Friday, November 9, 2012

Jackass Award - Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX Rear Hubs

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.
Meet the Ford Edge. In a front-wheel drive Edge those Torx-head bolts seen above would be sitting in a wide open space. Not so with all-wheel drive Edges, since the rear CV shaft (axle) and its large ABS tone ring (the toothed piece, which is part of the ABS sensor) do a good job of blocking service access. Clearly, this suspension arm is assembled prior to there ever being a driveshaft in the way.

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.
It didn't have to be this way.

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.)

For making this part more difficult to service than is really necessary, Ford (and maybe Mazda), please allow me to present you with a Jackass Award.


Admit it - you were curious what this part looked like, right?

14 comments:

  1. Hey thanks for your article. I think I have searched for a few days now and this is the only how to I have found. Do you know the torque specs on the bolts? Do you know what size Torx bit is used? Trying to get just one so I don't have to buy the whole kit. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks and nice article. ericsimsii@gmail.com

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  2. Regardless of the materials, all bearing needs care to insure the proper working of the machine.

    tilt pad bearings

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  3. Can you tell me what size torx bit is used or what kind of torx set this was. I cannot find this anywhere. Thanks, Andy Frye asfrye@evenlink.com

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  4. T60 torx long Snap-On Blue Tip BLPTL1260 (Grind the edges 3/4" from tip about 1 1/2" back so as not to interfere with ring) 1 1/4 Socket to remove axle shaft nut.

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  5. hey the tool truck guys have'ta eat too:)

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  6. Axle nut socket is 32MM to remove the hub bearing (4 bolts ) you need a T60 torx tool. Grind the edge about 1 1/2 back to clear the abs gear. Harbor freight sell a torx set for 29.95 and the 32 MM socket for 6.95
    Very important inner axle nut has to be torque at 200 and the outer one at 130
    View the 28 minutes video on you tube.

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  7. Whatever brand socket you will have to grind the shank heat the bearing housing or you will break the socket if you slide hammer off the hub first more room for socket

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  8. Why are some comments deleted?

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  9. Snap-on now makes a Torx T60 bit for this application. It is called the S6560 and it has a narrow section of the shaft to work around the tone ring. It is about 4 1/2" long and has a 9/16" hex on the other end for use with a wrench or socket plus other drive tools.

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    Replies
    1. I try to see a picture but I cant find it. Are you sure of the tool number?

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  10. snap-on does make a special tool for the edge and mkz. s6560 is the tool number and it saved me a ton of time.

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  11. Thanks Brian for the info. My wife's 2010 Edge SEL-AWD had a noise she said from the passenger rear. When I seen this with the hub mounting I thought where is my Ford thinking. But with the Mazda design, I can see where this is coming from. Good to see that Snap On is helping us out as others...Thanks

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