How to Change Front Wheel Bearing on Ford F350 4×4?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Gather necessary tools like jack, jack stands, lug wrench, socket set, torque wrench, and new wheel bearing assembly.
  • Park on level ground, loosen lug nuts, and raise front of vehicle securely on jack stands.
  • Remove front wheel, then access wheel bearing by removing brake components as needed.
  • Detach old wheel bearing, install new one properly, and reassemble brake components.
  • Lower vehicle, tighten lug nuts, and repeat steps for other front wheel if needed.
  • Follow vehicle-specific manual for detailed instructions as steps can vary by model and year.


Replacing a worn out or damaged front wheel bearing is an important maintenance task for ensuring safe handling and preventing further damage to your Ford F350 4×4 pickup truck. But where do you start when tackling this repair job? This comprehensive DIY guide will walk through the entire process of changing the front wheel bearing on a Ford F350 4×4 step-by-step.

With the help of this resource, you’ll learn the proper procedures and techniques for safely removing your old front wheel bearing and installing a new one. The clear instructions cover everything from gathering the right tools, taking proper safety precautions, accessing and removing the wheel bearing assembly, installing the new bearing, and final reassembly. You’ll also gain insights into model-specific steps based on the generation and year of your F350.

Equipped with this wealth of information, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence needed to efficiently change your front wheel bearings and get your Ford F350 4×4 back on the road. Let’s get started!

Step-By-Step Guide to Changing Front Wheel Bearing on Ford F350 4×4

Follow these key steps outlined below to properly change the front wheel bearing on your Ford F350 4×4:

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools and New Wheel Bearing

Before starting work on your F350’s wheel bearing, ensure you have gathered all the tools and parts required:

  • Floor jack – To safely lift the front of the vehicle off the ground
  • Jack stands – For secure support once lifted
  • Lug wrench – For removing lug nuts
  • Socket set & ratchet – For detaching wheel bearing bolts and other hardware
  • Torque wrench – To tighten components to proper specs
  • Wheel bearing puller – If needed to detach stuck bearings from the hub
  • Hammer – Potentially useful for dislodging components
  • Wheel bearing grease – For lubricating the new bearing
  • New wheel bearing assembly – Matching your F350’s make and model

Having all required tools and the new bearing ready will make the process smoother.

Step 2: Park Truck Safely and Loosen Lug Nuts

The next step is to safely raise your F350 in preparation for removing the wheel and accessing the wheel bearing:

  • Park your truck on level, hard ground and engage the parking brake
  • Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheel where the bearing will be replaced
  • But do not fully remove lug nuts yet – only break their torque seal

This prevents the wheel from suddenly falling off when lifted.

Step 3: Raise Front of Truck and Support on Jack Stands

  • Place a jack underneath the frame rail near the front wheel to be worked on
  • Pump the jack to raise the front of the truck off the ground high enough to fit a jack stand
  • Position a jack stand under the frame for secure support
  • Lower jack so the truck’s weight rests fully on the stand, not the jack

Safely supporting on stands prevents sudden falling which could cause injury.

Step 4: Fully Remove Lug Nuts and Wheel

With the front end raised and secured on a stand, you can now:

  • Fully loosen and remove the lug nuts from the wheel studs
  • Pull the front wheel off and set it aside

This exposes the wheel hub, brake assembly, and wheel bearing.

Step 5: Access the Wheel Bearing Assembly

The exact steps to access the wheel bearing vary by F350 model and year:

  • On newer models, you may only need to detach the brake caliper and rotor
  • On older trucks, removal of the hub nut and axle shaft may be required
  • Consult Ford service manual for your model to determine necessary disassembly

Taking time to properly access bearing will make removal easier.

Step 6: Remove the Old Wheel Bearing

Once access is gained, it’s time to detach the worn bearing. This may require:

  • Removing any retaining bolts, clips, or caps securing it
  • Using a wheel bearing puller tool if the bearing is stuck on the axle hub
  • Applying penetrating oil if seizing and corrosion is present
  • Dislodging with hammer if absolutely necessary

Avoid damaging the axle hub while removing old bearing.

Step 7: Install the New Wheel Bearing

  • Thoroughly clean hub surface and check for damage before installation
  • Apply a thin layer of fresh wheel bearing grease on mating surfaces
  • Carefully fit new wheel bearing assembly onto the hub
  • Refer to instructions supplied with the new bearing for proper orientation
  • Secure new bearing with bolts/clips torqued to Ford’s specifications

Proper cleaning, lubrication, and installation ensures maximum bearing life.

Step 8: Reassemble Components

Once the new wheel bearing is installed, reassembly of the F350’s components follows:

  • Reinstall brake rotor and secure caliper in their original positions
  • Refit axle shaft or other components based on access steps taken
  • Ensure all parts are properly realigned and secured

Double check all bolts, clips, and fittings are tightened to OEM torque specs.

