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Front Wheel Bearing Replacement Tool: Anyone tried these?

Wheel Bearing

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22 replies to this topic

#1 UMT

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:55 AM

99 Impeza Outback Sport: 

 

Ok, I live in the boons.  EVERYTHING out here is worth gold!  Unless you want to sell something, of course.  Want to replace front wheel bearings on my Suby...  Talked to a couple local shops, and quite frankly,  they are nuts.  If I want to pay 120.00 hour for labor, I'll spend the money to take it to a Suby dealership.   At least there I know someone has probably worked on a Subaru before. 

 

Anyway, handy gent that I am, I got to looking closer at doing the job myself.   I have the tools I need with the exception of pressing in/out the bearings.   (Yeah, I checked with the shops on just doing that too, and they are still nuts)   So, I'm digging around 'Ye Olde Harbor Freight' online and spot this kit,,, something I've never seen before.

 

http://www.harborfre...ters-66829.html

 

So, I read the reviews.  Of course you always have the few 'this is krap!' reviews but most of them reviewed the product favorably.   I also looked for the same type of thing on Amazon and, lo and behold, they have the same thing for $50.00 more and the reviews are almost identical.   (It appears the main problem occurs when guys try to put a impact wrench to turn the bolt and it strips the threads. ) 

 

I looked on YouTube and there is a young guy using a set like this to R&R wheel bearings in his front yard and it doesn't look like that big a deal.  

 

HF has also got a 20% off coupon going on so it's kind of a no-brainer IF,  I say IF, the product works as advertised and the reviews that I have read are accurate.  Yes, it would be 'slightly' more than pulling the hubs myself and having a local shop do the press work but I would own the tools, I could always sell them if I don't want them, and/or will hold onto them for the next job. 

 

Question: Has anyone HERE used a tool like this to R&R wheel bearings? 

 

Thanks,

UMT



#2 bccr20

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:46 AM

Hey UMT,

I havent used a tool like that but have been looking to do the same thing.. I have replaced the bearings and had to take the hubs to a machine shop which charged me $50.00 to press them out... then you have to put it all back together and get an alignment...  Since reading your post I am going to get the kit and do it myself,,,   HF also sells a 12 ton press for around $120-130 I believe.

Thanks for the post.



#3 ivans imports

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 11:22 AM

I bought a kent more hub kitt for late model subarus i made just for doing subaru hubs front and rear i made some homade sleves to addapt to difernt stuff toyotas nissans ect cost 1200$ and have done over 500 berings with it now is very well used but hasent given me any problems



#4 UMT

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:05 PM

"HF also sells a 12 ton press for around $120-130 I believe"

 

I had no idea that HF had that many presses!  I'ld get one but then you still need the bearing adapters so I'm just going to try this kit.   If I did alot of bearing work, I'ld buy a press but hopefully, I WON'T be doing alot of bearing work!  Ha. 

 

I just did a YouTube search for 'wheel bearing replace' and there is actually several video's showing guys using this type of kit to R&R bearings, front and rear, if anyone else is interested. 

 

Like I said, with 20% off, if I get thru a total of 2 uses,, I'm ahead on the dollar side of it.    Any more than 2 is gravy. 

 

Like to hear more comments from others but I will post again when I get this done so everyone knows how it went.   Probably won't be until the end of the week tho....... 



#5 bccr20

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 01:42 PM

Like your idea!  Hope you post Pictures if you can.. didn't think about the bearing adapters.

Thanks again for sharing.



#6 Rooster2

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:45 PM

Yea, I bought the Harbor Freight set. Used it just once. It is cheap Chinese made, so quality is not so good. On mine, the threads on the screw unit were bad at one end. I had to use a file to clean up bad threads. Yes, the kit will shove out a bearing, but you really have to work at it. I sold the kit for $50, and now install complete replacement hubs that I get from a wrecking yard when needed. I don't recommend this unit.



#7 nickb21

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:26 PM

A friend of mine has this set and has used it once or twice, for the price he thought it was OK. The screw that comes with it seems to be the weak point, he replaced it with a nice grade 8 unit from McMaster or Fastenal.

 

I went Roosters route when I had to do a wheel bearing and got a hub/knuckle from a yard.



