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Dodge Dakota Wheel Bearings

wolfer1wolfer1 Posts: 3
edited October 2014 in Dodge
Sorry if this has already been discussed. I searched and found nothing. I am new here, this is my 3rd dakota and probably my last. What idiot engineer would design a 2 wd vehicle using sealed front wheel bearings? Sealed bearings have a very very limited life and a very very limited application and that is not a motor vehicle.

With that said - Has anyone taken a front hub apart, got the Timkin bearing, race and seal numbers and rebuilt a front hub?


  • I just popped on here to see if anyone had issues with wheel bearings. I have a 2001 with over 300,000 miles and no issues but.. I have a 2006 with 85000 miles and it is definatly having a growling out of one of the bearings. It does not seam to change when i trow the weight from side to side. I had it to a garage and they can not tell which one it is. At 175 dollars a pop I do not want to do both untill needed. anybody got any ideas?
  • So i am trying to figure out is anyone on line right now? I HAVE A 2006 DAKOTA QUAD CAB 4.7 2WD it has 86000 miles on it and has a snow tire sound only it has good year eagles on it. It is hard to figure where it is coming from. I am thinking wheel bearing but if I throw it side to side it does not change. I had it to a firestone shop and they could not figure it out either. At $175 each I would like to get it right the first time. Anybody got any ides?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    If the noise remains constant over varied vehicle speeds it is probably tire, wheel or front alignment related.

    If the noise changes with vehicle speed, or changes under acceleration or deceleration, the problem is engine, exhaust, or differential related.

    If the noise is constant, but varies in pitch or intensity as vehicle speed is increased, it is possible you have a defective wheel bearing or a bad U-joint. Sometimes if the noise changes as the steering wheel is turned, it will indicate a bad wheel bearing. But they can sometimes fool you. A lot of times a bad wheel bearing will make noise regardless of turning. With the vehicle raised, check the wheel bearings for play.



    If the noise is
  • I am having the same problem. Using SKF brg/hub assemblies, I have replaced both sides twice in the last year. Had a 4 wheel alignment said nothing unordinary. No brake drag. I would think that SKF would be OE supplier or at least a top line I missing something?
    2003 QC 4X4 3.9L
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I've known a couple of people that have replaced a front wheel bearing assembly on a 4WD Dakota, but these were both first time and well after a 100,000 miles, and much older Daks, besides. I have yet to run into one person with a 2WD Dakota that's had to replace a front wheel bearing assembly of any year. I don't believe this is a common problem regardless of miles.

    Twice in a year on the same vehicle is completely abnormal and is either the result of hub overheating, incorrect bearing (or bearing quality), bearing damage, or incorrect/poor installation.

    Does this vehicle ever have the wheels completely submerged in water?

    Best regards,
  • wolfer1wolfer1 Posts: 3
    Here is ONE that has had to replace the front wheel bearings on my 2002 Dakota 2WD. Granted it has 130,000 miles, but as far as I am concerned, that is irrelavent. As to why they bearing failed, I do not know. I bought the truck used, and it had a slight vibration in the right front. Further inspection found the wheel bearing had galled. Even thought the vehicle is not out of alignment, the tires that were on it had wear patterns that indicated bad alignment. Replaced the front hub (still p*ss*s me off I have to $150 for a $20 part replacement) and all is well.
  • bdoucetbdoucet Posts: 5
    Nahh. wheels never been submerged, only ever use 4wd in the snow. Originals went 120 000km and i'm really beginning to think i will go with mopar replacement this time. A couple of chrysler partsmanagers on other sites insist that is the problem that they are looser to start with than the mopar...that when they have been forced to use SKF or other manufacturer there have been issues. Hard to believe with a first line supplier like SKF but I have also found recalls on the dak 2wd front hub assemblies made by SKF. Check it out at Search thru SKF
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    There's a guy in town here that has 155,000 on a 2000 Dakota and is still sporting the original front wheel bearings, mines at 117K and no problems so far. And I've got two size larger tires on her.

    Did your bad bearing make any noise, or was the only symptom a vibration

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Usually SKF is very good quality stuff. But anybody can make a mistake. If Chrysler parts managers are telling you they are loose compared to the factory replacements, I'm thinking there's a spec. issue, not necessarily a material quality problem.

    A friend of mine changed out the rear bearings and races on his wife's Venture a couple of years ago and replaced them with stuff he got from AutoZone. Within two years the races were galled and the bearings were worn down to the brass primary coating.

    A lot of aftermarket stuff is not up to the factory quality.

