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1997 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6l
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Everything I see about the bearing is to take the nut off, how am I supposed to get the cover off for it? Or is this one that needs to be pulled a different way?
 

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Also, get the rear axle nut from ford, don't use the dorman one; it damages the threads.
There's a post here somewhere that shows the OEM kit to replace those bearings; it looks a lot like a three-jaw puller/c-clamp.
 

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1997 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6l
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had to switch and change things to pass smog here in Vegas, but as I was down there I was looking and around the cap it says to not remove it. Is that just them covering their butts or really don’t remove? Also, thanks for the recommendation on the axle nuts, was just going to go with Dorman ones I had already gotten from autozone. Thanks for the reply’s guys, y’all are great.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Had to switch and change things to pass smog here in Vegas, but as I was down there I was looking and around the cap it says to not remove it. Is that just them covering their butts or really don’t remove? Also, thanks for the recommendation on the axle nuts, was just going to go with Dorman ones I had already gotten from autozone. Thanks for the reply’s guys, y’all are great.
It says do not adjust, which is due to the bearing design being fully self contained, which was still a pretty new concept in the early 90s. Old cars you have to adjust preload on the bearing/spindle, which can be adjusted later from wear, ours the bearing is torqued to 250ft/lbs and that’s that. The dust cap is just a dust cap, itself sort of an artifact from those older designs as there’s really no path for debris to get into the bearing(though it does keep the nut and spindle from moisture and rusting)
 

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Since the bearing is a tapered roller, rotate the wheel while doing the initial tightening, it will loosen up as you rotate it, as the two halves of the inner race go together. Make sure there is grease inside; you can very slightly separate the two inner races to see. I'm running about 25% on greased ones, lol.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Since the bearing is a tapered roller, rotate the wheel while doing the initial tightening, it will loosen up as you rotate it, as the two halves of the inner race go together. Make sure there is grease inside; you can very slightly separate the two inner races to see. I'm running about 25% on greased ones, lol.
They’re actually ball bearings, not tapered rollers
 

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You bought the wrong bearings, lol. look up set 49 from timken on their website. :)

The wheels have a serious lateral component to their motion, and will wear out fast if not opposed sets of rollers. Even the fronts were set 49; I've just never successfully pressed one out.
 

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That's one of the knockoffs; is there a partnumber etched in the side of the race?
 

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I have a front one here I destroyed trying to replace, like the helm manual says. I'll find some pix. The two I've destroyed with the press were both rollers
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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That's one of the knockoffs; is there a partnumber etched in the side of the race?
Its factory original, that wasn’t the only one I pulled apart, the ones on my car are timken and it’s the same thing.

You can’t get them out with a press, you need to slip it part way onto the spindle and pull on it diagonally to create resistance to release the inner race, from there you can access the ball bearings. The pics are unfortunately gone but this thread describes it in detail Figured out how to lube the SN95 hubs...


Bumblebee Tuna!
 

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LOL. Ford saves money in some amazing places. I've never personally seen a dual-row ball bearing used as a wheel bearing; That explains why I kill them so quickly sometimes. Even the cheapo's I bought while testing the press are rollers for the rear; I don't have any front ones to look at. They seem to last well on the road cars, but Lazarus eats them like candy, when I do Curvy's a lot. It has sticky tires, and some of my fun roads make the Dragon look tame. :) I'll find a good bearing next time I go to Dixie Bearing. A Wheel bearing has to support a lateral force, which, considering how well ours corner, is substantial. A dual row is using the distance between the rows for that resistance. Which wears them. Not industry practice, and not done on older cars.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Regarding failure rate it’s shockingly not uncommon to find brand new name brand hubs with little to no grease inside them as well, that concern is what prompted me to disassemble/pack mine but they were ok to begin with.

I’m not saying you’re wrong about tapered rollers being better for the application but the ball bearing hubs hold up pretty wel on modern cars that have far more cornering capabilities than the oldies with tapered rollers, and they never need adjustment until they’re truly kaput. Let’s face it, the hubs are the least troublesome component between the wheel and pickup points in our front ends.
 
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