gives him clear access to all three of the bolts holding the hub assembly to the aluminum knuckle. He still has to fight using an air hammer to get the assembly loose from the knuckle.This is also the method described here on this board, to remove the hub assembly.
  • Then there’s a guy called Marcus Adams, he doesn’t have any fancy equipment but he gets the job done as follows: He removes caliper with bracket, removes the drive axle nut and pushes the drive axle back a little so it moves on the splines. He removes the two relatively easy bolts holding the hub assembly. Then, with the car supported on a jack stand, he raises the hub with his factory scissor jack until the axle is reasonably straight. This gives him access to the top bolt which is awkward to get to. He uses a socket and extension and he is able to remove it. The rest is the similar fight to get the hub out of the knuckle. Marcus uses a propane torch to heat the knuckle which makes sense as the aluminum expands more than the steel.
  • Finally Dave’s Garage uses a similar method to Marcus only he uses an air chisel and a pickling fork to pry the hub from the knuckle.
I am fortunate in that I have several cars and plenty of time to do this and I plan to disassemble then soak parts with Kroil for a few days before trying to remove the hub. I’m also fortunate that I don’t have to deal with salted roads and my parts are not badly corroded. I’m planning to try to finesse the hub out of there but if that fails I have a torch, air chisel and pickling fork to apply as necessary
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To get to the point of this ramble!

Why do some people go to the trouble of removing the knuckle from the strut and remove the drive axle completely from the hub and the transmission, when this does not seem to be necessary to change the hub assembly?

All advice is much appreciated, John Kenneth
 

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I have done it both ways. I took off the knuckle when I also did the hubs at the same time as the ball joints. I found it takes less time to beat out the hubs with knuckle off the car. It is extremely hard to get the hub to just start the crack the hub loose. Once cracked get the penetrating oil in there and work it out with chisels. I bought bolts to screw in from the backside to beat the hub out also. I used an air chisel also. Use what you have and what works.
 

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I used the same technique as Automender due to corrosion that made them impossible to remove on the car. I ended up having to use a 3 lb sledge to beat them out...even after soaking in penetrating oil and trying an air hammer. As stated, you gotta do what you gotta do.
 

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3 lb? Old rule, "use a bigger hammer". In the pic, 8# wood chopper maul. Different project but sometimes need BIG!

Nice job on your part.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, we're all thinking alike.
Seems to me, either you remove the knuckle entirely and deal with removing the hub on the bench, possibly with a press (which I don't have) or you deal with it on the car but it doesn't make sense to disconnect from the strut and remove the drive axle as it seems like it's possible to remove the top bolt if it's not too badly corroded.
I also have a big slide hammer which I plan to try. And, you're not going to reinstall the hubs so if the hammer doesn't work, use a bigger one!
Comments and advice are much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Comment on ball joint removal (and any other tapered connection)
A cold chisel or punch works on the principle that the hammer blow on the blunt end sends a pulse through the punch or chisel and the sharp end bites into the work. The cutting action is due to the pulse within the tool, not movement of the tool itself. A punch or chisel works best with a sharp blow rather than a heavy blow.
Remember this principle when removing a tapered joint like a drive pulley or hub on a tapered shaft This should work on a ball joint, it's been a while since I did mine but I think I used this method and did not have a major problem removing them.

Tighten your puller as much as you dare then strike the puller on the top of the threaded part (that you tighten) . . axially, as if it were the blunt end of the punch or chisel. Hard and sharp. This sends a pulse just as it does on your punch or chisel through the threaded part of the puller and into the tapered part of the joint. When the pulse is transmitted into the taper it is likely to break it free. In fact it sometimes breaks free and literally jumps off the taper due to the tension in the puller.
 

