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Hub bearing noise, wanna guess which one?

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  • Hub bearing noise, wanna guess which one?

    Its probably time again. I've got a hum at 35mph and higher when going straight or left and it absolutely goes away even on a soft turn to the right.

    Its probably loud enough now I'll be able to figure it out next time I have the car on jackstands.

    So lets run a fun, informal poll. Do you all think its the drivers side or passenger side or I suppose a third option of something else, aliens or my imagination lol.
    230,000 mile, 98 Sprung MarkVIII on Gabriel Air Shocks

  • #2
    Listen closely to determine if it's the front or rear, then if it's from the right side or the left side.

    Once you determine which corner the noise is coming from, you've got a 50/50 chance you'll find the problem in the diagonally opposite corner.

    Seriously, you should be able to tell which hub it is from a comparison of their temperature before you have a complete failure. An IR pyrometer is an excellent tool for this.

    Having said that, I always recommend hubs and bearings be replaced in pairs.
    JP

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    • #3
      how long do the factory front hubs usually last?

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      • #4
        When my rears were bad, they were really bad... I'd also get this weird little "shimmy" from the rear end while changing lanes at interstate speeds.



        I feel like that was likely bumping up against 200k miles. I forget when/if I did the fronts... I feel like I must have.
        Mike Martin

        1997 Mark VIII LSC 5.0
        2001 Dodge Dakota

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        • #5
          Factory front hubs will usually last at least 100K miles. Although they may not be making obvious noises, if you remove a high mile one it will not spin smooth and tight like a new one. You will notice that the bearings are worn.

          The cheaper aftermarket ones will not last as long. There is a reason the OEM units are 2-3x as expensive and it is not that Ford is trying to gouge you.
          98 LSC Torreador Red
          "This fire's thrills per BTU are off the charts!"

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          • #6
            TIMKEN only.
            JP

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            • #7
              A lot of times, after a ride, I'll walk around and touch each wheel, wife thinks I'm nuts. If one wheel is real hot, you could have a problem with bearings, or brakes. And of course eyeball the tires.
              94 MK VIII
              95 MK VIII
              98 MK VIII CE # 87
              04 Chevy PU 3500 4X4

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              • #8
                I have a 96 lsc.I hub swapped the fronts last summer so I could use the wheels I liked.After removing the large nut the factory bearings slid right off.they had 43k miles on them and I would sell them cheap if anyone wanted them.BTW the new mustang hubs I ordered were Timken and WERE NOT made in America!!

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                • #9
                  The front hub assembly is always easy to remove. The rears can be another experience.
                  98 LSC Torreador Red
                  "This fire's thrills per BTU are off the charts!"

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                  • #10
                    Hub bearings can be diagnosed by driving the car and simply steering the car left and right,The load will be shifted to the opposing wheels and the noise will either disappear or be less noticeable.In your case it would be the passenger side bearing.
                    Last edited by mag; 12-25-2017, 07:27 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Failing/Failed bearings have two things in common.

                      Noise

                      Heat
                      JP

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                      • #12
                        We have some snow on the ground so the MarkVIII is taking a couple days off while my 97 Aurora gets some miles.

                        I do have an IR thermometer and am looking forward to using it.

                        As I've done the front and the rear has original equipment (or at least pre-me equipment) bearings I assume its the front lol. The rears are a more difficult beast huh?
                        230,000 mile, 98 Sprung MarkVIII on Gabriel Air Shocks

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
                          The rears are a more difficult beast huh?
                          The fronts are simple to replace, pretty much remove the old one and replace with a new one.

                          The rears however require a press to remove the old bearings and to seat the new bearings in the hub since the race is a press fit with the hub assembly. You can DIY by removing the hub assembly and taking it to a shop that has a press. Most automotive service shops will provide the services of a press and replace the bearings for a nominal fee.
                          JP

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                          • #14
                            The big challenge with the rear can be simply removing the knuckle. If the half shaft nut is severely rusted you may not be able to remove it which can require replacing the entire knuckle//hub/bearing and half-shaft. If the nut does come off but the half shaft is seized in the hub it will be a struggle removing it unless you have a good air-hammer or big press with a variety of press accessories. On my car I was unable to remove the half shaft and replaced everything. Sometimes the bearing will come apart which complicates the removal. An Oxy-acetylene torch can be very useful for this project. An experienced mechanic is used to dealing with these scenarios and will have all the necessary tools. This is a common repair for all cars. I have also replaced the bearings and it was very easy. Bottom line is that the rear bearings can be a big project if you have never done it. The process is basically the same for any car that uses half-shafts and a knuckle which most front wheel drive cars are. Watch some videos on you tube to get an idea of what is involved.
                            98 LSC Torreador Red
                            "This fire's thrills per BTU are off the charts!"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mag View Post
                              Hub bearings can be diagnosed by driving the car and simply steering the car left and right,The load will be shifted to the opposing wheels and the noise will either disappear or be less noticeable.In your case it would be the passenger side bearing.
                              In this case that ended up being it!

                              I had the weirdest thing happening with a brake pad backing plate on the other side causing a bit of noise so I wasn't able to diagnose it until I took both calipers (and discs) off and spun the naked hubs. At hand speed it was a clicking noise.

                              Oh, I am away from my air compressor for a bit. To get the old nut off I bought a cbeap electric impact gun that promises 240lbs of torque. Well it does at least 200 and it did get the nut off! Gun smells like its gonna cook itself and came with an extra set of contacts but it did work.
                              230,000 mile, 98 Sprung MarkVIII on Gabriel Air Shocks

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