Left wheel bearing - again?

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Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby 1X4WDEscape - December 3rd, 2010, 4:34 pm

About 20k miles ago I changed out both front bearings because the left side was making noise. Starting to hear some bad noise from the left front again. Only 82,000 on the odometer.
When I ran a Google search on the subject it came up with dozens and dozens of early wheel bearing failures. I wonder how many of you had replaced yours before the clock hit 100,000. I've owned several front wheel drive vehicles and never had one eat up bearings like this.
I wonder if the steering knuckle is deformed? Maybe Ford made some malformed parts? From what I have read on other sites the drivers side went bad on all of them. Usually the right side goes first because of the potholes, water, dirt and hitting curbs.
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby weebee - December 3rd, 2010, 4:45 pm

Must be a Ford thing. Both of the rear bearings on my Edge went with only 12500 miles on it.
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby Manic Mechanic - December 3rd, 2010, 4:56 pm

Most of the failures I have seen have happened because of improper installations.

True, perhaps the factory has had problems with suppliers only because of the frequency of failures.

Good wheel bearings should last a long time.

But remember, there are plenty of offshore brands offering great prices with very little quality control. Most consumers snap those up readily.

In saying that, even good name brand parts are being manufactured with shoddy workmanship.

I have changed out a few of these to a point now where I don't require an alignment afterward (the steering knuckle to strut connection is not disturbed - a small home made puller used right at the knuckle assembly does the trick).

I doubt if there is a concern with the steering knuckle design.

It is a cartridge style wheel bearing and they are a weak design to begin with. Especially when compared to the old style replaceable tapered roller wheel bearing.
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby weebee - December 3rd, 2010, 7:14 pm

You've seen factory installed bearings fail? :shock: Of course it happens. Just pulling your leg!
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby volleybiggs - December 3rd, 2010, 8:01 pm

Just wondering what does it sound like when teh bearings are going bad? I didnt buy my escape new soI dont have anything to campare it too. i have heard that escapes are loud(wind, tires etc) and it is louder than my old subaru. I cant tell if it is just the tires or if it si the way esacpes are. No big deal to me a long as is not the bearings.
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby weebee - December 3rd, 2010, 8:08 pm

It's a growling noise, You could almost confuse it with a tire being slightly out of balance. When it gets bad you will feel it in the steering wheel. What tires are on your Escape?
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby ltlredscape - December 3rd, 2010, 8:34 pm

the left AND right front bearings are going out on my escape...and it does feel like a tire is out of balance and i do feel it in the wheel and on the floorboard.
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby SUVord - December 4th, 2010, 10:47 am

I do agree 100% with what Manic Mechanic said earlier.
Wheel bearing failures are caused mainly by bad installation and also by incorect torque applied to the wheel lugs.Usually the tire shops with their pneumatic drills do start the road to Australia for the wheel bearings.
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby 1X4WDEscape - December 5th, 2010, 2:38 am

So, you are saying the lug nut torque may be deforming the hub? From what I found on the web it happens on the left side. My OEM left went bad so I replaced right and left sides with Timken bearings figuring Ford may have a poor supplier. Left side is starting to make noise again.
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Re: Left wheel bearing - again?

Postby SUVord - December 5th, 2010, 10:16 am

1X4WDEscape wrote:So, you are saying the lug nut torque may be deforming the hub? From what I found on the web it happens on the left side. My OEM left went bad so I replaced right and left sides with Timken bearings figuring Ford may have a poor supplier. Left side is starting to make noise again.


Excessive lug nut torque transcends from the hub to the bearing, constraining its normal operation.
Why is the left bearing which first bears the damage regardless of the cause?
Because in the V6 Escape the left front mass to be rolled is much more than the right front mass.If to that you also add the driver's mass, the difference gets even bigger and thus the additional strain that the front left wheel bearing has to deal with causes it to be the first to fail.
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