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Legacy rear wheel bearings


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13 replies to this topic

#1 BRATDUDE

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 04:55 PM

Trying to change wheel bearings in a 1990 AWD Legacy. The first problem i have encountered. How do you get the hub removed from the housing. Is it pressed on? do you have to use a hammer and chisel? Please help with that.

What problems do you think I may run into changing wheel bearings. They are in the rear passenger side.

Any help would be appreciated. You can email me at
subarcity@aol.com .

Thanks

#2 99obw

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 07:16 PM

I know of three methods to remove the hub:

1. Use a slide hammer with an end piece that bolts to the hub using lug nuts.

2. Use a hub tamer.

3. Remove the knuckle and press the hub out using a hydraulic press.

I know of two methods to remove the old bearings, press the new ones in, and install the hub.

1. Use a hub tamer.

2. Use a hydraulic press.

Check around and see if anyone loans or rents bearing press sets, hub tamer, etc. If they do that is the easiest way. Removing the knuckle and using a hydraulic press will be necessary otherwise. I would stay away from the hammer and chisel.

#3 Hondasucks

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 08:47 PM

So what exactly is a Kegacy, is that like, a Legacy with 10 kegs of beer in the back??

#4 99obw

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 08:54 PM

:lol:

Why didn't I think of that!

#5 alia176

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 02:50 AM

When the Hubtamer is used, do you still have to remove the axle out of the hub or does it stay in? I tried the wheel bearing job tonight but ran into one major problem. I was able to remove the outer hub by using a slide hammer. However, not having a hub tamer, I wanted to remove the knuckle out of the car and stick it in my press. The lateral link bolt (the long one) corroded itself to the two bushings. This made it nearly impossible to turn. At this point I stopped due to the fact that the bushings would be getting destroyed if I kept turning the long bolt. So, now I need to purchase a hubtamer tool. Since I have a SVX and will be doing the same thing in the near future, I might as well bite the bullet.

The best price I found $224 Plus S&H. Does this sound good?

Thanks.

Ali

#6 alias20035

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 06:01 PM

Originally posted by alia176
When the Hubtamer is used, do you still have to remove the axle out of the hub or does it stay in? I tried the wheel bearing job tonight but ran into one major problem. I was able to remove the outer hub by using a slide hammer. However, not having a hub tamer, I wanted to remove the knuckle out of the car and stick it in my press. The lateral link bolt (the long one) corroded itself to the two bushings. This made it nearly impossible to turn. At this point I stopped due to the fact that the bushings would be getting destroyed if I kept turning the long bolt. So, now I need to purchase a hubtamer tool. Since I have a SVX and will be doing the same thing in the near future, I might as well bite the bullet.

The best price I found $224 Plus S&H. Does this sound good?

Thanks.

Ali



The hub tamer is first used to free the axle shaft from the hub/bearing assembly while the hub is attached. You could also take the hub/axle off in one shot by disconnecting the axle at the differential, but this should be a last resort.

Be very careful to not damage the axle nut treads, I do this be loosening but not removing the axle nut while I use a tamer to free the axle from the bearing.

Once the axle shaft is somewhat loose, I disconnect the strut bolts and lower hub bolt. If possible I pull the hub right off the axle without tools, but occasionally the tamer has to go on to persuade the axle out.

Once the hub is off, you remove the bearing circlip (or lock ring, etc) and reverse the operation of the hub tamer to pull the bearing out from the inside of the hub.

Use liquid wrench on the lower hub bolt, spray it every day for a few days before the repair. You can also heat the nut with a propane torch to allow the liquid wrench to penetrate, but be aware that you DO NOT want to heat the rubber bushings.

Replace the lower hub bolt, washers and nut with a new one. This bolt should not be overtorqued, a torque wrench should be used, but I can not remember the correct torque (70-80 ft lbs seems to ring a bell???). My Subaru manuals are all in storage right now, as my Subaru is under warranty and I don't need them (yet).

Also when before you install the replacement bearings clean them and pack them full of new high quality bearing grease. The grease that they are shipped with is shipping grease, not bearing grease. Forget this step and you'll be changing the bearing again shortly.

