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Dynatrac Free-Spin kits (getting rid of unit bearings)

ttengineer

Adventurer
Although this is interesting I am curious as to what the numbers are.

First, how many miles do we expect to own the truck? 100k, 250k 500k+?

The next most important question is how often do the unit bearings fail and how much do they cost?

And finally, how much does the Dynatrac kit cost, how much maintenance is required and how many miles will it last?

I am all for performing valuable modifications or upgrades but the numbers tell the truth and I am curious to see some. That way, if my unit bearings fail at some point in the future Dynatracs might or might not be a consideration for me. Your thoughts?
It’s cheaper to run unit bearings unless you want to keep the truck for over 400k miles.

But you can service the hubs with the wheel still on the truck and it does increase fuel milage. Admittedly about .5gal/mi though.

Free spin kits also reduce wear on front drive train components.

Yes thy are expensive, no they do not pay for themselves over unit bearings, but I think they are worth it.


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ttengineer

Adventurer



You’ll need to paint this bevel as well or it will rust on you. The lock ring does not cover it.


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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Although this is interesting I am curious as to what the numbers are.

First, how many miles do we expect to own the truck? 100k, 250k 500k+?

The next most important question is how often do the unit bearings fail and how much do they cost?

And finally, how much does the Dynatrac kit cost, how much maintenance is required and how many miles will it last?

I am all for performing valuable modifications or upgrades but the numbers tell the truth and I am curious to see some. That way, if my unit bearings fail at some point in the future Dynatracs might or might not be a consideration for me. Your thoughts?

Personally, its more of a hassle thing, than cost. The dynatrac setup is a more robust and reliable setup, with a bit more required maintenance.
But as far as I'm concerned, it still pencils out cost wise, especially if you consider labor.
Once the Dynatrac set is on, all you need is the hub tool and some grease to do an complete service.

I was quoted roughly $2000 to swap out the front unit bearings on my truck, with no additional work.
I was due for U-joints as well, so the total estimate, including two unit bearings, seals, joints, and labor was a touch more than $2500

The Dynatrac kit costs $2000
Add into that the seals and u-joints I still need, as well as grease, some paint, etc, Ill be right at that same $2500, but before labor.
I'm doing the work myself. I have no clue how much a shop would charge, but its likely 6+ hours worth of labor.

The OEM bearings from what Ive read typically last between 70 and 150k miles. Though many have reported MUCH shorter life.
Oversized tires, and hauling heavy will shorten the life of the unit bearing considerably. Im in that category.
That's also assuming GOOD OEM unit bearings. And do take note.... not one parts house in town carries Motorcraft.
So its an availability thing as well. All they carry is chinese... which I wouldnt trust at all. Ive heard of AutoZone premium unit bearings lasting less than 10k miles.
Heavy truck camper setups, Ive heard of good motorcaft unit bearings lasting as little as 30-50k miles.

Considering the ones I removed were not original, but were Motorcraft replacements, so far my truck @ 140k is only seeing 70k miles per set, on average.
The cheapest Ive found the Motorcraft unit bearings is RockAuto @ ~$400 each. So this ruck has already used up $1600 worth of bearings, not including labor.

The Dynatrac kit specifies a 30k maintenance/inspection interval. Thats normal for serviceable taper wheel bearings.
Though a "service" for most is typically less than checking for play and moisture in the hub.
I plan on a complete repack every 50k. Remember, the bearings are dirt cheap (if you EVER have to replace them), at just $30 per side.

With 140k on the truck now, and looking to get at least 400k out of this truck, I don't expect to have to do bearings ever again.
 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
Unit bearing assemblies on these rigs have two issues: the two tapered unit bearings with the ABS tone ring in between them (this is the "ABS hole" grease trick that ppl talk about) but the real issue those little spindle needle bearings which don't get greased with the ABS hole trick.. Truth is you CAN service them: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/...-removing-unit-bearing-write-up-and-pics.html

Much confusion on this but there you have it. So the correct jerry rig grease job is to "stick a tube into the abs hole and squeeze synthetic red grease until its full" AND "remove the hub lock and needle grease around the spindle". Totally doable. Previous Super Duty I put 150k miles on the unit bearings without a peep of noise or grease then sold it. Aperently I didn't know better at the time.

