front hub and bearing replacement


Well-Known LVC Member
Sep 10, 2005
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Sterling Heights, MI
Ok, in the service manual it says "Front hub and bearing is not press fit into the wheel knuckle, do not use a slide hammer..."

I'm replacing the freaking thing anyway, so I did use a sledgehammer, and it DIDN'T WORK. I've tried making all sorts of pulling mechanisms, and nothing has worked. I'm basically completely screwed here. I can't get this thing off for the life of me... I've smacked it on the side with a sledge and nothing, it just won't come off...
The knuckle and the bearing are designed as one piece -- you can't take the bearing off separately. And yes, you are screwed.
I'm not trying to take the hub and bearing apart. The knuckle isn't attached to the bearing, at least not according to the manual. Otherwise why would there be bolts holding them together.

The freaking thing just won't come apart, I even used a slide hammer yesterday and NOTHING. Stupid Ford...
it does come out. I've done it before.

You have to clean it up real good and then just beat the crap out of it. What worked for us was using a couple mid-sized slotted screwdrivers and pounding them in as a wedge. Once the wedge was big enough we pounded in a hatchet...yes, a hatchet.

Took about 1.5 hours to get it separated, but we did it while the knuckle was off the car. Not sure how you could do it on car
heat might have worked but our torch was leaking and we were afraid to use it.
The steel hub corrodes and it sticks in the aluminum knuckle. If you can find some Kroil spray it in the area where the hub meets the knuckle, both sides, and give it about an hour to work, then try and push it through.
I already tried PB Blast or whatever, didn't do anything. I'm going to keep trying the screwdriver chisel technique. If not, I'm taking it to a shop and saying fix it.
I have already been through this. Screw the 4 bolts back into the assenbly. Put them in far enough so that you have a few threads into the hub. Use a hammer and a punch on the heads of the bolts. Just keep working your way around a little at a time. It came out for me but it was a bitch.
Not a bad idea at all. Thanks fishbone. Heck, I don't mind buying new bolts if it's going to fix this POS. That puts two ideas in my arsenal for tomorrow. Freaking Lincoln...
just an update for the records:

I ended up getting pissed after like two weeks of my POS Ford sitting in the driveway, and put it back together (beat up as it was), and drove it 6 miles at 20 mph down 45 mph streets to the shop I normally have do my work. He ended up having to take off the whole steering knuckle and press the bearing out.

Yeah, go Ford... "This part is not a press fit, so do not use a slide hammer to get it out..." No... just need a 20 #@*%ING TON PRESS... idiots.
that sucks, the front hubs on the 03+ are completely replaceable and are about $100 each from our vendors. The rear on the other hand is a press fit bearing even on the newer LS's which sucks, but you can find the bearing at AutoZone or Napa.

Also I thought my front LH bearing was bad, ended up being the rear, its too hard to tell where the noise comes from sometimes.

How much did your mechanic charge you for pressing out the bearing?

Thanks for the update.
I have already been through this. Screw the 4 bolts back into the assenbly. Put them in far enough so that you have a few threads into the hub. Use a hammer and a punch on the heads of the bolts. Just keep working your way around a little at a time. It came out for me but it was a bitch.

Did you destroy the bolts with this method?

Have my car apart right now doing the right side, and have no air tools to help break the bearing off :(.

What a POS design, this part is almost unserviceable by the average shade tree mechanic.
How I got the front bearing Assy Out

First of all, the reason the bearing assy is so hard to remove is because the aluminum arm fuses to the rusted steel bearing assy.

Without any fancy tools you must use chisels and a hammer to slowly pry the bearing out and away from the aluminum arm. Once there is some separation, you can spray WD40 or any other lubricate. You must use the chisel and hammer and work all the way around the bearing assy as to evenly separate the bearing assy from the aluminum arm. Don't second guess yourself as to how hard and long it will take to remove the bearing assy; Hit hard! and it will take about a half hour to get it to pop out.

Prices for the replacement bearing assy:
Advance Auto: $135
Auto Zone: $145
Nappa: $150
Dealer: $160

Before you put the new bearing assy back in, put some anti seize on the rim so next time it should come out easier!

I have pictures of removing the front bearing as well. Just email me and I will send them to you. -



New Bearing Assy Pic

Here is a picture of what you get when buying a new front bearing assy for the Lincoln LS....

lincoln ls front bearing assy.jpg
How many miles did you guys have when you found you needed to replace them; was it a scouring noise at lower speeds?
Bearing gone bad....

