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4x4 Hub Assembly


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#1 LA Confederate

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 09:31 AM

My truck is an '03 with abotu 65kk miles on it. For the past several days, I've noticed a noise coming from teh front of the truck similar to when I had a set of mud grips on it. It's speed dependant. I tested the 4x4 and didn't notice any noise in 4hi. Anyway, I took it to the dealer this morning and dropped it off and they said that both front hub bearing assemblies, driver and passenger side, are shot and have to be replaced. For some reason, GM decided to make these things so that you can't just replace the bearings themselves. Instead you have to buy an entire assembly. I priced out the parts and I got a range of prices from $190 to $240 per assembly. Thanks the Lord that I bought an extended warranty when I boguht the truck. So a $850 repair is going to cost me all of $100. :banghead:

My question is this....why in the hell is the hub assemblies going out on a 3 year old truck with less than 65k miles? I know the previous owner used the 4x4 a decent amoutn, but I don't think it was abused. When I boguht the truck it had a set of 285 remington Mud Brute tires on it. Would the larger tires put more strain on the hubs to the extent that it'd prematurely wear? Is this a common occurance?

Brian
My Truck: '93 Ram D350 Club Cab, Cummins, G360, 366 spring, pump tweaks, DennyT Stage II pin, BHAF, Diamond Eye 4", SDX 5x.012s, LP piston LP. 197k miles. Cobra 29LTD, Sony Xplod head unit, Pioneer and Sound Ordinance speakers, Bazooka 8" tube.

Wife's Truck: '03 Silverado K1500 LS Ext. Cab, basic PCM tune, exhaust, ARE camper shell, Moore Accessories grille/brush guard and winch carrier, 5000k HID low beams.


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#2 Plumbob

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 11:05 AM

Where did you get the price quote from? I think my left front hub needs replaced and autozone priced $347 and dealership $399. My problem is it makes a rubbing/squeeling noise when in a right turn, and sometimes on left turns.
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#3 larry arizona

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 11:35 AM

Get used to it my truck is an 02 and I replaced both myself (out of warranty) at 50,000 miles and then I just replaced the Drivers side again at 64,000 miles. Had a huge arguement with GM customer service( not the dealers fault) and had an agreement with them to warrant the hubs on my truck for an additional 100,000 miles and after two weeks they recinded the warranty and told me too bad I was on my own in the future. It appears to be a sporadic problem with these GM trucks. Most guys claim they don't have hub issues but mine are bad. Maybe it is bad geometry on my particular front end.

My wifes 02 Tahoe has 52K and no hub problems. I check my hubs every 5000 miles for wear to be safe. Funny thing is GM parts wanted $350 plus for these hubs when I replaced them the first time. Now my dealer carries them for $122.

I am pretty good at replacing them now (about 1 hour per side). Sounds like you got a suspect truck like mine. I own the truck so I have accepted my fate.

#4 saltwater_addict

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 12:00 PM

The wider rims and tires do play a small part in it When i lost my front drivers side(down the highway, BTW) it took about 550$ to get it fixed, although that included a new rotor there were huge bearing parts all under the truck, like in the wiring harness that runs along the frame, found that one while changing out a fuel filter. you got off hella lucky anyhow i was told it was not letting them cool off before you went into the mud going strait from the highway to the mud causes some condensation or something which in turn causes the wear i know i wish you could rebuild them like the days of old this was when i was using the truck off road alot more, since then ive cooled off on the muddin, and no more bearing problems good luck with it all, like i said at least you didnt lose it going down the highway like me
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#5 woyster_00z71

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 12:41 PM

Can bad hubs cause the vehicle to wander excessively? I just replaced ball joints and tie rods (for the second time) almost two weeks ago. Since then I have noticed that my Tahoe wanders all over the road and I can't figure out what it is. I know ball joints can cause this but like I said, they are brand new.

Any ideas?

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#6 LA Confederate

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 03:03 PM

Well I just picked up the truck and the work order siad hta tthey had to replace both teh driver's and passenger's side hub assemblies becasue they were rusted out. For the life of me I can't figure out how they could have rusted out like that. Must have been the previous owner mudding or something. Regardless, the hub assemblies were $312.82 ea plus 2.6 hours of labor bringing the total repair to $820.64, of which I only paid $100 for my insurance deductable.

