How to Replace the Wheel Bearings on a 2002 Ford Escape

by Matt ScheerUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • 36 mm deep socket

  • 1/2-inch ratchet

  • Breaking bar

  • Wheel chocks

  • Jack

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Jack stand

  • 15 mm socket

  • 3/8-inch ratchet

  • Wire

  • Wire cutter

  • Chisel

  • Mallet

  • Medium-grit sandpaper

  • Grease

  • New wheel bearing hub, part 1ASHF00059

The Ford Escape began production in 2000 and was advertised as a crossover SUV. The 2002 production series comes with one of three engine sizes: 2.0 liters, 2.3 liters, or 3 liters. The SUV can also have either a manual or automatic transmission. The wheel bearings are press fit onto the wheel bearing hub and therefore must be replaced as a unit. The wheel bearing assembly connects the axle rod to the wheel. If you hear a loud grinding noise coming from your wheel, you might have a bad wheel bearing. Expect the replacement process to take about an hour.

Pull off the dust cap from the wheel of the Ford Escape that has the faulty wheel bearings.

Pull the cotter pin from the axle shaft with your pliers. Pull off the washer from the axle shaft with your hands.

Loosen and remove the large central axle nut with your 30 mm deep socket, 1/2-inch ratchet and breaking bar.

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel. Raise the Ford Escape until the wheel is off the ground. Set a jack stand under the chassis. Raise the jack stand to support the Escape. Remove the lug nuts. Pull off the wheel.

Remove the three 15 mm bolts from the brake caliper bracket. Pull the bracket off the rotor. Tie the bracket to the suspension coil with wire. Do not let it dangle by the brake hose.

Tap the back of the rotor with your mallet to dislodge it. Pull it the rest of the way off the wheel bearing hub assembly by hand.

Disconnect the anti-lock brake wiring connector from the wheel bearing hub assembly.

Remove the three 15 mm bolts from behind the knuckle to pull off the wheel bearing hub assembly. Pry the assembly off if it is still stuck after the bolts are removed.

Attach the wheel bearing puller to the hub. Turn the shaft of the puller counter-clockwise to disconnect the wheel bearings from the hub.

Tap the new wheel bearings onto the hub with your mallet until the wheel bearing race is flush with the plate of the hub.

Clean the mating surface on the knuckle for the new hub with your medium-grit sandpaper. Grease the mating surface and the axle shaft.

Secure the new wheel bearing hub assembly to the knuckle with the bolts you removed earlier. Replace the rotor over the hub assembly. Remount the brake caliper bracket. Replace the large central axle nut, the washer, and the cotter pin. Mount the wheel, and lower the Ford Escape.

Repeat steps 1 through 12 for another wheel that has a faulty wheel bearing.

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