Front Wheel Questions - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Front Wheel Questions

My '85 wobbles pretty aggressively at and above 65mph, so I jacked up the front end and checked the wheels for play. Both of them spin freely and easily but make a hissing/grinding noise when spun. The passenger side wheel is very loose feeling and wobbles a lot if you shake it. This is probably the cause of my high speed wobble. My question is what do I need to replace? I've never cracked open the front end, but I hear there are multiple bearings and moving parts that could be going bad. What is the most likely issue and what do I need to buy? I'm on a tight budget as a full time college student so if I can do it cheap and easy I'd be interested to know. I'm also not sure if the '85s can have more than one type of front end or how to ID. If anyone can help me figure that out I'll be grateful. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 11:15 PM
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From your description it sounds like your wheel bearings are shot. The biggest indicator is the grinding sound you hear when you spin the tire.


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 08:35 AM
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When you are driving it at like 25mph, make a quick jerk of the steering wheel to the left or right,( like you are dodging a dead animal). If it's your wheel bearings, you should hear the grinding noise get worse as this side loads the bearings. I agree based on your description, replace the wheel bearings, then tie rod ends. Go online, use rockauto to get correct parts, then get a Haynes manual. Wheel bearings are easy if u have some tools.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:15 AM
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Agreed, sounds like wheel bearings.

As said, these are pretty easy, and rather inexpensive, to replace with the proper tools.

About the only specialty tools you need are a spindle nut / wheel bearing socket and a set of snap ring pliers.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/o...d/model/bronco

https://www.amazon.com/Channellock-9...s%2C195&sr=8-3

Here's a video of how it's used (the one in the video is shaped slightly different, but the same idea)



You'll also need a few picks (a set of sturdy dental picks work fine) and some hex wrenches to get your locking hubs out.

You'll need to remove your calipers and brakes (now would be a good time to do a front brake job while you're in there), remove the inner 4x4 hub, and then the rotor, and you'll be at your wheel bearings. Worst case, you'll deal with some rusted parts, or the bearings are rust welded to the spindle and will need to be hammered off (been there, done that, not too bad).

Rent a bearing race removal/installation tool and knock out your old races and put in the new ones. PACK your new wheel bearings with axle grease, and then reinstall according to your manual.

Just be sure to keep everything clean. It can be a messy, messy job with all the axle grease (some nitrile gloves are nice to have), but it's really not too bad overall, and a LOT cheaper to do it yourself than have someone else do it.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:55 AM
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Yo triplehp,

Dana 44 Wheel Bearing Replacement in an 86
Source: by Sixlitre @ https://www.supermotors.net/registry/4970/17982-2

Wheel Bearing Locknut Torque Settings for 80-96 MANUAL HUBS, NOT Factory Auto Hubs; Ford Pickups and Bronco; "...Using a lockout spanner (Ford # T59T-1197-B or equivalent) and a torque wrench, tighten the inner bearing adjusting nut to 50 foot pounds while rotating the wheel back and forth and seating the bearing. Back off the adjusting nut approximately 45 degrees. Assemble the lock washer by turning the inner lockout to align the pin with the nearest hole in the lock washer. To lock it, install the outer lock nut and tighten it to 150 foot pounds. Grab the top of the tire with one hand and the bottom of the tire with the other. Move the tire in and out on the spindle. End play should be less than .006 inch.).." Thanks to Chris!

Wheel Bearing Locknut Socket Bushing Fabrication for 80-96 MANUAL HUBS; "...This spanner socket will start to slip off of the locking nut once you pass 100 ft lbs or so of torque. I even had someone else handling the torque wrench while I used both hands to hold the socket onto the nut. The torque action kept causing the socket to slip off and created lots of frustration for me. I needed a bushing of sorts to keep the socket square on the locking nut.." read more
Source: by Rough Rider (roughrider) at https://www.supermotors.net/registry/18644/68331-2

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:42 PM
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That writeup is good for a couple pictures, but it is missing a LOT of steps.

