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Discussion Starter #1
Last few times I've gone into the shop they tell me my Front Drivers side wheel bearing is loose. I plan on doing this my self, but how urgent should I be in getting this done. Also, at one shop they said I might need an alignment after I did this. Would I? I'd imagine if it was really bad then maybe, but I don't know. Also, I occasionally get this popping noise while I'm turning at a fairly quick speed. Like, through a neighborhood going around a corner at about 15-20 mph. It seems to come from the passenger side, could this be a sing that the passenger side is also loose? It's not the lower ball joints because it made the noise before and after those were replaced. Might be the uppers. When I replace the hub assembly should I just do both at the same time, or is this just a "as needed" type job?
 

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Last few times I've gone into the shop they tell me my Front Drivers side wheel bearing is loose. I plan on doing this my self, but how urgent should I be in getting this done. Also, at one shop they said I might need an alignment after I did this. Would I? I'd imagine if it was really bad then maybe, but I don't know. Also, I occasionally get this popping noise while I'm turning at a fairly quick speed. Like, through a neighborhood going around a corner at about 15-20 mph. It seems to come from the passenger side, could this be a sing that the passenger side is also loose? It's not the lower ball joints because it made the noise before and after those were replaced. Might be the uppers. When I replace the hub assembly should I just do both at the same time, or is this just a "as needed" type job?
First of all, changing the wheel bearing/hub assembly has NO affect on front-end alignment at all, so you will NOT need an alignment after replacing one. Second, you don't need to replace both just because one is bad - just replace the defective one.
Third, that popping noise you hear could be upper ball joints, but it also could be worn or defective sway-bar end-links. I doubt it's your wheel bearing/hub assembly, unless it's really loose or worn.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The shop said I might need an alignment. Maybe because it's so loose that the last alignment wasn't accurate. Or they just want money.

So I just need to replace the one loose one. That's good. Save me a little $$$ for now.

I figure it's probably the upper ball joints. I don't think it's the way bar end links, it's a fairly repetitive noise, not like a clunk that I would think an end-link would cause. As I turn the wheel, it goes "pop" then as I keep turning "pop" and so on. But it doesn't happen that much any more, it seems like it's less and less noticeable.
 

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The shop said I might need an alignment. Maybe because it's so loose that the last alignment wasn't accurate. Or they just want money.

So I just need to replace the one loose one. That's good. Save me a little $$$ for now.

I figure it's probably the upper ball joints. I don't think it's the way bar end links, it's a fairly repetitive noise, not like a clunk that I would think an end-link would cause. As I turn the wheel, it goes "pop" then as I keep turning "pop" and so on. But it doesn't happen that much any more, it seems like it's less and less noticeable.
If you took your car to a shop for an alignment and they aligned the car with a wheel bearing so loose as to "throw-off" the alignment they were charging you to perform, I'd avoid that shop like the plague - they're incompetent! If any shop is telling you that you need an alignment simply because you're changing a wheel bearing/hub assembly, they're trying to rip you off.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you took your car to a shop for an alignment and they aligned the car with a wheel bearing so loose as to "throw-off" the alignment they were charging you to perform, I'd avoid that shop like the plague - they're incompetent! If any shop is telling you that you need an alignment simply because you're changing a wheel bearing/hub assembly, they're trying to rip you off.

Dennis
Well, I had a number of things done to the car regarding the front suspension and that was when they first found it to be a bit loose, but at the time there were more things important to me that needed fixin, so I just had the needed things done and an alignment by my request because I drove it home (about 10 miles) and was holding the wheel like I was making a pretty good left turn just to go straight, and you could just tell it was pretty off so it needed to be done. Then the next shop I took it to was because I needed a new motor mount, and they took it on a test drive (I'm not sure why they needed to do that) and told me my shocks were pretty bad (but they look to be the original 12 year old shocks, so they probably are bad) and thats when I was told "You LF wheel bearing is pretty loose. And then you might need an alignment after that, we'd do an alignment check first though." So it's not like they were out to rip me off, I think they just wanted to make sure I knew all that could need to be done. I don't know.

So I just need to replace the drivers side wheel hub and the nut that goes with it and I'll be fine? I plan on lowering the car soon and would get an alignment then, but was thinking I might do the wheel hub later. But if it's just one I could just do it while I've got the wheels off.
 

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Yep. Tire off, caliper/rotor off, dust/grease cap off, nut off, hub off. Hub on, nut on (188-254 ft-lbs), grease/dust cap on, rotor/caliper on, wheel on. Easy; took me under 30 minutes from jacking it up to pulling out of my driveway. No alignment issues. You'll need a 36mm socket though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yep. Tire off, caliper/rotor off, dust/grease cap off, nut off, hub off. Hub on, nut on (188-254 ft-lbs), grease/dust cap on, rotor/caliper on, wheel on. Easy; took me under 30 minutes from jacking it up to pulling out of my driveway. No alignment issues. You'll need a 36mm socket though.
Thanks. I've got a Haynes Manual, so it should say what I need to do, but will probably exclude the 36mm socket part and the 188-254 ft-lbs part. It seems to do that, all the detailed important things.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does this need to get fixed soon, or can I drive to Sioux Falls with it (about 4 hours, because I need to drive through Wayne first)?
 

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Does this need to get fixed soon, or can I drive to Sioux Falls with it (about 4 hours, because I need to drive through Wayne first)?
It depends on how loose/worn it is. I just know if it was my car and I was driving it that distance, I would NOT want to chance getting in an accident or killing myself or those I love because a wheel bearing/hub assembly I knew was bad failed.

I recommend you fix it first.

Dennis
 

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Timken would be my 1st choice, but any well-known brand sold at the major auto-parts stores would probably be O.K.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How about these:
Advance: NTP
O'Reilly: Master Pro

It's not that I'm cheap, I just don't want to pay $100 if it's not necessary. I know you get what you pay for, but I just need something for a replacement, not a top of the line thing.
 

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How about these:
Advance: NTP
O'Reilly: Master Pro

It's not that I'm cheap, I just don't want to pay $100 if it's not necessary. I know you get what you pay for, but I just need something for a replacement, not a top of the line thing.
How soon do you need it? RockAuto has Timken bearing/hub assemblies for T-Birds for $54.89 each, plus a few bucks for shipping (I'm going to be ordering 2 of those for my '97 T-Bird soon). If you ordered it tomorrow, you'd probably have it in 2 or 3 days.

NTP is probably O.K., but I never heard of Master Pro - it's probably made by someone else for O'Reilly's.

Dennis
 

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Don't forget to order a new hub nut, too. You're not supposed to reuse them and they're only about $8 or $9 at RockAuto.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I might just see if I can pick one up at a local shop so I don't have to pay the $8 shipping on a $5 part. (or what ever the prices are)
 

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I might just see if I can pick one up at a local shop so I don't have to pay the $8 shipping on a $5 part. (or what ever the prices are)
Ummm, you might find it's worthwhile to pay $8 or even $10 shipping on the hub assembly AND the nut together - AutoZone wants $99.00 for a hub nut for our T-Birds/Cougars (that's NOT a typo - that's the price on their website)!

Dennis
 

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You're kidding, right? When I did my bearing, I paid $70.01 total on RockAuto (with the 5% discount code; look for the thread in the "misc" section for the latest code) for a Timken hub/bearing and a Dorman nut.
 
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