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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed today while I was cleaning and wiping off the Sami that the passenger side front wheel has a little play in it. If I grab the sides of the wheel and try to rock it back and forth the wheel actually has some play or slack in it. I checked the lug nuts and they are all tight. Any suggestions on what to look at next?
Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I have taken 2 wheel drive hubs off the front and back of different vehicles. I have not taken the front hubs off a 4 wheel drive yet. Can I just unbolt and inspect? Any tips or things to look out for? Thanks!
 

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All front wheels have a little play in them. If you grab the wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock, the play you can feel is in the steering gear. To get a true feel of it, get someone to hold the steering wheel steady.
If you grab the wheel at the top, you can rock it in and out. That is play in the king pins.
A little play is normal in both directions. Unless there are some klonk-klonk noises don't wory about it. Go check some other vehicles to get a feel for what is normal. Remember bigger wheel diameters will make the movement much more obvious.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hope this rain stops soon then i can get back to seeing where exactly where this play is coming from. I went and purchased an Haynes manual for working on the Sami. Not sure if I will tackle taking the hubs off if it turns out to be a bearing or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I took my Sami by a mechanic shop this morning and asked for an estimate on whatever needed to be fixed on the front end. I am very happy with the results. The mechaic said the front end was actually pretty tight. He said the bearing might need a little tightening on the one wheel that has a very slight play in it, but not to worry he said its not going to hurt anything. I am going to order a set of front wheel bearings and seals to have on hand just in case.
 

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The front bearings are actually really easy to change. As are most things on the samurai i have found. Generaly play in the wheels side to side is a stering issue. IE tierods,steering gear box etc. If the wheel bearings are gone you can tell by grabbing the wheel at the top and trying to pull it towards yuo and push away. If it has a lot of play or makes a clunking sound you can be sure the bearings are toasted. If you do end up doing the job make sure to have rags for all the old grease, and new grease to put in the bearings etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The front bearings are actually really easy to change. As are most things on the samurai i have found. Generaly play in the wheels side to side is a stering issue. IE tierods,steering gear box etc. If the wheel bearings are gone you can tell by grabbing the wheel at the top and trying to pull it towards yuo and push away. If it has a lot of play or makes a clunking sound you can be sure the bearings are toasted. If you do end up doing the job make sure to have rags for all the old grease, and new grease to put in the bearings etc.
Thats what I mean, when I grab the tire at the top and rock it back and forth toward myself and away from myself their is a very small clunk, I would estimate the slack so to speak is 1/16 of an inch or so. I had a shop look at the steering and tie rods, he said it was surprizeing tight for that year, etc. So it must be the wheel bearing, and its not that bad to replace? Thanks.
 

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If it’s that little its probably not too bad. When i changed mine it had about 1/2 in or more of play! It was really bad. The job itself is actually easy and can be done with basic tools. I did it in the driveway and in about 1- 1 1/2 hours. The locking hub is easy. After that there’s a star washer with at least one tab bent over to lock the nuts in. There is two nuts and a washer. Once you open it up you'll see its not that complex. And it won’t hurt to check it out at least anyways. The grease might not be any good anymore anyways. I got the parts at AutoZone as well and they were not a lot of money. If you do get the bearings make sure to get both of them and the racers. Also i resealed everything with some good rtv (silicone)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks chevy I think you talked me into it. Just got a find a free day to do it now.
 

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I agree, its not a very difficult job to do. I happen to discover my jimny has the same play on the front left wheel. I jacked the part up and using both hands am able to discern some play, compared to the left front wheel.
You only need basic tools like 10mm, 12mm socket wrenches to remove the aisin locking hubs first, the difficult part is removing the lock ring using a spreader. Once thats done the whole locking hub can be pulled out. Removing those large hex wheel bearing nuts and washer can be done by using a chisel or even a flat screwdriver and hammer to get it started. Once this is done you can pull out the wheel hub and check the wheel bearings, 2 on each wheel.
Mine was just loose, inspected the tapered bearings and its still ok, regreased and tightened the lock nuts so no play so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I agree, its not a very difficult job to do. I happen to discover my jimny has the same play on the front left wheel. I jacked the part up and using both hands am able to discern some play, compared to the left front wheel.
You only need basic tools like 10mm, 12mm socket wrenches to remove the aisin locking hubs first, the difficult part is removing the lock ring using a spreader. Once thats done the whole locking hub can be pulled out. Removing those large hex wheel bearing nuts and washer can be done by using a chisel or even a flat screwdriver and hammer to get it started. Once this is done you can pull out the wheel hub and check the wheel bearings, 2 on each wheel.
Mine was just loose, inspected the tapered bearings and its still ok, regreased and tightened the lock nuts so no play so far.
Thanks for the help, I am glad your went so well, now I am hoping for the same.
 
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