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Old 03-03-2005, 05:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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D50 unit bearing replacement

I have been searching but cannot find anything.

Does anyone make a non unit bearing conversion for the Ford SD D50??


I seem to be able to run through these unit bearings pretty fast. and do not want to buy a bunch after my warrranty wears out..
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Old 03-03-2005, 05:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The aftermarket unit bearings aren't so expensive anymore. Try stempf's. for a conversion you would have to buy a lot of parts, spindles axle shafts hubs... seems like it would be pretty expensive.
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a complete unit bearing *without* ABS, yours for $50. Off a very late (R&P was 3/30/99) '99 F-250.
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Old 06-14-2005, 06:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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And the unit bearings are going out again
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Old 06-14-2005, 06:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dealer picked up the price last time.

Tell me they are not $275 a piece!!!
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How often are you going through them?

I assume it is on a superduty (since dealer picked it up last time)?

What size tires, etc?
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Conversion

Dynatrac has a conversion for the super duty , somewhere around 1200.00 if i remember corectly. GOOD LUCK Billy
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Old 06-15-2005, 11:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The best D50 unit bearing upgrade i've found is to take the axle out and throw it away. I went through 4 shafts and 4 unit bearings on 35 bfg all terrains. If you aren't breaking shafts the dynatrac kit is propably your best bet. Steve gerstner (differential engineering) might have something to replace the outers also. good luck

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Old 06-15-2005, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Mace,

What are the symptoms? I've got 35k on my truck since I bought it, and am expecting unit bearing problems at any time.

Thanks,

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Old 06-15-2005, 12:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Mace,

What are the symptoms? I've got 35k on my truck since I bought it, and am expecting unit bearing problems at any time.

Thanks,

Doc
When mine went I was hearing a really loud rumble coming from the wheel. It went with no warning. We were a quarter mile away from the house on the way to the airport when it happened. I changed both sides out when I got back home from vacation. The dealer price was more like $365 ea. Hard to believe anyone would list these as a plus for an axle (seen it in other threads).
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Old 06-15-2005, 12:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've got a couple worn-out Ford units here...

I actually pillaged them from a friend with a 2k SD, hoping to be able to reverse-engineer a retrofit setup.

Problem I ran into is, the wheel flange is so close to the unit bearing flange, I couldn't find any way to do it without having a custom spindle and hub made. At that point, while I might be able to recycle the OE stubshaft and lockout, if the hub/spindle/bearings assembly costs four or five times as much as the stock part, why bother? Most guys aren't going to own their trucks long enough to see any return on that cost.

Other option was, it can be done using adaptation parts and old-style kingpin 60 parts, but it'd widen the front end by three or four inches flange-to-flange, and still cost on the order of a grand or more, and require a new stub shaft, and possibly a new lockout as well.
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This is on a CC F350 diesel ford with 35" BFG AT's and no lift.


I am now at 92K and have replaced the unitbearings 3 times on the DS and twice on the PS..

And it looks like the Drivers is going out again..

Symptoms are a clicking occasionally that dissolves into a groaning sound that AZrckcrawler mentioned..

Also, when you step on the brake you can feel the wobble in the steering wheel..

I am honestly thinking about swapping in a late model Kingpin D60. Course, then I have to worry about lug pattern issues

Fawk..

I plan on owning this truck for a very long time. With two young kids and a wife that stays home with them I do not have an extra 40K to spend on another truck. Besides, New fords and New Dodges use the unit bearings anyway..
I have no idea what Chebby uses..

For $1200 I'll find a late model Ford and swap the axles into my rig. then sell the D50/sterling for $1200..
A D50 is just as good as a KPD60 right???


BTW, scott, you should figure out how to make a custom new spindle and then send a set to me for testing
I seem to wear them out rather quickly and would be a good test bed
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I am now at 92K and have replaced the unitbearings 3 times on the DS and twice on the PS..

I've heard others with this problem, but daymn that seems excessive! You're rig is similar to mine, with the only real exception being that I don't have a cabover camper.

I too am running 315's (muds though), and on crappy Weld-wanna-be rims to boot. I do have my tires balanced and roatated at fairly short intervals, so maybe that helps, , I dunno. Are you running a steering stabilizer? Do you think any of this contributes to the short life, or is it just a shitty design?

Doc
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Me and my co driver were running across the Lakebed on our way to pre run when we saw :gary: walking his dog.

We didn't stop to say hi cause he's a fucking douchebag.
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have no idea what Chebby uses..
4WD Chevys since at least as far back as '93 have been unit bearing, I think probably ever since they swapped to IFS. About '01+ 2WD's are also unit bearing. Not that it's much help for your Ford, more just another note of interest in the history of unit bearings. I believe Dodge has been unit bearing since about '94, but not 100% sure on that.

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For $1200 I'll find a late model Ford and swap the axles into my rig. then sell the D50/sterling for $1200..
A D50 is just as good as a KPD60 right???
One of these days, Camp'll wear out the balljoints and unit bearings on his Cummins, and we'll figure out how to get kingpins and wheel bearings onto it...

