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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, guys...

So I get on the freeway on-ramp returning from the mall tonight and I immediate hear this loud rubbing sound unaware it was coming from my car. A couple of seconds later that sound is followed by the smell of rubber. The rear end is acting weird also so I assume I have a flat, stay on the freeway shoulder, and exit the offramp a few feet away.

I turn into a dimly lit car pool lot by a trolley station with the loud rubbing sound still in tote. To my surprise, it isn't flat, but the wheel has like 10 to 15% negative camber. I pop off the wheel cover and to my horror find the axle nut in the hub cap. It had completely unscrewed itself. I had to call AAA to flatbed it home.:|

I'll open it all up as soon as I can when I get some daylight. Any guesses as what it might be, or what exacerbated it other than the axle screw working itself loose on its own? Does that happen often?

Anyone want to guess what it might be? Thoughts on what it might be, and how to fix it right would be greatly appreciated. To think that I just came back from Los Angeles in that car. Whew!:surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
JCO1385

Oh, I definitely will check all those. I asked here once whether it was a good idea to do just that (Double nut it) and got no response. Would Loctite work here also? Thanks.

r429460

I meant the chrome cap with the embossed Thunderbird on it. It's a '97.

Rodeo Joe

No, no rear work. In fact, I was recently in here for pointers on replacing the inner and outer tie rods which worked out without a glitch. I was working my way to the back.



I didn't mention it, but the car's jack gave way too as I was trying to pound the tire in as much as I could. it simply bent and the car came back down on the car's weight. I hate those flimsy things.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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I think a better question would be has it 'ever' had rear end work where the axle nut(s) have been removed? And if so or unsure, is it the OEM locking nut or a solid one?

What kind of car is this?

Hub caps and all......
Center caps = hub caps, hub caps that cover the entire wheel = wheel covers
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think a better question would be has it 'ever' had rear end work where the axle nut(s) have been removed? And if so or unsure, is it the OEM locking nut or a solid one?



Center caps = hub caps, hub caps that cover the entire wheel = wheel covers
It's the OEM original locking nut. Not surprising, since the original clips were still on the inner tie rod rubber bellows when I replaced them a week ago.

What can I look at and replace while I'm down there, XR7?

Thanks.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Which side did it happen? Right side? Being stock it could be possible that the wheel bearing siezed and the bearing spun inside the knuckle, effectively whizzing the nut off in the process. In that case the knuckle is toast, the hub is probably suspect, the brake caliper, pads and rotor all may have been damaged as well
 

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Which side did it happen? Right side? Being stock it could be possible that the wheel bearing siezed and the bearing spun inside the knuckle, effectively whizzing the nut off in the process. In that case the knuckle is toast, the hub is probably suspect, the brake caliper, pads and rotor all may have been damaged as well
This was my thought too. Bad bearing locked up, spun itself off. Had it been the other side, it would have spun itself on even tighter, potentially causing the whole thing to fail spectacularly.
 

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There all nub caps.

Look at the sign, Hub Cap Heaven, not center cap and Hub Cap heaven.:wink2:
 

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There all nub caps.

Look at the sign, Hub Cap Heaven, not center cap and Hub Cap heaven.:wink2:
Not my fault it's a misused parlance by the masses, should be wheel cover heaven! It's just like the coilover shock vs strut argument, only an even bigger uphill battle for those of us in tune to the proper terminology :tongue:
 

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Yeah, you'll see the bearing is wasted; hopefully, it's not welded/melted into the knuckle.

I started to get a knuckle out of a JY, and the knuckle was wasted because of a bad bearing. :)

Mine weren't that bad; but if you have 200k on the car, it's worth 5 mpg.

If you do one bearing, do them all; they're the same age.

Be Really sure to properly torque them going back in; spin, torque, spin, torque, until it quits changing. :)

I stand on the bar as the final torque, lol.

You're stuffing two bearing hubs together so there's no play; you can't over torque this unless you strip or break it. :)


It's also a serious time to consider the hub swap, for mustang wheels.

The mustang fronts are about the same price as the tbird ones; you need new rear hubs, but yours might be bad anyway. (bearings can wear the hubs...)

I'd seriously consider the costs involved; mustangs have a MUCH wider wheel selection.

If the rear hub(s) are wasted, it makes it easier to justify. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks a lot again for the responses, guys.

I won't able to work on it until early next week (my work schedule won't allow me to do anything right now), so look for some *real* questions then. Yes, it was the RIGHT rear wheel.

The plan right now is to replace as much as I can with new parts. It obviously has not been serviced.

Other than the aforementioned frozen bearing scenario, what else am I looking for that might not be too obvious to an amateur like myself? How will I know the "knuckle is toast", or the caliper, for example? What kind of signs am I looking for?

Thanks, and be on the lookout for questions from me some time next week. :)
 

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The caliper will probably be OK, unless you see physical damage to it. The knuckle you likely won't know until you press the old bearing out. Also given that the bearing likely locked up and spun the nut off, look at the splines on the axle to make sure they are still straight.
 

