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How to Replace Front Hub Bearing and Knuckle Assembly 2005-12 Ford Escape

Created on: 2019-03-04

How to repair, install, fix, change or replace a worn out, vibrating or groaning wheel bearing hub and steering knuckle assemblyon 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12 Ford Escape

Tools needed

  • Hammer

    Ball Joint Press

    Pry Bar

    Jack Stands

    7mm Allen Wrench


    Pickle Fork


    1-1/2 Inch Socket

    Snap Ring Pliers

    Brake Caliper Hanger

    Bungee Cord


    Floor Jack

    Torque Wrench

    Rust Penetrant

    Channel-Lock Pliers

    18mm Socket

    19mm Socket

    Brake Parts Cleaner

    Side Cutters


    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    8mm Socket

    Center Punch

    Brake Caliper Compressor Tool. Single Piston. Screw Style.

    10mm Socket

    Wire Brush

    Cloth Rags

    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

Hi, I'm Mike from 1AAuto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years.

What's up guys? I'm Andy from 1A Auto. In this video, I'm going to be replacing the front knuckle with a hub and bearing assembly on this 2012 Ford Escape. If you need this part or other parts for your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to 1AAuto.com.

One thing you're going to do want to do any time you do any kind of front end repair or suspension repair, you're going to want to go to a local shop and have your alignment performed. Otherwise, you're going to have premature tire wear.

All right, I'm going to crack these lug nuts for you. I'm just going to use a 19-millimeter socket and a breaker bar, loosen these up.

Now, I'm going to raise and support the vehicle. I'm using a two-post lift. If you're doing this, say, at your house you can use a jack and jack stands.

Okay, now, we're going to remove the lug nuts. It's easier to use the socket when you're taking the lug nuts off. The tires on there pretty good, so I'm actually going to take one of the lug nuts, put it back on. Then I'm going to take a hammer, and from the backside, I'm just going to hit the tire and loosen it up. The lug nut stays on there so that the tire doesn't go flying off. Now I can remove that lug nut. Pull the tire off.

First thing I want to do is take this spring off, this just holds the caliper to the bracket. Puts tension on the caliper. So, I'm just going to use some large grooved pliers. I'm just going to squeeze right here little bit and then just take a screwdriver, straight blade screwdriver, get in here, pry this out a little bit. It's good idea to wear safety glasses when you do this just in case it goes flying. Pull that out.

Now on the back side of the caliper, there's bolts that hold this to the caliper bracket under these little caps, so just take a straight blade screwdriver, take the caps off. It's one, there's the other one. Now I'm just going to take these two caliper bolts out. I'm going to use a seven millimeter Allen socket and a ratchet. Take these out. All right. That will slide out a little bit. This is actually a caliper slide bolt. Pull it out. We'll do the same for the other one. All right. Pull that out. If these bolts don't come out all the way, that's okay as long as you pull them back a little bit just to slide the caliber up.

Now, we're going to grab this caliper. I'm just going to take a straight blade screwdriver, go in between the rotor and the caliper. You just want to compress the piston just a little bit just so that we can get the caliper off. We can pry down here, slide the caliper off. The inboard pad is going to come with the caliper. And you slide that out.

Now, I'm going to use this caliper hanger. We actually sell these at 1AAuto.com. Wrap it around the coil spring and go through the caliper here. It's going to leave tension on the hose. You don't want to just hang it from the hose. Slide that out of the way. Right with the caliper right here, we can just remove this pad, just slide it out like that. Now we can remove this pad, just take a screwdriver. Sometimes they get stuck in here, it's frozen right there. So, that's going to give you some issues when you're driving. It's not going to stop very well. Let me just try to slide it out. Just like that.
Now, we're going to remove these two caliper bracket bolts. I'm going to use a 18-millimeter socket and a breaker bar. Loosen these up. Loosen the other one up. And once they're loose, you can take them off by hand. As I take this top one out, I'm going to support the caliper bracket with my other hand. Now I can grab it and just slide it up.
I'm going to take these clips off, these little retainer clips just hold the rotor on from the factory. They're not necessary for when you're driving a vehicle. I'm just going to use some straight cutters, grab the clip and just break them off. Take that one off as well.

