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Front axles

 
  #1  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:11 PM
bascars
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Front axles

So I found that the bearings were bad in my front 02 F350 4x4 axles. I bought a Duralast from Autozone (in stock) and replaced the passenger side-no major issues. Decided to do the driver side since it had play in it as well. Bought a Timken from Autozone to compare the differenct. As I was disassembling the drivers side I found that the back thrust washer between the lockout and hub was replaced by the thrust washer from hub to knuckle. Needless to say the inside of the knuckle did not look good and was full of metal and grease. The two rings in the knuckle were not seated properly. I cannot find a good expanded view/diagram of how this works or is properly assembled.

Questions. First on the metal rings, inner ring with lip facing out and the outer ring with the lip facing in? That's how it was on the passenger side. I could not seat these rings-will not go in all the way. Made a make-shift driver from PVC that I felt was well fitting. Should I remove the rubber seal and replace all internal parts? How is it removed and where can I obtain the parts.

Second, I see what appears to be seals dangling around the axle shafts both on the housing side and the knuckle side (if there is a way to post pics please let me know). Are these meant to be driven into the housings and I assume I would need to remove the entire shafts to accomplish this but can't figure out how to remove them
 
  #2  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:34 PM
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I'm pretty sure you are talking about the knuckle seal when you talk about the metal rings? The other two "dangling" rings you speak of are normal. They shouldn't be dangling, but they frequently are after thousands of miles and the dirt and oils they are exposed to. Bad design by Ford....they are called axle dust seals. Inner and outer.

For the knuckle seal: you really, really need the special driver to get the seal to EXACTLY the right depth. If you don't get it right, or it goes in crooked, you will be doing it all again sooner than later. Those seals are also fairly fragile. As much as I like the ingenuity that goes into making the home-made PVC seal driver's, they leave a little bit to be desired.

The Timkin hub you bought is worlds better than the first one you bought.
 
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:37 PM
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I have photos of the knuckle seal replacement process at home. I will post them up here in a couple of hours when I get there. Another thing, if that seal isn't in there perfectly, you won't be able to maintain vacuum to your 4x4 system. That is its primary function. Did you get the old seal out already?
 
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:51 PM
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I have not removed any seals. During further research it appears that the "rings" should be attached to the axle seal, meaning I should replace the entire seal, correct? do the axles need to come out for that?

the auto locks haven't worked in years. Worth replacing or just continue manually?
 
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:55 PM
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They do, but it is not hard to pull them. What is difficult is coming up with the knuckle seal driver to do it right. I used an air chisel with a blunt tip to drive those knuckle seals out when I rebuilt my front axle. With the air chisel it takes about 10 seconds to get the axle out.

I take it you are not the first owner of this truck? Sounds like someone else was in there and assembled it incorrectly.
 
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:35 AM
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Yeah, not the first owner, but have had the truck for 9 years-don't put a lot of miles on it. I ordered new axle seals, dust seals, new thrust washers, and the seal driver. Out for the weekend anyway so will pick it up on Tuesday when parts come in.
 
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:21 AM
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Manual hub locking is pretty nice when you need 2WD Low range. I capped the vacuum lines at the frame, and put plugs in where then go in the knuckles, and use manual Warn locks, but you could still use your OEM units.
 
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:18 PM
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Like to see your pictures.
 
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:34 PM
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I dug up the old thread I made when I did my seals earlier this year.

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...haft-play.html

Photos and some instruction inside.
 
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:21 AM
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very concise, thank you. Just waiting on additional parts. If I am that far into it I might as well replace the ball joints while I am at it.
 
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:16 PM
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All done. Nice and smooth. thanks for all the help. Certainly could not have done it without the help of this site.
 
  #12  
Old 07-28-2014, 08:31 PM
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my first time digging into my front end. my first question is are there bearings inside the outter ends of the axle, I can see there are inner by the pumpkin.
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:16 PM
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Yes there are. Two to be exact, and both are inside the hub assembly. One is not accessable, and the other is called a "needle bearing". It is replaceable, and some have gone to some lengths to do this. It is more work than it is worth in my opinion, as you have to pull the hub, drive the old needle bearing out, drive a new needle bearing in and then make sure it is properly lubed and seated. Hub units are down to about $100 ea at most box stores. The needle bearing is about $20 plus your trouble. Not to mention, it is RARELY the needle bearing that goes bad, it is usually the enclosed main hub bearing.
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:42 PM
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When I went to buy a new sealed unit bearing, I found that the first new brought out from the back of the auto parts store had a main bearing that was torqued too tight-it was hard to turn. The second one they brought out had a good main bearing, but the factory had crushed the stub axle needle bearings just enough to freeze them in place. The third one was perfect. Do your inspection before you buy!
 
  #15  
Old 07-29-2014, 09:08 AM
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Thank you also the axle just pulls out right I know there is that seal inside the housing to the hub looks pretty tight but I get the seal out then I get axle out. Those 2 seals are gone I need to replace them. Maybe I can take pictures today show ya. Or maybe help someone else out. Thanks for your help and time.
 

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