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Old 12-29-2012, 12:13 PM
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Too much play?

I recently purchased a 2000 F350. There is a slight grinding sound coming from the front driver's hub. I took the locking hub off today and it seemed super-loose when I spun it around in my hand - making a rattling noise as it spun. I thought that I had found the problem. Then, I went to move the axle around and saw this:




I am not super familiar with these trucks, but that seems excessive. I am guessing the needle bearing is gone? I did some searching and saw that these trucks have some play, but this seems much.

Thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:24 PM
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Well put your wheel back on your truck, and see if you can ( from top to bottom ) push the wheel n tire back and forth, if so. More than likely you have a bad wheel bearing. Not hard to change out but the price for one isnt that cheap.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:58 PM
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Looks perfectly normal to me.....

I would check the needles if your noise is coming from that side but, the movement your see in the vid is actually the axle (look at the other side of the knuckle, where the U-Joint is) moving around because there's no support for it at the end of the diff tube. Once you remove the locking hub you take the support away it usually has. There's a surprising amount of movement in our front axles, but most of it's been there since it was new
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.3550Duty View Post
Well put your wheel back on your truck, and see if you can ( from top to bottom ) push the wheel n tire back and forth, if so. More than likely you have a bad wheel bearing. Not hard to change out but the price for one isnt that cheap.
Already tried that - wheel doesn't move. I also put a pry bar under the tire and lifted. I saw some minimal movement in the ball joints, but nothing for the wheel.

I tried breaking it down some more, but the dang rotor is frozen in place. Called it quits for today. Try again tomorrow.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRalPh View Post
Looks perfectly normal to me.....

I would check the needles if your noise is coming from that side but, the movement your see in the vid is actually the axle (look at the other side of the knuckle, where the U-Joint is) moving around because there's no support for it at the end of the diff tube. Once you remove the locking hub you take the support away it usually has. There's a surprising amount of movement in our front axles, but most of it's been there since it was new
This sort of confuses me. Aren't there two bearings that support the axle in the hub assembly? The needle bearing and the axle bearing? How close together are they? Maybe I am just not picturing it right. Anybody have a cross-section diagram of the hub assembly?
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:03 PM
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You're not thinking of it right, the twin ball bearings that the wheel turns on has nothing to do with the stub axle. You could take it out and still drive around. The needles are only there to support the stub axle when the lock-out is Free and the hub is turning while the axle is not (that's the definitive test for a bad needle, LOCK the hub, those brgs aren't turning, if the noise goes away - it Was the needles).

So they're really two separate things, the wheel brgs and the axle bgrs...
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:06 PM
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Ok. That makes sense. Thanks.

Also, the sound was there regardless of the hubs being locked or not.

So the needle bearings can be replaced without replacing the whole hub assembly, correct?

Last edited by 69Bronc; 12-29-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:13 AM
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They can, here's a good link with all the info -> Welcome to guzzle's 4x4 Needle Bearing Maintenance Web Page
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:03 AM
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Ok, so I pulled the hub assemblies from both sides. Sort of expecting to see some type of carnage. The grinding sound wasn't very loud, but it was definitely noticeable. Anyway, everything looked pretty good. Axle stubs look fine. The needle bearings look a little worn, but nothing major.

One question I have - how hard should it be to spin these hub assemblies by hand? Both of them were fairly difficult to spin. The one on the passenger's side made a bit of noise when spinning it by hand, also. Should these units spin fairly freely?

Thanks again in advance.
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