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Lurch
Lurch, Ford Cert.
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 20956
Experience:  Ford Cert., Heavy Line Mech, Mobile Electronics. Sales, Installation & Repair for 30 years
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How do i change the front wheel bearings on a 97 ford aspire?

Customer Question

How do i change the front wheel bearings on a 97 ford aspire?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Lurch replied 10 years ago.

You are supposed to use Special Tools:

Removal & Installation

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 1: Use a puller to separate the hub from the knuckle

 

  1. Remove the front wheel and hub assembly.

Shield replacement is not a requirement for normal bearing service.

  1. Using puller tool T87C-1104-A and hub/bearing remover adapter T92C-1104-AH, or equivalents, separate the hub from the knuckle.

  2. Remove the outer bearing retainer washer.

The outer bearing retainer washer is pre-selected to yield the correct bearing preload. Save the washer for use during assembly.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 2: Use a bearing pulling attachment, driver and a press to remove the outer bearing

 

 

  1. Remove the outer bearing from the wheel hub using a bearing pulling attachment, driver and a press.

  2. Remove and discard the grease seals from the hub and steering knuckle bore. Remove the inner wheel bearing.

  3. Remove the bearing races from the steering knuckle using a suitable puller and slide hammer.

  4. Thoroughly clean the hub and knuckle. Inspect the hub and knuckle for wear and/or damage. Replace as necessary.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 3: Use a slide hammer to remove the bearing races from the steering knuckle

 

To install:

  1. If the brake rotor shield was removed, install a new one using installation tools T80T-4000-W and T94C-1175-B, or equivalents.

  2. If the wheel bearings or steering knuckle are being replaced, bearing preload must be checked before assembly as follows:

    1. Install the outer bearing races in the steering knuckle using suitable bearing cup installation tools.

    2. Lubricate the bearing races and bearing with a thin film of clean grease. Install the bearings in the steering knuckle.

    3. Install spacer selection tool T87C-1104-B or equivalent, and clamp the bolt head in a vise.

    4. Tighten the center bolt in increments to 36, 72, 108 and 145 ft. lbs. (49, 98, 147 and 196 Nm). After tightening the center bolt to a specified increment, seat the bearings by rotating the steering knuckle.

    5. Remove the tool/steering knuckle from the vise. Remount the assembly in the vise, clamping it where the strut mounts.

    6. Measure the amount of torque required to rotate the spacer selector tool, using an inch pound torque wrench. The torque wrench reading must be taken just as the tool starts to rotate.

    7. If the torque wrench indicates 2.2-10.4 inch lbs. (0.25-1.80 Nm), the outer bearing retainer washer is the correct thickness. If the torque wrench indicates less than 2.2 inch lbs. (0.25 Nm), a thinner outer bearing retainer washer must be installed. If the torque wrench indicates more than 10.4 inch lbs. (1.8 Nm), a thicker outer bearing retainer washer must be installed.

    8. Each outer bearing retainer washer has a numerical code that identifies its thickness, which is stamped onto the outer diameter of the washer. The numbers range from 1 to 21, with 1 being the thinnest washer. If the number stamped on the washer is not legible, measure the washer with a micrometer and compare it to the thickness chart to determine the number.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 4: Outer bearing retainer washer thickness chart

 

    1. Changing the outer bearing retainer washer thickness by 1 number, either higher or lower, will change the bearing preload by 1.7-3.5 inch lbs. (0.2-0.4 Nm).

  1. Pack the bearings and the hub area with a suitable high temperature wheel bearing grease. Place the inner wheel bearing into the steering knuckle bore.

  2. Lubricate the lip of the new inner grease seal with the bearing grease. Form the lubricant into a strip, concentrated along the edges of the seal lip. Install the bore, using a suitable installation tool.

  3. Place the original outer bearing retainer washer, or the outer bearing retainer washer selected from the front wheel bearing adjustment procedure, in the steering knuckle bore. Position the outer wheel bearing in the steering knuckle bore.

  4. Lubricate the lip of the new outer grease seal with the bearing grease. Form the lubricant into a strip, concentrated along the edges of the seal lip. Install the outer seal into the bore, using a suitable installation tool.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 5: Lubricate the lip of the new outer grease seal ...

 

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 6: ... then use the appropriate seal replacer tool to install it

 

  1. Position the hub in the steering knuckle bore and press it into position using a suitable driver.

  2. Install the steering knuckle/hub assembly.