Help me determine if my wheel bearing/hub assembly is bad... - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 05-01-2010
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Help me determine if my wheel bearing/hub assembly is bad...

Well.. My 99 4x4 Ranger has 150k miles on it. I have had it for a year, so I am not sure if the wheel bearings have been replaced prior to me owning it. I have been double lifted on 35's for, about 2k miles. I have been reading up about wheel bearings.. I noticed on my pickup, at certain speeds, noticeable most at around 20mph or 30mph on decel, or at crusising speed.. kind of a humming type sound. It doesn't sqeal, or grind.. it's more of a humming type sound, maybe could be considered growling as some people put it. I jacked the truck up, and checked for play in the wheel.. there really is none at all, but i know that doesn't exactly mean the wheel bearings are good. I freely spun the wheel while it was jacked up.. and i don't really hear any unusual noise.. it just sounds like any vehicle does... maybe just alittle break pad friction against the rotor sound. I am having a hard time determining if it's just the howl road noise i'm hearing from the KM2's. Also, when i come onto a freshly paved road, black topped street, the humming is quite a bit more noticable. It doesn't seem to do any different while turning or anything.

Anyway..

I figure i'll replace them here at some point... and i know it will be hard to even diagnose from what i described.. but if anybody could give me their input or thoughts i'd appreciate it. And also, When I did my superlift I had to pull the knuckles so I pretty much know how the hub assembly goes in the spindle.. CAN i leave my knuckle attached while replacing the hub assembly?

Thanks alot guys!
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Old 05-01-2010
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sounds to me like that humming your hearing is your tires... of you felt no move ment in the wheel when the truck is jacked up then your bearings are fine.
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Old 05-01-2010
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Yes, you can leave the knuckle attached while you change the hub assembly.
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Old 05-01-2010
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did you take off of the calipers 1st

snug brake pads will not allow the hub to move very much
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Old 05-01-2010
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pull the wheel, the caliper, and rotor and check the asembely there.
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Old 05-01-2010
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I'll have to do that. There is a video on here somewhere from Shane B. It's a video of his pickup when the wheel bearings went bad.. and it clearly had a **** ton of play in them, and the camber was way out. I didn't get a chance to pull the brakes like you guys suggested, but when i grabbed the wheel at 6 and 12 it was pretty damn tight.
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Old 05-01-2010
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you said your double lifted? do you have a camber kit? just because your caber is out dosent always mean a wheel bearing esp. if with ifs. also did you replace your drive line when you lifted?
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Old 05-01-2010
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Yes, I have the Ingalls Camber Kit, and had it aligned at a shop after lifting it. My camber looks fine, I was refering to a video Shane had posted here when his wheel bearings went, and it was apparant that it was sitting way negative on the top side of the wheels.. and in his video it had a good amount of play in all directions with the truck jacked up. The only thing that makes me think i might have bad wheel bearings is the odd humming sound i get at lower speeds. And, No, i have no replaced my front drive line yet.
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Old 05-01-2010
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wheel bearing is gonna be a squeel.... not so much a humm. check for play in your cvs and your drivelines. could be the beginings of a bad u joint
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