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Ford Galaxy - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement (Mk2)

Started by insanitybeard, January 03, 2014, 08:52:09 PM

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January 03, 2014, 08:52:09 PM Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 06:07:48 PM by insanitybeard
Ok, here goes: Front wheelbearing replacement for MK2 Galaxy. This was carried out on a 1.9 TDI (6 speed manual gearbox) but I would expect petrol/ automatic models to be very much the same.  I apologise if I've made it too long winded!  :-[

Whilst driving recently I noticed an audible rumbling from the front of the car which, as it did not quieten with no load on the drivetrain I feared was probably a wheelbearing. Subsequent jacking up of the front end of the car did indeed reveal that the nearside bearing was noisy. Rather than go and pay Ford prices for a genuine wheelbearing kit (Finis 1497386 for my spec of Galaxy, not sure if there are any other options for the MK2) I headed down to GSF and picked up one of their 'Premium' quality wheelbearing kits (which for my model was part no. 413VG0122) for a damn sight less, the kit itself was made by FAG who probably made the OE bearings for the Galaxies anyway! (The bearing that came out was exactly the same as the one I put back in- apart from being knackered  :D )
Most kits should come with: Bearing, bearing retaining circlip, hub bolt and track rod end locknut- see image 13.

*Please note, the fastener sizes etc I have noted are what was fitted to my '54 plate TDI 130PS Galaxy, it is possible there is variation over the production lifetime of the MK2, and with different model specs- e.g, petrol/diesel, different power outputs, wheel/ brake disc sizes etc. Also, the procedure I have outlined is the way I went about the task, I am sure there are other ways to achieve the same end result!*
                      *Torque figures for the various fasteners are at the bottom of the article*

So, first of all, before jacking up the vehicle remove the wheel trim/ centre cap depending on if you have alloy or steel wheels and release (just crack off, don't remove completely) the 27mm headed hub bolt (circled red in the below image) and the wheelbolts (19mm, don't forget the locking wheelnut key if you have one!), the hub bolt will be tight and need a breaker bar or impact gun to shift:

image 1^

With this done you can jack up the vehicle, I only jacked up one side because you can turn the strut to make access to the various bolts etc easier one you have released the track rod anyway, though you may prefer to jack up both sides. I placed an axle stand under the rear mounting bolt for the suspension lower arm on the subframe and then removed the wheel. With this done, I removed the brake disc retaining bolt (6mm hex key, circled green in the below image) and levered off the brake caliper spring clip (circled red, below image):

image 2^

It's hard to write a step by step procedure of the fasteners etc requiring removal with pictures without including lots of almost identical images so I've highlighted the next set of 6 images of various views of the wheel knuckle area with various coloured circles and listed the approximate order of removal based on what seems easiest having done the job and looking back in hindsight!

image 3^

image 4^

image 5^

image 6^

image 7^

image 8^

Next, remove the track rod nut (circled in maroon in image 7- shown with the brake disc removed for clarity), this is an 18mm nut, the track rod ball joint stud is tapered into the knuckle and as a result was very tight to remove, in my experience giving the actual arm of the knuckle where the ball joint locates (as highlighted by the white circle in image 7) a good wallop whilst pulling the track rod upwards out of the knuckle - DO NOT hit the stud or balljoint itself- usually serves to shock it free. If you need to stop the balljoint stud turning whilst you remove the 18mm nut, a size 40 male torx bit will do the job.

With the track rod released the strut can now be rotated to improve access to the various bolts. I also removed the anti roll bar link arm where it bolts to the strut figuring it would allow the strut to move more freely and give more working space when disconnecting the driveshaft, the nut is again 18mm but is likely to rotate on the link arm ball joint once cracked off- the stud is machined to accept an 8mm XZN type socket, so by using this and an 18mm spanner you can just wind the stud through the nut- the nut is circled in light purple in image 7.

