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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2008 focus se. Rear drum setup. I recently replaced my rear drums with a set of aftermarket ones from RockAuto. The drums were loaded with bearings in them. They were middle of the road pricing. So not bottom of the barrel. I installed them and 2 months later I noticed a very distinctive brake rubbing noise while making sharp turns. I put the car on a lift and I could wiggle both back tires, like the bearings were very loose. I installed them with new axle nuts and torqued them to 173ft/lbs while spinning them counter-clockwise. Since then I have tried pressing OEM bearings into the drums, new stub axle shafts and replacement spindle nuts. Nothing seems to tighten up the drum to the stub shaft. When I pressed the old bearings out and the new bearings into the drums they went in with some resistance so I don't think the drum itself is to blame. Any help would be very appreciated.
Aside from doing a complete OEM overhaul of the rear wheel bearing hubs Ive run out of ideas.
 

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The is probably a dumb question, but are the studs not holding tight in the brake drum?


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Discussion Starter #3
Not a stupid question. But yes they are tight. I can actually grab ahold of the drums after tightening the center nut to 173 ft/lbs and feel the play in them with my hands.
 

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This is a hard one. The focus used the same rear drum bearing and stub shaft form 2000 to 2008. I have a 2010 basically identical the size of the parts are just a bit different. I had to replace my passenger side and I had no issues.

I just don't get it.

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Ive basically been chasing my tail. I RMA'd the first set of loaded drums for another set. That didn't work. Then purchased 2 more aftermarket bearings and I pressed them into the drums myself. the same result. Then I purchased an OEM bearing and tried that. Same result. Then I got a stub shaft, tried that with the OEM bearing. Same result. Im pulling my hair out over here. haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Question for anyone. Does the orientation of the bearing in the drum matter? I did a pretty thorough inspection of the bearings. The inner races on either side look identical. The only difference is
one side of the bearing has a rubber portion between the inner race and the outer barrel and the other side has a metal portion between the two.
 

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The different sides are to accommodate ABS sensor. Other than that, the bearing will work running either way.

Not rocket science, either the OD of stub axle is off or bearing ID is. Or too big on stub and you are torquing up to not pull the bearing all the way tight by the time you hit torque.

It's a skills issue, you have to figure it out. Not hard. And why am I thinking some of those later models dropped cartridge type bearing to go back to old school bearings that only torque to inch pounds rather than that big number?

I've hammered the bearing in rather than pressed it and on the rear and 12 years ago, still running fine. Skills. DON'T buy preloaded drums, the bearings are low dog quality and often go bad, some don't even get greased, I used to sell them. The warranty issues were incredibly high.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand what your saying, "Skills" doesn't really have anything to do with it in this case though. I have also installed many bearings over the years. And your correct it is not "rocket science". That is why I am baffled at why this thing isn't tightening up after trying multiple bearings and other parts. Compared to something like the rear bearing of an older VW Jetta, were you have a separate size inner and outer races and separate sleeves that have to be pressed into the rear drum. I could understand someone not understanding that. But this is so straight forward it would be hard to really mess it up. That is why I am here asking other folks. Because it just doesn't make any sense as to why this isn't working.
 

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Nothing makes sense until you look and reason. The skills thing. Having put on 50 sets of bearings is not what is needed there. Even though I have likely done thousands now.

For instance, you wobble the setup and look CLOSE to see where the looseness is, you keep saying it's loose, it's loose which is really quite useless, we already know that.

Loose as in WHERE??? Is bearing backed up to the stop? Size of shaft and ID of bearing?? You are doing the simple work you delegate to class C mechs, but you have a class A problem in the thinking there. Why one guy gets $13/hr. and the other $25.

Your instant weeding out of the skills thing immediately classed you as a C.

Nothing personal as in insult intended there but you DO want a problem fix. Your cure if you are capable. I'd show you how but you see the problem........

'Not making any sense' says skills too, everything on the planet makes sense or it is impossible to happen, or it is outside your experience. You just have to be able to go where you have to. I've had so many bearing installs do exactly what you are showing here I cannot count but they never get run at all, I see the issue and fix it, whatever it may be. You don't simply accept it to then run the part to destruction. No, no. no.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for your help and ideas. I got a set of OEM drums at a very good price and swapped bearings to those. They went on like a dream. The play in the drums went away before even getting the stub shaft nut to 173ft/lbs. The aftermarket drums must have had some kind of defect in them. The play in the drums must have been between the outer race and the drum itself. Again, thanks everyone.
 