And ALWAYS install new seals, some people reuse seals, but it is ALWAY the seal that failed causing contamination and bearing failure.

Also use a new axle nut, and torque it properly as if not properly torqued the bearing will wear out. The same goes for the wheel lug nuts. The axle nuts are not reusable since they only lock once and once removed will not properly lock again.

The OTC hub tamer is good, but costs at least $200. You don't need a complete OTC hub tamer kit as it is designed to fit most cars, just one that will fit Subaru's will do. There should be a $20-$50 model that will suffice.

I've never seen any auto parts store rent a hub tamer, but some tool rental places might (they rent the big hydraulic presses...)

Since you have an SVX that eats rear bearings for breakfast, the hub tamer purchase would not be a waste. Is there an SVX or Subaru club in your area, perhaps a group purchase of the hub tamer would be possible?

#7 alia176

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 08:14 PM

Alias,

Thanks for your reply. It's a shame I need to remove the axle out of the hub, therein lies my problem. I think I'd rather remove it at the diff end since I don't feel like destroying bushings and bolts. I tried the heating thing but the bushing kept wanting to smoke!

Bearing lubrication is a confusion issue for me- some say, like Endwrench, don't take apart the bearings and lube, while others say do take apart and lube. Little confused! Even the bearing package say NOT to take apart the bearings and it's appears to have grease from the factory. There's a sign of grease peaking out, not packing wax.

If you happen to have a p/n for the OTC for Subaru let me know. Otherwise, I'll buy the Hubtamer tool.

Thanks again.

Ali

#8 alias20035

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 08:41 PM

Originally posted by alia176
Alias,

Thanks for your reply. It's a shame I need to remove the axle out of the hub, therein lies my problem. I think I'd rather remove it at the diff end since I don't feel like destroying bushings and bolts. I tried the heating thing but the bushing kept wanting to smoke!

Bearing lubrication is a confusion issue for me- some say, like Endwrench, don't take apart the bearings and lube, while others say do take apart and lube. Little confused! Even the bearing package say NOT to take apart the bearings and it's appears to have grease from the factory. There's a sign of grease peaking out, not packing wax.

If you happen to have a p/n for the OTC for Subaru let me know. Otherwise, I'll buy the Hubtamer tool.

Thanks again.

Ali



You will still need to pull the axle from the hub/bearing assembly, and also disconnect the hub from the lateral and trailing links. You may need to cut the lateral link bolt, but try several days of liquid wrench. The heat I mentioned is not to free the nut, it is just to aid the liquid wrench working its way in.

From personal experience, repack the new bearing with good grease. All Subaru mechanics that I know also do this. Wheel bearings are a big issue for Subaru right now, since the Foresters use ball instead of roller bearings and they are failing very often. Subaru techs are now installing Legacy bearings on the Foresters, and they do repack them. If the grease is light coloured white or yellow, change it (I use green synthetic stuff).

As for the OTC tool, it is a full kit with adapters to fit nearly any car, and as I said it is overkill for just Subaru's. Subaru has their own bearing pull tool (maybe several) and my home Subaru club purchased one (over $500), but it fits Subaru hubs like a glove and it is built like a tank. You should be able to find a less expensive tool or find one for rent.

Doing this type of work on 10+ year old cars is always nasty. I always recommend the usage of threadlock and antiseize compound except where prohibited, it goes a long way in preventing stuck bolts and nuts.

An electric or pneumatic impact wrench might free the lateral link nut, or break the bolt (either way it will be apart and fixable).

Never reinstall any rusted components, and replace all the parts I indicated in my previous reply.

#9 alia176

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 09:02 PM

Ok, so if I take the bearing apart, (bearings, sleeve, plastic insert) I assume I can put them back in the sleeve exactly as I bought it? I also assume that the races inside the sleeve will stay put and act as a stop for the bearings and I will slip the plastic insert back in where it belongs.

#10 alias20035

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 10:02 PM

Originally posted by alia176
Ok, so if I take the bearing apart, (bearings, sleeve, plastic insert) I assume I can put them back in the sleeve exactly as I bought it? I also assume that the races inside the sleeve will stay put and act as a stop for the bearings and I will slip the plastic insert back in where it belongs.



