Ford Aerostar 1986-1997 Repair Guide

Front Wheel Bearings



The front wheel bearings on all models except All Wheel Drive (AWD) equipped models should be inspected and repacked with grease every 30, 000 miles (48,000 km). A good quality, high temperature wheel bearing grease should be used. The procedure involves removing the front brake rotors.

AWD equipped models do not require regular front wheel bearing service.

Before handling the bearings, there are a few things that you should remember to do and not to do.

Remember to DO the following:

Remove all outside dirt from the housing before exposing the bearing.

Treat a used bearing as gently as you would a new one.

Work with clean tools in clean surroundings.

Use clean, dry canvas gloves, or at least clean, dry hands.

Clean solvents and flushing fluids are a must.

Use clean paper when laying out the bearings to dry.

Protect disassembled bearings from rust and dirt. Cover them up.

Use clean rags to wipe bearings.

Keep the bearings in oil-proof paper when they are to be stored or are not in use.

Clean the inside of the housing before replacing the bearing.

Do NOT do the following:

Don't work in dirty surroundings.

Don't use dirty, chipped or damaged tools.

Try not to work on wooden work benches or use wooden mallets.

Don't handle bearings with dirty or moist hands.

Do not use gasoline for cleaning; use a safe solvent.

Do not spin-dry bearings with compressed air. They will be damaged.

Do not spin dirty bearings.

Avoid using cotton waste or dirty cloths to wipe bearings.

Try not to scratch or nick bearing surfaces.

Do not allow the bearing to come in contact with dirt or rust at any time.

2-Wheel Drive Models
  1. Raise the vehicle until the tire clears the ground. Install a jackstand for safety, then remove the front tire(s).
  3. Remove the brake caliper from the spindle as described in Brakes , then wire it to the underbody. Do not let the caliper hang by the brake hose.
  5. Remove the grease cup from the hub. Remove the cotter pin, castellated retainer, adjusting nut and flat washer from the spindle. Remove the outer bearing cone and roller assembly.
  7. Pull the hub and rotor assembly off the spindle.
  9. Place the hub and rotor on a clean workbench, with the back side facing up, and remove the grease seal using a suitable seal remover or small prybar. Discard the grease seal.
  11. Remove the inner bearing cone and roller assembly from the hub.
  13. Clean the inner and outer bearing cups with solvent. Inspect the cups for scratches, pits, excessive wear and other damage. If the cups are worn or damaged, remove them with a bearing cup puller (T77F-1102-A or equivalent).
  15. Wipe all old lubricant from the spindle and the inside of the hub with a clean rag. Cover the spindle and brush all loose dirt and dust from the dust shield. Remove the cover cloth carefully to prevent dirt from falling on it.
  17. If the inner or outer bearing cups were removed, install replacement cups using a suitable driver tool (T80T-4000-W or equivalent) and bearing cup replacer. Make sure the cups are seated properly in the hub and not cocked in the bore.
  19. Thoroughly clean all old grease from the surrounding surfaces.
  21. Pack the bearing and cone assemblies with a suitable wheel bearing grease using a bearing packer tool. If a packer tool is not available, work as much grease as possible between the top and bottom of the roller cage assembly, then grease the cone surfaces.
  23. Place the inner bearing cone and roller assembly in the inner cup. Apply a light film of grease to the lips of a new grease seal and install the seal with an appropriate seal driver tool. Make sure the grease seal is properly seated and not cocked in the bore.
  25. Install the hub and rotor assembly on the spindle. Keep the hub centered on the spindle to prevent damage to the retainer and the spindle threads.
  27. Install the outer bearing cone and roller assembly along with the flatwasher on the spindle, then install the adjusting nut finger tight.
  29. Adjust the wheel bearing(s) as described in this section.
  31. Install the caliper on the spindle as described in Brakes .
  33. Install the front tire(s), then lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts to 85-115 ft. lbs. (115-155 Nm). Install the wheel cover.
  35. Before moving the vehicle, pump the brake pedal several times to restore normal brake travel.

After 500 miles of driving, re-tighten the wheel lug nuts to 85-115 ft. lbs. (115-155 Nm). If this is not done, the wheel may come off.

All Wheel Drive Models

The front hub and bearing is an integral assembly and is not serviceable or adjustable. See Drive Train for replacement procedures.


The front hubs and bearings on AWD equipped models are an integral assembly. No adjustment is possible.

2-Wheel Drive Models
  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely on jackstands.
  3. Remove the hub or wheel cover.
  5. Remove the grease cap.
  7. Wipe any excess grease from the end of the spindle. Remove the cotter pin and retainer. Discard the cotter pin.
  9. Loosen the adjusting nut 3 turns. Obtain a running clearance between the rotor and brake surface by rocking the rotor assembly back and forth. If running clearance cannot be maintained, then remove the caliper and hand aside with wire. Never allow a caliper to hang free.
  11. While rotating the rotor assembly, tighten the adjusting nut to 17-25 ft. lbs. (23-24 Nm) to seat the bearing.
  13. Loosen the nut 1 / 2 turn. Retighten the nut to 18-20 ft. lbs. (23-26 Nm).
  15. Place the retainer on the adjusting nut. The castellations on the retainer must be aligned with the cotter pin hole in the spindle. Do not turn the adjusting nut to make the castellation nut line up. Remove the retainer from the nut and re-index the retainer without moving the nut.
  17. Install a new cotter pin, and bend the ends in opposite directions.
  19. Check the front wheel rotation. If the wheels rotate freely, install the grease cap, then the hub or cover. If the wheel rotates with a noise or rough motion, then remove the the bearing cones and cups. Inspect the components and lubricate and or replace.
  21. Lower the vehicle, and pump the brake before driving.