Seeing as you can replace both unit bearings for 400, not sure on the payback on these Dynatracs. Peace of mind sure but I'll just grease mine as above and watch them, feel for heat and listen to them. I can think of way better uses of 2500. Ie, onboard belt driven air AND an air locker anybody? Or a trip to Paris?
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
If its just a daily driver, I see no reason to even consider such a kit.
Many will see decent life out of OEM unit bearings.

Thats far from the case for guys running bigger tires or hauling heavy.
Do both, and its compounded further.

That's not servicing IMO.
That's injecting lube in and hoping for the best.

If the bearing is already compromised via water or debris, you are SOL.
Not so with legit serviceable bearings.

Seeing as you can replace both unit bearings for 400, not sure on the payback on these Dynatracs.
Id love to see what bearings you are getting for $200 each.

'Cause you are not getting Motorcraft for anywhere near that.
 
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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
And for those that care, this is the setup.

The camper rarely comes off the truck these days.
Wet and loaded, we are all of 11k lbs.

Typically 5k on the front axle, and 6k on the rear. (y)

 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
If its just a daily driver, I see no reason to even consider such a kit.
Many will see decent life out of OEM unit bearings.

Thats far from the case for guys running bigger tires or hauling heavy.
Do both, and its compounded further.



That's not servicing IMO.
That's injecting lube in and hoping for the best.

If the bearing is already compromised via water or debris, you are SOL.
Not so with legit serviceable bearings.



Id love to see what bearings you are getting for $200 each.

'Cause you are not getting Motorcraft for anywhere near that.
Love your rig. HUGE inspiration BTW. But I've seen unit bearings out there for cheaper than this but here is Yukon's version. Again, haven't purchased because I'm dangerous but here it is for $250: https://www.ebay.com/p/12007862417. I have never heard anybody say that Motorcraft is better than Yukon. I have Yukon 5.38 gears and their zip locker on the front of my 2001 F450 frankentruck with a swapped in 2006 axle and suspension setup with Buckstops and MPT81s so I shall soon know! I'll be starting a thread soon and will try to be as transparent as possible but I've known dozens of Super Duty owners with the unit bearing setup and not on single failure in 15 years that I know of. Obviously it happens hence this thread but I think the unit bearing concerns can be alleviated somewhat with greasing the bearings. Because GREASE. Including the needle, grease trick for less than $100 in parts and grease. I have deeper concerns, hence the 6.0 swapped tranny cooler, spare cam position sensors, and any other more pressing platform problems. I'll keep you posted. I love living dangerously. Life is short, drive your truck. Buy whiskey instead! Unless you are driving the Silk Road. Cheers!
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Yukon?? No way, no how.
Last i checked, even much of their ring and pinion sets are chinese or korean.

Ive never even heard of a Yukon unit bearing, and would assume that its little more than a re-boxed import.

And Im still waiting to see what unit bearings you are buying for $200
You claimed just $400 for a set. At least post up something worthwhile.
Your Yukon bearings are looking more like $500+ per set, plus labor every time they fail.
 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
Yukon?? No way, no how.
Last i checked, even much of their ring and pinion sets are chinese or korean.

Ive never even heard of a Yukon unit bearing, and would assume that its little more than a re-boxed import.

And Im still waiting to see what unit bearings you are buying for $200
You claimed just $400 for a set. At least post up something worthwhile.
Your Yukon bearings are looking more like $500+ per set, plus labor every time they fail.
Yukon makes top notch stuff and the link to their actual product is right there in the link I provided you. Took 5 seconds on Google. I have no idea what you're talking about. The gears and zip locker and diff rebuild kits I bought are really nice. I've bought some great stuff but I've also bought more Motorcraft garbage than I care to remember. But Google is your friend. You can find unit bearings for cheaper YMMV.

I've owned and abused Super Duties for two decades and have never, not over, had a unit bearing failure. Or ever met a human who has experienced a failure. Ever. I've bought and sold oil trucks from the Green River Basin that have been thrashed worse than anybody on this forum would ever do. But just me etc. Obviously they fail, so does any bearing you don't service. But you can service them. No great mystery. Ford should have made them servicable and a stationary spindle is a better design with proper maintenance. Just saying I have survived with them and haven't died. Yet. But I will be stressing my "new" truck and would make the change if I thought it necessary. 2500 bux is a major chunk of change in my world though. I'd have to think twice.
 
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ramblinChet

Well-known member
I just found ******, SKF and Timken unit bearings for a 2012 RAM 2500 at RockAuto for $175-200 each.

