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Tom Mack
09-21-2010, 11:57 PM
I have an 89 SC with a bad wheel bearing. I've searched threads on bearing problems but they don't seem to address my problem. Most say you can replace the bearings but I don't see how. After I took off the plastic cover there was a spring steel lock bent over the nuts. I bent this up to get at the nut. The ears of this locking device broke off revealing not one nut but four thin steel nuts slightly larger than a 1 1/4" socket. I got 3 of them off but don't have a socket to get off the fourth. If by chance I get it off, what do i use to replace the broken lock nut? Is there a kit of some kind to rebuild it?The spindle is a one piece non rebuildable deal from the upper A-arm to the lower ball joint as far as I can tell. The Ford parts man agreed with me & said a new spindle with wheel bearing for my car listed for over $400! If by chance I can"t remove my old ABS cable that will be another $176. If there's a cheaper way out of this (How to replace these bearings) please tell me how. Otherwise I think the best idea is to find a '93 or newer complete ABS setup (spindles with ABS cables & hubs, calipers, sway bar links, rotors) from my local you- pull-it. 89 & 90 SC's are very rare here so if I can find a regular T-bird with ABS brakes, I'll use those parts. Please let me know if there's another way.

Regul8r
09-22-2010, 06:40 AM
I have an 89 SC with a bad wheel bearing. I've searched threads on bearing problems but they don't seem to address my problem. Most say you can replace the bearings but I don't see how. After I took off the plastic cover there was a spring steel lock bent over the nuts. I bent this up to get at the nut. The ears of this locking device broke off revealing not one nut but four thin steel nuts slightly larger than a 1 1/4" socket. I got 3 of them off but don't have a socket to get off the fourth. If by chance I get it off, what do i use to replace the broken lock nut? Is there a kit of some kind to rebuild it?The spindle is a one piece non rebuildable deal from the upper A-arm to the lower ball joint as far as I can tell. The Ford parts man agreed with me & said a new spindle with wheel bearing for my car listed for over $400! If by chance I can"t remove my old ABS cable that will be another $176. If there's a cheaper way out of this (How to replace these bearings) please tell me how. Otherwise I think the best idea is to find a '93 or newer complete ABS setup (spindles with ABS cables & hubs, calipers, sway bar links, rotors) from my local you- pull-it. 89 & 90 SC's are very rare here so if I can find a regular T-bird with ABS brakes, I'll use those parts. Please let me know if there's another way.

Not sure what bolts and locking devices you are talking about.
Are you talking about a big nut under the dust cap in the middle?
My 90 was a straight forward switch.

I have 2 wheel bearing in the garage. They were good when I pulled them, I just swapped to non ABS units.

Take a pic of your dilemna and post it here.
I can mail the bearing in the next day or 2 if you need it.

RalphP
09-22-2010, 09:22 AM
I'll add that ABS hubs are available from RockAuto new.

Timken 513092 for $52.76 each, to SKF BR930048 at about half again as much.

Check out the RockAuto discount code - 5% off.

You'll need the axle nuts - again, RockAuto has them. Dorman 615098 at $7.77 (!!!) each (!!!!)

RwP

Regul8r
09-22-2010, 09:39 AM
I am actually confused on this... WHAT nuts are we talking about?
It was 1 nut holding the bearing on the spindle underneath the dustcap.
1. remove tire
2. Remove caliper
3. remove rotor
4. remove dust cap
5. remove large spindle nut
6. remove bearing

clean the ABS sensor and re-install new bearing and nut.
It was one nut with no lock rings on it.

can get the bearings on E-bay too
$65 for 2 with free shipping...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/89-90-MERCURY-COUGAR-FRONT-WHEEL-BEARING-HUB-NEW-/280540987053?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year%3A1989%7CModel%3AThunderbird&hash=item41518bbead

Tom Mack
09-22-2010, 10:35 AM
This seems to be my problem; You say I can unbolt my spindle and bolt on a replacement ,but my 89 spindle is cast into the casting between the ball joints. It is one piece. there are no bolts to remove the spindle from the rest of the unit. Is this a 89 only thing, as those with 90's keep telling me they can just bolt on a new spindle/bearing unit. I also prefer to keep the ABS.



Just reread the Rock Auto info on the nuts. Thanks to all who have helped me !

