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Help: rear wheel bearings - EA82 4x4


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20 replies to this topic

#1 morgantruce

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 03:30 PM

I need to replace driver's side REAR wheel bearing in an '88 GL 4x4 wagon.

The "How to Keep your Subaru Alive" book says that this is best left to a shop because of the need for a special tool.

The Hayne's manual gives directions for doing the job, but makes no mention of a special tool.

Hmmm... What's the hang up? Anyone have any tips? I've read all the earlier threads.

I *think* the car has the one large sealed bearing assembly (instead of separate inner and outer bearings and a spacer) but I haven't tore the thing apart yet because I'm a little wary of the "special tool" thing. I'm usually pretty good about cobbling up a bunch of jumbo sockets and to finesse a bearing in or out. What part of the job requires a "special tool"?

Also, I'm wondering if the rear CV joint has to be disconnected from the differential as well as the hub? Someone said something about the need for dropping the differential as well----that sounds like a bit much.

From which side does the bearing assembly come out of?

Why do cars break?

#2 baccaruda

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 03:59 PM

heh. cars break because they like your money and repairs are an easy way for your car to force you to spend money on it!

You are correct about the single large sealed bearing.
You will need to remove the axle from the differential if you don't want to disassemble the axle itself. Dropping the mustache bar that the diff mounts to is an easy way to do this; it's just those two 19mm bolts at the sides.
I would recommend doing the bearings on both sides of the car. you'll need two new bearings and two each of the two different(?) grease seals.

This would also be a great time to convert to rear disc brakes if you haven't yet.

Get the new bearings packed with grease (some come prepacked) and stick them in the freezer yesterday. this will "shrink" them.. heat expands, cold contracts.
Tear down the rear of your car enough to dig the old grease seals out and pound the hubs out with a brass drift or a large-enough socket.
I don't know which way they tap out from or if it matters. I'd say whichever end of the hub has a larger opening would be best. tap the new ones in from the same end.
Grab those frozen bearings from the freezer and use a propane torch on the CLEAN hubs to get the metal to expand. Red hot is too hot, and there are lots of flammable things on a car, so get them "hot enough". the new frozen bearings should tap in very easily. put the new grease seals on either side after the metal has cooled. Rough up the outsides of the seals a little with some sandpaper for better grip. tap those in with a mediumish socket; go around the edge and keep the socket over the hub so that you can't tap the seal in too far when it becomes flush with the hub.

good luck!

#3 chef_tim

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 04:42 PM

Andy your a hair off. The bearings use a race. That is what gets tapped in. It should not need to be frozen or heated. just use the old races to guide them in and to protect them from tapping. Buy the special tool, it is a "pin socket" if you do a search for that I bet you will come up with the link to one. The rear bearings are so easy it is funny. Do make sure to replace both the inner and outer seal (expressauto.com sells them as a set $48). Later, Tim

#4 baccaruda

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 04:47 PM

hi Tim.. thanks for the correction! I remember the race now.

I wouldn't say the heating/freezing is needed either, but I'm under the impression that it makes it easier to tap in..? oh well :D

thanks.

#5 morgantruce

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 05:30 PM

Thanks very much guys. But what is the “pin socket” FOR? Where would I need to use it?

The Haynes manual has an illustration showing the use of “a hammer and punch to unstake and loosen the ring nut.” Would THIS be where such a tool might be used?

#6 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:03 AM

Some of the bearings use a seperate race, others use a solid sealed unit that has no seperate race. I've encountered both types. It seems that the solid sealed unit is the OEM one, and the ones with seperate races are aftermarket. At least that's the way it has seemed to me. Discussions with Mudrat79 seemed to confirm this....

GD

#7 chef_tim

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 05:11 AM

That would be were the pin socket is used. Unless you have LOTS of time and patients and might be concidering replacing the ring nut, buy the tool. Money well spent. GD, are you sure your not thinking of the front bearings??? I've tried to find sealed rear bearings to no availe. I do however have after market sealed front bearings in two of my cars. Later, Tim

#8 thealleyboy

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 07:19 AM

I did my rears recently on my 93 Loy. I'm certain that these were sealed OEMs because I bought the car with very lo miles.

I always have the rear bearings done by my trusted machine shop. After talking to him about it, he said it was a b*tch of a job. That's good enough for me. Its best to leave that kind of stuff to the pros, IMO. I think he charged me $30 for both sides. Small price to pay to get things done, and done right, with no hassles.

