How to tell if wheel bearings / hubs are bad? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 06-13-2008
Johnny C's Avatar
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How to tell if wheel bearings / hubs are bad?

I have been having major ABS problems with my 02 ranger EDGE - the breaks pulsate under 5 mph like the ABS is engaging. I have replaced both front ABS wheel sensors, and the dealership is telling me that the problem is the front hubs / wheel bearing assy. I get no codes from the 'puter.

I had a shop replace the passenger side wheel bearing assy / hub 5 months ago but the drivers side is still stock. How can I be sure that I should replace the drivers side as well?

Nobody can seem to figure out this trucks crappy braking system so any help is appreciated. I am tired of throwing money at this heap of junk and I am ready to sell it and buy a Chevy.

Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2008
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Dont buy a Chevy you'll have even more problems, like replacing engines, etc.

Does the ABS engage when you are braking in a straight line or say when you are about to make a right hand turn and the wheel is slightly turned to the right as you are slowing down?

My passenger front ABS sensor was bad and the ABS only engaged when i was making a slight right hand turn, not in a straight line.

If we can determine where its coming from, via wheel to the right or left, then that may tell us which sensor is bad.
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Old 06-13-2008
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raise the front end off the groung. grab the tire at the top and bottom. push with the top arm and pull with the bottom arm and vise versa. wheel hub assy hub is allowed no play. if you feel play then its bad. a tapered bearing will have very slight play but again, not much at all
if ur hub is bad it could cause a wider air gap between the sensor and the star wheel which would cause no reading between for that sensor.
dont no if ur 2wd or 4x4 to no which hubs u have.
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Old 06-13-2008
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The abs engages in a straight line, while turning, all the time when you brake somewhat agressively under 10 MPH. Again, the abs does not engage until the speed gets to ~5-10 MPH.

The right wheel bearing/hub is new, so I guess I will look into replaceing the driver's side. I will check it for play as suggested above. I still may hit the chevy dealer tonight...
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Old 06-13-2008
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is it a bearing assy or tapered bearings? are you 2wd or 4x4
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Old 06-13-2008
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four wheel peel - its an 2002 EDGE 4X4
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Old 06-13-2008
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If you had only one side done then the other side should definitely be done. I agree to check for play in the hubs, but this shutter you're describing sounds like you may have a warped rotor or 2.
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Old 06-13-2008
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abs light on all the time? if so i would start with checkin for codes.
check that other hub. its sounding like a problem with the bearing play. if thats not bad and there are no codes let me no ill try and talk to our brake tech see what he suggest
and ya a rotor could be the cause as well
its hard to diag without workin on the truck
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Old 06-13-2008
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There are no codes or ABS lights - the dealer said that the bad hubs were causing there to be no reading from the wheel speed sensors. I was surprised by this because I had just replaced the passenger hub. I guess the next step is to inspect / replace the drivers side hub assy and see if that helps. The rotors are only a year old and are not warped. The pulsating is def. coming from the ABS bleeding pressure from the brake that is thinks is "locked".
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Old 06-13-2008
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VSS is a really cheap part.

One bolt holds it in the rear axle, 10 or 11 mm., use a socket.

I'd sure try a new VSS for the <$20 and 15 minutes of work, before I paid for a new front bearing assembly. Worth a shot.
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Old 06-13-2008
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well if the hub is bad then i would start by correcting one prob first. do you get a loud hmmm noise when you drive. sounding like you have mud tires on ur truck? that is a sign of wheel bearing/hub.
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Old 06-13-2008
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No strange sounds on the truck.

As for the rear speed sensor - I have no speedo issues so I would be surprised if it were the prob. Not a bad idea tho if it is easy and cheap.
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Old 06-17-2008
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OK I checked both front wheel bearings / hubs and I can't feel any play in them in ANY direction. They both feel tight, so I am not sure how this could cause my ABS problems. I also checked all of the sensor connections and wiring. Im thinking that the dealer was just plain lazy and didn't actually check the wheel bearings or the sensors. The truck stops ok until <5 MPH and then the ABS kicks in (straight line, turning, whenever). I guess I will have to go to yet another dealer and spend even more money on this pile of crap.

Last edited by Johnny C; 06-17-2008 at 01:52 PM.
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