1at time doing new wheel bearings

Discussion in '1993 - 1997 Ford Ranger' started by user12344556, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. user12344556

    user12344556 Banned

    Ok so did my front brakes today and it was my first time doing my own wheel bearings. Now I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and got cracking. My question is how long should I drive on them before checking they are not to tight or to loose.

    I followed the torgue info I found here of first torguing them to 30ft/lbs while rotating them in the opposite direction, then backing off a half turn, re torguing them to 21 ft/lbs, backing off a half a turn and then finger tightnening. More like snuggling the nut up against the washer. (I don't own an in/lb tourge wrench and 17-20 inch/lbs wound be hard to get acurate anyway.
    Can I adjust the bearings with the wheel on or does it need to come off to take the load off the bearings?
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  3. mhoward

    mhoward Member

    I have never used a torque wrench to preload wheel bearings. Your procedure works fine and is the same as mine, only I don't use the torque wrench. Once they are set, you don't HAVE to go back and recheck them later... only if you want to. You can do it with the wheel on (actually, I prefer it that way).
  4. OP

    user12344556 Banned

    I'm a guy, If I have the tools I will use them..lol...

    Yeah between here and chiltons manual i read about the torquing procedure to seat the bearings. the work is easy enough, i'm not a stranger to bearings, it is just that last little bit of 'feel' if you know what I mean...
  5. mhoward

    mhoward Member

    @Timbootz: I know what you mean. I do own a torque wrench, just never use it for the wheel bearings. I use a pair of straight jaw channel locks. I know what you mean about the "feel"... that is why I don't use the torque wrench. My dad (lifetime auto mechanic) taught me how to repack the bearings properly and seat them in. There's probably a better way, but hell, never had one come back on me, so what I do must work, right? :)
  6. OP

    user12344556 Banned

    Any particular sounds or driving I should listen for to indicate if they are 2 tight or to loose?
  7. mhoward

    mhoward Member

    A bad wheel bearing will normally make a roaring noise. A loose wheel bearing most times will not make ANY noise. Don't recall ever dealing with a wheel bearing that was too tight...
  8. OP

    user12344556 Banned

    Yeah not making a roaring noise at all. I wonder if it juat the new pass settling in. Amazes me that the hole thing is held together buy 1 loose(ish) 27mm nut and a cotter pin. I don't want to loose a wheel.
    It seems like to move the but enough for the next cotter pin position would make it to tight..
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  9. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member


    Better to show you than try to explain on a forum.
    Let's make plans to get together soon and I will show you, in person, how you're supposed to adjust the front wheel bearings.
    ...and it's the same for any car.
    PM or email me.

  10. OP

    user12344556 Banned

    Might have to take you up on that soonish. I am having a clicking coming from my front end, not sure if it is from the bearings, or I it could P issiably be my CV joints. I k ow I need to replace my shocks, but I'm sure that isn't the problem as it is a rhythmic sound at slow speeds mainly.
  11. ZappyBear

    ZappyBear Member

    Mhoward, I repacked mine without a socket and had to go back in and tighten them up again. I assume it's from squeezing all the extra grease out. So, it might be worth at least giving a wiggle check after about a week or so of driving. What exactly does a bad wheel bearing sound like? Is it like the roaring of a bad idler pulley? Also, I'll ask it while I'm here in a forum about wheel bearings and you seem to know alot about them. While I'm turning or veering left, I believe it's my left one, will make a vibrating noise, if I veer or jerk left it stops, any ideas?
  12. mhoward

    mhoward Member

    It is never a bad idea to recheck your work after a few miles. A bad wheel bearing usually sounds like a roaring/grinding noise and will be louder/more noticeable when turning (puts more pressure on the bearing). Typically (this is from experience when I was a mechanic), if the noise happens when you turn left, it is the right side bearing. Noise when turning right, it is the left bearing. Basically, what is happening is there is a lot of pressure placed on the opposite side bearing when turning. Keep in mind: there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rules!
  13. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    "Mhoward, I repacked mine without a socket..."

    Pack a wheel bearing with a socket?
    That's a new one on me!
    I've always used a bearing packer or the palm of my hand.


    It appears you're teaching an unorthodox method of packing grease into a wheel bearing.
    Mind telling the rest of the class?

  14. ZappyBear

    ZappyBear Member

    I've gotta hear this. Never heard of that method. My dad showed me how before I did mine and all I did was wash them out, them get a big mess of grease on my hand and scrape it in. Oh, and not sure if Mhoward has seen my post about my truck, but should I inspect my wheel bearing after that incident, or should they be good?
    DeanMk likes this.
  15. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member


    That's your post I quoted...

    ...shouldn't you already know?

    Granted, this thread reads kinds funny. I think there are posts here that have been eliminated.

  16. ZappyBear

    ZappyBear Member

    Oh, sorry, didn't realize that was my reply. I was talking about putting the spindle nut on and off without a special socket. Sometimes I just talk to myself for no reason.
  17. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    Ok, so you were referring to installing the bearing, not packing it.
    Got it.
    Thanks for the clarification.

  18. mhoward

    mhoward Member

    LOL Had to go back and re-read this thread as I was thinking I didn't mention anything about how to pack the grease into the bearing itself, just the method I use for preloading the bearing during assembly. I have used a bearing packer and the manual palm-of-hand method... both work fine.
    DeanMk likes this.
  19. wilfvoakes

    wilfvoakes New Member

    The wheel beaing is made so that the bevail in the track makes a slightly loose beaing tight when the weight of the truck is on the wheels .to tight will make the bearing heat up and melt the geese. No grease no good .
  20. vinn

    vinn New Member

    just jack up the front (I do it once a year) to inspect the wheel bearings, brake pads and calipers. for the bearing, grab the top of the wheel and wiggle it (in and out). if it moves, check the tention of bearing nut. vin
  21. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    I just sorta went back through this thread and realized no one really answered their questions.
    Kinda moot, since the OP's been banned now, but in case anyone else comes along and is hoping for similar answers, let's get this one in stone.
    Like MHoward, I too have always used the method the OP laid out, except I too don't use a torque wrench and simply tighten the nut, WHILE THE WHEEL IS TURNING until I can no longer tighten.
    Sometimes, I back off and retighten again, but not always. Depends if I feel the bearing's taken a good solid seat or not....that is not a step one necessarily has to do.
    At that point (when the nut is tightened as much as you can), pick either a pointed part or a flat part of the nut (where the wrench connects to it) and back the nut off until you've reached the next point or flat.
    At that point, the bearing is set. Replace the lock and secure with a new cotter pin.
    Drive the vehicle for about a week, then jack up the car and check the tightness of the bearing by grabbing the tire at the top and bottom and try to tilt the wheel one way, then another.
    There shouldn't be any movement, but sometimes there is.
    If there is, you'll need to go back in and retighten the nut using the same method you did originally.
    Can one do this retightening procedure with the wheel on?
    If you can get the grease cap and the lock off, so you can get to the nut, then by all means, go right ahead.
    A lot of times (but not always!) you simply can't get to the nut with the wheel installed, thus why most of us just take it off to begin with.


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