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2008 FJ Cruiser, original owner
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATED -- Anyone with early front wheel bearing problems?

UPDATE 10/01/19: Yep, it was the wheel bearings. I still never heard any noise, but it was skiddy/squirrely on sweeping left turns and on gravel camping roads, and after the change I realized it had been vibrating a lot on the interstate but was so gradual I didn't notice. Anyway, I'm lucky to have a childhood friend who owns a shop and works with NASCAAR, so I ordered the parts and he did the job. Once he took out the original assemblies, he showed me how rough/scratchy/noisy they turned, and that even though the seals were intact, there was almost no oil inside. Driving like a new one now!!

In case it helps anyone else, he was very happy with the quality of parts I ordered online. And I was very happy with the vendors: they responded to questions immediately, and the parts arrived quicker than promised. (I also ordered oil seals just in case, but returned them since they were included with the assemblies.)

Again, 2008 4wd manual transmission:

>> KOYO WHEEL HUB ASSEMBLIES: (Note that these come in PAIRS! That little detail is only the last word in the title and not in the description, so I had to return a pair.) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Front-Whee...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

>> O-Rings: (Note that these are singles, so I ordered two.) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TNYI66Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1






2008 manual transmission, 78k miles, original owner - mostly in town and highway miles, rough gravel on camping trips, nothing worse - all stock, all original except battery, just oil changes and scheduled maintenance

I went in with a loose heat shield and shop tells me front driver's side wheel bearing is so bad I shouldn't drive an hour away, and front passenger side is on the way out. I've had no symptoms at all, no problems steering, no noise at all. Doesn't feel right -- maybe a boat payment due? (sorry, grew up on Car Talk... )

Heading off right now to get it on the lift at a second shop, where I'm going to ask to see it for myself. Searched forum but not seeing much talk about similar problem, so decided to ask. Feedback?
 

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Re: anyone with early front wheel bearing problems?

maybe a boat payment due?
:rofl:

I would definitely validate this yourself by lifting the front and trying to wiggle the tire 12 to 6. I did mine at 100k but just as preventive maintenance, they weren't that bad even after lots of abuse off road.
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Re: anyone with early front wheel bearing problems?

You’re being smart! Dying wheel bearings love to announce their impending death through noise and play at the wheel. I agree, it’s probably for the boat :grin Let us know what shop #2 says, and GL!
 

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2008 FJ Cruiser, original owner
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Discussion Starter #4
Re: anyone with early front wheel bearing problems?

Well, left is loose and right is somewhat loose. Definitely not happy about it at 78k mostly level-road miles!! I've had freaking Chevys with 200k and original bearings. Anyway, the good news is that it's not as dire/scary as the first shop expressed, so I'm driving it two hours to my brother and a childhood buddy who owns his own shop, so I'll save a bunch on the job and give the money to a friend. And with 10.5 years of no expense, guess I can't really complain - it's just not something I expected to replace for a long time. Thanks for the replies! I rarely post but read the forum regularly. Love all you guys! :)
 

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Re: anyone with early front wheel bearing problems?

Well, left is loose and right is somewhat loose. Definitely not happy about it at 78k mostly level-road miles!! I've had freaking Chevys with 200k and original bearings. Anyway, the good news is that it's not as dire/scary as the first shop expressed, so I'm driving it two hours to my brother and a childhood buddy who owns his own shop, so I'll save a bunch on the job and give the money to a friend. And with 10.5 years of no expense, guess I can't really complain - it's just not something I expected to replace for a long time. Thanks for the replies! I rarely post but read the forum regularly. Love all you guys! :)
Are you ABSOLUTELY sure that any "play" you are feeling is in the wheel bearings, and not ball joints or tie-rod ends?

I'd be more suspect of worn ball joints or tie-rod ends than wheel bearing failures at this low a mileage, especially with no history of off-roading, no wheel spacers, no oversize tires, etc. And no bearing noise? Wheel bearings will typically "rumble" for thousands of miles before there is any noticeable clunk or play relative to the spindle.

Do you have severely pot-holed or otherwise deteriorating road surfaces in your area? These conditions will typically degrade ball joints and tie-rod ends more quickly than wheel beatings.
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Completely agree with @FJtest - tie rods and balljoints are the more likely suspects....and they’re cheaper :wink There are specific kinds of play associated with each problem - exactly what “looseness” did garage #2 find? For example, a bad balljoint will display up n down wheel movement when a prybar is shoved underneath the wheel (6 to 12oclock motion). Also I’ve never heard of bad wheel bearings NOT making noise.
 

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if it's the wheel bearing your font end will sound make a deep monotone sound that increases and decreases with speed.
Yup, absolutely correct. If it is a wheel hub bearing issue, you will hear it for sure. And the sound usually goes away when you are turning in one direction or the other at a decent speed.

I only had to replace one of them at 170k. They also do not have to be replaced in sets ie front or rear.

I would get a second opinion.
 

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My 2007 with about 117k or so at the time, started to have both front wheel bearings start to make noise late last year and I had them both replaced. 2 owner vehicle, and I have had it since Oct 2014 with not much offroad from myself or previous owner. I didn't wait for much more in the way of symptoms besides some droning at certain speeds, etc.
 

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fka BLACK HAWK
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also, wheel spacers will lessen the life expectancy of wheel bearings. 1.25 spacers are the most recommended. 1.5 ( which is what I have) are Max recommended but will lessen the life expectancy even more.
 

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I ran 1" spacers from probably 75K to 100K so I was worried about premature death of the wheel bearings too. I'm at 160K now and the only thing that eventually got to just the front passenger was running it through the ocean. Well, Sea of Cortez/Gulf of CA and then having no maint on that corner for months and months. It died a VERY slow, very loud death and wasn't a road/highway feel type of deal but just horrible noise.
 
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