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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
front hubs...
Ok... skip ahead to where the hub is laying on the floor on a towel.

I pulled out the wheel seal with a claw hammer rather than using the special "tool," seemed to work fine.

Pulled the bearings out, layed them aside... This is the point, where I think most folks bring the hub to a shop to have it put on a machine to press the bearing races out... and press new ones in.. My problem, is I'm a cheap guy who will try to do anything at home to save some money when I think it's possible..

Is it ok to have done the following..

1. used a punch (ok actually it was a different set of random tools that I didn't mind banging on with a hammer), and changed back and forth from side to side where the inner side of the race "lip" is exposed and "beat them out." If I had to do it again, I would have bought a brass punch- I did end up slightly scaring the inside of the hub. (oops)
2. Took the old races, and ground them down with the grinding wheel to be smaller diameter, and used them on top of the new races, to press them in, with a block of wood and hammer. (ground down the old ones so they wouldn't get pressed in at the same time).. Is this method ok? (I hope so, cause I already did it, lol)... I made sure the new races were pressed all the way to the lip inside the hub...
4. Didn't buy a bearing greaser tool, I just filled my hands with huge gobs of grease and squeezed as much into the bearings as I could by hand...
5. Used block of wood + hammer method to get the new wheel seals in.. However, one of them bent instead of going in... (get to go buy a new one tomaro to do the other side with)... So, all I can say on that is, darn dang shoot, it's finiki to get that wheel seal to line up and go in straight...

Now it's question time.... I'm putting the hub nut back on. I understand i'm supposed to tighten it, turn the wheel a few times, whipe up excess grease as it spews out, then loosen it, then retighten it... repeating this several times.. Problem I have is how tight to tighten the hub nut.. I don't have the "tool" for the nut.. I used the haynes manual method- which involved putting a punch into one of the holes sideways, and beating on it to loosen it, which worked great, but how on earth to tighten it to the proper torque.. Think I might go buy the proper tool or make one out of the ford hub tool, then using a torque wrench- I think I read it's supposed to be tightened to 5-8lbs (sound right?)
 

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I might be able to help someone on the forum, for once. I went to walmart got a scale that measures fish i guess. I put the punch in and put the scale on the punch and then pulled on the fish scale. I was able to tighten to the proper specification this way. It makes intuitive sense but kinda hard to explain by typing.

Let me know if i should try to explain it again.
 

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Were the bearings bad or were you just doing some overkill preventative maintenance to replace them? If bad any idea why (e.g. how many miles since repacking?, driven through a bunch of water, used x brand of grease, etc)? I'm just hoping to get as much feedback as possible on what we can do to keep our bearings happy as long as possible.

If it makes you feel any better I too always have problems getting the grease seals to easily go back in. It is almost like they are just a 1/4mm too large. :x

As for getting the official tool, I wouldn't. FWIW I find that the punch/flat screwdriver blade works just fine. As to how to set the nut tension, it is not done with a torque wrench but with a fish scale. See the FAQ writeup.
 

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I have always done bearings just the way you describe with no problems.

A few exceptions though..

I have a cheap bearing packer which works good.
I dont use a peice of wood for installing the seals. I just tap it in with a hammer going around in circles until its in. Just tap, dont pound on it.
I dont grind the old races, just use them as they are until the new ones are in as far as posible without getting the old ones stuck, then use a brass punch.

As far as the axle nut goes, I did the modified ford tool method. And used a cheap fish scale to set the preload.

I replaced mine because I didnt know the history of the vehicle and was going to have the whole front end apart anyways to replace ball joints. I had to replace the axle nuts too, they were badly grooved probably from the bearings locking up at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
maybe I'll try the fish scale idea... it makes "sense" to me in my head../ basically... I stick the punch into the hole, with scale attatched to the punch, pull on the scale til it reads like 5-8lbs in the direction that would pull the nut clockwise... It sounds logical... btu I already have some toque wrenches around here, so in theory, it would seem that the same thing could be achieved with a modified tool and a torque wrench- trying to deside what will be cheaper/easier...

reason I'm doing the bearings, is that one side is a little loose, (up on stands you can get the wheel to pop back and forth accross the camber axis).. The other side didn't seem bad, but I figured I do em both at the same time.. I can feel the effects when driving, and I really need to get my camber lined up right after doing the lift, so it wears tires evenly... Bought the car with 144,000 on it, it has 189,000 on it now (been almost 2 years). I never repacked the bearings in that time... I am using *i think* valvoline brand grease in there.. guess i'll see how it holds up... need to try to remember to repack them more frequently now that I have new ones....
 

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Per the Helm manual for my 99 Trooper, the lb force reading (i.e. fish scale) is done at the lug nut. It is not a ft-lb spec. Granted by measuring the distances involved it could no doubt be converted to those units. However, that sure seems like a lot of extra work to me compared to just reading the fish scale.

The spec is 4.4 to 5.5lb with new bearings and new seal and 2.6 to 4.0lbs if reusing the bearings but a new seal.

How close you can get to the spec can be an issue depending on how the holes in the lock screw line up versus the 3 holes in the nut that the screws go into. Also, remember you can rotate the lock screw 180degrees to try and get a better fit.
 
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