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Old 03-01-2010, 17:08   #1 (permalink)
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2003 P71 Wheel Bearing / Axle Replacement

I have a 2003 P71 that needs a wheel bearing replaced and axle seal. I called to get a quote from local shop and they informed me there is a high percentage chance the axle will need to be replaced. a few questions concerning this.

1) I bought the car 2 weeks ago from WV surplus, and drove it home with little noise but slight vibration from rear end. It has since started making noise. What are the chances the axle will be good based on others experience?

2) My cars axle code is X5 for 3.27 Locker axle, do I need to order a special axle for this car or will a starndard one work?

3) Are there any special tools required on these crown vics ( Torx heads ect..)

Thanks again for any help.
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Old 03-01-2010, 17:29   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 P71 Wheel Bearing / Axle Replacement

No special tools are needed. They had an upgraded axle kit for the 2003s. You'll need semi- synthetic oil and the friction modifier. There's a wave spring in the middle that you don't have to remove. They pull like any other rea axle. You have to loosen both wheel speed sensors and push them in so the axles go in far enough to remove the "C" clips. If you've done rear axles before, that's all the differences you have to consider doing the job.
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Old 03-01-2010, 17:35   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 P71 Wheel Bearing / Axle Replacement

I'd pull both axles and replace the bearings. If the axles are good, al you need are the bearings. If you want to give it some time before the axles, you can get an axle saver bearing that rides in a different area of the axle. Depends on how bad the axle is. You only have to replace the bad axle. You don't have to do both if only one is bad.
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Old 03-01-2010, 17:44   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 P71 Wheel Bearing / Axle Replacement

Thanks again Bert! I have done axles before but only on toyota's. Looks like I will be having some axle pulling fun this weekend !
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Old 03-09-2010, 19:34   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Axle saver VS new axle

Axle saver VS New Axle, I finally got around to doing this after not driving the car for a week and a half. Job was pretty easy once we got the speed sensor to budge enough to get a screw drive behind it.

The axle where the seal & bearing were bad has about a 1/16" (if that) groove where the bearing rides.

Is there any draw back from using an axle saver bearing compare to replacing the axle with a new?

I'm not planning on running this car hard, but do plan to do some traveling in it and it last for the long haul.
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Old 03-09-2010, 20:21   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 P71 Wheel Bearing / Axle Replacement

As long as you're not putting exess weight on it all the time they'll last quite awhile. If you keep the car for a long time, someday you'll have to replace the axle.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:37   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 P71 Wheel Bearing / Axle Replacement

Do not waste your money on an axle saving kit . Ford had a bad run on The 2003 and eary 2004 axles (not case hardened}that will fail early even with the axle saving kit installed because the axle will fail at the old damaged area very quickly. Dorman sells good replacement Axles that have met case hardened spec. You need to strip the diff and wash all the worn and broken pieces out of the carrier and replace both outer axle bearings and axles. The axles are 28 spline. Dont forget to buy friction modifier to add to the gear oil . Do it right the first time and you will never have to worry about it again .
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Old 03-10-2010, 17:22   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 P71 Wheel Bearing / Axle Replacement

The axles were in fact all replaced on our cars before 20,000 miles. We got the improved axles from Ford under warranty. If the car has low mileage, they could be the soft ones as Stick462 said. We never had any last to long so I didn't think there'd be any left at higher mileage. If you are going to keep it a long time, I'd do as Stick462 said and replace them.
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