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PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Wheel bearing and alignment

Last year, I had the left rear wheel bearing on my 2002 Explorer replaced. No alignment needed to be done, as it didn't affect the alignment. Pictures of the suspension setup can be found here: »[Help] Name this part.

Yesterday, I had the right rear wheel bearing replaced. Picked up the rig this morn, she (her name is Cindy, btw) wanted to go down the road sideways, with the wheel turned 90 degrees. Took it back.

They said they are going to align it, as it should have been aligned before giving it back to me. Also, upon inspection, the wheel in question was horribly tilted in at the top.

My question is, should replacing a wheel bearing affect alignment? If so, why didn't it last time?
--
There comes a point in your life when you get tired of fixing everything and wiping everyone's ass. But it’s not giving up. It’s realizing that you don’t need certain people and the bullshit and drama they bring to your life.



wolfox
Gentle Wolfox

join:2002-11-27
Dunnellon, FL

Sloppy work can do this, along with incorrect bearing pre-load. Looks to me from what you describe, someone did not tighten up the hub hardware so when the vehicle rests under its own weight, the wheel leans out there like it's tired. Your rear wheels on that rig also help guide the truck in a straight line so if they are out of kilter, there you go.
--
The RIAA killed my legal webcast. Sadly it will never be mourned...



THUD300
Part Of A Complete Breakfast
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Decatur, IL

1 edit
reply to PolarBear03

This sounds serious. If the center retaining nut (axle shaft nut) was not tightened, then the bearing is probably ruined. Without any preload, the loose bearings would cause the wheel to tilt inward under the weight of the vehicle and also cause the thrust angle to change, which would make the vehicle dogtrack and cause the steering wheel to go off center. I would be very surprised if this didn't make a *lot* of noise.

In other words, what wolfox said.

According to Ford's TSB 05-25-8 for rear wheel bearing replacement, realignment after replacing the bearing is not part of the repair procedure.
--
Your actual mileage may vary. Operators are standing by.



rds24a
Teach Your Children
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Newton Upper Falls, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to PolarBear03

I believe 02 was the first year for the Explorer 4W-independent suspension, so there may be alignment possible on the rear and it may be recommendable with a bearing, but what in heck did they screw up replacing a bearing to cause that??? That is more than an alignment if you can visibly see the camber off that much.
--
All hail JoePa



PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03
reply to wolfox

said by wolfox:

Sloppy work can do this, along with incorrect bearing pre-load.
Bearing pre-load? Layman's terms?
said by wolfox:

Looks to me from what you describe, someone did not tighten up the hub hardware so when the vehicle rests under its own weight, the wheel leans out there like it's tired.
THAT I do understand, and that is exactly what it looked like.


PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03
reply to PolarBear03

Thanks, guys. I was hoping I wasn't just going nuts from this flu.

After they aligned it, they called me and said they got it almost perfectly aligned, but that the knuckle on top of the hub is worn out so they couldn't get it perfect, and the wheel won't be perfectly straight when going down the road.

--BUT, it DID before I took it to them, even WITH a bad bearing.--

I could let go of the wheel and she'd go straight down the road for a mile, with a perfectly centered wheel. I haven't had a chance to go pick it up and drive it (the wife has the other car), but this leads me to ask once again, how could it have been perfectly aligned before, even with a bad bearing and a supposed bad knuckle, and now it isn't?
--
There comes a point in your life when you get tired of fixing everything and wiping everyone's ass. But it’s not giving up. It’s realizing that you don’t need certain people and the bullshit and drama they bring to your life.



Thud300x

@spcsdns.net

A wheel bearing is basically a set of two bearings in a single unit. The axle shaft passes through the two inner races, and a nut on the end of the shaft applies pressure to squeeze the bearing together, or 'pre-load' it. The preload takes away any looseness in the bearing, which is totally undesirable in a drive axle hub.



r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
reply to PolarBear03

To me it sounds like they are trying to feed you BS so they do not have to fix the damage they caused.
--
»www.ryanoneill.us



PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

That's what I'm afraid of, and that's why I'm gathering you and everyone else's opinions here.

Do you agree that they probably failed to tighten the axle nut (pre-load the bearing), do you think it may be something else, or are you unsure?



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to PolarBear03

Something doesn't sound right and like others have posted, I would have to suggest that it is time to get another shop to look at the issue unless the original shop comes clean with correcting the problem and telling you why the wheel looked like it did (almost like it was bent or about to fall off) if I understand your post.

Regards,

Doctor Olds
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?



Rifleman
Premium
join:2004-02-09
p1a

1 edit
reply to PolarBear03

I was told the same about my 92 exploder---that they couldn't center the steering wheel perfectly. They DID align it fine though.



PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

The first gen and third gen Explorers have completely different suspension systems, though.



PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03
reply to PolarBear03

So I got the rig back this morn. The wheel in question is still tilted in at the top, and the steering wheel is still slightly off center. The rear feels horribly loose when turning corners.

They say it's because the knuckle is bad, but I still don't see how the alignment could have been perfect before, and isn't now.
--
There comes a point in your life when you get tired of fixing everything and wiping everyone's ass. But it’s not giving up. It’s realizing that you don’t need certain people and the bullshit and drama they bring to your life.



rds24a
Teach Your Children
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Newton Upper Falls, MA

What led you to take the vehicle in in the first place?
--
All hail JoePa



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to PolarBear03

said by PolarBear03:

So I got the rig back this morn. The wheel in question is still tilted in at the top, and the steering wheel is still slightly off center. The rear feels horribly loose when turning corners.

