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Discussion Starter #1
I replaced the front hubs on my 92 LS a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd share some info. I've completely rebuilt the suspension in this car (and steering gear) but I still had a clunk when making sharp turns. It almost felt like was driving over a bump. Then, by accident I heard a creaking/groaning coming front the front wheel. So I replaced the front wheel bearings and my cougar is driving much better.

Here's the thing: the wheels were solid with absolutely no play in them at all. With the car raised you could grab the front tire and push and pull with all your might and it had no play at all.
Perch
 

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Are you sure it was the wheel bearing? I have a strange problem right now with my bird, similar to what you discribed. I know for a fact that its a ball joint and not a wheel bearing. A bad wheel bearing would constantly whine, not creak like you said. But with my car, it seems every time I try to find out if its the upper or lower ball joint, the sound just magically goes away for a few days. Chances are, you are in the same situation. Messing around in there changing the wheel bearings and whatnot probably allowed some grease around the affected ball joint and the creaking went away. Check everything under there though. Bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, sway bar end links, and even your upper strut mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope. I'm real sure it was the wheel bearings. I changed out the lower control arms twice. The first, I just replaced the ball joints(moog). The second time I went to ford and bought new lower control arms. This didn't solve the problem. Also, new upper control arms and all new bushings and new end links. New steering gear and outer tie rods all from ford. The whole enchilada. :)

I know what a bad ball joint sounds like. I also know what a bad bearing sounds like. I am a farmer and I have to deal with worn bearings all too often. The crunching/groaning/creaking noise from a bad bearing is distinctive and different from a bad ball joint. Anyway, my problems only went away after I changed the front hubs. There were weird feelings (usually while turning) that I cant begin to describe that have dissappeared since replacing the hubs. And I've waited two weeks before reaching any conclusions even though the improvement was immediately noticeable.

However, I'm surprised too since there wasn't any play at all in the wheel when you push/pull on the tire (hence this post). I replaced the rear wheel bearings last summer. In that case you could grab the rear wheel and get a 0.25" of play. I got rid of alot of bad vibes when I replaced those.
Perch
 

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Question on bearing/hub replacement?

I'm about 95% sure the bearing/hub assy on my '89 T-Bird (drivers' side) is shot to hell - scraping/creaking sounds when I go straight or turn corners. It started out only during cornering, but graduated to making these sounds during a straightaway run as well.

My question is this:

There's a couple of steps in my tech book for the hub removal/replacemtn that just has me baffled. It says to -

1) matchmark the rotor and wheel hub bolt;

2) and to remove the push-on nuts from the wheel stud

And do these steps *prior* to pulling the brake rotor.

"Wheel hub bolt"? "Push-on nut"? What the blazes are these???? Looking at the exploded views of the front suspension and brakes in my tech book shows NOTHING of these parts.

Or am I just being clueless and missing something incredibly obvious?

TIA.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmmm, your manual thinks that the brake rotor is "tuned" to the hub. So they want you to mark it so that you can put it on exactly the way it was taken off. I've never had push-nuts on the lug studs to hold my rotors on but I got my LS used.

But nevermind all that. It was very, very easy to replace the hubs. Just make sure that you replace the retainer nut with a new one from ford.
Perch
 

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Thanks, perch!

I know my tech book states that the hub nut has to be replaced if the bearing/hub assy is changed - is that *only* available from Ford?

When I redid my front brakes a year or so ago, I never had to remove any "push-on-nut" to get the rotors off; I just unbolted the caliper and hung it out of the way on some wire, and it just slipped right off the bearing/hub assy. I guess that's why I got confused.......

And it does look like a pretty easy replacement job - I hope!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Others have used non-ford retainer nuts and ruined their new bearings. They may not hold quite as well and back off just a bit creating a little bit of play that ruins the new bearing. It's up to you but I would go with ford retainer nuts. Anybody else have something to add?
Perch
 
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