Discussion in 'Wheels/Tires/Brakes' started by GBickham, Aug 17, 2017.
How difficult is it to replace the front wheel bearings on a 1988 Ford Escort GT?
My Escorts are all 2nd generation ones, but if the suspension is about the same, it involves getting the knuckle off of the car and since I dont have a press; taking it to a machine shop. The bearing has to be pressed out and the new one pressed in.
I took the knuckle and a new bearing to my favorite machine shop - and waited while he used his 30 ton press to replace the bearing. From looking at the pressure gauge on his press, Im not sure one of the inexpensive Harbor Freight 20 ton presses would have done it.
The following steps were involved:
Loosening hub nut with car sitting on the ground.
Supporting front of car and removing the caliper and rotor, the outer tie rod end, the ball joint, and the connection to the strut. If you are lucky the CV axle will just come out of the knuckle as you pull it out. I have had them require hammering to get the splines of axle and hub to slide apart.
With my Dodge Omni, I could get the wheel bearing out using a tree stump and some steel supportss. But the bearings on the Escort seem to take more pressure than I could manage with a sledge hammer.
FYI - My local NAPA machine shop charges $10 a bearing for the labor to do this to pretty much anything you bring them and if you buy the bearings from them they might even do them for free for you if it's a slow day in the shop. Just ask nicely if they can "help you out" and you may not get a bill for it. If you do, you do.
Ty for the information. Very informative, much appreciated.
Wheel bearings can go bad on these cars???
Yes. I had one that started getting noisy, little by little, over a few thousand miles. It was louder when going faster, but never changed its sound when I would saw the wheel left-right.
Finally I located the growl as coming from the right side knuckle (using a mechanic stethoscope). The bearing only had one small area of broken surface and didnt look like failure was imminent. Sure was nice to get rid of the noise though.
I havent had a rear wheel bearing go bad yet. I have found a few of them that were very much overtightened though. The service manual is a little confusing in its explanation.
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