And coming from the Jeep community after several decades the problems with unit bearings failing early many times seemed to be related to running wheels and tire combinations with the wrong offset. I have quite a bit of faith in the drive train engineers at RAM an as much as I would love to pick up a pair of Dynatrac or Warn hubs I just can not justify the cost right now. If my bearings ever begin to let me know they are heading south I will definitely revisit the option though.
 
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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
And coming from the Jeep community after several decades the problems with unit bearings failing early many times seemed to be related to running wheels and tire combinations with the wrong offset. I have quite a bit of faith in the drive train engineers at RAM an as much as I would love to pick up a pair of Dynatrac or Warn hubs I just can not justify the cost right now. If my bearings ever begin to let me know they are heading south I will definitely revisit the option though.
It makes more sense for Dodge truck owners due to the lockouts. (y)

And the comment about jeep unit bearings rings true, as you are adding more stress to the already terrible unit bearing design.
Same goes for oversized tires and hauling heavy on full size pickups like the Superduty and RAM

You take a bad design, and add more stress. Doesnt take a genius to understand the result it a shorter lifespan of the bearings. ;)


Yukon makes top notch stuff and the link to their actual product is right there in the link I provided you. Took 5 seconds on Google. I have no idea what you're talking about. The gears and zip locker and diff rebuild kits I bought are really nice. I've bought some great stuff but I've also bought more Motorcraft garbage than I care to remember. But Google is your friend. You can find unit bearings for cheaper YMMV.
Yukon doesnt MAKE anything. All they do it rebox/relabel. There are a many forum threads on this all over the web.
And is much of the reason they are NOT regarded as being consistently good, let alone "top notch"
The quality is incredibly hit/miss.

And youre still missing the point about cost. I dont want the CHEAPEST bearings out there.
I want quality. And you will not find that in a $200 unit bearing. Period.

I've owned and abused Super Duties for two decades and have never, not over, had a unit bearing failure. Or ever met a human who has experienced a failure. Ever. I've bought and sold oil trucks from the Green River Basin that have been thrashed worse than anybody on this forum would ever do. But just me etc. Obviously they fail, so does any bearing you don't service. But you can service them. No great mystery. Ford should have made them servicable and a stationary spindle is a better design with proper maintenance. Just saying I have survived with them and haven't died. Yet. But I will be stressing my "new" truck and would make the change if I thought it necessary. 2500 bux is a major chunk of change in my world though. I'd have to think twice.
And chances are high, that you never put enough miles on those trucks to even bother.
Truthfully, somebody that openly admits abusing a vehicle is the last one Id expect to maintain properly.
You might run them hard then resell them, and thats fine. Some of us, myself included invest in ONE vehicle and run it to 300k+
Its a completely different mindset. And that it abundantly clear 😆
 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
Yukon doesnt MAKE anything. All they do it rebox/relabel. There are a many forum threads on this all over the web.
And is much of the reason they are NOT regarded as being consistently good, let alone "top notch"
The quality is incredibly hit/miss.

And youre still missing the point about cost. I dont want the CHEAPEST bearings out there.
I want quality. And you will not find that in a $200 unit bearing. Period.



And chances are high, that you never put enough miles on those trucks to even bother.
Truthfully, somebody that openly admits abusing a vehicle is the last one Id expect to maintain properly.
You might run them hard then resell them, and thats fine. Some of us, myself included invest in ONE vehicle and run it to 300k+
Its a completely different mindset. And that it abundantly clear 😆
Well I bought and sold commercial trucks for a living for a few years, mostly big rigs but a number of oil field rigs, mostly 450, 550. If it needed components, we put them on, including full mechanical refreshes. Still sell few rigs per year. I feel like you are getting really riled up on this. Not my intention. Big deep breaths might help you. But, yeah I put 223k miles on a super duty myself and replaced the unit bearings once, not because they failed but because its was time. That's just one data point. Glad you've found service out of the gear you've bought. Good job. Enjoy your truck and have a nice day.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
You dont. Especially if you have a (noisy) diesel and/or tires.

And with the unit bearings, the bearing cages themselves are plastic.
When things go sideways, they go sideways fast.

With the set Ive pulled off of this truck, there wasnt even any play, or even a vibration.
And having the (quiet) 6.2 I noticed noise that came and went.

I even had the local tire shop road test it. They told me it was likely tires.
Wrong wrong wrong....
 
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