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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 07-11-2013, 08:48 PM
machinist91 machinist91 is offline
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Loose wheel bearing?

Hey everyone,

So around 1,000-1,500 miles ago, due to a failed upper passenger side ball joint, I put four new Moog ball joints in my 1992 F-250 4X4 7.3 and had it all lined up. About 750 miles ago, I put a new set of tires on it as well. I noticed a couple days ago that the passenger front tire is wearing a bit on the outside half (all sharp edges pointing out are chewed). This is different wear to what I was experiencing when I had the bad ball joint, however the treads no longer look cupped or feathered, the edges just all have a radius on them. The wear is, however, on outter half of the tire, just like before.

I got that wheel off the ground and found that, once again, I have play at 12 and 6, but a small amount. I had my father tug on the wheel and I couldn't see any play in between the knuckle and I-beam on either joint, unlike before I replaced them. However, it seemed to me that I could see a small amount of movement at the rim. My father layed down and put his finger at the ball joints, one by one, so he could feel the knuckle and I-beam (if this even makes any sense) while I moved the wheel, and he couldn't feel any play there.

Can a loose or bad wheel bearing cause this condition? I didn't replace them when I had them out (I know, I know), just repacked them. I tightened them down to 50 ft.lb and backed off 90 degrees like the book said, but maybe I didn't have them seated just right or maybe they've settled and need another adjustment? I was planning on replacing his ball joints this weekend, but he doesn't want to use the Moogs we have for it, if mine lasted less than an oil change.

Thanks for any help and advice,
Dan
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:00 AM
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Bob Gervais Bob Gervais is offline
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Check the nut that holds the lower ball joint in. Mine were replaced before I bought the truck, and that nut had somehow worked loose on both sides (or was never tightened properly by the PO). Had all the symptoms of a bad ball joint.

If that's not it, and you can't feel play in the ball joints, then yes loose bearings could cause what you're seeing. You wouldn't necessarily have to replace them, could just be a case of retorquing....
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:53 AM
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Do you have any play at all at 3 and 9?
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:48 PM
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These are taper fit roller bearings in a grease hub. If the rollers & races look good (no pitting) they do not need to be replaced. You probably just need to go a little tighter on the bearing's preload nut. I set my wheel bearings up so that one notch tighter on the preload lock ring there is no play but then use the notch that gives the slightest possible amount of play when the lock nut is torqued down. It was how I was taught and it has not failed, but I know many others have more preload on their bearings than I.

As for the tire wear, I would suspect improper alignment. Likely too much toe in. If the wheel bearing were to be very loose, the inside edge of the front tire would wear, not the outer.

Sounds like the Moog ball joints you have are fine. I put 100k on my last set with regular greasing.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:55 PM
machinist91 machinist91 is offline
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Hey guys, sorry for the late reply. I ended up replacing the ball joints, axle dust and knuckle seals, one hub assembly, and the tie rods on my fathers 03 F-250 7.3 4x4 this weekend. What a job. I haven't ever cursed that much in a weekend lol.

So, the wheel bearing was loose. I performed the preload procedure again and now there isn't any play in that wheel. Phew. Sounds like I still need an alignment, though. I guess I'll call the shop that did the alignment tomorrow and see what they say, or maybe just try a different one.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:55 PM
 
 
 
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