Next the brake caliper can be removed, it may be possible to remove it complete with mounting bracket but to improve access to the caliper bracket bolts (the top bolt is partly obstructed by the brake hose/ pad wear sensor wiring support bracket seen in image 3, at least on the 300mm disc setup) I removed the caliper first and the bracket separately. Firstly the piston needs to be pushed back into the caliper body slightly so that the inside brake pad can clear the rust/wear ridge on the disc as the caliper is removed, from experience a pair of small lever bars opposed to each other through the pad wear inspection window on the forward face of the caliper will suffice, whether you want to open up the bleed valve on the caliper as you do this to prevent any dirty brake fluid returning to the ABS modulator is up to you. With this done, you can remove the two caliper retaining bolts (usually covered by black plastic caps)- circled red in image 3, these need a 7mm hex key. With these bolts removed the caliper can be slid forwards and out of the way (the piston side brake pad clips into the piston and will stay in the caliper, the outside pad will stay in the bracket so remove it separately, see image 5), DO NOT leave the caliper dangling by the rubber brake hose! I pushed a couple of cable ties together and suspended the caliper from the strut- image 8 shows this best. Once the caliper is out of the way the caliper bracket can be removed- the 2 bracket bolts (image 5, circled orange) are 27mm* and VERY tight- breaker bar or preferably impact gun definitely needed! Once the bolts and bracket are removed the disc can also be taken off, leaving you with a view like in image 7.

(*-To the best of my knowledge this is the case for vehicles fitted with 16" wheels which have the larger 300mm discs, vehicles with smaller wheels- 15"- and discs may have smaller bolts, especially as the torque figure quoted for the caliper bracket bolts for vehicles with 15" wheels is lower than the torque figure quoted for vehicles with 16" wheels- see the list at the bottom of the article)

Next you can remove the ABS sensor and the thin metal brake disc shield, the disc shield is held on by 2x 8mm bolts (circled pink, image 4) and the ABS sensor is secured by a single 5mm hex key bolt (circled purple, image 4), once the bolt for the sensor is removed the sensor will probably need careful levering with a screwdriver and probably some WD40 or equivalent to remove it without damage- the sensor is quite long as can be seen in image 6. The brake hose and ABS sensor wiring can be removed from their retaining bracket (where they locate with grommets) at the top of the knuckle (image 4), or just unbolt the bracket as I did- it's a single 10mm bolt (circled yellow, image 4)

Now you can release the knuckle-strut pinch bolt (18mm, circled blue in image 3) and the lower arm ball joint-knuckle retaining bolts (8mm hex key, circled green, image 3). It is much easier to remove the ball joint this way than to remove the large single nut on the ball joint stud. Lever the ball joint out of the knuckle, this now allows the strut to be pulled outwards (towards the wheelarch opening).

The final item to remove from the knuckle is the driveshaft. And if mine was anything to go by, it needed a damn good whack to shift it! Using the 27mm hub bolt that you released earlier before jacking the car up, remove the bolt completely and then wind it back in part way- the bolt must be renewed so I used the old one to take the brunt of my hammering- using a lump hammer on the head of the bolt eventually started to move the driveshaft out of the hub flange. NOTE that you MUST pull the knuckle/strut towards you (towards the wheelarch opening) as you hammer the bolt, otherwise the shaft won't go anywhere! Once the shaft has moved a little, the bolt will bottom out against the hub flange, at this point remove it and use a suitably sized bar, blunt chisel or old socket/extension to finish driving the shaft out. With the shaft removed, I again used cable ties through the strut to support the driveshaft. The knuckle should now be free to slide off of the strut, though the split clamp may need opening up slightly with a lever bar to release the grip of the knuckle on the strut (the split is pictured in image 3 to the left of the knuckle-strut retaining bolt, circled blue). With the knuckle removed, you should be left with a view similar to image 8.

