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'99 Windstar Front bearings

My brother in law was driving me in his wife’s, my sister, car. There was a definate rumble coming front the front end. Sounded to me like a bad bearing, I suggested he get it fixed real soon. Now, several months later, I’m volunteered to help him out. The sound is much worse, I haven’t heard it myself, yet. I’ve replaced dozens of bearings under my shade tree, and have no doubts that this job should be easy. Unless there are suprises involved with this particular make and model. I did suggest that we replace both front bearings. Even so, including beer breaks, this will be a quick job. Comments?

It’s not bad. Maybe an hour, which will negate the need for a beer break. Have you done other front driven Fords? If not, buy a Chilton or Haynes Windstar when you pick up the bearing. If you like how the first one (passenger side, correct?) goes, buy the second when it gets noisy.

I would absolutely pick up the repair manual. It will be $20 well spent and will more than pay for itself, if not on this job then on others.

Flip through it in the store to check out the procedures to find out if you need any specialty tools so you can get those while you’re there. I’ve found the “loaner tool” programs at big box parts stores to be great.

An update on the noise. Kind of a howl starting about 40mph and more annoying with more speed. We tried switching front tire with the rear. No change, so it’s not the tires. Step #1 in the Haynes book says to remove the driveaxle. We didn’t do the job because I’m not positive it’s a bearing causing the noise. With the wheel off the ground, there isn’t any shake or noise from the hub. This car had the tranny rebuilt less than 2 years ago, Aamco. Noise started less than a year after that, kinda unsure on the time frame. Trans fluid level is good and smells right. Since this car is mostly used for Mom hauling the kids around town and rarely at high speed, I suggested we wait until the noise gets worse so we can be sure of the source.

Perv, If There’s Noise And Now “The sound is much worse” I Wouldn’t Wait. I’d At Least Get It Diagnosed Properly So That You Can Judge Whether Or Not It’s Dangerous Or If You’re Going To Tear Something Up.

Does driving around a fairly tight sweeping curve to the left or a curve to the right change the sound, any ? I’d get on that curve and make a run back and forth a few times at different speeds, particularly at the one that it’s loudest. Usually a bad wheel bearing will change volume or frequency in this situation. Try it snd tell us if the noise gets louder / quieter and on which side, turning which way.

As a fellow shade-tree mechanic and beer lover, I can tell you that it probably will not get any better by itself, probably much worse and possibly more expensive if not dangerous. Having a couple of beers instead of getting it diagnosed properly is a lot more fun, but could have consequences. At least get a professional opinion (on the noise, not the beer).

CSA

CSA, Originally I said the noise was much worse, it has not changed. My sister is much more annoyed by the noise. We made turns on a test drive, no difference. I’ll try an empty parking lot nearby. If there were a way to get the wheels up to speed while the vehicle is stationary, I could determine where the noise is coming from. A pair of treadmills? Hmmm