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!