At least on the Ford, you've got the advantage of that (I think) an '86-91 Ford kingpin/wheelbearing front 60 is a bolt-in except for wheel pattern, and it shouldn't be too tough to redrill a set of 60 hubs to 8 on 170. Or, pull both axles and the wheels to match, and you're done.

It's a little more involved for me to rid myself of balljoints and unit bearings (there's a buncha A-arms in my way) on my tow rig. Don't think I haven't been looking at it a bunch, though.

The other thing that might be worth looking into is, there's an intermediate balljoint/wheelbearing Ford front end, '92-96ish, that uses the same wheel bearings as the kingpin stuff, but balljoint parts. Dunno anything about that intermediate setup other than that it isn't unit bearing--might be worth looking into swapping parts around there. Wheel hubs are also the same as the pre-balljoint stuff, as I understand it, so stubs should be standard kingpin-length-Ford.
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am not positive that the Dodge monkey (I had a dodge warranty on my ford) that replaced the unit bearings knew what the hell he was doing. Apparently there is a seal that goes on the backside of the bearings (or frontside for that matter I really don't know) that may have been left off.

Sooo, perhaps it is just the grease monkeys being inept..
And I have only used that cabover on my truck twice

Additionally, It is about every 5-8K that I rebalance my tires..

Steering stabilizer is the stock one.
I think it is just a shitty design.. And I want Scott to make me a new one
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Apparently there is a seal that goes on the backside of the bearings (or frontside for that matter I really don't know) that may have been left off.
There is a seal that is supposed to live there, just outboard of the U-joint, around the back of the unit bearing. It's what keeps the grease in the unit bearing, and the dirt/water out. Lacking it, your unit bearings will probably live very short lives, as your grease will get out when it gets hot.

That seal is a real PITA to install properly too... presses onto the stub, and it takes a decent level of talent to get it on right.

At least there's no dust in Vegas to get in.
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
One of these days, Camp'll wear out the balljoints and unit bearings on his Cummins, and we'll figure out how to get kingpins and wheel bearings onto it...

At least on the Ford, you've got the advantage of that (I think) an '86-91 Ford kingpin/wheelbearing front 60 is a bolt-in except for wheel pattern, and it shouldn't be too tough to redrill a set of 60 hubs to 8 on 170. Or, pull both axles and the wheels to match, and you're done.

Scott, I was reeeeeaaaalllly hoping that a KP front front would have the same leafspring mounts

that is a great bit of info..
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
There is a seal that is supposed to live there, just outboard of the U-joint, around the back of the unit bearing. It's what keeps the grease in the unit bearing, and the dirt/water out. Lacking it, your unit bearings will probably live very short lives, as your grease will get out when it gets hot.

That seal is a real PITA to install properly too... presses onto the stub, and it takes a decent level of talent to get it on right.

At least there's no dust in Vegas to get in.
I bet that is the little ring thingy that is loose on my front then..

Figures...

Yeah, no dust and no heat to talk about either
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Old 06-15-2005, 03:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I bet that is the little ring thingy that is loose on my front then..
Me too.

BTW, Paul (in the TK club), works in the parts dept of Gaudin. I'll check with him for bro-deal prices.

Doc, in the not dusty or hot LV
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Me and my co driver were running across the Lakebed on our way to pre run when we saw :gary: walking his dog.

We didn't stop to say hi cause he's a fucking douchebag.
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Old 06-15-2005, 03:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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That would be a good thing...
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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More info, courtesy of Carl and crew at Rock Logic:
You can't swap the pre-unit-bearing spindle onto the unit bearing knuckle.
You can swap the pre-unit-bearing knuckle onto the unit bearing housing, eliminating the unit bearing assembly entirely.

Bolt pattern at that point will probably be wrong, but you should be able to readily swap the rear around (either just hubs, or whole rear end) to match.

You should be able to swap the pre-unit-bearing Ford balljoint knuckles onto a balljoint Dodge front 60 as well, but that's a whole 'nother puddle o wax (woulda been a ball, but left in the Vegas sun.... )
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:18 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Do they make aftermarket knuckles for the ford?


Problam with the rear is ABS
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:53 PM   #23 (permalink)
 
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There are aftermarket knukles out there, but $$$$

I just picked up a SD50 lastnight toreplae my TTB 50. I would likke to figure a way to adapt my TTB 50 spindles and hubs to the SD 50. The ttb spindles and hubs are the same as the bj 60, but the knuckles are not....

I am thinking a spacer could be machined to bolt to the SD knuckle that I could bolt the spindle to. figuring the thicknes would be the most difficult part....may have to use the longer chev stub shaft.

Whatcha tink?
Any input/ideas....
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Old 06-15-2005, 07:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Interesting seems there are a few ppl who can't get 30k out of these unitized bearings, then there are others with 150k with no problems. I am at 80k with no problems (285-75-16 tires though). A buddy of mine just replaced one at 125k (on an F350 that is pushing 12k lbs daily).

Seems that some have better luck than others with these stupid things.
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:06 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I've been talking to Tera about this. They have all of the components that you would need to swap out those POS unit-bearings for live spindles & hubs. They don't have a 'kit' available yet, but it's only a matter of putting the right parts together.
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