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Ok so this is my first post on the forum so here goes, i have an 01 f250 that will not stop eating wheel bearing on the passenger side, I replaced both sides wheel bearings about 5 months ago and the drivers side has been fine, but I've replaced the passenger side 4 times in 5 months, about to be the 5th time, I've replaced the locking hubs as well, the needle bearing appear to be whats taking the hub out/going bad first, even with a brand new hub assembly in i can hear a clicking/rattling noise out of that side, I'm thinking maybe the axle stub may be damaged but i don't know for sure till i take it apart, has anyone dealt with this before? Please help.... thank you!
 

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if you are hearing clicking sounds it may be the U-joints...


1. have you inspected the U-Joints?
2. have you checked your upper and lower ball joints? when they go out it allows the axel shaft to wobble causing pre-mature wear?
3. What size tires are you running, any wheel spacers?

is the axel shaft showing wear on it? if it was eaten into the first time it may explain why its killed others. Also have you checked your calipers? sometimes the slide pins stick causing a clicking or a wom wom sound that keeps pace with the vehicle speed until the calipers relaxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I havent checked the u joints but I've completely redone the rotors and calipers everytime the bearing has gone, I'm thinking the axle may have gotten eaten into so i may have to replace that entire side and do the u joints as well
 

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ok here is why i am confused

the needle bearing could be removed i the axle would flop around but the unit bearing would hold the wheel off of the brakes ( so to speak )

so your whole unit bearing is failing and letting the wheel drop I wonder what happens first the needle or the unit ?




what brand bearings ?
 

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timken bearing, and the needle definitely goes first, ill start to feel a vibration and if i take the assembly apart the needle is broken
I have been having this same issue for a long time in my 02 7.3 ccsb. Sometimes I may get about 20,000 miles out of my driver’s side wheel bearing assembly; other times I may only get 300. The needle bearings are always super shot and it only seems to happen on my driver’s side. The issue happens with Moog and Motorcraft bearing assemblies. I’ve recently replaced:
Wheel bearing assemblies
Axle shafts
Axle seals
U joints
Ball joint
hub lockers
Tie rods
Track bar
Sway bar links
Drag link
Pitman arm
Gearbox
Rag joint

Did any of you ever figure out this issue?
 

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You’ve resurrected a five-year-old thread, so you probably won’t get an answer from any of these guys.

The list of parts you’ve replaced does not include the stub shafts, which have the bearing race for the needle bearings… Don’t know if that’s what you were referring to with “axle shafts“. And when you say axle seals, are you referring to the vacuum seal in the knuckle, or just the dust seal at the end of the axle tube?

I have had some of the same issues, and because I want my ESOF functional for my wife’s convenience, I do replace my vacuum knuckle seals. But even with aftermarket or stock manual locking hubs only, I think the vacuum seal is an important centralizing component for the stub shaft… It supports the weight of the outer end of the axle shaft, the U joint, and the stub shaft. And while it is primarily designed to allow vacuum operation of ESOF hubs, I can’t help but think that it is essential in keeping water and dirty Road grit out of the needle bearing.On my first rebuild, I attempted replacement of the vacuum seals with a homemade tool as shown on some YouTube videos, with disastrous results. For my second rebuild, I bought the proper tool for installing said vacuum seal, and all is well.

Also, the needle bearings must be greased prior to installation. Many users advise pulling the hub bearing assembly annually, for regreasing the needle bearings. If you think you hear a needle bearing starting to fail, you can manually engage the locking hubs to perhaps save the bearing races on the stub shafts until you have a chance to replace that needle bearing only... A cheap, quick, and relatively easy job as long as the stub shaft bearing race is undamaged.

I have gotten in the habit of monthly reaching over my front tire and rotating each U joint to check for smoothness in the needle bearings. Obviously with the truck in 2 Wheel Dr. and the hubs unlocked. Any irregularity in the needle bearings should be obvious. If any minor hangups are detected, I will engage my hubs manually, and service the needle bearing ASAP.
 

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great points JGK

may I suggest a coil spring and 05 dana 6o upgrade? you get a sealed bearing in place of the needle unit, better turning, breaking and ride and a few thousand dollars less in you bank account .
what too extreme ? lol just throwing it out there ;-)
 

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You’ve resurrected a five-year-old thread, so you probably won’t get an answer from any of these guys.

The list of parts you’ve replaced does not include the stub shafts, which have the bearing race for the needle bearings… Don’t know if that’s what you were referring to with “axle shafts“. And when you say axle seals, are you referring to the vacuum seal in the knuckle, or just the dust seal at the end of the axle tube?

I have had some of the same issues, and because I want my ESOF functional for my wife’s convenience, I do replace my vacuum knuckle seals. But even with aftermarket or stock manual locking hubs only, I think the vacuum seal is an important centralizing component for the stub shaft… It supports the weight of the outer end of the axle shaft, the U joint, and the stub shaft. And while it is primarily designed to allow vacuum operation of ESOF hubs, I can’t help but think that it is essential in keeping water and dirty Road grit out of the needle bearing.On my first rebuild, I attempted replacement of the vacuum seals with a homemade tool as shown on some YouTube videos, with disastrous results. For my second rebuild, I bought the proper tool for installing said vacuum seal, and all is well.

Also, the needle bearings must be greased prior to installation. Many users advise pulling the hub bearing assembly annually, for regreasing the needle bearings. If you think you hear a needle bearing starting to fail, you can manually engage the locking hubs to perhaps save the bearing races on the stub shafts until you have a chance to replace that needle bearing only... A cheap, quick, and relatively easy job as long as the stub shaft bearing race is undamaged.
I bought the axle shafts in a kit that included the stub shafts, seals, and u joints all in one piece. I do run Warn manual hubs even though my truck is meant for auto hubs. I had the vacuum lines deleted so my seal coming from the hubs is wide open. That could be my issue….
 

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that unitized knuckle vacuum seal is the only thing keeping dirt /water out
you must have at least kept the old seal in place right ?
I’ve replaced all of those parts within the last 15k-20k miles. About 1k miles ago, the truck was hit in the exact spot (front driver’s side wheel) by a drunk driver when it was parked outside of my house. It messed up the front suspension pretty badly; however, I’ve since had every piece of rubber in that front end changed besides the ball joints because they were done less than 1k prior. I’m wondering if those are in fact the culprit or maybe some stub shaft and seal needs to be replaced again, even though I had previously replaced both sides chasing a preexisting shaking issue coming from my front end. Bear in mind that I do have a 4” lift with 37x12.50s regeared with 4:30s so I know I’m not gonna have a perfect ride or longevity of front end parts; however, there was a time with this same setup that it rode better than stock and I would get at least 30k miles out my bearings.

2002 f250 ccsb 4”lift 37x12.50s
 
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