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One time when my rear bearing went belly up, the hub was trashed because the inner portion that gets pressed into the bearings was completely worn, as in wide, deep grooves in the steel. If you see any grooves on this part of the hub that goes into the bearing where it is supposed to be completely smooth, it's gone. Also, take a good look at your rotor. The excessive camber in my case was enough to ruin the rotor to the point where I could have perhaps turned it, but it made more sense to just buy a new one because too much material would have to have been shaved to get it true again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, MadMikey, and Guitar!

I'm going to tear it apart tomorrow. If I need something from the boneyard, it will likely be closed. ...Some 4th, huh? ;)

About a mile into my trip that night as I transitioned from one freeway to another on my way to the mall, I felt the rear end give the sensation of a quick fishtail. Up to this point, I had never experience the car do that and I simply attributed the sensation to the right rear tire getting caught momentarily in a concrete groove or break on the freeway's surface where the on-ramp and freeway merged -- when the left side of the car is on one level of road, while the other is on another level separated by a groove iow.

In total, it must have been seven miles driven from the point of the "fishtail sensation" until I heard the rubbing, and suddenly felt the car slow down upon entering the on-ramp returning home, whereas I then exited the freeway and called the flatbed.

All that being said, does it sound like it's been a slow work in progress that has possibly wreaked havoc on all the components for some time, or did it likely just pop loose a mile into my trip incurring little if any damage to the calipers, and splines, etc? I did drive it maybe a quarter of a mile once I heard and felt the rubbing.

I was thinking of going to the boneyard, getting another MN12 wheel assembly that likely hasn't gone through this, and simply have a machine shop install the bearings and hub assembly to it. Better idea than attempting this with the current old one? The only part I've ordered so far is the rear axle nut JCO graciously provided upstream.

Thanks a lot as always. I wish I had a press. This would be a good thing to learn.
 

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Even if you had a press, you'd need to have the proper support from underneath the bearing area to press the old bearing out. You can't just set the whole knuckle down within the press suspended by its three bushing housings----you'd have a knuckle split right down the middle into two pieces, at which point the bearing will come out with ease.

If you have another vehicle, then take the knuckle out, take it to a machine shop with a new bearing. Let them press out the hub and bearing. If the hub is good, then they should be able to put it back together with the new bearing. If the hub is toast, then make sure you tell them to tell you if the hub shows any signs of wear prior to them blindly putting it all together. If you don't have another vehicle, you should take another good knuckle w/ hub just in case to make things quicker.
 

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I had mine replaced at work (we do have a 20Ton press) and it was about all that press wanted, not the type of equipment one can afford to have at home.
 

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If the bearing has gotten hot and spun the inner races on the hub, you'll definitely want to replace the hub. If you don't, the bearing will go out again in short order.
 

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Even if you had a press, you'd need to have the proper support from underneath the bearing area to press the old bearing out. You can't just set the whole knuckle down within the press suspended by its three bushing housings----you'd have a knuckle split right down the middle into two pieces, at which point the bearing will come out with ease.

If you have another vehicle, then take the knuckle out, take it to a machine shop with a new bearing. Let them press out the hub and bearing. If the hub is good, then they should be able to put it back together with the new bearing. If the hub is toast, then make sure you tell them to tell you if the hub shows any signs of wear prior to them blindly putting it all together. If you don't have another vehicle, you should take another good knuckle w/ hub just in case to make things quicker.
This is the way I would do it; Get the new knuckle, both if you can afford it.

Check them while the center bolt is still tight; wiggle it side to side, and see if there's play.

If there's no noticable play, I'd swap those to the car, which gets it on the road immediately.

Then have the other set rebuilt with Timken beasings, "Set 49".

If you have to buy a hub, it might be just as expensive to do the mustang pattern, making a swap more justifiable.

When you save up enough for the fronts, buy whatever you built the rears for, swap them in, and it's good as new.

Remember to score a cheap set of mustang wheels at least Before you do the swap, lol.

I had mine replaced at work (we do have a 20Ton press) and it was about all that press wanted, not the type of equipment one can afford to have at home.
The key with these hubs is to do them hot, ~150, and ping them with a small hammer as you add pressure. I rarely have to go over ~8000psi now I've done it a few times.

But I did break one of the first in half; my support slipped about 15k.

GM is right; the bearing comes right out when that happens. :grin2:

If the bearing has gotten hot and spun the inner races on the hub, you'll definitely want to replace the hub. If you don't, the bearing will go out again in short order.
This.

If it's worn at all, it will slide, and get hot, and fail.

If the main axle bolt loosens up, it will wear this hub, and the axle; so make sure it's tight.

http://www.tccoa.com/forums/44-suspension/143250-rear-hub-wornout-again.html

Also, you want the "Three nuts stacked in a cage" type nuts for both front and rear; the Dorman ones are deformed, and eat the axle and spindle Way too much.

http://tccoa.com/forums/44-suspension/139178-watch-out-junk-dorman-spindle-nuts.html

Here's something I noticed:
http://www.tccoa.com/forums/44-suspension/159641-wheel-bearings.html
 
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