How To Replace A Rear Wheel Hub Bearing On A Ford Explorer Or Mercury Mounatineer

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This information is from the Ford Service Manual and is specifically for a 2002 Ford Explorer, however it can be used for all 2002-2010 Ford Explorer’s, Mercury Mountaineer’s and Mercury Mariner vehicles.

Exploded view of Ford Explorer, mountaineer rear suspension hub bearing control arm

The hub bearing on the rear of these vehicles is unfortunately not a bolt on hub assembly. This is a job that a do-it-yourself-er can do, however this repair requires the actual bearing and outer hub to be pressed in/out. This best way to go about this repair is to have a machine shop do the actual press work. You can do all of the other labor yourself and save several hundred dollars over what a shop would charge. A quick preface to these instructions is that you can remove the brakes and the entire hub and knuckle assembly yourself and then take the hub and knuckle assembly to a suitable machine shop with a new bearing kit in hand and have them do the pressing. Many machine shops have most likely performed this job several times in the past as these bearings are extremely common to fail. You should probably pop open the phone book and call for a quote from several machine shops to make sure they can do it and also they will probably want you to drop it off with them and then pick it up later when they are done. You can also call our tech support phone number at 1-866-770-2771.

We sell these hub repair kits on our website at wholesale, here is a link to the wheel hub bearing kit on our website:

2002-2010 Ford Explorer Rear Wheel Hub Bearing Replacement Kit

REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION

1. Remove the wheel knuckle.

Wheel Knuckle
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION

CAUTION: Do not loosen the axle wheel hub retainer until the wheel and tire are removed from the vehicle. Wheel bearing damage will occur if the wheel bearing is unloaded with the weight of the vehicle applied.

1. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.

NOTE: Have an assistant press the brake pedal to keep the axle from turning.

2. Remove the nut and washer and discard the nut. A new nut is recommended and can be purchased at a Ford dealer or we can supply one with the bearing. Call us at 1-866-770-2771 if you would like the nut with your order.

3. Remove the brake caliper by removing the bolts from the back side of the caliper bracket. Hold the caliper out of the way but do not allow it to hang by the brake hose. Hanging the caliper from the brake hose can cause internal damage to the brake hose. The brake caliper will slide off of the hub once the caliper is removed.

CAUTION: Do not damage the boot while separating the toe link from the knuckle.

4. Remove the nut and bolt and separate the toe link from the wheel knuckle and discard the nut.

CAUTION: Do not damage the boot while separating the ball joint from the knuckle.

5. Remove the nut and bolt and separate the upper ball joint from the wheel knuckle and discard the nut.

CAUTION: Do not use a hammer to separate the outboard CV joint from the hub. Damage to the threads and internal CV joint components may result.

6. Make sure the axle is free from the hub. The axle basically floats inside the hub and you can usually push slightly on the end of the axle to make sure it is disengaged from the hub.

7. Remove the nut and bolt and the wheel knuckle, hub and bearing as an assembly..

Rear Wheel Bearing***

NOTE*** This is where you can take the entire assembly and a new hub repair kit to a machine shop and let them do the actual press work. Doing this yourself is not recommended unless you have access to a heavy duty press with all of the proper adapters. Improper equipment or experience can cause damage to the new bearing, knuckle assembly, and could also cause bodily harm.
BEARING REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION

2. Remove the three bolts.

CAUTION: Make sure that the press adapter outside diameter is slightly smaller than the hub outside diameter or damage to the knuckle will result.

3. Using a suitable press, remove the hub from the bearing and discard the hub.

NOTE: The retainer ring is tapered and must be installed flat side down.

4. Remove and Discard the retainer ring.

5. Using a suitable press, remove the bearing from the wheel knuckle and discard the bearing.

CAUTION: The hub and bearing cannot be reused after dis-assembly.

To install, reverse the removal procedure.

Joel

ASE Certified Auto Technician 16+ Years Of Auto Repair Experience

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8 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    What is the axel shaft nut torque?
    Thanks.

  2. rk says:

    i just replaced all the bearings on my 2003 explorer. The front was somehat easy to perform, however, the old hub is NOT easy to take off. Will take some work to remove. As for the rear bearings, DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE UPPER ARM OR THE TIE LINK BELOW!! When i first tried with ball jont tool, i ended up damaging the rubber bushings to the knuckle and since you cannot repair the bushings, i had to buy a new upper arm AND a tie link rod! Ended up spending the money i would have saved! When this happened, it was a lot easier to just remove the upper arm and the tie link rod and leave them on the knuckle and take the entire knuckle assembly with everything attached (including the parking brakes) to a professional mechanic. Then THEY will remove the link rod and the upper arm and they will install the parking brakes also prior to installing the new hub!

  3. Daniel Zavisch says:

    It seems Ford has changed its mind and now indicates the hub is resuable and sells just the bearing and snap ring.

  4. Robert Travalent says:

    I recently had a local shop bid the labor on my 2003 Ford Explorer for replacement of the wheel hub bearings. He told me that the rear axles would have to be removed. From all of my research, the rear axle shafts should stay in place. My Explorer is four wheel drive. The bid was for the right front, and both rear wheel bearing. For labor only. How many hours should it take ?

  5. Tom says:

    If it is a all wheel drive do you have to reprogram the transmission or traction control?

  6. Rob says:

    reading these instructions. I have a 2004 ford explorer
    rear wheel bearing and hub assembly replacement.

    I bought the hub and bearing assembly. Looking for clarification on whether or not the wheel knuckle needs to come out. When i did the front wheels last year i only need to remove 3 bolts holding the hub assembly in place, and then pulled the hub off. i found lots of good pictures and videos on doing the project.

    The rear wheels do not have those same 3 bolts but instead appear to have a large retainer snap ring.
    Does the snap ring take the place of the 3 bolts?
    If yes, does the wheel knuckle need to be completely removed? if i take off the snap ring can i use a puller
    to pull off the assembly like i did with the front wheel, or does the hub assemblly need to be taken to a shop with the wheel knuckle as a unit and pressed out?

    if yes..why the difference in procedure between front and back.

    Anyone have a good video of the project?
    Thanks.. Rob

  1. October 18, 2007

    […] I’ve put a link to this article here […]

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