I don't mind working on a truck on normal wear items, like brakes, oil changes, etc. But is it really that hard to build a suspension that's not capable of handling rough duty? Thankfully I don't go mudding hardly at all, I just use the 4x4 at my camp on a rare occasion. Anyway, I'm still ata a loss as to what caused it. Hopefully these bearing assemblies will last me a good while.

What does it take to repalce these thigns? I haven't seen the whole assemblies, so I'm thinking that the caliper assembly has to be unbolted, then remove the rotor, then pop off the dust cap to get access to the retaining nut, but after that I"m not sure what's all involved. Just want to be prepared to do it myself next time.
My Truck: '93 Ram D350 Club Cab, Cummins, G360, 366 spring, pump tweaks, DennyT Stage II pin, BHAF, Diamond Eye 4", SDX 5x.012s, LP piston LP. 197k miles. Cobra 29LTD, Sony Xplod head unit, Pioneer and Sound Ordinance speakers, Bazooka 8" tube.

Wife's Truck: '03 Silverado K1500 LS Ext. Cab, basic PCM tune, exhaust, ARE camper shell, Moore Accessories grille/brush guard and winch carrier, 5000k HID low beams.


Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
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#7 woyster_00z71

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 03:50 PM

Actually doing the work is not a big deal at all. You are on the right track. I just replaced my ball joints for the second time and you have to remove the hubs, axle shafts, etc.

After what you said, remove the retaining nut. Then unbolt the sway bar and remove the linkage (makes it easier to remove the axle shaft). Then unbolt the axle shaft from the front diff, drop it down and pull it out of the hub. Remove the 3 bolts from the back of the hub and it should come right off.

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#8 redvett

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 04:21 PM

When you buy a used vehicle your buying somebody elses troubles. You bought the truck used and have to live with the problems. I have 4 service trucks with some over well 100k and no drive line problems and they are all 4x4,EXt pickups.

#9 larry arizona

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 06:47 PM

Actually doing the work is not a big deal at all.  You are on the right track.  I just replaced my ball joints for the second time and you have to remove the hubs, axle shafts, etc.

After what you said, remove the retaining nut.  Then unbolt the sway bar and remove the linkage (makes it easier to remove the axle shaft).  Then unbolt the axle shaft from the front diff, drop it down and pull it out of the hub.  Remove the 3 bolts from the back of the hub and it should come right off.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



It is much simplier than what you explain. Pull of caliper, rotor, hub/axle shaft nut nut (36mm) and then unbolt the 3 hub bolts. Take small wedge and pond between knuckle and hub flange to break it free from knuckle (it is rusted in). The hub assembly fits over the axle shaft. Viola done. The hardest part is seperating the knuckle and hub and sometimes it is a biatch to get the rotor off.

For what it is worth, no offroading in my truck and have 3 hubs assemblies. They are not very robust.

#10 LA Confederate

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 07:31 AM

Cool, thanks for the info fellas. I had a feeling that was how the fix was going to go, but I wanted to make sure. The part said that it was a "hub bearing assembly" but what exactly does that mean? What's included with this assembly other than the actual bearings themselves?
My Truck: '93 Ram D350 Club Cab, Cummins, G360, 366 spring, pump tweaks, DennyT Stage II pin, BHAF, Diamond Eye 4", SDX 5x.012s, LP piston LP. 197k miles. Cobra 29LTD, Sony Xplod head unit, Pioneer and Sound Ordinance speakers, Bazooka 8" tube.

Wife's Truck: '03 Silverado K1500 LS Ext. Cab, basic PCM tune, exhaust, ARE camper shell, Moore Accessories grille/brush guard and winch carrier, 5000k HID low beams.


Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
PS 144:1

Sic Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

#11 woyster_00z71

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 07:31 AM

It is much simplier than what you explain. Pull of caliper, rotor, hub/axle shaft nut nut (36mm) and then unbolt the 3 hub bolts. Take small wedge and pond between knuckle and hub flange to break it free from knuckle (it is rusted in). The hub assembly fits over the axle shaft. Viola done. The hardest part is seperating the knuckle and hub and sometimes it is a biatch to get the rotor off.

