1996 Windstar - wheel bearing

My wife came home this morning with smoke coming from the right front wheel well of the Windstar. It was really hot and appeared to be a wheel bearing because of the grease that was splattered inside the wheel well.
I took thing apart down to the hub assembly on the floor and found that the bearing seems fine. It appears the rotor was overheated which caused the wheel to overheat and smoke. I am now scratching my head on what to do. Do I replace the bearing because it may over heat under a load? Or do I have an issue with the disk brakes that is causing the wheel to overheat? My wife said the brakes have been working good. The rotors and pads are less than 1 year old. I had the front end apart on Labor Day weekend in 2003 when I installed new struts and tie rode ends. The van has almost 100k on the odometer. I have the car in pieces in the garage so I am grateful for any suggestions.
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==============did the wheel turn/spin when you looked at it, could be a sticky caliper
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It was so hot when I took the wheel off i did not notice the wheel sticking. I would have thought that would have caused the van to pull to the right.
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==you say the bearing is good, that leaves the brakes...
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You more than likley have a caliper hanging up. Can be caused by damage to the hose that you can not see, the caliper slides or the caliper itself. The overheat most likely did damage the wheel bearing, I would replace that spindles are expensive, your wifes saftey is more important than the extra cost of a bearing.
Many brake issues go unnoticed by the average driver. There hve been many times I have gone on test rides with a customer and noticed a brake pulsation and I'm not driving. I let the customer know and more times than not the customer had no clue.

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Thomas,
Thanks for the response. I am going to replace the bearing as I have it out. And I am concerned that it is ruined. As for as a hanging caliper what do you suggest. Should i rebuild the wheel cycliner? I damaged the abs sensor taking the hub ass'y off so i will have to replace that too. I plan on new pads on that side. I have a lifetime at autozone for the pads and the rotors. However, not sure what they would say about roasted pads?
Thanks! Mark
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As I alluded to, the reason a brake hangs up are a few. You need to check the hoses. Hoses are damaged many time with 0 out side damage. One of the ways damage happens is by hanging the caliper by the hose, about the most common. So you need to do more than just look at the caliper. Also, it is very wise to replace or repair in pairs. If you find that only the caliper is binding, replace or rebuild both. Same goes for the pads and rotors. Always replace the whole set never just one side.

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I think the hoses are gone too seen that many times
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Thanks for your feed back!
Here is my game plan: Replace right front bearing and anti lock sensor Inspect right caliper. Replace both hoses, rotors and pads. Bleed the system and then I should be good to go?
Did I miss anything?
Thanks again! Mark
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As long as the caliper is ok, yup.
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Keep in mind most rebuilt calipers are real cheap these days, it would be worth a price quote......and when they say loaded or not, loaded means they come with the pads (which you need anyway)
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You didn't say, but if you replace the brake parts on the right front, you should (must) replace the brake parts on the left front as well. Brakes are always serviced in pairs. HH
Mark the shade tree guy wrote:

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