#8 grossgary

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:57 PM

i have the HF kit - it's fine, get it.
i use air tools on mine - grease/lubricate the threads like crazy and it's fine.

 

i bought Roosters used that he mentions here:

 

Y I sold the kit for $50, and now install complete replacement hubs that I get from a wrecking yard when needed. I don't recommend this unit.



#9 CNY_Dave

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 07:38 PM

I have used the HF kit on a rear bearing on my wife's '05 forester, it worked well.

 

I previously did a front on my outback with a 20T press, I have some skepticism the HF tool would have survived- but who knows.



#10 heartless

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:04 PM

The thing to remember with HF tools is that a great deal of it is made in China - not the best quality control.

 

That said, we have quite a few HF tools here and all have done what they were intended to do at least once.

 

Oiling the threads is a HUGE help on several of the HF tools - such as the Strut Spring compressors, the above mentioned kit, various pullers, etc...

 

Good luck with your bearing job. :)



#11 UMT

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:12 AM

The thing to remember with HF tools is that a great deal of it is made in China - not the best quality control.

 

That said, we have quite a few HF tools here and all have done what they were intended to do at least once.

 

Oiling the threads is a HUGE help on several of the HF tools - such as the Strut Spring compressors, the above mentioned kit, various pullers, etc...

 

Good luck with your bearing job. :)

Funny you should mention the HF Strut Spring compressors.   I bought a set of those too to replace the struts on my 96 Geo and soon on my Suby...   

 

I have to tell you I was really hesitant to get into replacing the struts.   I had bad thoughts about rusted bolts, twisting off bolts, compressed springs flying around killing my dog and stuff and a extremely nasty job BUT, I finally got started last week AND it turned out to be a easy job.   Electric impact (I don't have a big air compressor), can of PB, HF spring compressors and off we go!  The HF spring compressors worked great.   Well designed for safety.  Switched out 2 rear struts in about 4 hours. 

 

I buy HF tools alot because I just can't justify spending the big bucks on  tools that I only use on the occasional job.  If I were even a semi-pro and used my tools alot, I'ld be buying brand name, highly regarded stuff.  As an example, I use my trusty electric impact alot and therefore, instead of buying HF, I bought a brand name one.  (I can't say enough about electric impacts. I had one of these zip off an axle nut in the dead of winter when a good size rented air compressor and impact wouldn't budge it) 

 

I've read alot of reviews regarding the 'drive bolt' on this wheel bearing set and if I have to pick up a better bolt at a hardware store, I'm still better off. 

 

So, I hope to get to this job sometime this week.  I'll be sure to let everyone know how it all works out. 



#12 heartless

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:22 AM

We do basically the same as you - if it is only going to be used once or maybe twice - HF is usually good enough to get the job done.

 

Have used our HF spring compressors I dont know how many times now - at least 4 or 5, and they worked fine every time, even just using hand tools - the key is to keep the two sides fairly even so neither one slips. Have had more trouble trying to remove the lower strut mount bolts than we have had with the compressors! LOL

 

Other HF goodies we have are the 2 ton cherry picker, an engine stand, benchtop drill press (works great!) - the 2 cylinder air compressor pump is awesome - we ran the silly thing only using one cyl for a couple of years (the motor on our old compressor wasnt strong enough to run both, so one was just vented) we built a "new" compressor last year using a 50 gal high pressure boiler tank, that compressor motor and a 5hp/220 motor and the thing works flawlessly (with both cyls hooked up! LOL)- just need to fix one small air leak and it will be perfect! Handles an Ingersall Rand 2131QT 1/2" impact gun with no problems (600ftlbs of torque in reverse - 450 ftlbs foward - sucker uses a LOT of air)

 

We also had a HF 1/2" impact gun - the "earthquake" model - that lasted for about 6-7 years with moderate use/abuse - the newer versions of this gun arent nearly as good as the old one was tho, we bought another one when the first one finally crapped out...kind of disappointed with it.



#13 Fairtax4me

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 11:57 AM

The removal part is the most difficult part for wheel bearing replacement.
I used a similar tool to replace a front wheel bearing on my car and it took some grunt to get the old bearing out of the knuckle. The impact wrench could no longer turn the forcing screw, so I had to resort to the good old fashioned breaker bar. Once the knuckle bore is cleaned and the outer race of the new bearing greased up it will slide in easily.

