Ford Ranger/Bronco II 1983-1990 Repair Guide

Wheel Bearings


See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the front wheel bearings and related components-2WD model shown, 4WD is similar

This procedure only covers the repacking (or greasing) of the wheel bearings. For the removal procedures see the appropriate Section for you vehicle. For 4 wheel drive vehicles, See Drive Train . For 2 wheel drive vehicles, See Suspension & Steering .


See Figures 2, 3 and 4

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Fig. Fig. 2: Packing the wheel bearings with grease

It is recommended that the front wheel bearings be cleaned, inspected and repacked every 30,000 miles (48,000km) and as soon as possible if the front hubs have been submerged in water.

Sodium based grease is not compatible with lithium based grease. Be careful not to mix the two types. The best way to prevent this is to completely clean all of the old grease from the hub assembly before installing any new grease.

Before handling the bearings there are a few things that you should remember to do and try to avoid.

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 unclean bearings.
Avoid using cotton waste or dirty clothes 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.

4WD vehicles should refer to Drive Train for bearing removal. 2WD vehicles should refer to Suspension & Steering for bearing removal.

  1. Remove the bearing assemblies from the hub.

Do not spin the bearings with compressed air while drying them.

  1. Clean the inner and outer bearings with solvent. Thoroughly clean the hub, bearing cups and spindle. Remove any traces of the old grease. Dry all of the components with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  3. Inspect the cups for scratches, pits, excessive wear, and other damage. If found, replace them.
    1. The cups are removed from the hub by driving them out with a drift pin. They are installed in the same manner.

  5. If it is determined that the cups are in satisfactory condition and are to remain in the hub, inspect the bearings in the same manner. Replace the bearings if necessary.

When replacing either the bearing or the cup, both parts should be replaced as a unit.

  1. Cover the spindle with a clean cloth, and brush all loose dirt from the dust shield. Carefully remove the cloth to prevent dirt from falling from it.
  3. Pack the inside of the hub with wheel bearing grease. Add grease to the hub until the grease is flush with the inside diameter of the bearing cup.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Thoroughly pack the bearing with fresh, high temperature wheel-bearing grease before installation

  1. Pack the bearing assembly with wheel bearing grease. A bearing packer is desirable for this operation. If a packer is not available, place a large portion of grease into the palm of your hand and sliding the edge of the roller cage through the grease with your other hand, work as much grease in between the rollers as possible.

As an alternate method, place a large portion of grease, and the bearing to be packed, into a sealable heavy plastic bag. Squeeze the bag to force the grease into the bearing. This may reduce the mess usually associated with bearing repacking.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Apply a thin coat of fresh grease to the new bearing grease seal before installing it into the hub

  1. Position 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 into the hub.
  3. Carefully position the hub and rotor assembly onto the spindle. Be careful not to damage the grease seal.
  5. Place the outer bearing into position on the spindle and into the bearing cup. Install the adjusting nut finger tight.
  7. Adjust the wheel bearings.
  9. Install any remaining components which were removed.