|2007-ish Ford Edge|
Lest anyone get the impression that I live to pick on GM, rest assured that it is a regular occurrence to find questionable design or engineering choices from virtually every automaker. If it hasn't happened for me with a particular brand yet, it's probably because I simply haven't had to work on many of that brand's products.
Today's example is a Ford Edge. I think this one is a 2007, but they're the same from 2006 on, as is the Edge's Lincoln MKX twin.
Wheel bearings, a.k.a "hubs" or "hub assemblies" are by nature wear items, though there are a great number of vehicles that reach the end of their service life never having had one replaced.
All the same, you've got to figure there's a decent chance that someone will need to replace them at some point, so why not make them relatively easy to replace? You'd think this would also make them easy to install during assembly, right?
|Ford Edge rear axle as seen standing beneath the cargo area, facing right rear. Note the hidden Torx bolts.|
|Detail view of rear hub assembly fasteners.|
Because they're so close to the ABS tone ring (don't dare damage that - ABS issues can result), and because there's only a direct, straight-line access to one of the four bolts (due to interference from the rear springs, etc.), they're an awkward nuisance to work with. Almost makes the Volkswagen Tiguan's rear hubs seem user friendly.
As a bonus, it does give your friendly technician an opportunity to buy yet another expensive tool set that he/she will use infrequently at best - and even this specialized tool had to be partially disassembled (Torx bit removed from its socket to be turned by a wrench instead) just to remove and install one of the bolts.
|Long-reach 1/2" drive Torx socket set.|
The spread of the bolt pattern could have been a few millimeters wider, or, better yet, the bolts could have been fastened from the other side through the hub flange. Conventional hex head bolts could have been used.
|Exterior view of rear hub with brake assembly removed.|
This Award may be shared in part with Mazda, as there's some shared engineering in the Edge. The Edge's origins, via a convoluted path, lie in the original Mazda6's platform, courtesy of the Ford Fusion - a common basic architecture known at Ford as CD3. (Perhaps I should have paid more attention the last time one of those cars came in.)
|Admit it - you were curious what this part looked like, right?|