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Should I check the front wheel bearings?

Blondie70

New Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Poplarville, MS
Hi Guys
Am wondering if the front wheel bearings should be checked on my used jeep ? Do you just take the big nut off and pull the wheel off after you get the brake calipers out of the way ??
Thanks, Pete
 

Steel City 06

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Mar 12, 2019
Messages
1,361
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
To check them, simply jack the car up and shake the tire back and forth (left to right). Any looseness can indicate an issue in the bearing, but can also indicate other issues (loose steering or trackbar). Any vertical play could indicate bad ball joints. Usually the wheel bearings make significant noise when they go bad.
 
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Blondie70

Blondie70

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Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Poplarville, MS
Thanks Jerry. Is the big nut holding the hub on adjustable ? If there was ever any slop there could the nut be tightened ? Also, If the nut comes off....can you pull the hub off just to look at the sealed bearings ????
Don't think I have bad ones, but just curious about it.
Thank you, Pete
 

Steel City 06

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The nut is preloaded from when it is installed. The torque on that nut is extremely important to maintain the correct preload on the bearing. Too loose or too tight and the bearing life will be dramatically shortened.

The first time I replaced a wheel bearing, I didn't have a torque wrench that went high enough, so I guessed. Wheel bearing went bad in a month.

If you're concerned, the bearings are inexpensive on RockAuto and elsewhere. Be sure to replace the nut, as in many vehicles it is torqued to yield. If you take the bearing out, I recommend to replace the axle u-joints while you're at it. Ball joints would be another good preemptive replacement to consider
 
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Blondie70

Blondie70

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Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Poplarville, MS
Thank you. I looked at my downloaded service manual and could not even find a tidbit of info on this. Not even a pic of it. Looks like I am gonna leave those alone and mess with other stuff.
Thanks much
Pete
 

Steel City 06

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Mar 12, 2019
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Definitely at least jack up the vehicle and check for play if you're concerned.

For a more complete evaluation, check the wheels, the track bars, drag link, tie rod, axle shaft u-joints, driveshaft u-joints, all 8 control arms, the steering intermediate shaft, and axle pinion yokes. Any slop is suspect and should be looked into further. This is a good way to get an idea of the condition of the steering and suspension. If other symptoms present, like odd noises, shimmy, or especially death wobble, then you need to evaluate the issue before it becomes dangerous.

Also, grease any zerks you might find
 
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Blondie70

Blondie70

New Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Poplarville, MS
Hi TJAddict. Thanks for the advice. I been under that sucker all day, checking stuff, etc...
Got a few parts on order. I will be at it again soon. In fact, I am beat and hitting the sack....ha ha Thanks much
Pete