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Not possible, you would have a zero bearing pressfit into the drum there and notice it instantly. The skills thing. On somebody's part anyway.

I smell strong incompetence there, the same type that bought back thousands of parts when I did auto parts and most of the parts were 'bad' but had nothing wrong with them other than the installer.

If that was indeed the problem the installer should have been able to see it instantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well. The "installer" ie.. me. Did not notice any difference between installing from the aftermarket drum to the oem drum. But after installing the bearings to the oem drums all the play went away. Explain to me what the issue was then? Since apparently you (amc) have all the answers. Why dont you just let it go mr "let's call everyone incompetent" I came here to seek help, not be bullied by someone who has nothing better to do with their time. Thanks everyone else for your time. I appreciate it very much.
 

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Like I said, the SKILLS. You are supposed to always be looking for things like that instead of saying over and over I don't understand it. You don't because you don't take the time to and the problem. The task was simple enough. You also re-pressed a bearing a second time and begging for it to go bad way early and what they can do. The first time you could have snagged the bearing races on edge and out of concentricity to never compress them, you have to be aware of not only how tight things are but the distance spacing in the bearing as it approaches zero to have all play gone. That won't happen if you snag the races on edge. In fact you may have internally chipped edges off to now fail the bearing very quickly. If the bearing was so loose in drum as to wobble whoever pressed it would have caught it instantly, there would be no force in the press and the person doing the work should have stopped right there to complain. Or, bearing begins crooked in bore and never self levels out and same possibility. Bearing now cockeyed in bore and not straight axis on axis. I have a hundred more possible answers too but you get the idea.

There's nothing wrong with wanting help but when you hold back to be dressed in the morning like a little child by others we are not then helping you other than to make you even lazier to look out for your own well-being. Or what you take on when you decide you are good enough to be your own installer. YOU'RE the one that has to make final decision there, it's not enough to not understand what is going on, that is YOUR job to find out what it is. Yes, it is a 500 page book.

When I mentioned skills, it was a prod to look at something closer, you can't improve if you are oblivious to what goes on right in front of your face. You instead witlessly missed that if the bearing was loose in drum then it would not be pressed in right, that should have slapped you as impossible to use the assembled part. That's dangerous, not only to you but whoever happens to be driving right next to you when your car comes apart. Again, what you take on your shoulders when you become the installer, you can't afford crap like that, one lawsuit will affect you forever.

Sorry I dogged you so much and much of it is to let others who do the same know what can happen. I'm done here and will leave you alone.
 

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Join the clIf you do a search, you'll see that Focus rear drum bearings are a big problem. I have done at least 4 so far in 125,000 miles, including OEM.
I have a 2008 focus se. Rear drum setup. I recently replaced my rear drums with a set of aftermarket ones from RockAuto. The drums were loaded with bearings in them. They were middle of the road pricing. So not bottom of the barrel. I installed them and 2 months later I noticed a very distinctive brake rubbing noise while making sharp turns. I put the car on a lift and I could wiggle both back tires, like the bearings were very loose. I installed them with new axle nuts and torqued them to 173ft/lbs while spinning them counter-clockwise. Since then I have tried pressing OEM bearings into the drums, new stub axle shafts and replacement spindle nuts. Nothing seems to tighten up the drum to the stub shaft. When I pressed the old bearings out and the new bearings into the drums they went in with some resistance so I don't think the drum itself is to blame. Any help would be very appreciated.
Aside from doing a complete OEM overhaul of the rear wheel bearing hubs Ive run out of ideas.
Welcome to the club. If you do a search you'll find many others with Focus rear drum bearing problems. I've done at least 4 in 125,000 miles.
I've fouond that using genuine Timkin bearings gives you the best odds of a lasting fix.
 

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Look up your 'genuine Timken' bearings to find most now are made in China. I've been in that discussion before and used to sell the parts.

If you people are not pressing in your own bearings then the problem, most prepressed drum assemblies use absolutely the lowest quality bearings that are too expensive at $5 for them. Some are even bone dry with zero grease in them. I warranted so many prepress drums I couldn't count, they are utter crap.

I have not had to change any I pressed myself ever, they last forever.
 

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Glad you got it fixed this will help others down the road. I hate drum brakes.

On my 2010 the bearing seized itself to the spindle even with a hub puller I could not separate the parts I had to replace everything. They do not offer a aftermarket spindle for my year so I had to buy OEM expensive. I did buy a OEM drum that had the bearing in it. I have had no issues 30,000 miles later.



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