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Old January 28th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #1
Slick
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Default 1998 Ford Ranger Front Wheel Hubs

I have a 1998 Ford Ranger with the IFS, and it seems that this truck goes through front wheel hubs like no other! Is there any reason for this? I have 31/10.50/R15 tires on a body lift so there isint any angle on the a-arms or anything. Could it be all the mud? Mostly the bearing part for the wheel is fine, but there is a smaller bearing inside, Needle Bearing? That is what I herd it was called at NAPA, and that seems to be going out. The is a Cir-clip on the axle shafts, which is good, but this Needle bearing, which I assume keeps the axle from walking around in the hub goes bad, before the actual wheel bearing does. Is there an aftermarket wheel bearing that is stronger that I could buy and put in place of the stock ones?

Thanks for you help guys!

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Old January 29th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #2
deathbypsi
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Mud/dirt will kill these front ends quick as shit. I have rebuilt my 99 at least three times in the past 5 years. I wont wheel it anymore.
The main problem with mine was until this last time I never realized there is a huge rubber seal on the back side of the knuckle that seals to the CV shaft.This seal is fully exposed to all that dirt/mud and gets destroyed from the CV shaft just grinding all that mud into it till it will seal no more. At that point all it takes is a small amount of water to carry whatever dirt is around right into the center of the hub essembly.

I couldnt figure out why I was eating up $200 wheelbearings at two a year until I discovered this problem. I had always thought dirt was getting in from the outside around the manual lockouts since it has a sad rubber o-ring that doesnt seal for shit either{I was using RTV to seal mine}






I always keep some of these on hand since I have never been able to re-use one.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 09:52 AM   #3
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replace the hub system with explorer stuff and forget about it
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #4
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Hey thanks for the help, I can't remember if I have that seal on there or not, I will check soon. But did that fix your problem? Also in you 6th picture there in a metal retainer on the CV shaft, that has I think 2 or 3 SMALL bolts, and the bolts had come out of mine so I just took the retainer off. Could that cause any problem? I would like to be able to keep some of those orange cir-clips handy, but since they are a dealer only part, they are 20 bucks a piece! Ridiculous if you ask me! Thanks for you help again!

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Old January 31st, 2010, 09:07 AM   #5
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Your truck wil have those same seals and that round metal ring is there to help keep crap away from the seal.Without it there all that mud and dirt will surely kill the seal.
Like I said before I havent wheeled my truck since I fixed everything this last time. Over the last four years I have put enough money into this front end that I could have done two SAS by now. I have bought and broke 3 sets of AVM hubs,broke 4 CV shafts, bought a Aussie Locker,4 wheel bearings,3 ball joints,lost track of brake pads and rotors,pinion seals,carrier seals,2 sets of shocks,about 5 of those orange clips. In a nut shell...I hate Ford IFS D35's!
In my OPINION these front ends are garbage once you take em off road and start getting them dirty....and if you lock it like I did its even worse.I never ran anything bigger than 32" tires on mine and I could snap CV shafts easier than you would ever believe.

Im not 100% sure but the only differance between the Ranger and Explorer axle is the way the end of the CV is retained. Rangers {98-00} use a vaccum or manual hub with that orange c-clip to retain the CV shaft and Explorers are a "live" axle setup with a large nut on the end of the CV to retain it. Everything else should be the same.
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