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Old 03-13-2011, 15:54   #1 (permalink)
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'04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

My understanding is that replacing the above wheel bearing in your own garage is hard unless you have the tooling and know-how. My Haynes repair manual (which I like) says to remove the trailing arm and hub as an assembly and have a shop press out the old bearing and replace with new. Any tips on getting that assembly out over and above the obvious?
Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2011, 17:19   #2 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

Surprised the Haynes manual doesn't give you a section on removing the trailing arm and hub assembly .
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Old 03-24-2011, 20:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

I haven't had a bad rear bearing yet. If you decide to tackle it yourself, take pictures.
I do know that the rear hubs on FWD Escapes have threads on the inboard side and probably has a pretty a big nut.
It probably is a Gen1 cartridge bearing, like the fronts. Pain in the...
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Old 03-24-2011, 20:37   #4 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

Yeah, Gen1 bearing (#2).
Press fit into the Trailing arm and the on the Hub.
The good news is that the bearing is relatively cheap.
Make sure the big nut gets torqued to spec. If no spec, make it really tight. The high torque is required to set the bearing preload.
I'm surprised I don't see a snap ring or the nut in the exploded view.
Here's an exploded view:
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Old 03-27-2011, 15:25   #5 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

Well, I've almost entirely disassembled the left rear suspension and brakes to take the trailing arm into a machine shop to have the old bearing removed and new one pressed in. Thank you to ZeeVert for the info he provided as well as the exploded view - both have helped greatly.

I am hung up on how to remove the trailing arm from the pivot point where it attaches to the frame forward of the wheel. I have removed the pivot bolt, but there is some sort of tube or mechanism that is part of the rear alignment that is preventing me from taking the trailing arm off the rest of the way. It never fails, the last thing that needs to be done and I'm stuck. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:11   #6 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

I wanted to update those who might be interested in my journey to replace that rear wheel bearing. I have struggled on and off since my last post to remove the cam bolt from the trailing arm (steering knuckle) pivot point. My difficulty in removing that piece is no doubt a function of MN winters and the amount of miles on the car (310m).
I fashioned my own puller to try and remove the cam bolt, which didn't work. I tried heating the assembly with a propane torch to free the bolt, with no luck. I tried hammering the cam bolt after prying off the attached washer, to no avail. It became apparent that the bolt was so corroded in the arm bushing that nothing short of TNT was going to free it. What I ended up doing was hacksawing off the cam bolt at both ends of the bushing within the capture of the frame suspension mount. First I had to burn off the rubber insulator that surrounded the bushing so I could gain access with a mini-hacksaw. I'll have to have someone press out the arm bushing (itself horribly corroded in the arm) as well as the wheel bearing now since that bushing retains the cam bolt piece (Cam bolt $20, bushing $50, both from Ford).
At one point I thought about replacing the bearing with the arm remaining attached to the vehicle. Believe it or not, I found a 2004 Ford shop manual at the local central library, and it details the tools that would be needed to remove and replace the bearing, and also showed in better detail the removal of the arm. In retrospect, this would be a better way to address the removal of the wheel bearing given my struggles and the expense associated with the parts I destroyed. There are about 5 tools you need, mostly specialized in nature for hub and bearing work (pullers, inserters, etc.). Some of you may already have those tools.
Because the amount of miles on my Escape is relatively unusual, hopefully few will be faced with replacing that bearing. I anticipate needing to do the other side on mine before too long.
Hope this helps.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:39   #7 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

Would it have made economic sense to replace the lower arm after you cut the cam bolt? Just asking because of the work required to replace the bushing, cam, bearing etc in a somewhat corroded part. Some control arms are relatively inexpensive compared to whanging on rusty parts.
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Old 05-02-2011, 19:46   #8 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

Tom,
I did not consider replacing the control arm, as I am assuming a new one comes naked of the pivot bushing and hub assembly. It is possible that a company somewhere has a rebuilt arm as an assembly, though I didn't explore that because I think it's unlikely. I'm sure the arm is only made by Ford, and while I don't know a price, given the mass of metal that it is, plus being a Ford part I'm guessing it would be $200 plus. if they were available, there would be few buildable arm cores around I'm guessing, because of the infrequent nature of this problem.
The machine shop charged me $35 to press out and replace the bushing, and then $50 to do the same for the bearing. Bushing was $50 from Ford (I found you can get it from NAPA or similar), and bearing was $30. The chassis insulator I burned up to get at and hacksaw the cam bolt was $25 from Ford.
I finished everything up 2 weekends ago, except for the parking brake cables (which were corroded like the rest and bore replacing). Everything works great, and now that I've done it once the other rear bearing will take a fraction of the time to repair if it goes.
I certainly could have taken the car into a shop, and I'm guessing the bill would be around $1000. However, I'm cheap, and enjoy a challenge. I was wondering if I'd have to admit defeat and slink into a garage with the car. There is a lot of satisfaction in fixing something by myself that few others want to or can. While I was in the wheel housing I also replaced the drum brake spring hardware, shock absorber, flexible brake line, wheel cylinder (I had twisted off the bleeder screw on a previous bleed), and the aforementioned parking brake cable (surprisingly all 3 available from NAPA and others). It wasn't always fun, but in the end I was pretty happy.
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Old 05-02-2011, 20:05   #9 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L FWD Bad L rear wheel bearing

Glad to hear that you got it fixed. Thanks for the update.
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