Today’s featured service is Wheel Bearing Replacement on a 2003 Ford F350 6 Liter Diesel pickup, brought to us by a client from Point Grey, Vancouver.
This truck was brought to us to address a couple of concerns: one being that the front tires were badly worn and there was excessive play in the steering. Quite frankly driving this vehicle down the road was frightening!
As always, our first step was a front end, steering and suspension inspection. We found several concerns but the worst by far was the front left wheel bearing which had so much play that the tire would wiggle back and forth several inches. There should be no movement whatsoever.
The wheel bearings on this 4 X 4 truck are a unitized hub and bearing assembly. There are many advantages to this design: they last a long time (this truck is 12 years old with almost 300,000 kilometers); they include all components (bearings, races, hub and ABS wheel speed sensor); they are relatively easy to replace (with the right tools); and they require no service. One disadvantage is their price: a good quality hub/bearing assembly costs between 500 and 600 dollars.
I’m often asked: if one bearing is worn out, should I replace the other side? The answer is no, only replace the worn out part. There are no cost savings to doing both and because it is a precision machined part replacing one side will not through off the balance or geometry of the other side. With certain components such as brakes or shocks and struts all parts on the same axle must be replaced to maintain the same operation.
With the bearing replaced the vehicle was much better to drive, and certainly safer.
For more about the Ford F350 click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Super_Duty
For more about wheel bearings click here http://eddiecarrara.hubpages.com/hub/What-is-a-wheel-bearing