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Rear Wheel Bearings and HubTamer Comments
Posted 13 December 2003 - 02:25 PM
The left rear bearing on my ’91 AWD Legacy had been replaced by the dealer at about 60K, at least partially because of dragging brakes. About 40K miles later, it stated rumbling again and progressively got worse. I knew I was in trouble when I put on new tires and the noise continued.
I continued to drive with the noise, but no apparent hub looseness, for about another 20K miles until enough was enough. After checking out repair costs at dealers and independents, as well as, Hub Tamer prices, I concluded I could buy the tools I needed, save money by buying internet parts, and at least break even with the dealer cost and still have the tools for when bearings go on the other side of the ‘ru or on another car.
I bought a Hub Tamer from Tool Paradise for about $203 (when I called them their price was a little lower than listed on their web site and shipping was free) and the OE bearing, seals and axle nut from 1stSubaruparts.com. with no problems. I also replaced the brakes with non-Subaru rotors and pads locally purchased while I was at it.
Another poster, alia176, commented that the forcing nut that came with his Hub Tamer was too tight. I encountered the same thing. Fortunately, I played around with the Hub Tamer parts and discovered this before busting the hub off. OTC acted like they never heard of this problem before but sent a replacement. (Poor QC)
Lesson learned: if you buy a Hub Tamer or any other tool, make sure it works before you start the job.
I pretty much followed all of the End Wrench directions using a slide hammer to remove the hub and then the Hub Tamer for the rest of the job.
It appears that the bearing failed because the inner seals had deteriorated. They may not have been changed the first time the bearing was replaced by the dealer or the bearing may have failed due to the usual Subaru bearing failure reasons.
I installed the new bearings like Subaru instructed. No new or additional grease. I’ll point out that I called a tapered bearing manufacturer’s tech service department (Koyo) and was told that tapered bearings should not be packed fully, only about 1/3 of the way to work properly. They claimed too much grease can lead to failure. If you do replace the grease, be careful you don’t add too much new grease.
The tools described in the Subaru instructions are basically OTC Hub Tamer components, but with the addition a few key adapters. The “official” Subaru tools, allow you to apply pressure to only the outer race of the bearing during installation into the housing. Maybe I overlooked something, but I had to finagle the Hub Tamer adapters and wound up pressing the bearing into the housing the last ¼” or so by using the old outer race as a spacer to avoid putting pressure on the new bearing’s inner race. Of course, I had to grind the ends of the old outer race flat so it wouldn’t slip around. I wouldn’t use the directions that come with the Hub Tamer. They may only apply to the front wheel bearings or are just screwed up.
The Subaru tools also have a slot cut into one of the adapters so you can force the hub into the bearing’s inner race and measure the correct seating depth at the same time. The Hub Tamer adapter does not. I pulled the hub in most of the way, removed the tools and measured the depth. Then re-applied the tools and carefully pulled the hub in the rest of the way based on the fact the forcing screw has 16 threads per inch (every full turn would move the hub in 1/16”).
In hind site, I probably could have initially measured the original distance between the ABS tone wheel and sensor which are easily accessible, and with the Hub Tamer forcing screw still attached, pulled the hub into the bearing in one shot using this distance as a reference.
The little ‘ru is running great now. Thanks for everyone else’s posts on this subject. I hope my experience helps the next person that attempts this job.
Posted 16 December 2003 - 10:31 PM
I posted some pics of the Hubtamer in action on the SVX board. Hopefully the following link works: http://www.subaru-sv...ser.php?alia176|13589
I was surprised to hear that yet another person had the same issue as me regarding the tool!
Tomorrow night everything will be done and I can move on to other projects.
'95 Legacy wagon
ps that price is even better than what I paid for it. Nice going!
Posted 16 December 2003 - 11:37 PM
False Alarm, Did a search and found what I needed, Thanx all
Posted 17 December 2003 - 06:51 AM
That is less than I paid as well. Perhaps we should have sevensisters look for the best price for things from now on. Just kidding...
Posted 17 December 2003 - 09:03 AM
Posted 17 December 2003 - 12:16 PM
If you didn't have that tool to force the axle out of the hub how did you do it? I have always just used a BFH, but perhaps I should try to be a little more civilized. I have a harmonic balancer puller that I may be able to use in an improvised sort of way. Perhaps I could weld a nut to a piece of steel that has holes drilled in it for the wheel studs and use a long bolt to force the axle out. Did your axle come out hard?
Did you repack the new bearings?
Why did you replace the bushing?
PS: You have a nice shop! Hydraulic press, parts cleaner, air tools.
Posted 17 December 2003 - 12:25 PM
The old bushings and lateral link bolts had to be cut out with a sawsall. They became *one* due to many years of salty roads. I just hope the SVX will be easier since it didn't start out in the salt belt!
On two occasions I used two different methods of pushing the axle out:
1- large brass drift and a BFH to hammer it out! This if for both front axles.
2- rented every thing from the local auto parts store and used the tool I mentioned previously. Shoulda seen teh look on the counterperson's face when I told him I wanted everything to do with hub/wheel/suspension work. However, the axle wasn't "frozen" to the splines, so it came out rather easily. If you don't use a brass drift, then there's a chance you'll "mushroom" the head of the axle and then it may not want to come out. Or, worse, it will ruin the splines as it gets pushed out with the hammer.
Posted 17 December 2003 - 09:00 PM
OBW99, The hub tamer should let you push the axle out of the hub. Mine came out easily. Again, I used a Subaru bearing and did not repack it. Only time will tell if I did the right thing.
Posted 18 December 2003 - 09:09 AM
Regarding the hub tamer tool to push the axle out, I didn't think this was possible due to a missing tool. That's the tool that attached to your hub using the lugs and becomes the anchor to which the forcing screw goes through and pushes the axle through. I've yet to purchase this handy tool.
Can someone tell me the approx distance between the "tone ring" and the ABS sensor? I'm using this distance as my reference for how much deeper the hub needs to go into the bearing housing. I'm sure this info is in my repair manual somewhere!
Thanks for the info and the compliments.
Posted 19 December 2003 - 06:22 PM
This was probably due to the fact that the tone wheel was really rusty and a lot of crap came off when I brushed it to clean it up.
As an aside, before I replaced the bearing and put on new pads and rotors, I was getting an ABS error code (check under the passenger seat for the display) for a bad sensor (about $150). After the job there were no codes. I'm thinking that the rusty brakes or bad bearing caused the sensor to heat up and thus screwed up the magnetic field and ABS the signal. The hub and wheel did seem to get noticably warm before the job.
Posted 19 December 2003 - 11:48 PM
Another reason why your ABS throwing codes was perhaps the wheel wasn't spinning "true"?
Anyway, my back can use a little break for a while 'till the SVX project! My wife is very happy and that's all that matters.
Take it easy,
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