Rear end rumble

Bottom line question: what is the failure mode of the rear wheel bearings on a Focus?
Background: I have been hearing noise from the rear end of my 2001,
93,000 mile Focus for some time. Before taking it in for a service and MOT, I raised the rear wheels, spun them and tested them for any play. There was no play identifiable, and they both spun without noise, except for the nearside, which was 'catching' at a point in the revolution. During the subsequent service, the mechanic advised it was built up corrosion on the inside of the drum and removed this - no other problem was identified. I am still getting noise, a rumble, from the rear, and am concerned that the bearing(s) may be going, and therefore wish to know what the risk of failure is. Does the wheel fall off, or does it just get gradually worse to the point the failure is simple to see?
Thanks Paul R
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On Thu, 23 Apr 2009 09:25:53 +0100, Paul R wrote:

Usually, any rear wheel bearing will get noisy to the point of being irritating before it becomes a significantly dangerous event.
Usual caveats!

The noise will be worse when cornering at 40mph+ speeds in the opposite direction to the failing bearing.
IOW, if the left hand bearing is failing, turning right will make the noise increase due to the increased load.
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

Thanks Chris - I'll keep listening!
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Paul R wrote:

Foci are notorious for rear wheel bearings going. Both of mine have gone on my 2000 zetec and on my Dad's Focus also.
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On Fri, 24 Apr 2009 19:17:37 +0100, Davey wrote:
[...]

I've had my '99 from new, it's on 96K, and the bearings are original.
How have the brake drums been removed for inspection/repair?
The correct (Ford) way is to leave the bearing undisturbed, and unbolt the complete hub and drum. If the drum is removed by undoing the hub centre nut each time, early bearing failure is likely.
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

It's disk brakes on the rear of both mine and my Dad's. They were never inspected, you knew the bearings were knackered by the noise they made.
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"Paul R" wrote...

Before replacing wheel bearings make sure the source of the noise isn't just un-even tyre wear.
Certain tyres do not wear well on the rear of the focus and when they start to get 'lumpy' they can make a hell of a racket. Pirelli P6000's leap to mind as a common source of this type of noise.
--

gandissy



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