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Front end problems--alternative to $750 bill?


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38 replies to this topic

#1 ThosL

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:22 PM

Hi, I went up to a Subaru shop today, they put my 99 Outback up on the lift.  Wheels wiggle, the bearing is that bad.  They said I needed one new wheel bearing and an inner tie rod and a ball joint, though both wheels have a lot of play in them.  They said it would run $750 including alignment afterwards, $600 without.  I'm on a budget, low income.  Is this reasonable?  I think I did a front knuckle assembly once, ordered the part online used, my current living situation that is not going to work.  Would appreciate thoughts on this job.  The shop said that the car should not be driven that much, "how far do you have to go?" etc, which can be sales gimmick, in this case I doubt it.    They said most Subies of that vintage have already worn bearings so putting in a knuckle with the used bearing is not recommended, and though they have many junkers around to get parts from, they said it might be hard to find a knuckle with a ready to go good bearing.


Edited by ThosL, 11 December 2013 - 07:23 PM.


#2 cal_look_zero

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:37 PM

That's not a horrible price for all new. The bearings are a huge pain on the cars, and expensive. I would advocate new tie rod ends, new ball joints, and a used knuckle to tide you over. 

$150 for an alignment seems steep, I pay $80 at the dealership.

As far as driving on it, it's not the safest move, but everything is held together by the axle/nut, so it's not as though everything is going to fall apart on the road.



#3 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:04 PM

Did this job on my wife's car this summer. I have no worries about a junkyard knuckle. It's super simple to swap and the yards usually don't charge an arm and a leg to do it. I prefer self serve yards because you can test the bearing ahead of time spinning a wheel on it and checking for play/listening for noise.

 

You could do the whole job in a driveway in a few hours. I see alignment specials of $50. and general price is $100 or less.

 

It won't fall apart on you, but your gas mileage anf tire wear will suffer.



#4 grossgary

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:09 PM

WOAH!!!!    $700 that's insane.

they might have a huge buffer in case they run into hours of rust issues (ball joint).

 

$100 for bearings/seals, $50 ball joint, $50 tie rod (all inflated prices) = $200

$500 for labor - it'll take them 2 or 3 hours so that's like $200/hour.

 

www.car-part.com

get a used one and have it swapped out

$50 for a used one



#5 Rooster2

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:42 PM

Did this job on my wife's car this summer. I have no worries about a junkyard knuckle. It's super simple to swap and the yards usually don't charge an arm and a leg to do it. I prefer self serve yards because you can test the bearing ahead of time spinning a wheel on it and checking for play/listening for noise.

 

You could do the whole job in a driveway in a few hours. I see alignment specials of $50. and general price is $100 or less.

 

It won't fall apart on you, but your gas mileage anf tire wear will suffer.

I too did the knuckle swap, sourcing one from a wrecking yard. That has been 2 years ago, and is still good. So much less costly then pressing bearings out, then in. Knuckle cost me $75 from a yard. 4 wheel alignment here cost $79, can be talked down to $59.



#6 heartless

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:04 PM

-_-


Edited by heartless, 22 February 2014 - 06:07 PM.


#7 ThosL

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:27 PM

Thanks for the quick responses.  They said it could take 5 hours and they usually run into extra problems and were allowing with that in the estimate, business is probably slow for F and S now, hence the $$$, they said their hourly rate is $85.  



#8 heartless

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 07:29 AM

-_-


Edited by heartless, 22 February 2014 - 06:07 PM.


#9 ThosL

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:54 AM

My sister goes to a guy locally referred by my brother, I figured he would charge more than the junk yard shop out in the sticks.  Connecticut is expensive compared to other parts of the country.  Give my regards to my cousin in Stevens Point.



#10 grossgary

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:59 AM

What is odd is that I think Subaru uses a tool designed to do wheel bearings on the vehicle, so they shouldn't have any concern for running into rust-welded parts like ball joints, etc.  Should cost like $300.

 

I'd go used, i've installed tons of used knuckles/bearings before too and have never had a repeat failure with one.  of course it's totally possible but not that hard to get lots of miles/years out of a used bearing.



#11 ivans imports

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:19 AM

Front berrings at my shop 350 a wheel iner tie rod 100 alinment 150 ball joint 80 sounds like a fair price to me Anything to do with rack is hard. And sometimes getting bolts out is very time consuming and diffacult have spent up to 2 hours on one ball joint bolt



#12 nipper

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 05:05 PM

This seems high. This is a job any shop can do so get another opinion.



#13 ThosL

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 05:32 PM

Front berrings at my shop 350 a wheel iner tie rod 100 alinment 150 ball joint 80 sounds like a fair price to me Anything to do with rack is hard. And sometimes getting bolts out is very time consuming and diffacult have spent up to 2 hours on one ball joint bolt

I see you are from Canada, so is that in Canadian dollars?



#14 Rooster2

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:52 PM

I see you are from Canada, so is that in Canadian dollars?

US & Canadian dollars are close in value. If anything, the value of the Canadian dollar is worth a little more then the US dollar.



#15 nipper

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:31 PM

But Canadian part prices are higher no?



#16 ivans imports

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:42 AM

Very much higher 70 % or better I always quote high so less suprises for customer wheel berrings are not a easy job on these cars and tooling cost me over 2000$ for Subaru hub tamer kitt and shop press and berring knife so take a lot of wheel berrings to pay it off



#17 robm

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 01:11 PM

The OP is supposed to be in New England.  Despite generations of emigration from the Canadian Maritimes to that part of the US, Canada still hadn't annexed it, last I heard.



#18 zedhead

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 02:44 PM

As far as the wheel bearing goes. I usually remove the knuckle/hub at home. Then take it somewhere that has a hydaulic press (and knows how to use it) have them press the old out/new in. IIRC, around $50 per



#19 ThosL

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:25 AM

When do these front end problems become a driving hazard?  The shop that did the diagnosis made it sound like I should not be driving the car.  The grinding sound is pretty mild at this point, only made worse when making sharp turns or turning around in a particular way.



#20 nipper

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:37 AM

Lets back up a bit. What were your initial complaints that caused you to take the car into the shop to begin with.

 

How are your front tires wearing.

 

How many miles on the car.

 

How well does the car track.

 

Does the car go where you point it on a straight road.

 

When do these things become a driving hazard? Answer the above first, and if your wheel bearing is noisy, you need one.



#21 ThosL

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:01 AM

I went there mainly for the front end noise, I have had grinding noises in previous Subarus along the similar lines, cv joints make all kinds of noise when they go bad but the ones I have in there now are relatively recent, so I figured bearings, etc..  It will run at 65 mph without a lot of noise or vibration, frankly performance issues are not a big deal.



#22 ivans imports

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:30 AM

the longer you drive it the more damage the hub will get worn down and not fit bearing anymore and a hubs a extra 50-100 bucks and your brakes will wear more on back side than front. The danger part would be if front wheel was to lockup causeing unexpected turn.



#23 nipper

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:16 PM

Yes you need the bearing, Are all the parts on two sides of the car or just one.



#24 ThosL

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:41 PM

Wheel bearing on one side, tie rod and ball joint on the other apparently.



#25 nipper

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:55 PM

Ok then you probably need them.






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