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  #1  
Old 12-07-1999, 03:24 PM
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Default Spindle Needle Bearings

Later this month I'm going to take apart the '94 Bronco's front end, and clean/inspect/grease everything. Could well be the first time ever for it. Question on the Spindle Needle Bearings - The big book shows pulling the bearing out of the spindle with a slide hammer and an internal-type puller. Is that method really necessary? Most slide hammers I've seen don't look like they'd hook up nicely to a puller. I really would like to pull them out and clean/inspect/repack them, and not do a shlock job of just smearing some grease in on them. Any advice?
Thanks, UncleDon

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  #2  
Old 12-07-1999, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Spindle Needle Bearings

Getting those Spindle Bearings out is tricky. Unless you have the exact prescribed attachment for your slide hammer, I don't think you can get them out without damaging them. I replaced mine once, but it was a real pain and quite costly. I recommend that you take the entire spindle (with the bearing still in place) and soak it some parts cleaner. Then use your finger to apply and pack fresh grease into the spindle bearings. These bearings don't really see any load and aren't that important anyway.

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Old 12-07-1999, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Spindle Needle Bearings

If you really need to pull the pilot bearings I recommed a bearing puller. I bought an inexpensive one from Harborfreight Tools www.harborfreight.com. It costs about 15 bucks. I used it when I had to replace my spindle because the bearings got so bad that they were just about welded to the spindle. Anyway this puller did the job just nicely.

Bravoman

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Old 12-08-1999, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Spindle Needle Bearings

I've been looking for something to get that bearing out too.

Do you remember which puller you got? The only one I saw on their web site was:

32931-0VGA Pittsburgh SPREADER JAW BLIND BEARING PULLER SET

for $69.

Was there another? Maybe one not listed on their web site but in their catalog?

Thanks!

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Old 12-08-1999, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Spindle Needle Bearings

You will need a spindle puller to hook up to your slide hammer,to remove spindles. Mark spindles once removed and bring to auto parts place or someone with correct tool to remove bearing. (if needed) Replace seals against spindle on axle side. Grease and assemble.I did mine a couple of years ago cost me 40 bucks for all to get new bearings pressed in. Mine were shot from contamination. One of the most overlooked maint items on these trucks. good luck ken 1986

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Old 12-08-1999, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Spindle Needle Bearings

The puller is called 3-jaw pilot bearing puller and the HarborFreight part number is 04876-1AGA. Give them catalog number 126-c and coupon #FS-003-001-300 and shipping will be free. There number is 1-800-423-2567. They sell alot of tools that I can't find at local shops, there not the greatest as far as quality is concerned but if they do the job who cares especially if its a job done rarely like spindle bearings.

Good luck,

Bravoman

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Old 12-10-1999, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Spindle Needle Bearings

Thanks to all for the replies! The spindle needle bearings must be overlooked - I couldn't find anybody who knew what I was asking in a quick un-scientific poll of a few F-series 4X4 folks I know!

Bravoman - Thanks for the info! I checked the HarborFreight web site, and was surprised to find a store near me listed! I went over there and got one for 15.99. You weren't kidding about the "quality", but if it lasts 2 pulls without damaging anything, I'll be happy. Looks like every single thing in the store just came out of a container ship, direct from the Red Star.
One more question... did you use the puller as-is, with its stand-off legs against the back of the spindle to pull, or did you modify it to attach it to a slide hammer?
Thanks, UncleDon

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Old 12-10-1999, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Spindle Needle Bearings

I used the puller as is, just put the stand off legs against the spindle and they'll come out easy. This tool should last you forever because you won't use it that much.

Your right about the comment about them comming off the container ship. You'll notice that everything is in no frills packaging and if they come with instructions the translation is hillarious. I believe in buying American made as much as possible but why spend $30 for a 2 jaw puller when they sell a 3 piece set for $15.

Later,

Bravoman

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  #9  
Old 01-13-2000, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Spindle Needle Bearings

Thanks to all for the info. This was a first time for me, here's a summary of what I found out when I did it:

My biggest problem was getting the wire lock ring out of what I was calling the "brand X" hub on one side, didn't have anything to grab onto. That took a long long time.

4Wheel ABS and spindle - The ABS sensor itself I could wiggle out with no problem. But the chunk of metal that it mounts in is from the outer side of the spindle, and overlaps the edge of the spindle. This chunk is held in by a screw from the backside of the knuckle, through the sheet-metal splash shield, then into the chunk. Screw head is right next to axle shaft. Real hard to get to, with a strange head on it. Took me a while to see it clearly, and realize that it is a 12-point screw head. All my sockets (both Am. & metric) are down to 6-point for that small of a size. Stuck! But found that an old set of Craftsman miniature "Ignition Wrenches" (open on one end, box on the other) the 15/64th's box end would fit. So at 1/12th of a turn at a time, real hard to hold onto wrench, I eventually got them off. ANYBODY KNOW OF A 12 POINT 15/64th SOCKET?

Parts - Parts stores didn't have the Rolling Diaphram Seal (RDS) that has the sheet-metal inner ring, taps onto the axle itself. They also had the wrong type of seal for Spindle Bearing. Got it from Ford, but wasn't easy. Somebodies been into the front diff, tag is gone, Ford parts guys helpless without tag. Finally ragged them into thinking, ordered parts up, parts were correct. Mine has an integral spacer (ring of grey plastic) attached to the spindle bearing seal itself. The books were not clear in this area at all, but now I know.

No go on pulling spindle bearings - Bearing puller tips wouldn't reach all the way under the bearing, it hit a shoulder of the spindle inside. Didn't want to wreck them, they looked OK, so cleaned and re-grease as-is. Just used lot's of solvent.

Reassembly - Couldn't get C -ring onto axle shaft after putting spindle and hub back together. Pushed axle shaft into spindle as hard as I could, then tried again, no luck. Put handle of breaker bar behind stub axle shaft (at U-joint), and levered it outwards. Went after making an embarrasing sound (okay, so it had gas!). I always grease the lips of seals, and air was being compressed between the RDS and the back of the spindle, acting as an air spring. Clip fit fine then.

I thought getting the parts would be easy, so many F-150's 4WD around, plus Bronco's. But I was getting the feeeling that rarely do people take these assemblies apart and maintain them (clean & regrease spindle bearings every 30k miles according to manual). Maybe the average person just runs it till it breaks, then pays big bucks to somebody to fix it all, then complain about what a rotten manufacturer made their vehicle!

Hey, if anyone has a 12 point socket like that, and know's where ya got it, please let me know!
Thanks, UncleDon

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