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Manual HUB Locknut Wheel Bearing woes


killswitch21

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OK, Let me give a bit of backstory. 1990 Ranger 2.9L 4x4. a while back I replaced my Auto HUBS with Warn manual HUBs, I also did new brakes (rotors, pads, and hoses) (My mistake/lesson learned. I did not replace or properly regrease the wheel bearings)

Fast forward a month later, I'm out driving far from home and I start hearing a squeaking noise from the driver side. I was only like 10 miles from my destination so I tried to make it there, Big mistake, driver side wheel Bearings welded themselves to the spindle and the wheel came off about 1/2 a mile from my destination. Luckily no one was hurt.

I have since learned how to properly pack a bearing, and I replaced the spindle, wheel bearings, bearing seal rotor, pads and brake hose, and hub on the driver side and got the truck back home driving fine.
However I have been very paranoid about the passenger side having a similar failure, so I decided to replace the passenger side wheel bearing and wheel bearing seal as well.

Anyways so As I am reassembling the passenger side, I put the first lock nut with the pin on, tq it to 35ft/lbs, back off 1/2 a turn, than tighten to 16 in\lbs. then I put the tabbed washer on, then the 2nd lock nut, as I try to tq the 2nd lock nut to the recommended 150ft\lbs, I can see the inner locknut and washer begin to spin with the outer locknut. They seem to start spinning at about 80 ft/lbs. Thus by time I get to 150 ft/lbs of tq on the outer locknut, the inner lock locknut is significantly over torqued on the wheel bearings. Am I missing something here? It would seem the tab of the washer isn't long enough to lock it in place. It's even started to mar the spindle threads a bit.

I did not have this problem when I rebuilt the driver side, than again I used a spicer locknut set and it was a brand new spindle on that side. IIRC, I used a warn locknut set when I originally did this. Is the spicer washer that much better? or maybe it had more to do with the brand new spindle on the driver side?

I tried setting the outer locknut just to 120 ft/lbs, but the inner one still spun some and I'm pretty sure its too tight . After a short drive my driver hub is still cool to the touch, where as my passenger one is kinda warm.
Any advice or solutions? I was going to buy a new spicer spindle nut set, But I haven't been able to find one local. And I don't have a welder so I can't weld extra metal to the washer.
I need to drive like 40 highway miles this weekend, so I really need a quick fix and I cant really wait for bronco graveyard to ship a spicer one.
 


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killswitch21

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TLDR: inner spindle nut is turning in spite of the washer when I TQ the outer nut, resulting in over torqued wheel bearings. Seems the tab on the washer is too short, are there any solutions?
 

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You can try to carefully squeeze the washer in a vice so that it is very slightly oval shaped and forces the tab deeper into the keyway. It's a tricky process. But can be done. If you squeeze too hard, you fold the washer.
 

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You can also grease just the outer face of the washer, and it should give you a frictional advantage.

BTW, you are lucky to have gotten a month out of it. Last guy I knew who did that it lasted two days. He did the bearings Saturday morning at work, drove 10 miles home, went no where on Sunday, and his wheel fell off pulling back into work Monday morning. He very nearly got fired after admitting that he had no idea he was supposed to grease the bearings.
 

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Along with the other suggestions I should add, that outer locknut has been known to back off as well! Though I've heard the torque is normally closer to 170ft-lbs a number of people recommend 200 or even 220 if you can muster that with the torque wrench.
 

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what i generally do when packing wheel bearings, is buy a meat injection syringe from the store, snip the end and pack it with grease. use that in between every roller to inject grease. i find its cleaner than packing, and probably does a better job. i also generally hand tighten the inner nut after setting the bearing, then crank the outer nut as tight as possible with some lock tight. ive only ever had one issue and that was when i used a master pro bearing. the nuts kept backing off, and the bearings eventually fused to the spindle.

you also might try these, have not used a set myself but it looks promising. https://www.amazon.com/Stage-DNA-44-Assembly-Corporate-Spindles/dp/B00776GZCC
 

killswitch21

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I ended up buying one of the bearing packers for $30 and saved a ton of time and mess.

- So on Friday I took off the lock nuts and re torqued them on. This time I used a screwdriver to push down on the washer where the tab was while I tightened the outer locknut as tight as I could. Then I actually torqued it down in stages, 50lbs, 75lbs, 100lbs, etc.. all the way to 150 ft-lbs and the inner locknut never spun. So using a screwdriver to hold the tab down in place while some torque is applied worked.


Now the only issue I'm having is my passenger side HUB is getting noticeably hotter than the driverside. It seems to get hotter during stop and go driving compared to Hwy driving so I think it may be a caliper sticking rather than a wheel bearing issue. So I'll try greasing the caliper to see if that helps. I think I am also gonna try swapping the other brand new HUB I have onto it and see if it dissipates heat faster, because the body of the hub seems to be a different material on the new ones vs my old ones.
 
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what i generally do when packing wheel bearings, is buy a meat injection syringe from the store, snip the end and pack it with grease. use that in between every roller to inject grease. i find its cleaner than packing, and probably does a better job. i also generally hand tighten the inner nut after setting the bearing, then crank the outer nut as tight as possible with some lock tight. ive only ever had one issue and that was when i used a master pro bearing. the nuts kept backing off, and the bearings eventually fused to the spindle.

you also might try these, have not used a set myself but it looks promising. https://www.amazon.com/Stage-DNA-44-Assembly-Corporate-Spindles/dp/B00776GZCC
These won't fit inside the D35 locking hub.
 

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I added some weld to the washer tab to make it a little longer and fatter toward the bottom in the keyway channel. It still clears everything and allows it to get torqued down to where it needs to be. It's not hard to do and hasn't let me down yet.
 

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traacer said:
I added some weld to the washer tab to make it a little longer and fatter toward the bottom in the keyway channel. It still clears everything and allows it to get torqued down to where it needs to be. It's not hard to do and hasn't let me down yet.
Killswitch21 said:
And I don't have a welder so I can't weld extra metal to the washer.
Welding is not an option unfortunately.
 

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You can try to carefully squeeze the washer in a vice so that it is very slightly oval shaped and forces the tab deeper into the keyway. It's a tricky process. But can be done. If you squeeze too hard, you fold the washer.
I used to do this myself. It worked good for about 4 or 5 washers, then I had one actually break. They (or at least some of them) seem to be rather brittle, so yeah, be careful if you try this (it only needs to be bent about 1mm or so out of round).

Since I have a welder, I just do it that way now.
 


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