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Discussion Starter #1
I got home today from the feed store and noticed a much of smoke coming from the back passenger side of my truck and I was backing up the trailer into the shop. I thought it was coming from the exhaust, but after I got out I noticed it was coming from the wheel/hub assembly...it was smoking pretty good and had an oil smell to it. i got my temp gun and shot the brake pads, and caliper...both were pretty cool (under 200 degrees)...but the rotor was around 400 degrees. I'm assuming that since that brakes themselves weren't hot.....the only thin that could heat up the rotor is a bad axle bearing, which probably cooked the seal...letting oil out, causing the smoke. Does that sound about right? I haven't pulled it all apart yet...but I'm planning on doing it tomorrow.

Besides the bearings and seals (I'm going to do both passenger and drivers side)...is there anything else I will need? Is there a chance it could have ate the race up in the axle hub? It wasn't making any noise...so I think the bearing was spinning ok, it's just getting really hot.

Any tips or tricks for changing out the rear axle bearings and seals? It sounds like there is a special socket I need to buy?

Thanks for the help guys!!
 

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I ended up pulling everything apart tonight......although the inside of the rotor and the parking brake pads were soaked in oil....the bearings all looked great. They spun nice and smooth, and they look almost like new.

At this point...I'm thinking that maybe the axle tube seal started leaking a while ago...getting oil on everything. And then maybe the caliper started to drag....getting everything hot enough to start smoking off the oil? At this point since I've got it all apart....and the truck has 240K miles on it....I think I'm just going to go ahead and replace the axle shaft bearings, axle seal, AND the caliper...and put new brake pads on it. Kind of a weird scenario...but I can't think of anything else that would cause all the smoke.
 

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I ended up pulling everything apart tonight......although the inside of the rotor and the parking brake pads were soaked in oil....the bearings all looked great. They spun nice and smooth, and they look almost like new.

At this point...I'm thinking that maybe the axle tube seal started leaking a while ago...getting oil on everything. And then maybe the caliper started to drag....getting everything hot enough to start smoking off the oil? At this point since I've got it all apart....and the truck has 240K miles on it....I think I'm just going to go ahead and replace the axle shaft bearings, axle seal, AND the caliper...and put new brake pads on it. Kind of a weird scenario...but I can't think of anything else that would cause all the smoke.
Sounds like the oil was just leaking and smoking off the hot brakes. I would do like you are suggesting, maybe get the rotor turned or replaced as well.
 

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Check the vent tube... I have seen this happen on several Fords. The vent tube gets plugged by a mud dauber wasp and when the axle gets hot it blows the wheel seals out along with the oil.
 
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