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Super Coupe Club of America > SC Literature > Ford Thunderbird Rear Wheel Bearing Installation

by George Davenport


  1. Remove the rear wheel center cap to expose the half-shaft retaining nut. Loosen this nut with the proper sized socket (36mm). It is a right hand thread on each side and will be TIGHT (250 ft/lbs). Ford recommends not re-using this locking nut. Loosen lug nuts.
  2. Jack-up car, remove lug nuts, wheel, caliper, rotor, and retaining nut. Tie caliper up out of the way. Support the car on good jackstands.
  3. Remove nut and bolt that hold upper control arm to aluminum knuckle and tie upper control arm out of the way.
  4. Using a large three-jaw puller attached to the hub, push the end of the half-shaft out of the hub, letting the knuckle swing forward. Pull half-shaft free of hub and knuckle.
  5. Remove two bolts that attach knuckle to lower control arm. Make a mark on the control arm, bushing and knuckle so all three pieces can be aligned during assembly. Do this while the knuckle is in the relaxed position. (Stock springs should have enough tension to remain seated during this process. Lowered springs might move out of their seats. Watch for this during installation.)
  6. Remove circlip from back of knuckle. From rear of knuckle, press hub out of the bearing. From front of knuckle, press the bearing out of the knuckle.


  1. From the back of the knuckle, press the new bearing all the way in until it is firmly seated. From the front of the knuckle, press hub back into the bearing until it is firmly seated. Be careful not to push the bearing out of the seated position when you press in the hub. Also, take care not to damage the grease seals on the bearing when supporting it while the hub is being pressed in. There should be no "play" when you wiggle the hub after installation. Install the large circlip back into the groove.
  2. Clean and lightly lubricate splines on half-shaft and insert into splined hub. Install bottom bolts to control arms, making sure marks on the lower arms, bushing and knuckle are in the original position. Tighten lower bolts. Install and tighten upper bolt. (Upper and lower bolts 118-148 ft/lbs). Make sure coil spring is seated in the correct position.
  3. Hand tighten the retaining nut.
  4. Install rotor, caliper (23-26 ft/lbs), wheel and hand tighten lug nuts. Lower car back on to the ground. Torque new retaining nut to specifications (250 ft/lbs).
  5. Torque lug nuts to specifications (85-105 ft/lbs) and re-install center cap.


Most automotive machine shops or larger part houses with a press can handle this job for about $10-$20 a bearing. The bearings are available from Ford (E9DZ-1215-A, for '89 SC) and possibly aftermarket suppliers for about $35. You may want to have the alignment checked after installation. Make sure the hub is firmly seated in the bearing and the circlip is re-installed after the press operation.

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Document Last Modified: 07/29/04 03:33 AM
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