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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 02-17-2005
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Front wheel bearings

Has anyone replaced the front wheel bearings on a 90-00 4x4?? I'm fairly certain I know how to do it, but the service CD I have doesn't show it and I need to verify that it's as easy as I think it is.

Thanks.
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Old 02-17-2005
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i would go to autozone and get a haynes manual, if it covers it in there. or hell, as to see if it does cover it, read the article, then dont buy it
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Old 02-17-2005
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Most shops around here have those manauls in shrink wrap.. Ask me how I know!
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Old 02-18-2005
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I was right in my guess of how to remove the hub assembly, but unfortunately the dealer got me the wrong parts. I should have known that since they were $50 each cheaper than I was expecting that it was too good to be true. They're researching the correct parts now and will hopefully have them for me this afternoon.
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Old 02-18-2005
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1st off 90 to 97 are different than 98-00. Pre-97 I think use two thrust bearings and post-98 use one ball bearing that is pressed into the splined (sp). You better find someone who has a press.
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Old 02-18-2005
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Tom, it's on the service CD I gave you, I found it last night.

Go to the "Service" section, select the 2000 Ranger, and click on the "chassis" item.

Then select Front Suspension 4x4 and "Removal and Installation" or whatever it's called. Then there are instructions with pictures showing you the process, and even the special tools required. There are separate sections in that category on the 2000 CD for those with full-time hubs, and pulse-vacuum hubs.
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Old 02-18-2005
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John, I hadn't looked at Removal and Installation because I was too busy looking for the pictures of my parts in the description section. I'll take a look at it tonite.

Adrian, I have a 2000 4x4 with the live axle and the hub and bearings are a complete assembly and there is no press or assembly involved. Basically, there is a big nut at the end of the halfshaft, and three 15mm bolts that hold the hub assembly to the knuckle. Remove all of that (and the brake caliper bracket) and the whole assembly slides off the halfshaft. That's the good news. The bad news is that this assembly costs $250/side at the dealership and often is more expensive aftermarket.

Once I have replaced my hub assemblies, I will be taking them apart to find a way to service them. Reassembly will require a press but that's not a problem.

Adrian, how do you like the no-slip up front?? I don't imagine you see much snow in NM, but how does it handle in rain?? I've heard that it will remain unlocked until you apply power to the pinion gear, but I'd like to hear first-hand about it before taking the plunge. In the northeast I get to see all manners of weather and don't want to have something that won't unlock in the rain. BTW, I don't know about your 03 L2, but my 2000 XLT has the live axle so there is no disconnect in the front end.
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Old 02-18-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBarCYa
Adrian, I have a 2000 4x4 with the live axle and the hub and bearings are a complete assembly and there is no press or assembly involved. Basically, there is a big nut at the end of the halfshaft, and three 15mm bolts that hold the hub assembly to the knuckle. Remove all of that (and the brake caliper bracket) and the whole assembly slides off the halfshaft. That's the good news. The bad news is that this assembly costs $250/side at the dealership and often is more expensive aftermarket.
Tom, you sure about that. I know we have the same front end, only thing is you have PVH and I don't. So I can see where the 3 15mm bolts hold the hub assembly somehow but I'm pretty sure the bearing is still pressed onto the knuckle. I know for a fact my has a pressed in bearing and a snap ring and than the spindle gets pressed into the bearing and the axle nut holds it all together. You better read the instuctions on the bearing install. I can't see 3 bolts and an axle nut holding everything together, the bearing has to be pressed on some how and you would spin a race. [/quote]
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Once I have replaced my hub assemblies, I will be taking them apart to find a way to service them. Reassembly will require a press but that's not a problem.
Wait, wait, wait, you are trying to replace the bearing right? Which would require you to remove the hubs to get to the axle nut or vise versa which would let you take the whole knuckle off to get to the bearing, right?

Quote:
Adrian, how do you like the no-slip up front?? I don't imagine you see much snow in NM, but how does it handle in rain?? I've heard that it will remain unlocked until you apply power to the pinion gear, but I'd like to hear first-hand about it before taking the plunge. In the northeast I get to see all manners of weather and don't want to have something that won't unlock in the rain. BTW, I don't know about your 03 L2, but my 2000 XLT has the live axle so there is no disconnect in the front end.
We did get some good snow up in the mountians this year, but I didn't make it out to play much. I got on one little snowy/icey road, slow speed turns in 4x4 were great, locker unlocked to make the turn and locked back to pull forward. I don't know how well it would do on a ice covered highway so long as there is enough traction for the wheel to keep turning (ie not slide) when you make a turn it will un-lock. One thing that I found out was going down the ice cover road, I hit the brakes, which 1. you don't just hit the brakes going down a ice covered road, but I wanted to see what would happen, and as the abs kicked in the fronts were both locked and caused the rear to start coming around the front. So I would just warn you about that, wish I could play more on the snow and find out what its like. But I have to say it I was to drive on an snow cover highway I would be sure to keep it in 2wd that way the front unlock, with no problems when turning. As far as rain driving, which it is raining today, not a problem, same as when it was open up there.
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Old 02-18-2005
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Actually, Tom DOESN'T have PVH -- he has "live axle" full time hubs.
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Old 02-18-2005
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I too thought the '01's wer the first to do away w/ the PVH.. Uh! Maybe '00 was a change over year, some w/ and some w/o?!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSonicFX4
One thing that I found out was going down the ice cover road, I hit the brakes, which 1. you don't just hit the brakes going down a ice covered road, but I wanted to see what would happen, and as the abs kicked in the fronts were both locked and caused the rear to start coming around the front. So I would just warn you about that, wish I could play more on the snow and find out what its like. But I have to say it I was to drive on an snow cover highway I would be sure to keep it in 2wd that way the front unlock, with no problems when turning.
For what it's worth: I'd be weary! Under very slick ice/snow conditions I think the ABS is more of a nuisance than it's worth. My first time out in the snow and ice w/ the new, heavier, more powerful and 4x4 powered truck I decided to find an empty lot and experimient. I thought I had the hang of it, then as I was leaving the secluded lot via the access road I applied the brakes, cautiously as I always would. The ABS kicked in and I found myself sliding a good 10+ feet out of control off the side of the access road. Many of you will remember this story because it resulted in me sliding into the back of a parked box truck. I limped home w/ a gash in my hood to show for the day.