They say it's because the knuckle is bad, but I still don't see how the alignment could have been perfect before, and isn't now.
If the knuckle was bad (is bad), they should not have put it back together with a new bearing as any technician knows that is not a proper fix/repair.

I'm thinking it is time to have Ford or an alignment or suspension specialist look at it to see what the other shop may have torn up.

It just doesn't sound like they know what they are doing.

Regards,

Doctor Olds
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Good idea. I'll call the Ford dealer to see if they'll eyeball it for me.



PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03
reply to rds24a

said by rds24a:

What led you to take the vehicle in in the first place?
said by PolarBear03:

Yesterday, I had the right rear wheel bearing replaced.

--
There comes a point in your life when you get tired of fixing everything and wiping everyone's ass. But it’s not giving up. It’s realizing that you don’t need certain people and the bullshit and drama they bring to your life.


rds24a
Teach Your Children
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Newton Upper Falls, MA

But what were the symptoms that led to you needing to replace that bearing?
--
All hail JoePa



PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

said by rds24a:

But what were the symptoms that led to you needing to replace that bearing?
Um, it failed? I'm not sure what you're asking. Do you think the wheel bearing wasn't the problem?


rds24a
Teach Your Children
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Newton Upper Falls, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Well, the symptoms could indicate if there were other problems before you took it in. If the only thing you were experiencing was the typical rolling, grinding noise, then it is more likely they messed something up. But if you also had a vibration, shimmy, pull, or other symptoms then it might indicate something else. The other question would be how the bearing failed...was it a gradual process just due to mileage/age or did you hit a pothole?

Just the interview process a good shop would do to make sure they're fixing the correct problem correctly, which it appears this shop didn't do.
--
All hail JoePa



PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Now I understand. No out of the ordinary symptoms, alignment was perfect and it otherwise drove absolutely perfect. Just started hearing the grinding noise when turning left, so I pushed on the tire and it wiggled a little. It failed gradually over time, due to age and use (145k miles, many of which pulling trailers which is not what this rig is designed for).

No, the shop didn't ask me a single thing. Also, they didn't mention the knuckle was bad until after they fixed it the second time. One would think that if the knuckle were bad that they would have noticed it while they had the hub torn apart fixing the bearing, but strangely, it wasn't bad until the "alignment."



rds24a
Teach Your Children
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Newton Upper Falls, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

To me, there's no excuse for releasing a vehicle to a customer in that condition with the expectation that the customer will be fine with it. I'm not sure there's even enough adjustment in that rear suspension that if they were doing a true 4-wheel alignment (chances are they are not) that they could correct a visible camber problem.

You're going to destroy your tires if that wheel is that far off plus it is a safety problem if, in fact, something isn't together right. One possibility that was suggested to me was that they jacked the vehicle on the control arm and not the proper frame location, and consequently bent the control arm.
--
All hail JoePa



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to PolarBear03

If you turn up at a shop and tell them to replace the XX wheel bearing, they will replace the XX wheel bearing.

If you turn up at a shop and describe the problem to them, they will check the vehicle over and report to you. In this case, you are far more likely to get a full and complete report.

I am not going to get into a bunch of what-ifs, I wasn't there, and I can't guess. As others have mentioned, take it somewhere you can trust. Ask them to check your problem and the whole suspension.
--
Overheard: "I could careless matter of Fact"



PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03
reply to rds24a

said by rds24a:

To me, there's no excuse for releasing a vehicle to a customer in that condition with the expectation that the customer will be fine with it. I'm not sure there's even enough adjustment in that rear suspension that if they were doing a true 4-wheel alignment (chances are they are not) that they could correct a visible camber problem.
My thoughts exactly.

As as far as safety, I'll only be running around town with it for the weekend (low speeds), no going down the highway. I made an appointment with the Ford dealer on Monday to have them look at it, and I'll see what they say.


PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03
reply to Cho Baka

said by Cho Baka:

As others have mentioned, take it somewhere you can trust. Ask them to check your problem and the whole suspension.
Ford dealer, Monday morning!


PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

1 recommendation

reply to PolarBear03

Thank you all for your wonderful help!

I have an appointment with Joe Hall Ford, Monday at 08:00 to have them take a look. I'll let ya'lls know what they say.



rds24a
Teach Your Children
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Newton Upper Falls, MA
reply to PolarBear03

Dealerships and alignments are not a good marriage. Several of them around here only have scuff boards, a crude way to set toe. They need to have a multi-axis 4-wheel diagnostic machine in order to do it right.
--
All hail JoePa



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

3 recommendations

And the Dealer I was from had 2 top of the line cordless units, and full time alignment techs who knew their shit.

The only generalization that is always true is that generalizations generally suck.



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

3 recommendations

reply to rds24a

said by rds24a:

Dealerships and alignments are not a good marriage.
And neither are assumptions and misinformation in a post...


rds24a
Teach Your Children
Premium
join:2000-12-13
Newton Upper Falls, MA

Well, you'all believe what you want...but there's no harm in finding out if they're doing it right or not.
--
All hail JoePa