Front Wheel Bearing Hub Play/Wheel Wobble

Changed Drivers short cv shaft, got it all put back together, torqued and noticed the play,
I figured its 17 yrs old 200,000 miles so I ordered new (not cheap) bearings and new Hubs as well, did everything to specs with changing pieces and after all is back together it still has same play in wheel when off ground, it would wobble even after i redid brakes including rotors & calipers, and it’d do it like right as you was closer to stopping so I thought the bearing as well, the rest of the front suspension pieces were all redone with moog parts within last 2 years including control arms, i tried a couple times loosening and turning wheel and retorquing, still good amount of play in wheel, if anyone has any suggestions that would be great, thanks

Since it started after replacing a drive shaft, most likely the problem has something to do with that. Either the replacement part is faulty, or the wrong part number, or something went amiss during the job. Did you do that work yourself, or was it done at a shop ? It’s not an uncommon thing we hear that a replacement axle has the wrong dimensions. On some vehicles there’s 5 or 6 options for the part number, depending on the model year and the options the vehicle is equipped with.

What was your motivation to replace the shaft? Was it just the shaft or the entire axle (including the CV joints on both ends?)

I only did the drivers side that was clicking but the same amount of play was there before and after, but i decided to check the passenger wheel and it too has a lil bit of play, thats the harder shaft to deal with so it will be done later, i dont drive it as much in winter cause i drive my jeep, I did all the work myself and it was all put back according to specs,

Did you replace the entire axle ; i.e new shaft with two new cv joints? What sort of play do you notice? Do you mean you notice that when driving? Or when the car is jacked up and you pull/push/twist the wheel by hand? Original wheels and wheel lug nuts?

I replaced the short shaft on drivers side only from wheel to trans, also replaced that side hub and bearing and that was done properly at a machine shop with proper press, when you lift car and wiggle it side to side you feel enough play in the wheel center, it was there before i did all this too, its why im not seeing why it isnt nice and snug, rather not drive it until I eliminate that play, I have factory wheels 15s and aftermarket 17s i use mainly during summer

Ok, I think I’m finally understanding. When you jack the car – lift the wheel off the ground – and push/pull on it by hand (sideways to the direction the car moves) you feel some play in the direction of the axle, axial play in other words. hmmmm … well, when I do that on my Corolla I feel no discernable axial play, so there must be something going on with your vehicle. I wouldn’t call that “wobbling” though. I presume you mean you also notice some kind of wobbling effect when driving the car too, which you expect to be related to that axial wheel play. It sounds like you’ve done everything that you should do to figure it out. So what else could you do?

What about measuring the wheel or hub for run-out? A shop would do this with a dial indicator, but you can get a pretty good sense if there’s a problem by figuring out a way to position a nail right next to the wheel or hub, about 1 mm away, and rotating the wheel by hand. The distance should remain nearly the same the entire 360 degrees. You can check for side to side wobble, and for out of round by re-orientating the nail.

Side to side : this would indicate a worn tie rod end of other suspension part worn.
I know you said that all the suspension parts were replaced with Moog parts, but maybe you didn’t replace a few parts, or the new parts were bad from the factory.


I scraped alot of old stuff out of the way of inner spindle area along grooves cleaned it all up and greased shaft and it slid in a hair more, seems so anywho but i got under behind wheel and was lookin at ball joint and outer tie rod and i noticed some play in inner tie rod inner bearing must be worn, gunna take it out and warranty it out and see if that is it, will update on process afterwards

When you wiggle this wheel side to side, look at the other wheel and see if it is wiggling in sync. If it is, you don’t have a problem.

Finished up replacing pieces and tightening up drivers side and 90% of the movement i was seeing was the ball from the inner tie rod, I think the rest of what I am seeing is prolly from the other sides inner, not seeing anything wrong at all with passenger side cv shaft but I have decided I will go ahead and redo the bearing hub and inner, I never seen a 2 yr old tie rod inner go bad like that, maybe the bearings were a bit further gone than it seemed but hopefully there will be no play in either wheel left, thanks for all the help

Congrats! Looks like you’re good to go.

I would have to say that is no easy task messing with them wheel bearings and hubs, there are different videos you can sit and watch, most of in shops showing them using air powered tools, theres no way your pressing these things out by hand, luckily i found an old machine shop to press in and out the bearings and hubs, after replacing inner tie rods and regreasing the outers and lower ball joints and resetting the alignment to specs, there is no play at all, will be fun to drive when I get the 2 new sway bar control arm bolts that you might want to order if you mess with the control arms at all 17 yr old bolts had enough and didnt survive the job

My local inde auto parts store will remove and install wheel bearings/races ( hubs removed from the car ) for a small fee.

I’ve removed races out of hubs with a hammer and punch. Was on a 79 CJ5. Maybe AMC didn’t put them in there so tight back then.