I guess you can remove the bolts from the hub, then pull it off without removing the axle shaft. I haven't done it that way because both times I have pulled everything off to do ball joints.

For what it is worth, no offroading in my truck and have 3 hubs assemblies. They are not very robust.

How do you know when a hub is bad?

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#12 saltwater_addict

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 07:42 AM

i wouldnt worry about using your 4x4 at camp like you said i still use mine on the ranch and the beach quite often, one thing though ill give it alittle time to cool off before if i know its gonna be really wet or deep like i said its been about 90k miles or so since one of mine went
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#13 larry arizona

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:12 AM

It is much simplier than what you explain. Pull of caliper, rotor, hub/axle shaft nut nut (36mm) and then unbolt the 3 hub bolts. Take small wedge and pond between knuckle and hub flange to break it free from knuckle (it is rusted in). The hub assembly fits over the axle shaft. Viola done. The hardest part is seperating the knuckle and hub and sometimes it is a biatch to get the rotor off.

I guess you can remove the bolts from the hub, then pull it off without removing the axle shaft. I haven't done it that way because both times I have pulled everything off to do ball joints.

For what it is worth, no offroading in my truck and have 3 hubs assemblies. They are not very robust.

How do you know when a hub is bad?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Two things tend to happen, You get the low speed abs failure where you can't stop at under 10mph when braking. This does not happen when driving on the highway and slowing down from say 55MPH. But when driving in parking lots the slow speed braking goes crazy. You will also hear a wobble when you hit rough pavement.

Best rule to follow is raise the front wheels off the ground and grab the tire at 12:00 and 6:00 and see how much play you have. Should be little to none. My last bearing that failed had and easy 1.5" to 2.0" of play as measured with a dial indicator. I am now checking after every 5000 miles to be safe.

The bearing assemblies are a sealed unit which also carries the abs sensors and harness.

This is a piss pour GM design in my opinion. Timken makes them and I did some snooping and it appears that they are made with some Chinese content.

#14 asepgrad98

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:20 AM

aftermarket wheels with a large offset will cause the bearings to wear out a lot faster.
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#15 LA Confederate

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 03:42 PM

Two things tend to happen,  You get the low speed abs failure where you can't stop at under 10mph when braking.  This does not happen when driving on the highway and slowing down from say 55MPH.  But when driving in parking lots the slow speed braking goes crazy.  You will also hear a wobble when you hit rough pavement.

Best rule to follow is raise the front wheels off the ground and grab the tire at 12:00 and 6:00 and see how much play you have.  Should be little to none.  My last bearing that failed had and easy 1.5" to 2.0" of play as measured with a dial indicator.  I am now checking after every 5000 miles to be safe.

The bearing assemblies are a sealed unit which also carries the abs sensors and harness.

This is a piss pour GM design in my opinion.  Timken makes them and I did some snooping and it appears that they are made with some Chinese content.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That explains why I saw a new speed sensor wire behind each wheel. When did GM go to this design? Was it like this on the '89-'97 "old body style" trucks? If not, I wonder if they are separate designs with each bearing change out and if it's possible to retrofit to the more easily repaired style.

When I was checking my wheels Wednesday, I checked the paly and there was ahrdly any noticable play. Braking was pretty much normal I guess and there was the utual rattles and shudders on the bumps. The only indication was the sound...I thought someone had put a set of Buckshot's on my truck while I was sleeping.
My Truck: '93 Ram D350 Club Cab, Cummins, G360, 366 spring, pump tweaks, DennyT Stage II pin, BHAF, Diamond Eye 4", SDX 5x.012s, LP piston LP. 197k miles. Cobra 29LTD, Sony Xplod head unit, Pioneer and Sound Ordinance speakers, Bazooka 8" tube.

Wife's Truck: '03 Silverado K1500 LS Ext. Cab, basic PCM tune, exhaust, ARE camper shell, Moore Accessories grille/brush guard and winch carrier, 5000k HID low beams.


Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
PS 144:1

Sic Vis Pacem, Para Bellum