Yep, no problem, the plastic insert is just to hold everything together for shipping and also to hold the spacer that is between the inner races. The plastic insert is pushed out by hub when you reinstall it.

I don't know it this is clear, so I will add it anyways:

The outer bearing race is pressed into the knuckle from the inside with the roller bearing and inner races (and plastic insert) in place. Then a circlip (usually a circlip, but sometimes a threaded insert) is installed to hold the bearing's outer race in the knuckle

The new bearing seals are installed into the knuckle and lubricated with a bit of grease. Installation of the seals can easily be accomplished by using the old seal and the old bearing outer race to press the new seal in. Sometimes I use a rubber mallet and the old seal to tap the new one in. Be careful not to damage the new seal, and install them in the correct orientation (note the orientation of the old ones when they come off.

The hub is then pressed (or pulled with the Subaru or other hub tool) into the new bearing from the outer side. If using a press you can use the old inner bearing race to assist with this process (place the new inner race against the old one and hold together with the plastic insert).

Then the drive axle is inserted into the hub (grease the axle shaft) from the inside, the knuckle is reinstalled and the axle nut is torqued (always torque this nut with the wheel off the ground and the knuckle fully attached, otherwise the torque will NOT be correct).

There are be a few steps I am leaving out, such as brake disassembly and ABS tone wheels, etc.

Do you have the Haynes service guide? It's instructions can sometimes be a little vague or slight incomplete, but it is the best inexpensive service manual out there.

#11 alia176

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 04:53 PM

Thanks for your time. I know I sound like a ditz here but this job is really quite easy. Yes, I have the oem repair manual and as always they make you do some crazy shiat just to do a simple job. Actually the whole job is quite simple provided the proper tool is used...isn't this always the case! After my hubtamer arrives, I'll attempt to disconnect the driveshaft at the diff end. If succesful, then I'll proceed with the removal of said bearings and such with the tool. If unsuccesful, then I'll proceed with the removal of the lateral link bolt and try not to ruin the bushing in the process. Then I'll remove the axle. I'm doubtful if the bushing will survive this ordeal!

In the mean time, I'll take apart the brand new bearing set and check things out thoroughly. I need to make some time for this project, maybe toward the end of this week. Currently I'm in the middle of replacing all oil seals in front of the SVX engine!

Thanks again.

Ali
:drunk:

#12 99obw

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 05:39 PM

I think I will go after the lateral link bolt first, rather than removing the CV shaft from the diff. I should start soaking stuff in penetrating oil now. :headbang:

alias20035 has finally gotten me off of the bearing grease fence, and I am going to clean it out and repack it. It still doesn't all make sense, the grease on the seal and all, but I will do it the way that I am sure will last.

You are going to love your hub tamer, I have used it to install rear bearings in my '92 dodge and a couple of times to press new seals into timing covers. I can't wait to actually use it to do what I bought it for.

alia176 , it looks like you will get your bearings done first. :-)

#13 alia176

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 05:51 PM

I'll go ahead and spray some penetrating oil on it starting tonight. As far as getting to the actual work, I dunno, you might still be ahead. You see, I have a strict rule that I follow "only one car is inoperational at one time" in my house. Currently, the SVX took care of that rule! I started out with the Legacy last Saturday but given the situation and the lack of proper tool, it got pushed back in the queu (?) 'till next month prolly!

Party on,

Ali
:D

#14 alias20035

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 10:18 PM

Originally posted by alia176
I'll go ahead and spray some penetrating oil on it starting tonight. As far as getting to the actual work, I dunno, you might still be ahead. You see, I have a strict rule that I follow "only one car is inoperational at one time" in my house. Currently, the SVX took care of that rule! I started out with the Legacy last Saturday but given the situation and the lack of proper tool, it got pushed back in the queu (?) 'till next month prolly!

Party on,

Ali
:D



I only have one car, so I have been stuck using my bike to get parts quite often, like the time I knocked over the brake fluid bottle halfway though changing a brake hose.....




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