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Bearing repair - what kind of repair place???


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7 replies to this topic

#1 betzilla

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:37 PM

I think I have a front left bearing going out. I see many of you do your own repairs on bearings but it seems that you very much need to know what you are doing. I don't.

So, I would like to find a mechanic or shop that does know how to replace bearings on my 2001 Outback. Can a mechanic who doesn't specialize in Subaru's do it right? Would I be better off going to a shop that just does suspensions/alignments/etc? Should I take it to a dealer?

Any recommendations on an independent mechanic for this Subie in central San Diego?

#2 gbhrps

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 07:36 PM

Betzilla,
The hard part of the bearing change is the fact that you either use a so called "hub tamer", or a ten ton press, to push out the old bearing from the hub, and press in the new one. The reason is that the entire inner and outer bearing is one assembly, enclosed in its own barrel or cylinder. If you have neither, then simply remove the front axle half shaft, caliper, rotor, remove the entire hub from the car, and take it to a shop that can press out the old and press in the new. I had a rear one done under warranty, and the whole process start to finish was 45 minutes. I suspect a front will take longer to do, because of tie rods, etc.

#3 dxrflyboy

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 09:11 PM

A Subaru wheel bearing is similar to many other FWD car wheel bearings. A shop that specializes in foreign cars is more likely to be equipped and experienced with wheel bearings that are pressed into the knuckle. But many American cars (Ford comes to mind) also use this type of bearing setup.

#4 Phugoid

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:55 AM

Just had my fronts done...3 hours of labor per wheel was the best I could find. Lots of other shops wanted 4 hours per wheel. The maximum I found was 4.2 hours per wheel.

The bearings are anywhere from $50-75 per.

#5 swi66

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:24 PM

Just had my fronts done...3 hours of labor per wheel was the best I could find. Lots of other shops wanted 4 hours per wheel. The maximum I found was 4.2 hours per wheel.

The bearings are anywhere from $50-75 per.


Just did the job on my 98 Legacy...........
I have a local auto recycler near me where I just bought the hub assemblies for $125 each. These came out of a crash test car with zip for miles on it. Bought the motor from the same car 3 years ago.........

I live in NY, rust capitol of the world.
I had to use a 10 lb sledge, pickle fork, and finally a torch to get the lower ball joints apart.
Be sure you mark the exact position of the head of the top bolt where the strut mounts, otherwise you will need an alignment.

My left front braring you could not turn by hand after removing the part from the car.............it was junk.

swi66

#6 swi66

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:24 PM

Just had my fronts done...3 hours of labor per wheel was the best I could find. Lots of other shops wanted 4 hours per wheel. The maximum I found was 4.2 hours per wheel.

The bearings are anywhere from $50-75 per.


Just did the job on my 98 Legacy...........
I have a local auto recycler near me where I just bought the hub assemblies for $125 each. These came out of a crash test car with zip for miles on it. Bought the motor from the same car 3 years ago.........

I live in NY, rust capitol of the world.
I had to use a 10 lb sledge, pickle fork, and finally a torch to get the lower ball joints apart.
Be sure you mark the exact position of the head of the top bolt where the strut mounts, otherwise you will need an alignment.

My left front braring you could not turn by hand after removing the part from the car.............it was junk.

swi66

#7 swi66

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:24 PM

Just had my fronts done...3 hours of labor per wheel was the best I could find. Lots of other shops wanted 4 hours per wheel. The maximum I found was 4.2 hours per wheel.

The bearings are anywhere from $50-75 per.


Just did the job on my 98 Legacy...........
I have a local auto recycler near me where I just bought the hub assemblies for $125 each. These came out of a crash test car with zip for miles on it. Bought the motor from the same car 3 years ago.........

I live in NY, rust capitol of the world.
I had to use a 10 lb sledge, pickle fork, and finally a torch to get the lower ball joints apart.
Be sure you mark the exact position of the head of the top bolt where the strut mounts, otherwise you will need an alignment.

My left front braring you could not turn by hand after removing the part from the car.............it was junk.

swi66

#8 grossgary

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:32 PM

any shop should be able to do wheel bearings. get a price quote from them. this is a fairly standard job on any vehicle, it's not uncommon for bearings to be replaced on any type vehicle so any shop would be familiar with it. on some subaru's (all older AWD EA82 models) the rears are actually much more difficult as they are stamped in and require a goofy tool or some meticulous use of a punch. not sure if the newer EJ models are the same.

another option is buying the bearings yourself and calling around to local machine shops and take them your hub and bearings and have them do it for $50-$75. this is what i do. they charge $50 a hub to install new bearings that i supply.

another option is installing a used hub. i have subaru's with 200,000+ miles on the original hubs and bearings so i would consider this a decent option to save a few hundred dollars. a used hub can be found for under $50. buy hub, have a shop install it if you can't do it yourself.




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