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  • Wheel Bearing/ 4x4 Hubs

    I replaced the passenger wheel bearing/hub assembly in April of last year. $500 list for the part. I used a NAPA account to get it for $370. This is still ridiculous. My driverside started to hum on the way home from work yesterday and I could feel a tug in the wheel, like it was failing on that side.

    Due to the recent snow storm I've been using the 4x4 a couple times a day... which is way above average for me. I bought the new "bearing" and started taking it apart.

    The 4wd hub fell apart in my hand, and the bearing felt fine. It appeared as though it was stuck in-between AUTO and MANUAL... which was forcing that axle to turn all the time. Not something I've noticed in the past. Could the hub itself (grinding inside the housing) make it feel like the bearing was failing? My gut told me to replace it, and while I'm at it, replace the other side again under warranty, so that I have 2 new hubs. But the economic side of me said save the $400 and another half hour of labor and aggravation and just put a new hub into it.


    On the topic of hubs, my previous truck had WARN hubs in it, for reliability sake. You can get aftermarket hubs for $150 for both sides. BUT you lose the 4x4 on the fly feature unless you run the hubs locked all the time. Thats no good. Is there a decent hub on the market that has an AUTO mode and is cheaper than the factory replacement @ $190/side?

    Thanks guys.
    Vegistrokin since 08/23/08

  • #2
    Jack mine did the same thing and my diesel mechanic told me to manually lock it in and then back out as they do stick between. Mine was making a noise the other day while in 4 wheel drive so i need to look at it again.

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    • #3
      Just sucks that the wheel bearings are so much.

      Dynatrack makes a replacement kit, I think it is $1200. You get servicable bearings ($8) but you lose the auto functionality of the hub.
      Vegistrokin since 08/23/08

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      • #4
        Jack,
        Feel your pain on the wheel bearings. Was totally blown away by the price about a year ago when I had to replace one.

        Can you explain how the auto hubs work. Also, do the auto hubs not have a marking for "locked" or "unlocked" like the manual ones do (could never see any markings on my hubs)? - Patrick

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        • #5
          Patrick... yours are probably just worn off... like most.

          Auto hubs have Auto or Manual. Auto allows it to freewheel until you turn the knob on the dash. Manual comes in handy if your vac lines are bad or clogged and they allow you to lock in the hub manually.
          Vegistrokin since 08/23/08

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          • #6
            could be worse

            I replaced Bearings,balljoints,brakes,and hubs when I first bought the X.Now I know why people say X parts are OUTRAGOUS in price,good thing I write off all the miles not on grease..................greasy
            2000 7.3X V3 So much fun,so little time,Support small Oil,burn WVO,Free and greasy down the road I go!!!!!!!!!!completely self sufficient and proud of it. (Wood furnace.....X.......solar pontoon....solarsheat twins this summer.....I don't Know much.......I'm just a hillbilly with too many guns..............

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            • #7
              I had to replace joints and hubs shortly after buying my X, too. It wasn't cheap, but I had a coupon fm the dealership I used, so that took the edge off. My problem was that the joints were completely shot from normal wear (they were the old style with no grease fitting) and the hubs were rusted/locked/frozen in place - probably due to road salt. It was good to do them both at once and I now have serviceable ball joints with a grease fitting, where I didn't before. I wouldn't know where to start trying to do that job on my own. But I feel your pain on biting the bullet and spending the cash, man. It definitely set me back on getting the V3 going quickly.
              '02 7.3L Excursion Limited; ~242Kmi total; ~157Kmi on WVO
              Vegistroke V3 (4/09); HIH, Aux Pump, FPHE (11/10); PHP Gryphon custom; 6637;
              WW; Turbomaster; EBPV delete; 4" exhaust; Terminator HPOP; Tru-cool; Evans NPG+;
              ARI triple-disc TC; V/B-code springs; Bilsteins; 30mm sway bar; 190A alternator; F650 dash; etc.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jack_Toepfer View Post
                Patrick... yours are probably just worn off... like most.

                Auto hubs have Auto or Manual. Auto allows it to freewheel until you turn the knob on the dash. Manual comes in handy if your vac lines are bad or clogged and they allow you to lock in the hub manually.
                Thanks Jack. So, if I select "Auto" and my hubs lock in successfully when I activate the dash switch, my vac lines are OK and the system is working as it should? - Patrick

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lancaster,pa View Post
                  Thanks Jack. So, if I select "Auto" and my hubs lock in successfully when I activate the dash switch, my vac lines are OK and the system is working as it should? - Patrick
                  Correct.

                  Auto is counter clockwise if I recall correctly.

                  If you want to make sure:
                  Jack up 1 front wheel and turn it. (Turn the tire, not the steering wheel)
                  If the axle is turning it is in Lock/Manual
                  Turn the hub.
                  Turn the wheel again. If the axle is not turning, it is in Auto.

                  As long as you remember which way you turned it for Auto, you can turn the other side the same way and not have to jack it up.

                  Mine were frozen where they were because I keep them in Auto all the time. If yours are frozen too, you can grab the handle with channel locks or a pair of pliers and turn it. If it doesn't want to move with moderate force... try the other direction. If nothing, replace the hub.

                  To test my 4x4 to make sure the Auto hub is engaging... I'll find some snow, put it in 4x4 and floor it. If snow hits both front mirrors... I know its working. If you don't have snow... grass works just as good. Just don't use the stuff in your front yard.
                  Last edited by Jack_Toepfer; 01-30-2009, 01:43 PM.
                  Vegistrokin since 08/23/08

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                  • #10
                    Thanks again Jack. - Patrick

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                    • #11
                      Jack is correct - CC for 'auto/unlocked' and clockwise for locked.

                      I just cut the wheels all the way to one side and reach in and spin the axleshaft. If it spins, no locky. Also, if dash says 2wd and you can spin front driveshaft, hubs not locked! (at least one is not locked - look for both axles to spin in hubs)

                      I get my ball joint kits from Powerstrokeshop.com - Moog (greasable) joints and cheaper than anywhere else I've seen. Now changing those bad boys is another story!!

                      The auto hubs are SWEEET, when they work. Usually if they don't, its just the vacuum lines going to them. When ya take these apart, it looks like it would never work btw. The Warn replacements might be a little 'stronger', but the stockers ain't gonna fail under normal use. Alot of folks put a switch on the soleniod that activates the hubs - providing 2wd low-range. This is extra cool if ya have a manual trans, it allows you to take foot all the way off clutch for backing trailers around.
                      2001 F350 XLT 4x4, dually flatbed. 6637 air filter, single-shot injectors, straight-piped, BTS tunes, 200 gal main VO tank - 180k greasy miles
                      2000 Excursion Limited 4x4. V3, AIS intake, BTS trans & tunes - 120k VO miles
                      veggiegarage.com authorized installer

                      RIP X & Toyhauler - you served us well.

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