Since that day I've been wary of the brakes in this truck, particularly when in 4x4. In 2Hi ABS is a wonderful thing, but in 4x4 the system sometimes acts in ways that (at least I think) shouldn't. After all the reading I've done on the part-time 4x4 Ranger drivetrain, the three-channel ABS system, and lockers/LS diffs I believe that the combination I have in my truck is .. well, not the best tuned for the applications I use it for. In snow and ice it sometimes leads to unpredictable braking. I think the torsen contributest to this, but I imagine a standard, clutch-type LS would have similar effects. I'm getting accoustomed to the way the truck brakes, and have got through this winter w/o problem so far, but I am wary.

For this reason I would be hesitant to install such an automatic traction aid in a truck that sees a lot of 4x4 time on very slick snow and ice. I imagine it's absolutely irreplacable for slow-speed rock-crawling and the sort, and probably pretty good in the mud too. But for a daily driver I'd think twice. I'd only consider something that could be completely overridden. Namely an electronic or pneumatic locker. This way you could have an open diff when operating at speed, on-road, in low traction situations.

In short, I'd be cautious about messing w/ the drivetrain of a daily driver like this, unless you could figure out a way to have it be manually selectable, and thus disablable for on-road vs off-road use. Quite frankly I think my truck's road habits are bad enough as it is!

Anyhow, that's my $0.02.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2005
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Yes, Colin, the changeover seems to have happened in '00, as the service manual has sections for both types. 1999's manual has only PVH procedures -- I looked.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSonicFX4
Tom, you sure about that. I know we have the same front end, only thing is you have PVH and I don't. So I can see where the 3 15mm bolts hold the hub assembly somehow but I'm pretty sure the bearing is still pressed onto the knuckle. I know for a fact my has a pressed in bearing and a snap ring and than the spindle gets pressed into the bearing and the axle nut holds it all together. You better read the instuctions on the bearing install. I can't see 3 bolts and an axle nut holding everything together, the bearing has to be pressed on some how and you would spin a race.
I am 100% certain that I have the live axle. The bearings are part of the hub assembly which I'm sure is pressed together, but the bearings themselves are not replaceable separately from the hub assembly. The hub assembly is bolted to the knuckle with the 3 bolts and the hub nut holds the hlafshaft in the hub. I just finished the job which took about an hour to do both sides and cost almost $500 just for the parts.

Quote:
Wait, wait, wait, you are trying to replace the bearing right? Which would require you to remove the hubs to get to the axle nut or vise versa which would let you take the whole knuckle off to get to the bearing, right?
Remove the tire, then remove the brake caliper bracket (2 bolts) then remove the hub nut, and finally remove the 3 bolts and disconnect the ABS sensor wire. Reverse the procedure to install the new hubs.

Quote:
But I have to say it I was to drive on an snow cover highway I would be sure to keep it in 2wd that way the front unlock, with no problems when turning. As far as rain driving, which it is raining today, not a problem, same as when it was open up there.
Sounds good. I think that the front no-slip will be my next big mod then. The no-slip is supposed to unlock easier than the regular lockrite which I think will be better up front. The rear will probably get a lockrite.

As far as the hub/bearing thing goes, there apparently are two different hub/bearing assemblies available and I have the more expensive of the two. The first set the dealer ordered for me were $206 each but they were not splined the length of the hub like the $230 ones. In both cases, the bearings are sealed inside the assembly and not removeable from the assembly. What I'm thinking is trying to use the grease gun to force grease into the bearings thru the ABS sensor hole. I doubt it will work or someone would have already done it, but I'm going to try anyway since I've got a set lying around.
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2005
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Okay Tom, if you say so. No point in disagreeing with the man who just do it. I still can't see how 3 bolts hold the axle in. Any pictures.

You have the same live axle as me. And when I took my whole front axle off (see pictures), it just took the axle nut (aka cv nut) to get the cv axles off.





Either way glad you got it all done. I still don't know why you couldn't just buy the bearings, press the old ones out of the knuckle and than press the new ones in.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSonicFX4
Okay Tom, if you say so. No point in disagreeing with the man who just do it. I still can't see how 3 bolts hold the axle in. Any pictures.
The three bolts don't hold the axle in, they hold the hub/bearing/wheel flange assembly to the knuckle.

Quote:
You have the same live axle as me. And when I took my whole front axle off (see pictures), it just took the axle nut (aka cv nut) to get the cv axles off.
Agreed. But you were removing the axle from the truck and according to the bottom pic, you did not remove the wheel bearing assembly. Once you remove the CV nut, and remove the CV from the knuckle, there's a splined sleeve that is part of the hub and is still attached to the knuckle. That sleeve is surrounded by the wheel bearings. The outer race of the wheel bearings does not ride in the knuckle, they ride in an assembly that is held to the knuckle with the 3 bolts.

Quote:
Either way glad you got it all done. I still don't know why you couldn't just buy the bearings, press the old ones out of the knuckle and than press the new ones in.
I'll try to take pics of it tonite.
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