Now, this rotor, if there wasn't any corrosion on it, it would come right off, but I have corrosion, so I'm going to use a hammer and just hit right in these locations, being careful not to hit the studs. All right. This rotor's on there pretty good, so I'm actually going to take some rust penetrant, spray it down. Just spraying all the stud holes. And just spin this around and then spray it this way. Let it soak for couple of minutes. Now that that's soaked for a little bit, take the hammer again and just give it some taps. And there we go. Broke free. Now we can grab the rotor, slide it off.

I want to take this axle nut off. If I just go to take it off with the 1 1/4 socket and the breaker bar, the whole thing is going to spin. So what I need to do is I lowered the vehicle down, and then I'm going to take a pry bar. stick it in between the studs and have the pry bar supported by the ground. And then that'll prevent the axle from spinning, and then I can loosen it up. Yep, that's nice and loose. Remove this. Go back up.

Before I take this nut off, I just want to tap the axle, see if it's loose. It's just pushing the CV axle in a little bit just to make sure it's loose. This one seems pretty loose, which is good. We can loosen that up more once everything else is taken apart. So, I'll take this nut off.

We're going to remove the wheel speed sensor. I just want to use an eight-millimeter socket and extension and a ratchet. There's a bolt right here. Take this off. Take that bolt out. And I'll just grab the sensor and just rock it back and forth. Sometimes they stick in there pretty good. Just going to take a straight blade screwdriver, pry underneath here a little bit. Try not to break the sensor. Just get under the lip a little bit. You can twist the screwdriver back and forth. Just switch to a larger screwdriver. We can pry this up a little bit more. Just work it back and forth. Should be able to get it off.

So, underneath the sensor here, these little ears on the sensor, they're not clearing the hole. There's some rust buildup on the hole, so it's causing the sensor not to be removed. So I'm just taking a pick and just trying to loosen out some of the rust in here just going back and forth. You could get some Emery Cloth and maybe try to slide it in there. It's going to be a little bit difficult. I'm just trying to work the sensor back and forth, hopefully, we can do this without breaking the sensor. Also, take some pliers, just grab the sensor carefully. Just work it back and forth. And there, it's starting to come out. Just slide it out just like that.

I'm going to spray some rust penetrant on this bolt and nut right there. Also, I'm going to do the lower strut nuts and bolts. And then also the outer tie rod end, let those soak for a little bit.

I'm going to take this pinch bolt out, the lower ball joint pinch bolt. I'm going to use a 13-millimeter socket and a ratchet on the inside here. You could also use a wrench if you can fit one on there. And a 15-millimeter socket and a ratchet on the nut. Loosen this up. Before I take this nut off, I'm just going to spray some more rust penetrant on that bolt. Seems like that bolt's in there pretty good. I can turn it a little bit, so ... Let's put a little rust penetrant in there. And I'm going to take a hammer and just tap on that. The reason why we leave the nut on there is so I don't mushroom the bolt.
Just take the hammer, give a little tap. I'll take this nut off. So I get this bolt out. I'm just going to work it back and forth, hammer it in a little bit. Now, take a punch just so I don't ruin the threads on it. Punch it through this way. Take it out.

So, there's a couple of different ways you can separate this lower ball joint. You take a hammer and just try hammer down on the lower control arm. Sometimes if it's not too rusted, you'll be able to get it out. Or you can take a pickle fork. You just want to be careful if you're going to reuse the ball joint to not ruin the boot on the ball joint, so just make sure it's not pinching the pickle fork. There's also other types of tools you can go with that go in there and then they push down on the upper part of the ball joint.

All right, now we're going to try this tool. This is a different type of ball joint separator. Just pull the boot down a little bit if possible. Slide this. I did have to turn the wheel a little bit so that this is coming to the outside. What this is going to do when I tighten this up, it's going to push down on this lever, and it's going to push the ball joint straight down. Just going to take a wrench to tighten this up. As I tighten this up, it's pushing down on the ball joint.

Okay, this knuckle is stuck on there pretty good, the ball joint. Trying to get the ball joint out of the knuckle, so I'm just going to take a little pry bar and just try to tap in here a little bit, just pry it out a little bit. That'll help release the ball joint. So, with this tool, as I tighten this up, it's going to push down on the ball joint. And it's starting to move a little bit. And make sure you keep soaking it with rust penetrant.