You'll have to come up with a way to pull the hub out of the bearing before you can remove the bearing. The bearing is removed from the knuckle by pulling it towards the car, which is impossible to do with the hub still in it.
Then you still need a cutting tool or a bearing splitter and press to remove the old inner bearing race from the hub.

#14 jp98

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 02:20 PM

On problem that I have discovered with HF tools is that you buy them for a 1 or 2 time use and 10+ years they are still sitting in the garage getting used quite often. 

 

I purchased a 2 1/4 ton floor jack with a transmission adapter 20 years ago and it is still going strong.  That 4 1/2" hand grinder was only suppose to last a week but 10 years later I still pull it out before I do my Milwaukee.  I also have their spring compressors and they have done multiple strut replacement jobs on both my Outback and all my friends vehicles when they find out that I have them. 

 

99% of their stuff may be made in China and it might not look as good as higher pieced tools but I'll have to give it to them, they do last as long as you take care of them. 



#15 ivans imports

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:47 AM

I'm the only guy around here who will even take on a wheel berring in a 90s and up subaru and even with the exact tools and hoist is very diffacult and they give me greif costs 350 $ each wheel somtimes more if i cant get it apart. Some i just have to cut out the knukel and replace it if to badly rusted



#16 unibrook

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:53 AM

Email me if you want my step-by-step guide on how to replace your rear wheel bearing with the Hub Shark (HF style) tool kit.

The lateral link bolt is the potential show-stopper.  But I have a solution for that puppy.

nwlovell at yahoo.



#17 ivans imports

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:15 AM

I bought a torque mutypler from snapon put in 250 lbs and get out 1000 ft lbs this works for that bolt it will turn or shear but it will move I love thiss tool no bolt is safe now Best tool i bought thiss year!



#18 heartless

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:54 AM

I'm the only guy around here who will even take on a wheel berring in a 90s and up subaru and even with the exact tools and hoist is very diffacult and they give me greif costs 350 $ each wheel somtimes more if i cant get it apart. Some i just have to cut out the knukel and replace it if to badly rusted

 

That is about what I paid (US $) to have my left rear bearing done - included a 3 yr warranty on the bearing itself.



#19 Gloyale

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:15 AM

I'm the only guy around here who will even take on a wheel berring in a 90s and up subaru and even with the exact tools and hoist is very diffacult and they give me greif costs 350 $ each wheel somtimes more if i cant get it apart. Some i just have to cut out the knukel and replace it if to badly rusted

 

Hmm......

 

Maybe I'm under charging.

 

I charge $120 plus the bearing and seals.

 

Only ever had a few that I had to take to the machinist for a larger press.  mine is 12 tons......his is 40 :)



#20 heartless

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:48 PM

Hmm......

 

Maybe I'm under charging.

 

I charge $120 plus the bearing and seals.

 

Only ever had a few that I had to take to the machinist for a larger press.  mine is 12 tons......his is 40 :)

 

Just dont price yourself out of the market - if your lower cost is bringing work to you...

 

maybe you should check with other local shops (posing as a potential customer) to get a ballpark of pricing in your area - you may be right on target for your market - pricing can vary greatly depending on region. You guys up in the PNW dont have the serious rust issues we do that make the job that much harder/time consuming to do.



#21 CNY_Dave

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:11 PM

Email me if you want my step-by-step guide on how to replace your rear wheel bearing with the Hub Shark (HF style) tool kit.

The lateral link bolt is the potential show-stopper.  But I have a solution for that puppy.

nwlovell at yahoo.

 

I got lucky- I doused that puppy with kroil, got it to wiggle, then 'spun' it with the impact wrench (lotta bangin' not a lotta spinin'), and it backed itself out.

 

And that was an '05 forester.



#22 ivans imports

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:35 AM

The more you charge the less you work and the more money you make is funny how it works i'm on engine job #6 since last monday and have a line up up the street. Somdays i wish there was two of me exept one of us whould always want to go fishing



#23 unibrook

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:24 AM

Send the lazy one fishing!

 

:P







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