My 2005 LS had the front right bearing go bad at 54,000 miles (just 4000 over the 50,000 mile warranty of course! lol) I originally thought the humming noise was from my snow tires, but when the noise turned into a loud scraping noise and the wheel wobbling, I knew there was a problem.
Putting the new bearing assy in.....

Here is the final pictures of putting the new front bearing assy back in. :D


just wanted to take this opportunity to give ford the finger as i have run into this problem too. had to put everything back together since i ran out of daylight after work- will try again this weekend. in the meantime, i hope the PB seeps in.
Have fun. I worked on this approx. 2 weeks ago. Took it to a shop b/c they were going to replace the ball joints that I got on Ebay. They called and said that they were having the issue that was mentioned above. They also busted the sensor in the process.

I brought home the car, took off the knuckle, and hammered away for hours and hours, walked away, and came back and finally smacked the hub off and away from the knuckle. As mentioned above, the steel fused with the aluminum.

Lucky me, the passenger side was the same.

My lesson - take off the hubs after approx. 25,000 and re-coat the hub to save a few hundred bucks. I am the 3rd owner of this LS and the only one who has done any work on it.

I would just order the new hub/sensor (it comes as one unit) because after hammering on it, it probably won't be any good.
yeah, i couldnt directly smash the back because the arm is still in the car and i needed to be able to drive home tonight. my ball joints are fine at least right now- im just trying to replace the hub/bearing assy. i will deffinately antisieze it in anticipation of ball joint replacement in the future.
tried again tonight... still no luck, even using all the methods described above. more than likely i will have to take it somewhere over the weekend instead of trying to do it after work. it probably presses right out when you take the arm out.
I used a torch and a hammer to get them out. I also did the lower ball joints. Tossed them in the oven for a bit and it used a ball joint clamp press to get them out. Heated it up again and dropped the new one in. Took about 5 hours for both. The car is a 2001 v8 LS with 110,000miles
Finaly got this done! What a b!*@%. This time i tried taking the arm out. Everything went smoothly until the last and final nut holding everything in wouldnt come all the way off (the upper ball joint). Since no one had an upper ball joint in stock (and its one-piece with the upper arm, one of the nuts is hidden under the brake booster) I had to cut the nut off of the ball joint with a dremel tool. I hit a couple threads so I ran a die back over it and it cleaned up. Had to take the arm to a shop and press out the bearing- took about 8000 lbs before it budged and it fought the whole way. Then I spent an hour removing the corrosion so the new part would fit. Painted on a few gobs of antisieze as mentioned above, cleaned up the bolts and added loctite and she was rolling once again. To make it more fun, it was 95-100 outside with 90% humidity. Took about 6 hours.

My brakes actually work right now. Before, I had to apply a lot of pressure. Part of the reason I replaced the bearing is because my brakes had a crunchy sound (and ticking on the highway that got worse under braking) and I figured it could be from the small amount of play in the bearing. So far its quiet, but I'll wait until another hot day to be sure. It was the worst on a hot day.
I still have a slight rumble while cornering, but I think its tires/ alignment. I just got euroshocks so I'll align it after I get those in.
:) After reading this thread, I was worried about doing the front wheel hub on my 2001 LS. Got Lucky!!! After removing the 4 bolts holding the hub on, the hub just fell out, no beating whatsoever!!!! $125.00 later, I was on the road again .....
Tried all the methods listed.

1. Loosened the screws holding the bearing in and beat on them. No good.
2. Placed a cold chisel on the bearing/knuckle seam and beat on it. No good.
3. Repeated both after heating the knuckle with propane torch. No good.

Finally at the suggestion of a coworker:

Removed the five wheel studs.
Bought 5-1 1/2 inch long 7/16 inch dia. fully threaded bolts, 10 washers and 5 nuts.
Installed the nuts fully on the bolts.
Placed the two washers on the bolt (against the outside of the nut).
Placed each of these, washer end first into each of the stud holes (thread end fist through the stud access hole in the knuckle, into the hub stud hole)..
After installing all five (they are a tight fit when passing the bearing flange), I positioned the hub so that each bolt head would bear up against the knuckle.
Loosened the nuts so that the bolt head pressed into the knuckle.
Slowly loosened each bolt, separating the hub from the knuckle.
The bearing fought the whole way out but it did come out.



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