Step 9: Lower Vehicle and Tighten Wheel

The Ford F350 can now be lowered and the front wheel refitted:

  • Carefully lower truck back to the ground using the jack
  • Remove jack stands from underneath the frame
  • Fit front wheel over studs and hand tighten lug nuts
  • Finish tightening lug nuts in a star pattern with torque wrench

Even tightening ensures wheel is properly secured.

Step 10: Repeat Steps for Other Front Wheel

  • If both front wheel bearings need replacement, repeat entire process on other side
  • Take time to inspect the second bearing before assuming replacement is needed

Both bearings may not require replacement unless really worn or showing damage.

Frequently Asked Questions When Changing Front Wheel Bearings on Ford F350

Changing the front wheel bearing on a Ford F350 4×4 does take some mechanical skill and automotive know-how. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about this repair project:

How Do I Know When the Front Wheel Bearing Needs Replacement?

Listen for grinding noises when spinning the front wheel by hand or driving at low speeds. Also check for play in the wheel when rocked top-to-bottom. Excessive runout when rotated indicates wear.

What Special Tools Do I Need for This Job?

Aside from standard hand tools, a wheel bearing puller, torque wrench, and socket specific to the axle and bearing fasteners are typically required. Always consult Ford shop manual.

What Are Some Trouble Signs During Wheel Bearing Removal?

Rust, seizing, or damage to the axle hub when trying to detach the old bearing indicates longer removal time. Penetrating oil or a press may help remove stuck bearings.

How Do I Know I Have the Exact Right Replacement Bearing?

Match the replacement part number to what is listed for your F350’s front axle and wheel hub assembly. Also confirm proper fit before fully installing.

Can I Reuse the Old Bearing if It Looks OK?

Never reuse an old wheel bearing as internal wear cannot be assessed. A new bearing ensures proper fit and retention for maximum life and safety.

How Can I Avoid Damage When Installing the New Bearing?

Go slow with installation, follow the directions, lubricate mating surfaces, use proper tools, and torque fasteners to spec. Rushing can lead to damage and premature failure.

What Should I Do After Fitting the New Wheel Bearing?

Always road test the truck afterwards, listening for noise and checking for proper operation. A test drive helps confirm smooth bearing function.

Is it Possible to Just Replace Bearing Without Removing Brakes?

Full disassembly is required on most models to access the wheel bearing. Only the newest F350s allow bearing replacement without fully detaching brakes.

Can I Leave Wheel Bearing Replacement to My Mechanic?

You certainly can have a professional do this job, but with proper tools and patience, DIY replacement is achievable for many. Just follow guidelines closely.

Key Tips for DIY Ford F350 Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Changing your Ford F350’s front wheel bearing requires careful work but can be done at home with some mechanical aptitude. Here are useful tips to support a smooth repair:

  • Invest in a high-quality wheel bearing puller tool to prevent damage during old bearing removal. Proper specialty tools make a difference.
  • Using a torch to heat stuck wheel bearings may help free them from the axle hub. Take care not to overheat or damage components.
  • Supporting the wheel hub with a block of wood when pressing in the new bearing helps avoid damage.
  • Worn or damaged related components like ball joints and tie rod ends should be replaced at the same time. Preventive maintenance saves future work.
  • Always check for play and noises after installing new wheel bearings and perform a test drive. Catch any issues promptly.
  • Following the detailed procedures in the Ford service manual specific to your truck’s model and year is strongly recommended. Steps vary across generations.
  • Wheel bearing replacement is best paired with an oil change so you can examine the oil for any metallic particles indicating damage.
  • Proper cleaning of tools, your hands, and work area after bearing replacement helps keep lubricant grease where it needs to be.
  • Consider having a second person available to provide an extra set of hands if you get stuck at any point during the process.

Taking it slow, adhering to specifications, and using the right tools will set you up for success for this repair project on your Ford F350 4×4. Investing some time into learning the proper wheel bearing replacement procedure will pay off for many more miles of safe, quiet operation.


Replacing worn front wheel bearings is critical preventive maintenance for the Ford F350 4×4 or any pickup truck. Following this detailed guide, you can tackle this repair job at home with some mechanical ability and the proper automotive tools. While specific steps may vary by your truck’s model and year, the information provides a comprehensive framework for successfully swapping bearings.

Pay close attention to safely supporting the vehicle, fully accessing the wheel bearing assembly, carefully removing the old bearing without damage, properly installing its replacement, and methodically reassembling the brakes and other components. Taking precautions, using manufacturer torque specs, having the vehicle shop manual for your specific truck, and employing specialty tools when required will also go a long way towards a smooth bearing replacement.

Completing this repair yourself will save significant labor costs over having it done professionally. Just work slowly and focus on doing the job right the first time. Driving away with fresh, properly fitted wheel bearings that restore ride quality and road handling is a rewarding experience after finishing the project on your own. Your Ford F350 will thank you for it.

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