Ford Tempo/Topaz 1984-1994 Repair Guide

Wheel Bearings


Depending on whether the Tempo/Topaz is front wheel drive or all wheel drive, will determine the amount of routine maintenance required on the wheel bearings. The wheel bearings, are bearing inserts found at all wheel axles of a vehicle, and under normal conditions allow the wheels to rotate quietly. A good sign of a wheel bearing in need of replacement, is one that makes a thumping, clicking or grinding noise.

For replacement procedures, refer to Drive Train .


Front Wheel Drive

If your vehicle is front wheel drive, the bearings at the front wheels are of a cartridge design and are pre-greased and require no scheduled maintenance. Each bearing is preset and cannot be adjusted. If for any reason the bearing is disassembled, it must be replaced as an entire unit, because individual pieces are not available.

The rear wheel bearings on a front wheel drive Tempo/Topaz are a tampered roller bearing design which do require retinue inspection, greasing and adjustment. On each wheel, there is an inner bearing as well as an outer bearing. Whenever inspection is required, make sure both bearing are checked.

  1. Make sure the vehicle is either in the P position if equipped with an automatic transaxle, or engaged in gear if equipped with a manual transaxle. Block the front tires. Raise the rear of the car, and support with jack stands.
  3. Without removing the wheels, grab a tire at the opposite ends of each other. Carefully see if you can move the tire and brake assemble. If the wheel will not move, try the same procedure on the other tire. If there is movement the bearing should be adjusted.
  5. Remove the wheel from the axle, then remove the brake grease cap, nut retainer and cotter pin. Remove the adjuster nut and washer. Finally remove the drum assemble. If tight, loosen brake tensioner on the back side of the drum brake housing. Remove black rubber cover, if present, and turn cogged tensioner in a downward direction using either a brake tool or a screwdriver.
  7. Remove and inspect the outer bearing and grease completely with wheel grease. Remove and inspect the inner bearing using a bearing remover, available at most automotive parts stores. Grease inner bearing using the same method as done for the outer bearing. Insert the inner bearing and seal, being careful to make sure both pieces fit tightly into the drum. Insert the outer bearing into drum.
  9. Install the drum and brake assemble on to the car. Insert the washer and adjuster nut. Tighten adjuster nut until it contacts washer and outer bearing. Begin turning wheel, and slowly tighten the adjuster nut to 17-25 ft. lbs. (23-34 Nm). Loosen adjuster nut 1 / 2 turn and tighten to 24-28 in lbs. (2.7-3.2 Nm).
  11. Remove jack stands and lower car.

All Wheel Drive

The all wheel drive vehicle utilizes a wheel bearing system which is similar to front wheel drive cars in that they are a cartridge design, pre-greased and require no scheduled maintenance. As like front wheel drive bearings, the presence of a thumping, cracking or grinding sound signals the need for one or more wheel bearings.