    Best regards,
  • bdoucetbdoucet Posts: 5
    The initial indicator is sound, the odd part is that unlike a worn bearing where the sound is most noticeable when turning, these have been noisy driving straight (like a bias ply!) and then become noiser when turning into the bad side. I never let it go far enough to vibration. Being a sealed brg it's tough to get a good read on the reason. When the noise started I jacked up the truck to check the play in the wheel and couldn't feel any, but spinning the wheel by hand sounded like the brg was dry. As I said before no brake drag and no indication of grease on the back of the wheel so I'm narrowing it down to Mfg. As far as I was concerned SKF was an industry leader and didn"t doubt there product, but as you said mistakes do happen and perhaps the OE spec is tighter on the radial clearance than SKF's engineers feel is cost effective. On this board i do seem to be one of the only owners with this dilema, but on the forum it seems a little more common. As with everyone else just trying to share my experience in the hopes it might help another. I am fortunate to have a good relationship with the parts store and they are trying to press the SKF rep for any insight. Thanks dusty
  • kevin109kevin109 Posts: 3
    John.. I just took my 05 4x4 quad cab into have the tires rotated today. I told them there was a "roaring" sound comming from the front end. Two mechanics looked at each other and said. "bearings" They jacked the front wheels off the ground and invited me out to take a look. As he grabbed and wiggled the wheel, the movement of the entire wheel was obvious in all directions. So... I guess that is my problem. It is obviously not a rare occurance on these Dodges, along with all the other junk parts in the front ends of them.... ie. ball joints.. sway bar struts. I drove my 99 S10 173,000 miles and only changed an idler arm. This damn Dodge is killing me. I'll never buy another one. Kevin
  • garymccngarymccn Posts: 1
    with only 60,000 miles I already replaced both stabilizer links. and I have that dry wheel bearing sound drivers side . can not get brake disk off to get to sealed bearings. :lemon:
  • kevin109kevin109 Posts: 3
    I changed the sway bar links the first time at 35000 miles... Of can only get them from the dealer. 60 bucks a piece. Now at 90, 000 they are bad again. My mechanic had a real hard time getting the hub apart also. He said he had to use a pneumatic chizel on it to bust it apart. I am guessing the other front bearing is probably bad too. ... The same day I also found that corrosion was eating my transmission cooler lines where they are swaged together, just before they go into the radiator. Keep an eye on them, especially if you are in a place that salts the roads. I wish Ford would make a mid sized truck. The Dodge is junk, everyone tells me the Chevy is a woosy little truck. And looky there .. a Dakota advertisement right next to my entry.....right there>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Never again Dodge,,,, Good luck Gary ... Kevin
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    edited March 2010
    Kevin, by the time I fill up with gas later in the week I'll have 140,000 miles on my Dakota and it still has the original wheel bearings and I have no noise. Of the Dakotas I know of personally, all are still on their originals. Of course, I have a 2003 and they did change the front suspension design quite a bit after 2004. Don't know what year you have, but if sway bar link and wheel bearing failures make a vehicle "junk," there must be a worse category for Canyons, Colorados and Rangers, since I know of a bunch that have had the same issues and much more. Ask your local parts counter guy how many they sell for other make trucks. I think you'll be surprized.

    The hub should be replaced as an assembly on a Dakota. Attempts to replace just the bearing are problematic since the these units are assembled with the hub housing at an elevated temperature to prevent damage fron uneven seating pressure by mechanical press seating.

    As for sway bar links, yes, I broke one last winter after hitting the mother of all potholes. You may complain about the price of a factory link, but on my ex-wifes Avalon they are only available from the factory, too, and they're $100 a piece. Worn sway bar links are so common nowadays, I wouldn't single out Dakotas. I've seen them break on Tacomas and F150s as well. Based on the results I see with other people, one thing I will not do again is buy an aftermarket sway bar link.

  • kevin109kevin109 Posts: 3
    Maybe the fact that my 05 Dakota is a 4x4 and the salt they put on roads makes a difference. I guess calling the truck junk is unfair but i have never had so many problems with a front suspension. Now I have a new noise up there that started a couple days ago. Heh heh ... Oh well. Still cheaper to patch 'em up than to buy a new one I guess. Love the engine though. That V8 is a horse. I will try to get 200, 000 out of it . If it survives the salt. Thanks Dusty....Kevin
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Hi Kevin,

    I'm not saying that the wheel bearings shouldn't have gone farther. I don't remember if you stated how many miles on your Dak, but a wheel bearing should go at least 100,000 miles before needing replacement. Maybe I'm much older than you, but I remember the days when manufacturers specified that the wheel bearings needed to be cleaned and repacked every 20,000 miles. That type of maintenance extended replacement to around 80,000 - 100,000 miles or so. So far to-date, I've had to replace more conventional front wheel bearings than I have sealed bearings ('59, '63, '77 Chevy cars, '72 & '89 Chevy trucks).