All right. Now that I let this soak a little bit, I'm going to just use this tool and push this down. It's going down a lot nicer than before. It's just going to push the top part of the ball joint through the knuckle. And you can see the ball joints actually starting to go down a little bit. Now, I'm just going to try the pickle fork again.

So, the lower ball joint's loose, which is good. I'm not going to take that out completely. I want to take the nut off of the tie rod end, and then also the nuts for the strut. So, I'll take an 18-millimeter socket and a breaker bar, start to loosen this up. So if this stud starts to spin while you're loosening up the nut, you can take a wrench, take an 18 millimeter wrench, and you can take a socket, an eight-millimeter socket and a ratchet, stick it on there. That'll prevent it from spinning. But in our case, ours is not spinning, so we're okay. So, I'll just use a ratchet and a socket, loosen this up. And we can take that off.

All right, before I break that tie rod from the knuckle, I'm going to take these bolts out or at least loosen them up. Just take a 18-millimeter socket on the nut and a break bar and a 18 millimeter wrench and loosen these up. The same with this one. So, it's kind of loose, I can use a ratchet, or if it's really loose, I can just use my fingers. It's still pretty tight. Take that nut off. I can take that nut off. Now I'm going to take a hammer and release the tie rod from the knuckle. Just hammer this. Get that away out of the way.

Now, I'm going to take these two bolts out for the strut, just hammer them this way. I am going to use a little punch to get these bolts out. I am going to use a little punch to get these bolts out. Slide that out. As it slides out a little bit, we can tap on the CV joint. You don't want to hit that too hard with the hammer or you're going to mushroom the end of it. I'm going to tap this, slide this out. Grab the knuckle. It's just going to slide out like this. I can slide the CV joint to the side. And now, we can access the top part of the ball joint a little bit. So, I can take a long punch and slide that right on top of the ball joint and just carefully hammer the ball joint out while I hold the knuckle. And there we go. Be careful, you don't want to ruin that tone ring or reluctor wheel. And there's the knuckle.

Here's the old knuckle and hub assembly. Here's the new knuckle and hub assembly from 1AAuto.com. Comes with a new hub, comes with a new bearing, comes with a new dust shield. The knuckle is going to be machined the same as the old one. All the holes are in the same spots. This is a good alternative if you don't have a press, if you couldn't get to a press, if you had to replace the hub or if you had to replace the bearing. It's nice and easy. It's ready to bolt right on. Get yours at 1AAuto.com and you'll be ready to rock and roll.

Now, we'll just take this knuckle, slide the CV joint through and also the ball joint on the roll. Get that lined up. Might have to turn the hub a little bit. You take the bolts for the strut, get this lined up. Just get one of them in, the other one will be a little bit easier. Just push on it. Just like that.

We're going to take the nut, both nuts and get those started. I'll just use my 18 millimeter wrench and a 18-millimeter socket and ratchet, get these snugged down. I'm going to take a torque wrench and I'm going to torque these bolts and nuts to 85 foot-pounds. Same for the bottom. We'll install the tie rod, slide the stud through, install the nut. All right, to get this started, I'm just going to take a pry bar and pry the tie rod down between the lower part of the strut and the tie rod. And I'm prying down on the knuckle. That should prevent the stud from spinning a little bit. Then at least I can get the nut started. And now I can get on there with a ratchet. All right, that's tight. Now, I can take this off. And I'll torque that nut. Now, we'll use the 18-millimeter socket and a torque wrench, I'm going to torque this nut to 59 foot-pounds.

All right. Now, I need to get the lower ball joint pinch bolt in, just need to line this up a little bit, I'm just going to tap on the lower control arm to raise it up just a little bit. All right. I'm going to put the nut on with a 15-millimeter socket. Use a ratchet and then I'll use a 13-millimeter socket for the bolt side and a ratchet. I'm going to use a torque wrench, and I will tighten this nut to 46 foot-pounds.

I'm going to install the axle nut. It's a good idea to have a new axle nut when you're doing this. And then I'm going to use, we're going to use a pry bar, get this in here. So I'm going to use this socket. This is a 1 1/4 inch socket and a torque wrench. I'm going to torque this to 221 foot-pounds.

Now we'll install the wheel speed sensor. Just slide that in position. I'll take the bolt, get the bolt started. We'll use a eight-millimeter socket extension and a ratchet. We'll snug this bolt down. All right, that's good.