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I also did this a year ago on my 2000, both D, and P side, I did it on the car, it was some of the most physical pounding i have ever done, but once you can get a >crack< or a slight separation, then lots of penetrating oil, imo,, spraying it down prior to starting job was almost useless, with occasionally turning the steering to help with all the pounding shock. I was prolly fairly lucky that the hub did not separate from the bearing, and the whole thing (s) finally let loose.
 

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I have changed hundreds of wheel brg. / hub assemblies and found the Taurus challenging at times. Ford's better idea of aluminum knuckle and steel bearing in a close clearance bore is the culprit. As the galvanic corrosion expands the bearing diameter it constricts the aluminum bore, rendering a fit so tight it takes about 10 tons + to break it loose. Compounding the problem: the hub is pressed into the bearing and just pulling on the flange will separate it from the bearing and leave the bearing in the knuckle. The trick is to impart a force at a tangent to the axis to break the bond between bearing and knuckle bore. There is a tool made for just this purpose. Some call it the Hub Shocker. You will thank yourself for buying this tool. I made my own, but that's another story.
216001
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you rsteve56 Great website and not a bad price if you weigh it against your time . . . and sanity!
Please be patient with me! "impart a force at a tangent to the axis?"
OK, so you bolt this tool to two of the studs on the hub flange (bottom of the flange in your picture) and hit the tool with a 5 lb hammer . . . exactly how, with regard to the extended "arm" of the tool do you hit it? At 90 degrees to the tool axis? or axially (with the offset due to being attached to the botton 2 studs providing some eccentricity)
All this is probably obvious when you have the tool in your hands!
Thanks, advice is much appreciated, John Kenneth
 

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The Taurus wheel bearing is part of the hub, you change it that way, hub bearing assembly is bolted into the knuckle.
No need to beat it apart, that can damage the inner and outer cv joints. Use cv joint puller pusher tool free loaner at parts stores.

bearing.jpg
 

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The Taurus wheel bearing is part of the hub, you change it that way, hub bearing assembly is bolted into the knuckle.
No need to beat it apart, that can damage the inner and outer cv joints. Use cv joint puller pusher tool free loaner at parts stores.

View attachment 216056
You've never had one frozen in the knuckle?
I have changed hundreds of wheel brg. / hub assemblies and found the Taurus challenging at times. Ford's better idea of aluminum knuckle and steel bearing in a close clearance bore is the culprit. As the galvanic corrosion expands the bearing diameter it constricts the aluminum bore, rendering a fit so tight it takes about 10 tons + to break it loose. Compounding the problem: the hub is pressed into the bearing and just pulling on the flange will separate it from the bearing and leave the bearing in the knuckle. The trick is to impart a force at a tangent to the axis to break the bond between bearing and knuckle bore. There is a tool made for just this purpose. Some call it the Hub Shocker. You will thank yourself for buying this tool. I made my own, but that's another story.
 

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You've never had one frozen in the knuckle?
I have changed hundreds of wheel brg. / hub assemblies and found the Taurus challenging at times. Ford's better idea of aluminum knuckle and steel bearing in a close clearance bore is the culprit. As the galvanic corrosion expands the bearing diameter it constricts the aluminum bore, rendering a fit so tight it takes about 10 tons + to break it loose. Compounding the problem: the hub is pressed into the bearing and just pulling on the flange will separate it from the bearing and leave the bearing in the knuckle. The trick is to impart a force at a tangent to the axis to break the bond between bearing and knuckle bore. There is a tool made for just this purpose. Some call it the Hub Shocker. You will thank yourself for buying this tool. I made my own, but that's another story.
HI no not frozen but I remove the cv joint using the OTC tool per Ford shop repair manual. If frozen would be easy to apply solvent, remove the three bolts that hold the hub to the knuckle and use shop press to help push the frozen hub out. Even a small amount of heat applied to the knuckle will help break that corrosion.

One think I don't like about the Ford design is the press push fit for the cv joints, my earlier Plymouth Omni Horizon as well as the Toyota Camry the CV joint is easy to slide by hand after the nut is removed
 
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