The biggest part of the job is the dis-assembly work to get to the bearings. I had to take quite a bit off to remove the bearing hub. I have not checked the book on this, but by the looks of things, I doubt there are any quick and dirty fixes.

good luck, John

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:50 PM

The last one I pulled from a Brat was the single sealed bearing.... looked orignal. Have you checked with the dealership? Maybe it's different with EA82's.... I was just going by what was said above - sounded the same.

GD

#10 chef_tim

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 03:57 PM

If I remember right both EA81s and 82s share a common rear bearing (please remember this is from memory, not what it used to be...LOL) Tim.

#11 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 05:38 PM

Good to know next time I need one. I'll check the EA82's at the yard too....

At first when I saw the non-sealed type, I thought I had a different trailing arm on my hands, since the race didn't look like it came out - I used one of the bearings and a socket, and beat it out of there tho. The sealed one's don't have a seperate race, but the center "spacer" section is loose on the bearing, and can be pushed up and down when it's not installed. Other than that bit of movement of the spacer, the bearing itself does not come apart, and by all apearances, the sealed ones last a LONG time. I pulled it from that Brat at 198k, and installed it in my wagon where it's still working fine. I know it was original to the Brat since the notched ring on the back had never beed unstaked or removed. I'm guessing that the dealership could get you one. Probably be expensive tho....

Just looked it up on SubaruParts.com - it seems to cross-reference to the EA82 part number.... possibly superceded, so this might not be a sealed unit (maybe only the EA81's had them):

http://www.subarupar....x=2&submit.y=6

Part number for EA81:
621014111
Part number for EA82:
906100007

GD

#12 morgantruce

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 01:10 PM

I'm stuck! Having trouble getting the rear CV axle out from the diff. The car is up on two jackstands at the rear jacking points.

Here's what I've removed:
The wheel and big axle nut.
Lower shock bolt.
Inner and outer spring pins on the axle.
The two bolts holding the mustache bar. (It's lowered off its bushings)

-----

I can pry the axle about 1/2 inch away from the diff, but no further. I've done a lot of wiggling and some light tapping with a dead blow hammer.

Is there some trick in getting the axle out of the diff? And then I'm wondering how I would ever get it back in there AND lined up with the spring pin hole. I've replaced front CV joints before---and they were not nearly as challenging. I'm about to go out and try jacking up the opposite wheel a bit---and see it that yields a little more room to play with that axle.

#13 All_talk

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 01:58 PM

Hey morgantruce

I had one of my rears out recently to replace a CV boot. First off, if you can get both CVs to let loose of the splines on the stub axel and diff then you’re one of the lucky few, but if so its easy. Every thing stays in place, you tap out the pins and push to the inside and pull the outer joint off then pull the inner off the diff.

If the inner is stuck I would disassemble the inner CV/CVs and get the diff out on the bench and try a puller on them. I haven’t had this problem yet so I cant say for sure.

If the outer CV is froze to the spline (this is the one I had to deal with) then get the car up high on you stands, remove the lower shock bolt (as you have). I left the diff up but it might work even better with it loose. Get a long pipe or other suitable lever and use it to pry down the suspension arm far enough to get the inner CV to drop off the diff. Note if you have a rear sway bar this is a little tougher so you might want to unhook it (I did it on the RX with it still on). Then I drove the stub and axel together out of the hub, it went very hard and I was a bit concerned about bearing damage, seems to be all right in the end though. Once you get it out on the bench you can deal with the splines, since I was only doing an inner boot I didn’t fight with mine much, just put it back the way it came out. In hindsight I should have just pulled the inner CV off the spline and re-booted it under the car, but cleaning out the joint under there would have been a real pain.

Hope that helps
Gary

#14 morgantruce

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 04:32 PM

Still stuck between a rock and a hard place. The trouble is that I'm not sure whether I just don't have "enough room" to pry the axle out of the differential... or whether there is enough room and something is hung up.

What can I remove so that there would definately be enough room? I thought that having the lower shock bolt and the mustache bar loose would have done the trick.

How much pounding is adviseable on the cv housing?

