Re: 03 Escape "grinding" sound
More than likely it will be bearings. I recommend having a professional attempt this if you've never done this before. The steering knuckle will need to come off and old bearing pressed out and new in.
You'll need to loosen the CV axle nut with the tire on the ground. Jack it up, remove tire, brake caliper, rotor, axle nut, disconnect ABS sensor plug at the wheel, disconnect lower control arm from the knuckle at the ball joint, tie rod end, remove 2 bolts at the bottom of the strut assembly and remove the knuckle. Take new bearing assembly to a machine shop to have it pressed in. If you do attempt this yourself, be sure to get a new CV axle nut as they are not supposed to be reused.
To be honest, its a pain if you've never done it before. I did my first a few years ago and had to get help from Bert our moderator.