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02 Sport Trac 4.0L 4x4 right front axle noise

rumblecloud

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Hi All.
I'm having an issue with the right front axle/hub area and am looking for some guidance.

I took the Sport Trac out to run some errands and heard some awful noises coming from the right front area of the truck After checking it out, it seems like wheel is binding (not rotating) and then loudly popping free, usually one loud pop then sometimes quieter multiple pops almost like grinding but not.

It occurs in all three drive modes 2, 4HI and 4LO. It can go forward and reverse a few feet before acting up. I've raised it off the wheel and spun it with the tire on and it spins freely with no binding or noise. I've removed the tire and wheel and the hub seems to be a little loose. That's as far as I've gotten, but plan on removing the hub today to check the bearing and the axle end shaft.

If anyone can offer any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Thanks in advance.
 


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Uncle Gump

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Sounds like a wheel bearing to me... there sound be zero wiggle in the wheel hub.
 

franklin2

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Your truck has the unit hub or what you would call the wheel bearing built into one assembly. Just like a front wheel drive car would be setup. I suspect that is bad.

Here's the assembly with the sensor.

 

rumblecloud

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What's the worst that could happen?
Thanks very much for the responses. I was planning on pulling the hub today anyway for a closer look. I've watched some vids on the Tube and am hoping that's the problem and not something bigger.
Will post pics later today hopefully if I can get the unit off. I saw where it can be an issue.

r
 

Uncle Gump

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It's a straight forward job... I've had the hub rust into the knuckle... usually takes a few whacks with a big hammer.


Caution when removing the hub bolts from the backside... don't damage the CV boot.

wheel bearing.jpg
 

rumblecloud

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What's the worst that could happen?
Ha! this is gonna be fun. It's a balmy 35 degrees outside, maybe 40 in the barn. I might not even use the bullet heater.:p
 

rumblecloud

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What's the worst that could happen?
Axle nut came off fairly easily but the bottom caliper bolt is rounded - pfffftttt - extractor set ordered. Top one came out ok.
Should've waited a couple of days to let the PB Blaster work. Will use heat next time and in the meantime keep hitting it with the penetrant.
Dang it. I used impact on it at a low setting too as I was worried about it stripping.

The hub bolts look like they'll be a lot of fun too. Hitting those with penetrant now and often
 

rumblecloud

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What's the worst that could happen?
Looks familiar 'cept yours is way cleaner than the one I'm looking at. Thanks for the post.
I'm grounded till I get the extractors.
 

franklin2

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I'm grounded till I get the extractors.
No vise grips? No sawzall? The bolt is ruined already. Who cares if its stuck in the unit bearing, you are getting a new bearing anyway. You just need to get the head off the bolt somehow. Grinder would work also.

P.S. I remember one of the other guys cautioning against ruining the boot. It must be too close for caveman tactics? If you cut into the unit bearing, you could possibly cut through on the outside of the spindle with a sawzall, as long as you didn't cut into the spindle.
 

rumblecloud

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Total Drop
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What's the worst that could happen?
Sorry if I confused you all. It is the bolt on the caliper. The bottom one.
If it were on the hub, it would have already been cut off.
When I was working on my Ranger, I stocked up on cut-off tools and grinder bits - I really like using them too.
I thought about cutting off the caliper bolt head, but it has a 1/2' flange and even with that gone, the bolt shaft would still not allow me to get the caliper off

I will be careful around the boot. I can see how it could get in the way of a hammer.

Thanks for the advice and the caution.
 

Uncle Gump

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Take a big c-clamp and squeeze the caliper piston fully into the caliper. This will expose more of the caliper pin... grip it with vise grips. You can buy new caliper pins.

When smacking the bearing out of the knuckle.... use the hammer on the wheel hub. A few solid blows will usually get it moving.
 

rumblecloud

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1-1/2 inch front leveling
Total Drop
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P235/75R15
My credo
What's the worst that could happen?
If it makes the job easier it's worth it - cheap or not.
Whenever I run into a situation where I can add to my tool collection, I'm in. Especially if the tool I'm "forced" to buy can be justified for other uses down the road. Like this one for instance

71Jlrr3NDGL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

Uncle Gump

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Lead, Follow or get out of my way
The slide hammer is the way to go here...

The other puller is better with a stationary axle. Using it on the end of a half shaft with CV's you run the risk of damaging the CV if it is really stuck. Now if the half shaft is stuck in the bearing... this one could be a good bet to free it up.
 

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