    Dodge, like most other trucks nowadays, use a sealed bearing which technically should be exposed to far less moisture and contamination than a non-sealed bearing. You have a 4x4. They do generate a little more heat than a two-wheel drive because of increased loading. Mine's a 2x4 and never had the hubs fully emersed in water, but its seen its share of mud.

    After eight years I've come to appreciate my Dak. Since I needed to carry a full-size ATV, it was the smallest pick up I could find to do the job. The Frontier, which I am personnaly fond of (I was trading a '93 Sentra) was way too small. Same for the Ranger. I know too many people that owned an S10 to ever go near one. The Tacoma was cramped and underpowered. With the Dak 4.7 I manage 20-21 on the road with a full load of ATV and gear, 16-18 around town and it will out pull any truck in its class. I ask others with smaller trucks and they might be doing one mile per gallon better than me. My 4.7 at 140,000 does not or ever has burned a drop oil. Frontiers of the year I bought my Dak seem to have performance issues (sensors) and electrical problems. The S10s of the same year have gapping holes in the body and seem to have a lot of engine problems, and there are Tacomas that have frames so rusted through that they can't pass New York State inspection. Even the Rangers have a reputation for bad differentials and transmissions, so some of their owners are telling me.

    I sorry to hear of your recent problems and I hope you have better performance with the Dak in the future.

    Best of luck,
  • whlitening97whlitening97 Posts: 2
    edited May 2010
    I have a question related to this thread. Do the front half-shafts have to be in to hold the bearings? I have a 97 that we pulled the front drive shaft and half shafts and a few days later had a wheel bearing let go. Long story short, after replacing the sealed bearing on the passenger side(twice, in one day and then having it towed home) I was told by the tow driver that they need to be in the truck to keep the bearings in. The driver's side is still in, without the half-shaft being in there.

    PS: I have 178,000 miles on my Dakota and just recently had to put tires, control arms and tierods in it. I thought it did pretty well. Also has the original clutch (it is a 5-speed). I haven't had much trouble with my truck.

  • veb1veb1 Posts: 1
    My 2005 with 35K on it developed a noise from the left front that was very noticeable when taking left turns. My local shop replaced the bearing on the left side problem solved. Now one month later when driving and hitting some bumps in the road at average speed it sounds like something buckling or something is ready to fall off the truck. I jacked up the truck both front wheels seem tight and everything underneath looks normal. Any suggestions?
  • whlitening97whlitening97 Posts: 2
    edited July 2010
    Trying to replace the slave cylinder in a 1997 Dakota. Seems they did an upgrade and the reservoir/hose will not attach to the new slave cylinder. Local auto parts stores don't carry the reservoir/hose. Anyone know where to get a new one, or do I have to go to a junk yard and get one from a newer truck? Or is there a different way to attach the old reservoir?
  • I have a 03 Dakota Quadcab. It has approximately 163,000 miles. I bought this truck used and have had nothing but troubleout of the frontend. I have replace the upper and lower ball joints as well as the shocks and pads and turned the Rotors. there is the history. I have replace the bearing hub on both sides multiple times 6 on passanger side and 5 on the drivers. I have checked the spindles for wear and check the spindle to race clearance of none. What is going on anyone had this issue. even though the hubs are warranty this is still pi** me off just because I can't find what is wrong and 2 I am tired of working on the same issue.

    Thanks for any help
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    I've had to replace both of my front wheel bearing hubs. The drivers side failed
    around 50K miles, the passenger just recently around 60K miles. I got a used
    hub for the drivers side and bought a new timken hub as spare, which is now
    being used on the passenger side. When the first hub bearing failed, I went]
    to Timken and got the actual bearing, but there was no way I could get the
    old one out, so I scrapped the hub. On the recent failure, I went to a machine
    shop and they pressed the old one out and the new bearing in. Now that is
    my spare. Years ago, you could repack the front bearings, now everything is
    throwaway at high cost too. The lower ball joints are going as well, even
    though I grease them myself with an grease needle by injecting some grease
    into the rubber boot..but this is crap. Chrysler/dodge could have made them
    with zerk grease nipples. I've just bought two MOOG balljoints that have the
    grease fittings. This is nothing but a plot to make money off the owners by
    Chrysler dealerships! I will never use them for any repairs!
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