How to Replace Wheel Bearings on a Ford F-150by Don BowmanUpdated November 07, 2017
Items you will need
Set of sockets
Large adjustable wrench
6-inch or longer chisel
Tub of wheel bearing grease
Bearing cup remover tool
Piece of wire
The Ford F-150 ½-ton truck uses tapered roller bearings housed in the rotor hub. There is a small outer thrust bearing and one inner load bearing. Bearings should be greased every 30,000 miles for preventative maintenance. Both bearings have separate bearing races, which are pressed into the hub in the corresponding bearing race recess. The bearings and races can be purchased at any auto-parts store, unless the Ford F-150 is older than 10 years old, in which case you might have to get the parts from a Ford dealership.
Raise the truck with the floor jack and support it by the frame with the jack stands. Remove the tires, using the lug wrench to remove the lug nuts. Remove the two slider bolts securing the brake caliper to its mounting bracket using a socket. Lift the caliper off the rotor and suspend it from the spring with a suitable piece of wire.
Remove the bolts in the caliper-mounting bracket using a socket and remove the bracket. Remove the grease cup with the bearing cup removal tool. Cut and remove the cotter pin in the end of the spindle using the wire cutter. Loosen and remove the large bearing retainer nut on the spindle using the large adjustable wrench.
Grasp both sides of the rotor and shake it to force the front thrust bearing out of the rotor. The large washer will come out first, followed by the bearing. Lay the bearing on a clean cloth.
Install the large nut a few threads on the spindle. Grasp the rotor again, and with a fast jerk, pull the rotor off the spindle. The large nut will grab the rear bearing, causing it to be pulled out of the hub, along with the rear grease seal. Lay the rotor on a clean hard surface. Use the chisel by placing the tip on the inside lip of one of the bearing races and hammer it out. Hammer it on all four points of the compass so that it comes out evenly. Turn the rotor over and do the same for the opposite side.
Install the new bearing races by pushing them in with the taper facing outward, as far as possible, by hand. Place the old race on top of the new race and hammer the race into the hub until it stops. Pack both bearings with the wheel bearing grease.
Turn the rotor so that it is face down. Install the rear bearing and grease seal. Tap the seal with a hammer until it is flush with the hub. Slide the rotor on the spindle and while holding it on, install the front bearing, followed by the large washer and large nut. Run the nut down as far as possible by hand.
Set the preload on the bearings by tightening the large spindle nut with the adjustable wrench until it becomes tight enough to required pressure to continue. Rotate the nut counterclockwise as to back it off one-half turn. Install the lock washer cover over the large spindle nut and insert a cotter pin. Install the grease cup and tap it on with the hammer. Install the caliper mounting bracket and caliper and tighten all bolts securely. Install the tire and tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench.
Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).