How to tell which bearing is going out? - F150online Forums



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How to tell which bearing is going out?

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Old 02-17-2011, 10:57 AM
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How to tell which bearing is going out?

Hey all, I'm new to the forum and am having some issues with my 2003 F150. I think a front bearing is going out. Feels like a grinding/resistance when I am driving and is a louder hum when on highway. Would it make sense that when I am at highway speeds and take a left turn the noise disappears? I would make sense to me that would mean since the weight is off the front left that it would be a bad bearing on that side? I jacked up the front and tried to see if there was any play in the bearings on both sides by grabbing the tire at 12 and 6 oclock position. If anything I thought there was slightly more play on the right. I'm just looking to see if anyone has any input? I'd like to fix it myself if I can, but just don't want to by a $200 part and have it be the wrong one. Thanks for any input
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:31 PM
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I've always been told if the noise gets louder when you turn right, the left side bearing is worn out...louder when you turn left, the right side is worn out.

But if you have more play in the right, then I would think it's the right side that is bad.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:41 PM
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Change both and be done with it. I had the noise, thought it was the left side. While at the dealer, they checked it, told me it5 was the right side. I decided to do it myself, changed the right side per the dealer, and it still made the noise. It was the left side as I suspected. So, I ended up doing both, which is not a bad thing, really.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:46 PM
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^ good point. Mine eats wheel bearings on one side or the other every few years (due to the over sized tires and lift I reckon) and I always have both sides done.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:59 PM
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You can actually check it by lifting the front of the truck up to where the tires are off the ground. Then, if you can push the top or bottom of the tire and there is movement, you have one that is starting to go out. Only problem is, once they are going out, it doesn't take long for it to blow. The tire should have no play in it though when its off the ground.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:11 PM
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Play is not the only indicator either. Mine (left) went out recently with tons of noise. No play at all. Highly recommend chaning both at the same time.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisT View Post
^ good point. Mine eats wheel bearings on one side or the other every few years (due to the over sized tires and lift I reckon) and I always have both sides done.
I would think you have a different problem for some reason...I just changed my first one at 113,000 with lift and 33" and 34" tires since day one.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Galaxy View Post
I would think you have a different problem for some reason...I just changed my first one at 113,000 with lift and 33" and 34" tires since day one.

Could also be cause it sits so much. I rarely drive the truck. I also might have exaggerated on the "couple of years" comments. They've only been changed twice since I purchased new 2002, and with 118,000 miles on er' now. I just did them last year and seemed like they had been done only a few years before that.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:28 PM
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I had to change the first one at 41,000 and then the same one again at 86,000. Now have 118,000 on the truck.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisT View Post
^ good point. Mine eats wheel bearings on one side or the other every few years (due to the over sized tires and lift I reckon) and I always have both sides done.
Inner or outer race or both??
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:42 PM
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Dunno if inner or outer was bad. I've just went a head and did inner and outer on both sides. But like I said, only twice in the 9 years I've owned the truck. Just seemed like when I did them last year (probably around 116,000 miles) I did them only a few years earlier. Last year it was my drivers side that needed replacing. I just did both sides for the hell of it. If either side goes again anytime soon then I know I must have a problem. I'm keeping track this time. We'll see.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:05 PM
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Fingers on the caliper mount and spin the wheel. You will feel a bad bearing.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisT View Post
I've always been told if the noise gets louder when you turn right, the left side bearing is worn out...louder when you turn left, the right side is worn out.

But if you have more play in the right, then I would think it's the right side that is bad.
Other way around. Since when you turn right more psi is on the right tire then left and you will get more noise when more psi is on the bad side.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by maddoughboy View Post
Other way around. Since when you turn right more psi is on the right tire then left and you will get more noise when more psi is on the bad side.
He has it right. Turning right will shift the weight to the left and "unload" the right side. A bad wheel bearing will get louder when you turn away from it and will be quieter when you turn toward it.

OP: Is your truck 4x4 or 4x2? If it's 4x4 then any play in the bearing assembly is a bad sign and both should be replaced if they have play. If you have a 2 wheel drive, a little play in the bearings is OK as long as it isn't excessive. How many miles on the truck?
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:50 AM
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Thanks for the replies....I'll see what I can do.
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