Also, regarding this:

Quote:
I even had someone else handling the torque wrench while I used both hands to hold the socket onto the nut. The torque action kept causing the socket to slip off and created lots of frustration for me. I needed a bushing of sorts to keep the socket square on the locking nut..
That's why I highly prefer this socket:



To this style:



It still pops off a little bit if you aren't lined up straight with it, but nothing like the ones with the 4 little prongs that stick out.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses and info guys. When I did my rear bearings I replaced the tapered roller bearings with a more self contained bearing that did not use a separate bearing race. I found this on rockauto for the front- https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...sn=909&jsn=909 .
Will this kit fit or should I go with the tapered roller style?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 03:24 PM
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I'd go with whatever was in it originally . Good for many many hard miles and easy to replace. You can get by without that socket and tap it off and on with a punch red neck style if need be. Good luck.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:03 PM
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That set you linked to on rock auto is for your bearings inside the spindle that support the axle stub shaft. Completely different than the wheel bearings that support the weight of your bronco.
If you have another means of transportation, I would be tempted to pull the front end apart and see what’s going on it there, might be able to re-pack your bearings and tighten them up properly and be good to go. But if you are stuck where you are once you get it apart, I would order whatever cheap wheel bearings, races, and seals from rockauto, so incase your bearings are trashed you have something to put it back together with
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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I got both snap rings and the set screw out, but the outer gear on the hub assembly will not come out. It is loose and can be moved back and forth about a half inch but something is keeping it from pulling out. Every video I've found says it should come right out after the inner and outer snap rings and the set screw are removed... any ideas??
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:08 PM
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Pieces wear in place. Develop slack. You are needing to pull them beyond those slack loose places. If you got all the snap rings off then YANK that piglet out!

I have been known to sometimes sing “The Hero of Canton” song from the tv show ‘Firefly’ while making breakfast on a weekend morning....
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Ok brute force got it out. Now I'm faced with a new issue: the lock nut that you need the special socket for has a metal ring around the outside of it that is flush with the lock nut. That means the socket I have (the one recommended above with the little prongs sticking inward as opposed to downward) can't get a hold on the nut. Is there a way to remove the ring or is it time to get another socket?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:36 PM
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Once you have the locking hub out, there should be a nut that needs to be removed with the special socket.
Once that nut is off, there's a flat ring with holes on it (it's a lock washer). You just need to pull it out. It might take some long picks or something, but it comes right out. If the grease is dry, it might take some coaxing.

Once that's out, there's another nut just like the first one that comes out with the special socket.

Once that's out, the hub should pull right off if the brakes have been removed.


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:40 PM
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Watch that video I posted up in post 4 to see how it works.


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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I understand how the nut comes off but there is a steel ring around the outside of it. I have no idea what it is. The hub assembly is out and I am at the stage where I should be using the special socket but the ring is keeping it from fitting around the outer edge of the nut. I'll get the other type of socket and give it a try. I'm attaching a picture
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 12:30 AM
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Almost a great picture! Are the bent looking parts around the place where the tool would fit your doing? I think you need to seat the tool into the notches forcefully. Then remove the nut. The bearing race may be coming apart and getting in the way.

I have been known to sometimes sing “The Hero of Canton” song from the tv show ‘Firefly’ while making breakfast on a weekend morning....
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 12:39 AM
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Wipe off everything and take a closer picture, could be the bearing cage is getting in the way, not the race.

I have been known to sometimes sing “The Hero of Canton” song from the tv show ‘Firefly’ while making breakfast on a weekend morning....
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 01:31 AM
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Pretty sure the bearing cage is in the way because the outer bearing is trashed. Try supporting the hub with one hand while pushing the the tool on the locknut.

I have been known to sometimes sing “The Hero of Canton” song from the tv show ‘Firefly’ while making breakfast on a weekend morning....
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 01:49 AM
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Looks like you have the "ratchet" style spindle nuts. It takes the opposite style of socket than the one you have to get those off. The one with the 4 "tits" sticking out, no ring around them
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 08:12 AM
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That looks very different than my 81, 84, and 85 that I've done. I figured your 85 would be like my 85. Apologies.

I think in 86 they switched to a different style, so you might need to look up 86 parts/ components, as yours could be caught in the switch over.


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