Now, we're going to clean up this caliper bracket, just use a wire brush, clean up the surface right here. And do the same for the other side. So there's an area, if you take the new brake pads and slide them into the bracket, these slide really nice, but sometimes there's a lot of rust build-up right in that area. So if you take a small wire brush, you can clean that rust out. Or you could take a file if the rust is really bad and just carefully file some of that rust off. You don't want to do this too much 'cause you don't want the pads to be loose in there, but you want to at least make sure they slide nicely. Make sure that's cleaned. And that should be good.

You can take some brake parts cleaner and just clean these up. Take a rag and wipe them down. Do the same for the other side. So, next, I want to clean these pins. They're pretty dirty. So to just use some brake parts cleaner and a rag isn't going to do it, so I'll just use a little bit of sandpaper or Emery cloth. Wrap these up. Just clean some of this off. Looks pretty good. Take a little brake parts cleaner and rag. And it looks pretty good. We'll do the same with the other one.

I'm just going to slide the rotor on backwards first, take some brake parts cleaner, clean the back side of the rotor. There is a protective coating to prevent these from rusting, you want to take that off before we install them. Flip it over, take the brake parts cleaner, clean the front side. Take a rag and wipe it off. And just take a lug nut, slide this on, it's just going to help keep the rotor in position. Make it a little easier to install. Take the bracket and the two bolts for the caliper bracket, slide this in position. Slide the bolts.

Now I'm going to take an 18-millimeter socket and a torque wrench. And I'm going to torque these to 129 foot-pounds. I'm going to take the caliper. I'm just going to slide this off here, I'm going to flip it over. I'll take the old brake pad, slide that in there, and I'll use this caliper compressor. We actually sell this at 1AAuto.com.

Slide this in position and slowly twist it in. I'm just going to push the caliper piston in. While that's doing that, it's pushing fluid through the hoses through the lines back up through the master cylinder into the reservoir. So it's good idea to check the reservoir after you're done with brake job.

Now I'm going to install the brake pads. I'm just going to take a little brake caliper grease, just slide it on the ears of the pad. This pad with the clips on it is the one that's going to go into the piston. I'll just slide this into the piston right there. Just like that. This brake pad is going to go on the outside of the caliper bracket. Put a little grease on the ear of this and this one, too. Be careful not to get any grease on the pad material. Slide that in position there. Take a brake caliper. We can just slide that in position.

Now, I'm just going to take these two brake caliper bolts. These are slide bolts so just grease them up. Take the six millimeter Allen, slide that in position. Get that started and then I'll do the same with the other one. Just take a ratchet and tighten these up. Then I'm going to take my six millimeter Allen socket and a torque wrench, and I'm going to tighten this to 18 foot-pounds. Now I'm going to take these little caps, slide these in position. Take the top one that keeps all the dust out. Next, we're going to install the spring. Sometimes these can be difficult to install, this just basically holds the caliper on to the bracket so it doesn't move.

So I'm going to start with the top here and slide that position there. Then we're going to pry down right here, get this in position. And then just try to ... Oh, see? That'll happen once in a while. Trying to get this in position down there, and then just push up. Push it in just like that. You can use a pry bar if you need to, but just make sure the ears are down there and it's clipped in there. Now, I'll take this nut off.

Reinstall the tire, take the lug nuts, put the lug nuts on. Now, we're going to torque these lug nuts with a 19-millimeter socket and a torque wrench. I'm going to torque them 100 foot-pounds, and I'm going to do that in a star pattern or a cross pattern 'cause you want the wheel to be torqued down evenly.

After I'm done the brake job, I want to make sure that I pump the brake pedal, there is going to be an air gap between the caliper piston and the brake pad, so we want to do this slow. It's going to compress the calipers. It's starting to get hard, which is good sign. It's good. Then I'm going to pop the hood and check the brake fluid level. Install the prop rod right there. Brake master cylinder is right here, and the reservoir is on top. And if I check the brake fluid, I can just wiggle it a little bit just to see where the level is. And my max level is right here, my min's down here. So I actually don't have to adjust this level. If it was too low, you'd have to add more. Generally, on top of the cap, it tells you what kind of fluid to use, and we're good to go.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

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