It may be possible and ok to hammer the hub flange and bearing in and out of the knuckle using suitably sized drifts, however, whilst fine for the removal stage I wouldn't really want to hammer in a new bearing, the shock action of hammering probably isn't in the best interests of long bearing life. I entrusted this bit to my local garage where I used to work (or rather, they let me use their bench press), this part may cost you but in my view is worth it for the peace of mind- unless you have access to a bench press.

image 9^

image 10^

image 11^

If you do have access to and can use a bench press:
You can remove the hub flange. The hub flange is pressed out from the inside of the knuckle (image 10- the flange stub is the splined part in the centre of the bearing) using a suitably sized socket bearing against the flange stub only, this action will also push the outside facing inner bearing ring out with the flange, which will then need to be chiseled off or removed with a bearing separator on the bench press. With the flange removed you can then remove the circlip from the front of the knuckle (image 11) with a large pair of circlip pliers. The bearing can then be pressed out from the inside (as was the hub flange) using a suitable drift. This should leave you with the hub flange, knuckle and old bearing separated as in the below picture (though my pictures are of the new bearing installed/ready to install!):

image 12^

The new bearing can now be pressed in from the outside (I used the old bearing as a drift as it is precisely the right size to bear against the outer metal race/ring of the new bearing!), the bearing is not directional or have an inside or outside but I nonetheless put the new bearing in the same way as the old one came out- i.e, numbers on the outside (as can be seen in image 11). DO NOT press the new bearing in by just it's centre race (the inside metal ring) as all of the load will be transmitted through the steel balls of the bearing race and may mark or distort the bearing running surfaces and shorten it's life considerably! With the bearing home you can install the new circlip that comes with the kit making sure it is properly located it's groove. Then the flange can be pressed in to the bearing- or, as we did it, the complete knuckle and bearing pressed onto the hub flange, this time pressing against only the inner ring of the bearing- as above, this avoids any force being transmitted through the ball races of the bearing itself. Ensure the hub flange is seated properly, make sure it spins freely and smoothly and then you can begin reassembly!

As always, installation is the reverse of the removal process, noting that the large hub bolt must be replaced with the new one supplied in the kit (although my kit had a different style of bolt to the original which needed an enormous hex key to fit it which I do not own so I used a new Ford bolt which I had bought for another job- Finis 7201538)- see the below image which shows the contents of the kit as well as the difference between the hub bolts. A new track rod end locknut is also included in the kit, as is the bearing circlip. When refitting the knuckle to the strut NOTE that the strut has an indent in it where the knuckle-strut pinch bolt locates- ensure this is lined up or you will not be able to refit the bolt! Also, do not fully tighten the hub bolt until the wheel is back on and the car is off of the jack/axle stand and sitting on all four of it's wheels! The studs for the track rod balljoint and anti-roll bar drop link will need to be held with the relevant tools as outlined in the removal process in order to tighten the locknuts. I tend to use silicone spark plug grease on any fasteners I think would benefit from it- it is thick and clear and does not wash off easily so protects against corrosion and should help stop any treated fastener from seizing up in the future!

image 13^

A torque wrench should also be used to tighten the various bolts, the relevant torque figures in Newton Metres (Nm) are below, a couple of the bolts need to be angle tightened after torquing:

Wheel retaining bolts (19mm):  170 Nm
Hub centre-driveshaft bolt (27mm): 150 Nm + 90 degrees (1/4 turn angle tighten)
Knuckle-strut pinch bolt (18mm): 110 Nm
Anti-roll bar drop link-strut nut (18mm): 100Nm
Lower arm balljoint- knuckle bolts (8mm hex key): 55Nm
Track rod end locknut (18mm): 30Nm + 90 degrees (1/4 turn angle tighten)
Brake caliper bracket bolts (27mm/ 16" wheels): 270 Nm*
Brake caliper to bracket bolts (7mm hex key): 28Nm
Brake disc retaining bolt (6mm hex key): 10Nm
ABS sensor retaining bolt (5mm hex key): 10Nm
Brake disc shield plate bolts (8mm): 10Nm
Brake hose/ABS sensor wire routing bracket (top of knuckle) bolt (10mm): 10Nm**

*-This is what is listed in the Haynes manual for vehicles with 16" wheels and the larger (300mm) discs, it lists the torque as 190Nm for vehicles with 15" wheels (288mm discs).
**-estimated by the size of the thread/bolt!

I have checked the information and figures quoted here as far as possible, however I am not infallible, so errors & omissions excepted!  :-[

Always learning..... Often by mistakes!