Ford F250,F350, & Excursion Super Duty Wheel Hub Bearing Problems
Also can be used for 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Ford F250 & F350 Super Duty 4X4 Trucks.
Ford F250,F350, and Excursion trucks have a complete wheel and hub bearing assembly on each end of the front differential. These basically contain the wheel hub and bearing, the inner flange that bolts directly to the steering knuckle, the outer spindle that is splined for the outer hub locks, and the wheel studs. These bearing assemblies are prone to major wear and tear and usually have a life expectancy of 80,000-100,000 miles. The super duty trucks are usually used in rough work or jobsite use and are therefore prone to wheel bearing failure. When you are faced with replacement of these, the cost estimate to replace them can get very high. Usually both hubs are recommended to be replaced at the same time and also the brakes themselves are usually worn or are recommended to be replaced since they are being removed to replace the hubs. This is a very useful guide on everything you need to know to do this job yourself and save a ton of money. We know from personal experience that this job can be done in the driveway with standard tools.
Step 1. Diagnose the problem
A. The first step is to make sure that it is indeed the bearing that is the problem. The most common symptom is noise. A failing bearing will usually start with low roaring, groaning, or growling sound. This sound is especially louder and more noticeable the faster you go. The diesel trucks are obviously a little more difficult to hear the noise due to the engine noise. The noise will usually start at 35-45 MPH and get more noticeable as you go. While going straight and at whatever speed makes the noise the most noticeable, slightly jerk the wheel left or right. The noise should go away and then immediatly come back as you straighten out. If this happens you can be almost certain that the bearing is failing. This is because by slightly jerking the wheel, you unload the bearing and then when you straighten up the load is re-applied to teh bearing.
B. Another way to determine if the bearing is failed or failing is to jack up the vehicle and check the wheels for play. Due to the design of these hubs, they do often fail and create noise but do not have play, however when they do, you better replace it very soon. You should be very careful when checking because the tie rods and ball joints are also common to fail and they also can have play. Check for play from the center of the wheel. You do this by grabbing the top and bottom of the wheel and shaking the wheel. Look closely for the pivot point of the play. This means the point of pivot will determine the part that is failed. If the pivot point is the center of the wheel, that is the bearing. If the pivot point is at the front or back of the wheel, this is a failed tie rod end. If the play is at the top or bottom of the whee, then this is a failed ball joint. Basically you should have absolutly zero play in the wheels and If you have play, then their is certainly a front end problem.
C. The last method is if your ABS light is on. Many of the 1999 and later model F-Series trucks, have 4-Wheel ABS. This is an excellent safety feature and is really a plus to have. The 4 wheel ABS vehicles have a wheel speed sensor installed and built directly into the hub. The 4-wheel ABS system will have an ABS wheel speed sensor mounted at every wheel or atleast each front wheel and one in the rear differential. This system work by measuring the speed of each wheel and if it finds one that is not moving (locked up), then it releases the brake fluid to that wheel and allows it to spin again. This allows the driver to regain control of the vehicle instead of sliding off the road or into something else. Anyway if your ABS light is on, your diagnosis can be much easier. You will need access to a code reader or better yet a full blown scanner. Most Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts stores will plug in the scanner and read your codes for free. You want to find out the code that is set in the computer. The code will also tell you what system or in this case if you have a problem with an ABS sensor. Once you find out if you have a bad ABS sensor and hopefully you found out which wheel it is, you can look closer at that wheel. 9 times out of 10 a failed ABS sensor is a sign the bearing is failing and if it is failed this requires hub replacement anyway.
D. When all else fails, a professional ASE certified technician is always your best option to verify the problem. These guys work on and see these types of problems on a daily basis and they can tell you with more certainty of the problem. These are expensive parts and when you replace one for no reason and still have a problem, no-one is happy, especially you. It is well worth a $20.00 safety inspection to have them go through all of this and tell you for sure exactly what the problem is.
1. Raise and support the vehicle. Remove wheel assembly. Remove the brake caliper by removing the caliper anchor plate. Do not hang caliper by the flexible brake hose as this may damage the brake hose. If the caliper is stuck, you can open the master cylinder and the take a wide flathead screwdriver and slightly pry the caliper open. You can do this by wedging the flathead between the brake pads and the rotor. Only a slight movement is neccessary. Remove the brake rotor by sliding it off. Remove the hub snap ring with snap ring plyers or suitable tool. Pull and remove hub lock. Remove snap ring and thrust washer from axle shaft and set aside in the way they came off. Disconnect ABS wheel speed sensor connector, harness and harness routing clips if equipped. (NOTE-rear wheel ABS only vehicles will not have this wire.(hub par #: F81Z1104EE is non-ABS)
2. Remove 4 lock nuts from behind hub. These buts and bolts can sometimes be heavily rusted and corroded. We at AutoPartsDirectToYou do have the factory Ford nuts and bolts available if needed. These are very cheap and usually well worth purchasing beforehand if you are not sure their condition. Otherwise getting stuck without these with the vehicle all apart is a headache. Please call us at 1-866-770-2771 or email us through eBay and we can get you a set. Also when going through our checkout procedure you may be prompted to add those to the shopping cart. After removing the 4 lock nuts, the hub can be removed. The hub and bearings assembly is a slip fit design and should not require a puller.
NOTE: For factory instructions with pictures please email Click the contact seller link to send us an email or call us at 1-866-770-2771!!
1. Install New Hub & Bearing O-ring (may not be included all all hub bearings). Apply a coat of high temperature wheel bearing grease to O-ring area of hub bearing assembly. Install hub and nuts, replace nuts and studs if damaged. IMPORTANT- Install non-metallic thrust washer between 2 metal thrust washers. Install all 3 washers. (Failure to install these washers properly can cause damage to your new hub bearing assembly).
2. Reverse removal procedure of remaining parts. If your vehicle is equipped with vacuum hub locks, a wheel end vacuum leak test should be done. If you would like instructions on performing that test click here*****. Tighten all remaining bolts and nuts to factory torque specs below.
3. VERY IMPORTANT – Before driving vehicle, pump brake pedal several times to get the pedal high and hard again. If any hydraulic lines were opened a brake bleeding should be done. Usually opening the bleeder and allowing the brakes to gravity bleed is the best method for this. Any questions please call our ASE certified technicians at 1-866-770-2771.
We supply this as informational purposes only and you must decide if
you are capable or mechanically inclined enough to do this repair.