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2002 Explorer rear hub assembly replacement

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Old 09-08-2006, 09:08 AM
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2002 Explorer rear hub assembly replacement

Hello All,
I've searched and searched and still haven't found the info I'm looking for. I've got a 2002 Explorer 4.6L 4x4 with a bad rear wheel bearing. I've read that the repairs take anywhere from 20 minutes to 5 hours. I've also read that it's a bolt out/bolt in repair and I've also read that you need to have bearings pressed.
Can any of you that have done this repair please walk me through it. I bought a "Rear hub assembly kit" for what that's worth. I'm sure that I could have just bought the bearings but I figured there would be less work in the assembly.
My main questions are:
Do I need a press?
Do I need to completely tear the rear suspension apart?
Any special tools needed?
How long will it take an "advanced amateur" to repair?

Thank you very much for your help. - Brad
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:00 PM
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i did this last weekend. it takes about 3.5 hours the first time, for one side.--- you take off the wheel and disk brake assembly. the hub is mounted inside a "hub holder" with the bearing you bought. the hub holder is a cast steel disc about a foot in diameter that bolts to the upper A fram, lower A-frame and rear tie rod. the upper bolt and tie rod and made like ball joint type fittings. they have a stud that plugs into the hub holder and have a pinch bolt to retain them. you remove the pinch bolts and pound a wedge in the crack to open the bore a few thousands to get the ball joint type stud off. you also have a 32 mm nut in the center of the hub that holds the axle shaft into the splines. after taking off the nut, you have to press the axle shaft out of the hub. actulally the axle stays in place and you are pulling the hub holder and hub off the axle. i had to make a puller to bolt to 3 of the hub studs, with a 1/2 inch jack bolt in the center to press aginst the axle topush it out. this took over 90 minutes to get the hub holder off.--- now for the challenge. you take the hub holder into the shop and put in a 20 ton press. you press the old hub out. you have to block up thecast steel hub holder and kep it level so you are pushing straight. after the hub is off, you take off a 4 inch snap ring and then push the wheel bearing out. i had to punch out the tappered roller bearing inner race on each side, then weld 4 beads across the inside of the outer race to get the bearing to shrink so i could poke it out.---- thats all the bad news. after that it took an hour to clean the cast holder on all the bore fits, install the new bearing, press the new hub into it and reinstall on the truck. the book says the hub is not reusable and must be installed new with the new bearing. i did that since it is a KIT. dont know why you cant just buy the bearing.--- remember when installing the new bearing into the cast holder, use the old outer race to push the new outer race into the holder. after that, set a BIG socket or pipe under the inner race of the bearing and push the hub in from the top so you are pushing the inner races aginst the socket and not prying on the roller bearings.--- this was much more of a challenge than i thought, but not impossible. you do need a good supply of tools and a 20 ton press, and some sort of special tool to press the axle shaft out of the hub to get it off the truck. i made my tool.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:39 AM
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Thanks Steve,
I did it last night and your info was very helpful. I did have a little different experience than you.

The "knucle" as Ford calls it (I would call it an "upright") came out with no problem. My hub did not cease to the CV so the knucle just fell off when I pulled all the bolts and ball joints. I did need a pickle fork to remove the upper A-arm. Getting the hub and bearing out of the knuckle was a pain. I ended up taking the knuckle up to the dealership and it took just about all of their 50 ton press to get them out. I slipped the guy a $20 and I was on my way. I got it back together in about 15 minutes and I was on my way. A total of 3 hours spent (1-1/2 hours at the dealership).

Thanks again for your help - Brad
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