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Looking for some pointers or things to watch out for when I re-grease me front wheel bearings next week? Someone told me that I need to replace some type seals is this true? Any info will help.. Thanks
 

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If your 4x4 is a 1500, the front wheel bearings are not servicable. They can be replaced starting at $145 per side. Ought to know, just replaced mine with some for $220 a side.
 

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So Jason, what you are saying is that I cannot take off front rotors and regrease my bearings like any other truck. Wow OK.. Do you know when they are recommended that they be replaced and just how hard is that? Thanks Pete
 

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The front wheel hub assembly is a single unit that bolts to the knuckle with 3 bolts. The axle shaft engages spline in it that turns the drive flange that holds the rotors and wheels.

2wd trucks have the servicable wheel bearings that hold the drive flange on the spindle. Is that what you were thinking about?

They only need to be replaced if there is play in them. Jack up a wheel and grabthe top and bottom and try to wiggle it sideways.If it moves, then you need either ball joints or new hubs. It is not that hard if you have the tools (1 7/16" socket, torque wrench capable of 175 lb-ft, 12pt 14mm socket are the special stuff you may need)

Here is how the late model Ram D44 works (from my soon to be posted hub replacement Tech article):

You can see how/where the hub assembly attaches to the knuckle


Here is the back side of the hub assebly and you can see the bolts holes to hold teh hub to the knuckle and the splines for the stub shaft


Here is the front of the hub that holds teh rotor and wheel
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WOW, THAT'S COOL. Thanks for the great explaination and pics.. Ok, that makes sense now.. I'll have check it out.. Pete
 

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I am the only person in the world who had a problem with this, but I just had to replace my driver side wheel bearing. Mine was bad enough I noticed the wheel leaning while the truck was parked! I had to beat the living hell out of my bearings. (It was bad anyway and I had taken it out twice before so I let out some pent up frustration) Someone in my parts store mentioned that coating the inside of the spindle where the bearing sits with anti-seize would let it come out easier next time. Most of you would probably call that uneccessary, but you are cordially invited to get my bearings out the next time maintenance calls!
 

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It was mentioned above that if the truck is a 1500 then its the non servicable kind. was that in reference to a 1500 as opposed to a 2500? i was just curious if anyone knew if the 2500's bearing were the same type.
 

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Ive had mine apart a while back to swap out a new stud, I dont remember too much, I do know that youll need the 12 point socket that Jason referred too, but on the 2500 I think it is a 12 point 9/16" which is almost 14mm.
 

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The 2500 has a slightly different hub style and requires additional work when working with the rotors and such. Its a bigger pain to get the thing reassembled. Have not actually done one, so I don't know for sure.

Coating the insde of the knuckle wiht antiseize soudns liek a good idea. I have to use a hammer on the old ones to get them to come out as well.
 

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Ah, another Dsertdog memory....Yes back in the bad ol' days, Dd owned and loved and thrashed,(or trashed) a '78 ramcharger and a 81 W-150 stepside, both with Dana 44 front diffs. At that time, those axles did indeed have a zerk that was accessible thru a hole in the hub so you could grease the front bearings. Course, no one used it,at least until you spent 500 bucks getting new bearings pressed on your hubs! And that derned ol'leaky inner seal! Even tho Dd regrets the zerks passing, the apparent simplicity of replacement of the newer hub does give pause for a smile.
More mechanics should descover the joy of neversieze....dont leave home without it!
 

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Jason,

I just checked my front wheels for play. My passenger side was okay but the driver's side has a ton of play (now I know why I ate front tires!). My question is:

does the entire hub need to be replaced or can the bearings in the hub be replaced? My ball joints appear to be okay.
 

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Kevin -

The entire hub needs to be replaced. PartsAmerica.com has a $144 unit and $223 unit.

I bought a ~$200 unit from Napa that is made in the US by Chicago Rawhide and the units I bought had Timken bearings in them.
 

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Thanks for the info Jason. Looks like my tires will have to wait so I can replace the hubs then. I wonder what the difference in quality is since the price seems to vary quite a bit.
 

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Jack up the wheel and grab at the top and bottom. Try to wiggle the tire out from under the truck (pulling back and forth on the top and bottom) and if it moves you need new hubs or new ball joints. If there is movement you can look around the back at the ball joints and see if they are moving or not.
 

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Ya know, I am not sure about the differences in ABS bearings and outer shafts. When I had to replace the outer shaft on my non-ABS truck, I used the outer stub shaft from an ABS equipped truck. The bearing off the ABS axle looked identical to the ones on my non-ABS truck. The only difference is the tone ring filling in the low spot on the stub shaft between the u-joint yoke and the flange that covers the back of the bearing. The tone ring did not impact anything. The ABS pick-up sensor gets bolted to the knuckle, not the bearing or the stub shaft so that is not an issue.

I think that the parts guys just want more money becuase it is "ABS". CAn't verify, for sure, but I have been running that ABS stub shaft on my non-ABS truck for 2,000 mile sand even been wheeling with it without any problems.
 

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I just went through this on my driver side. I have ABS (SUCKS!!!) on my truck, and all that does is jack you up into the expensive parts range. The difference is the tone ring inside the housing, and you have to bolt on a sensor to the hub. I am really pi$$ed that I had to pay $270 because my truck is so new that there are no aftermarket parts out there for my truck yet. Count yourself lucky if all you have to pay is $150 per hub. If you can shake the wheel back and forth while it is lifted in the air, then the hub bearing is bad--replace it as soon as possible. You don't want a hub to break apart while you are driving on the road. Also, it is wise to check your ball joints attached to the spindle whenever you have a hub bearing go bad, you don't want a ball joint to bust off while you are driving the truck either...
 

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Well, I do have 4wheel abs. I went to two different parts stores. One asked if I had abs and quoted me $378 per hub. The other store said it didn't matter if I had abs and quoted me $227 per hub. I ended up getting that and I will hopefully install it today. Jason, did you use any additional wheel bearing grease on it other than what came on it? It also looks pretty straightforward to do.
 

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You will find that it does matter if you have 4 wheel ABS or not. Check out the hub assembly, if there is no place to attach a sensor to the hub, then you have the wrong one. If you leave the sensor unhooked, you will get computer warnings, usually the ABS and Brake lights will come on in your dash. Good luck!
 

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Steve: At lseat on the 96 and 97 models, the ABS does not matter as the tone ring is on the stub shaft. When I parted out my buddies old 44 from his 96 1500 with ABS, the hubs were identical to my non-ABS ones. Only the tone ring on the stub shaft was different. The stub shaft was idetnical to mine as well, except fo reth extra tone ring, no other changes at all. The ABS pickup was attached to the back side of the knuckle.

Kevin: I did try to pack more grease into them since I knew I was going to be playing in the mud that next weekend. Not sure if it helped at all as it was difficult to get it to actually fit into the bearings themselves and not just run down the inner splines.

Also, use anti-seize on the knuckle where the bearing sits in the knuckle. It will help to keep them from sticking if you ever need to pull it again.
 
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