#15 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 05:10 PM

It's not a CV - it's a double-offset joint - the major difference being that a CV has no movement along the shaft, and a DOJ does. You can pound all you want because it's unlikely you will break one. I like to go after them with a brass punch and a BFH. Removing the lower shock bolt should give you more than adequate room to remove the axle. It can be removed from either end first, but I usually pull the wheel side off first. It's rust welded on, and nothing but beating like hell will get it off. An acetelene torch to get it red hot, and then beating on it before the stub equalizes in temperature can work too.

If that doesn't do it, dissasemble the joint itself, and remove the axle shaft leaving only the cup in place on the diff. Down inside the cup is a grease plug. Remove that plug (screwdriver and hammer), and then you will have access to the end of the stub axle. You can then lubricate, and pound on it from the inside, and if it comes down to it, you can buy the special tool to remove the bolt that holds the stub shaft in the diff, and remove the whole stub.... but it would be easier to just get another diff and axle cup from the JY if it comes to that point.

Put the mustache bar back up, or you won't have room to pull the axle. It needs to be at close to it's maximum angle to be pulled....

GD

#16 morgantruce

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 09:20 PM

I made a little progress this afternoon. I removed the three bolts connecting the outer suspension arm from the inner suspension arm. This allowed the hub assembly to sink closer to the ground----and allowed me the room to get the DOJ out of the differential. Hooray!

Now, of course, the outer end of the DOJ acts like it is welded to the hub. You'd think Subaru could have afforded a dab of no-seize in such places. I was beating it with a 2 pound ball peen hammer and short length of pipe. Tomorrow I'll switch to a 5 pound hammer... and throw in some good cuss words. I have a propane torch, but am a bit shy of using it near the gas tank. The car is in my garage along with my boat---and I sure would not want to cause an explosion in there. If the car were outside by itself, I'd have torched it gleefully by now...!

#17 Earl

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 02:21 AM

I just did the rear bearings on my 88gl 4wd wagon it wasn't a sealed bearing. It was a simple matter of bending the keeper away from the ring nut and using a hammer and chisle to run it out and then using an oak 4x4 and a sledge hammer to drive the spindle out ( from the outside in) it wont go the other way. I used the old race to drive the new one in and the old inner race to drive the inner races onto the spindle then I had to use the same hammer and chisle to run the ring nut back in. It took about an hour to do it and it was my first time.

#18 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 03:46 AM

Don't bother with a propane torch - it's not hot enough to heat the cup quickly enough to do you any good (yes, I have tried, hehe). You want acetelene so you can get it red hot before the heat migrates to the stub - thus expanding the metal and hopefully breaking the bond of the rust. Get it red hot, and start pounding immediately.

As for anti-seize, I'm sure they probably did use something, but nearly 20 years later?? probably gone. I pull one rear axle every time I go back on to pavement after off-roading (welded rear diff), and I have to reapply my anti-seize about every two trips. Of course I'm removing them and installing them a couple times a week, so rust never has a chance to really get started in my case - the anti-seize is purely for ease of installation and removal. A lubricant if you will.

GD

#19 morgantruce

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 01:31 PM

Oh Joy! The thing finally parted this morning! :banana: Every day for the past several weeks I've been pounding this thing with a big sledge hammer and squirted in a whole can of PB Blaster. One good whack this morning and it started coming off. Now I've got the DOJ out---and it appears to be in good shape in spite of all the pounding. Amazing!


The thin little "rain guard" thingy which fits over the spline end at the axle was smashed to oblivion---no way to save it---looks like a beer can gone thru a shedder. When I re-assemble can I leave that out? It obviously did not keep rain out of that splined joint over the past 16 years.


Now on to the wheel bearing... which I almost forgot was the whole purpose of this job.

#20 thealleyboy

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 02:58 PM

The thin little "rain guard" thingy which fits over the spline end at the axle was smashed to oblivion---no way to save it---looks like a beer can gone thru a shedder. When I re-assemble can I leave that out? It obviously did not keep rain out of that splined joint over the past 16 years.
to the wheel bearing... which I almost forgot was the whole purpose of this job.


I think you know the answer here...moisture probably contributed to the original bearing failure...

Glad you finally got it apart, and apparently without causing any damage. Let us know how it goes back together.

I have never had any luck (or patience) with those sealed rears. Again, having them pressed out, and repacked by a machine shop is a good alternative for some folks.

John

#21 morgantruce

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 03:39 PM

I'll give it a try first. I've been squirting so much PB Blaster at that hub for the past few weeks, I figure the bearing ought to just slide out when I tip the thing over... :)




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