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Quick hub bearing question on 2nd gen explorer


moparvwfreak

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Hey guys and gals. My mom has a 99 Explorer limited 5.0 AWD. Front diff died, I know weird, so I am gonna rebuild/replace it as soon as weather permits.

Now here is my question. Are the hub bearings similar to each other between 2 and 4wd?? I need a 2nd vehicle as my roommates ram eats us out of house and home for fuel.


Here was my thinking. If they are similar in design, MAYBE take the axles and diff out for the replacement/rebuild and still be able to drive it?? Anyone have a 2wd 2nd gen they could take pics of the back of the knuckle to post??

The reason I thought about this is the 3rd gen rams have the same basic hub assemblies between 2 and 4wd. So I got to thinking if I could do that with moms whole Im working on it. Otherwise ill just throw any 2nd gen diff in while Im rebuilding the original and not put the front driveline in.

Thanks guys and gals. Any insight would be awesome.
 


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SenorNoob

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Just looking at parts on rock auto, 4wd seems to be a unit bearing/hub while 2wd is old-school tapered bearings.

Not sure I'd wanna find out how well that unit bearing holds up with a shaft thru it. Guess ya could pull just the outer part of the shaft from a junkyard?
 

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Hey guys and gals. My mom has a 99 Explorer limited 5.0 AWD. Front diff died, I know weird, so I am gonna rebuild/replace it as soon as weather permits.

Now here is my question. Are the hub bearings similar to each other between 2 and 4wd?? I need a 2nd vehicle as my roommates ram eats us out of house and home for fuel.


Here was my thinking. If they are similar in design, MAYBE take the axles and diff out for the replacement/rebuild and still be able to drive it?? Anyone have a 2wd 2nd gen they could take pics of the back of the knuckle to post??

The reason I thought about this is the 3rd gen rams have the same basic hub assemblies between 2 and 4wd. So I got to thinking if I could do that with moms whole Im working on it. Otherwise ill just throw any 2nd gen diff in while Im rebuilding the original and not put the front driveline in.

Thanks guys and gals. Any insight would be awesome.
Are you talking about the wheel bearings? Your post is somewhat confusing even after ignoring the stuff about Rams.

The wheel bearings between 2wd or AWD I'm sure are different. But I'm not sure what bearings you want to swap.

The diff and axle shafts can be removed and the wheels will still support the vehicle. If it is 4wd, you should be able to drive it that way. But with AWD, the transfer case may still try to put power to the front end. My understanding is that the AWD transfer case works like an open or ls differential. So, if it isn't attached to the front axle and you can't "lock" it into RWD, it may just spin the front output shaft and not send any power to the rear. Somebody more familiar with the AWD system will need to confirm.
 

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The 2nd gen Explorer AWD system will work without the front driveshaft, But DO NOT REMOVE THE FRONT DRIVESHAFT BEFORE READING THIS.... Without the front driveshaft, your vehicle will not hold in park. It can and will roll away when parked on a hill. You must have a good working parking brake if you remove the front driveshaft.

That being said. Why not just pick up a “new” front diff from a junkyard and throw it in there.
 

pjtoledo

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99 Explorers have the independent SLA front suspension, 2wd and 4wd use completely different steering knuckles./hubs, and bearings.
you cannot just remove the outer CVs and drive it, the wheel bearings will fall apart.
the bearings need the splined shaft going thru them and tightened to spec,,,that's over 150 lb-ft

however you can install just the outer CV joint shell without axle shafts to keep the bearings intact, again properly tightened.

I'm not sure how AWD is going to tolerate the front driveline being missing, refer to the other posts.
 

moparvwfreak

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Thanks guys. This is what I was looking for. For now I guess Im hitting the yards and finding a temp diff to put in as I am unsure of the gear ratio in this one. Door tag is AWOL so ill pull this one out and see what it is. I do appreciate the info. Also the front driveline was pulled to be able to get it off the tow truck. My driveway is on a hill so we were working against gravity. It did pull off ok in just rear drive.

As for the ram stuff, at least on later models, 2 and 4wd use the same hub. Hence why I asked. Sometimes manufacturers have the same ideas.
 

pjtoledo

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some newer Fords have interchangeable hubs too.
if you're unsure of the front gear ratio try checking the rear.

by the way, those front diffs have aluminum housings. aluminum is easily trashed by wayward bits of steel.
 

moparvwfreak

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Thats why I asked. I was unsure on that. Fords are somewhat new to me as I am more of a VW guy.

Oh trust me I know how soft aluminum is. Broken head on one of my TDIs due to a mistime. Not fun at all.
 

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The unit bearing will support the truck load without a CV shaft going through it...CV carries no load.

The statement about parking creep is true, found my Mountaineer about 300 feet away from the parking space, twice. However, if your t-case is already suffering a "non-slipping" viscous coupler, 2wd operation will not a problem. I have just completed over 35K miles with such a solidified viscous coupler. But, if the coupler is still slipping like it should, why hasten it's demise? Given the number of Explorers and Mountaineers around, it will be easy enough to source another. Weather permitting, or use of a shop, just change out the diff and be done.
 

moparvwfreak

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Thats the plan. I will be grabbing one soon but ID like to get one with the same gearing. Hopefully weather will permit me to drop the one I have and see what gearing is in it.
 


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