RalphP
09-22-2010, 11:30 AM
I think there's a terminology problem.

The SPINDLE !IS! the casting between the ball joints.

The !HUB! is what the wheel bolts to.

The HUB can be removed with one nut (the axle nut) after you remove the brakes. Oh, and some grunting or a gear puller :D Been there done that after the local mechanic warped the rotors (and I didn't trust the bearings after that.)

So - what exactly are you trying to do?

Can you take pictures and post them?

BTW - Go to www.rockauto.com and check those part numbers I posted. You'll notice that they ARE the ABS version.

RwP

Tom Mack
09-22-2010, 11:43 AM
Here are pictures of my front hub. One pic shows the locking device on the nut from the other hub. The others show the thin nuts I mentioned earlier. As you can see, there is no hole for a cotter pin to secure a nut to keep the bearing in place. Also there is no regular washer behind the locking nut. The thin nuts you see on the wheel studs are stacked on the spindle to keep the hub on. There are four of them, the last one is still on the spindle. The washer behind it is the locking device with the ears broke off. (see pic of other hub).

SCme94
09-22-2010, 11:47 AM
It sounds like you took the hub nut apart? You should have just removed the hub nut once you popped off the dust cover.

SCme94
09-22-2010, 11:48 AM
Thats exactly what you did now that I have seen the pics. That is a special multi piece locking nut. It is one time use and has no cotter pin or retainer to keep it in place.

S_Mazza
09-22-2010, 11:53 AM
Easy there.

To begin, the OEM nut is meant to be removed as a unit. There is some sort of stamped steel cage that encapsulates some other doohickies. The whole thing is supposed to spin off together. I think it takes (or used to take) a 36mm socket. If yours is goobered up so that you can't use a socket on it, I would suggest a drill or Dremel and a chisel. The nuts are meant to be single-use, and you replace the nut every time you remove a hub.

The hub and bearing are an integral unit. They come off the spindle quite easily once the locking nut is removed. The new hub will come with wheel studs. You could remove the old ones as spares if you want.

Because you have an 89, there is an additional wrinkle. The hubs have a lip where the rotor sits. In 89 and 90, that lip was a little smaller than on the later cars. (I think it's smaller, anyway.) The early hubs are rarer and much more expensive than the later hubs. It is easier to get the later hubs, but because of the difference in that lip, the earlier brake rotors won't fit the later hubs. Brake rotors are cheap enough that it is usually still cheaper to buy the later hubs and brake rotors than to buy the earlier hubs.

So, buy a set of 91-97 hubs and brake rotors. Buy a set of locking nuts. Buy, rent, or borrow a big breaker bar to remove the nuts and a 250-ft-lb torque wrench to reinstall them.

And that should do it.

DLF
09-22-2010, 12:03 PM
Simply take a 36mm socket to the complete nut assembly shown in your last picture, then remove the hub from the spindle.

Buy new hub/bearing assembly. HERE'S (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/89-90-FORD-THUNDERBIRD-FRONT-WHEEL-BEARING-HUB-NEW-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQfitsZYearQ3a1989Q7cModelQ3aThun derbirdQQhashZitem519418371fQQitemZ350376965919QQp tZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories) one on eBay.

Replace and torque to spec.

You've made this waaaayyy harder than it is.

Tom Mack
09-22-2010, 12:07 PM
Thanks for the e-bay info! I guess I'm making this a bigger job than it should be. It's hard to believe that the nut is reusable. How tight do I tighten it when I reinstall it? Where can I buy the new nuts?

DLF
09-22-2010, 12:12 PM
The nuts are meant to be single-use, and you replace the nut every time you remove a hub.


They're not supposed to be reused....

S_Mazza
09-22-2010, 12:45 PM
Well, you can buy it here if you have too much money...

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Spindle-Lock-Nut-Dorman---OE-Solutions_22190172-P_742_R%7CGRP60007_739665988___

Or here if you have too little, like the rest of us.

www.rockauto.com

DORMAN Part # 615155 or 615098 (similar)

;) Actually, I think the Advance Auto listing is for a pack of 5. But if you only need 1 or 2, you might try getting it from Rock Auto.

For the torque spec - hmm, I forget. I think it is something like 240ft-lbs. I think it's on this site if you search.