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rear wheel bearing thoughts


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36 replies to this topic

#1 mellow65

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 01:39 PM

so i have been working on my legacy getting ready for WCSS and have been tracking down a rattle in the rear end. After taking off the rear rotors and finding that was my noise i just happen to touch the hub after running it for a few mins and it was pretty damn warm. for the hell of it i grabbed my temp gauge and one side read 130+- and the other side was reading 80+-.

does this mean my wheel bearings are shot or can this be marked up to just normal operating ranges.

generally when i have had wheel bearings go they start making noise to let you know to replace them. Is this pre warning sign to bearing noise?

#2 frag

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:54 PM

so i have been working on my legacy getting ready for WCSS and have been tracking down a rattle in the rear end. After taking off the rear rotors and finding that was my noise i just happen to touch the hub after running it for a few mins and it was pretty damn warm. for the hell of it i grabbed my temp gauge and one side read 130+- and the other side was reading 80+-.

does this mean my wheel bearings are shot or can this be marked up to just normal operating ranges.

generally when i have had wheel bearings go they start making noise to let you know to replace them. Is this pre warning sign to bearing noise?


I do not have the expertise to really answer your question, but interestingly, I planed to make just that test - with an electronic thermometer - the minute I suspected I had a bad wheel bearing. If it were my car and no other source of heat was present (like dragging brakes for instance) I would conclude that something is amiss with the bearing.

#3 nipper

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:56 PM

assuming no brake drag, yes its a safe assumption.


nipper

#4 mellow65

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 06:09 PM

well guess i will be swapping to a new rear hub that i got laying around.

how crazy is it to change bearings in these.

#5 nipper

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 06:22 PM

well guess i will be swapping to a new rear hub that i got laying around.

how crazy is it to change bearings in these.


i havent done it so i'll let someone else answer.

nipper

#6 grossgary

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 06:36 PM

make sure the ebrake drums or disc brakes aren't dragging on that side.

i just had wheel bearings replaced and there's still a roar back there. so either it wasn't the bearings or the shop did them wrong.

#7 mellow65

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 07:11 PM

make sure the ebrake drums or disc brakes aren't dragging on that side.

i just had wheel bearings replaced and there's still a roar back there. so either it wasn't the bearings or the shop did them wrong.


i had all the calipers and rotors off so there was nothing to drag. this was right on the "tube" that the bearings reside.

#8 hohieu

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:26 PM

With the right tools, it's not difficult. If you plan on doing more bearings, a hub tamber kit will pay for itself after one bearing replacement.

I don't know how much salt your car has seen, but the lateral link pinch bolt can get corrosion welded inside the the bushing collars, and if this is the case, removing this bolt will be the most difficult part of the job. Ultimately, I had to cut mine off when I did the job last year on my car.

#9 mellow65

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:39 PM

no salt out west here. :clap:

i did have a nasty old hub in my garage that took apart to see what was involved in it. with some big sockets i was able to get everything apart and didn't seem to crazy.

what is hub tamber kit? i will probable do more in the future so having something other then big sockets to do it with would be nice.

#10 hohieu

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 11:27 PM

The Hub Tamer works very similarly to what you were doing with your sockets. It's a professional grade tool set that t allows you to replace wheel bearings without removing the the knuckle.

It's listed for use on FWD cars but will also work in the rear of our Subies. The only thing that didn't work for the rear when I did mine was the hub removal assembly. Instead, I had to used one of the puller screws from the kit to tap the hub out.

If you already have the tools to remove the the hub and the inner race off of it, then the kit from harbor freight will also do the trick. Otherwise, I think it's worth to get the nice tool set, especially if you can find a used one on either Craigslist or Ebay.

http://www.otctools....ail.php?id=1736

http://www.harborfre...temnumber=45210



#11 hohieu

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 09:21 PM

Just a thought:

If your bearings aren't making any noise and there's no play in the wheel, you may just try regreasing the bearing and replacing the inner wheels. It all depends on your situation, though, because once you get things to this point, replacing the bearing is fairly easy.


A good way to check for bearing roughness is to turn the wheel with your other hand on the coil spring. Any roughness will be transmitted and felt through the spring.

#12 mellow65

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 11:47 PM

well i rented a set from schucks with their tool rental program. basically you buy it and then return it so it cost you nothing. and with how frequent i will be doing wheel bearings that will do just fine for me.

it still didn't cover everything, i still had to take out the hammer and the big sockets but it's all back together now i just have to put it back on the car.

#13 unibrook

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 03:55 PM

I am interested in using a Hub Tamer Elite tool kit to change my rear wheel bearings on my 2001 Forester...drum brakes. Can this tool kit be used on my setup? I want to put the upgrade roller bearings in.

#14 hohieu

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:49 AM

Unibrook, yes, either one of the Hub Tamer tool sets will work with the only difference being that the Elite set is updated with an adapter for Fords.

Are you sure your mechanic installed the old ball bearings last year? Most inventory systems will not provide the older style bearings.

Here's a thread on the very same issue, and there's also an endwrench article on the replacement procedure.

http://www.ultimates...?t=69869&page=2

http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/WheelBearing.pdf

#15 tcspeer

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:57 AM

Just a thought:

If your bearings aren't making any noise and there's no play in the wheel, you may just try regreasing the bearing and replacing the inner wheels. It all depends on your situation, though, because once you get things to this point, replacing the bearing is fairly easy.


A good way to check for bearing roughness is to turn the wheel with your other hand on the coil spring. Any roughness will be transmitted and felt through the spring.


What a great tip this is about turning the wheel and holding the spring, If you are the one that was first to post this Thanks. I have used this two or three times and it works great.

#16 hohieu

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 12:13 PM

Indeed a great tip, tcspeer, but one for which I cannot take credit. I first found it posted on this great forum by color-blind:

http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=50276

Subaru says to check for play, but once things degrade to that point, you're nearing a potential catastrophic failure.

Edit: I meant "replacing the inner wheel seals."

#17 unibrook

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 01:39 PM

Hohieu, I dunno if they used ball bearings. I would assume they used new roller bearings...if that is what gets sold as a replacement part. On the other hand, I am sure they went cheapest route possible. Maybe the bearings they got sucked, maybe my spindle has a lip on it. Dunno. So many dunno's when dealing with a shop. sorta why I want to just dig in and do it myself. Even though the hassle factor daunts me.

#18 WoodsWagon

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 09:04 PM

The only problem I've had with them is pulling the axles out. To get them out, you need to get the lateral link bolt out. Which is usually rusted into both lateral link bushings, and the hub. Total PITA. Just to get the axle out. The bearings are easy at that point.

#19 grossgary

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 12:02 AM

The only problem I've had with them is pulling the axles out. To get them out, you need to get the lateral link bolt out. Which is usually rusted into both lateral link bushings, and the hub. Total PITA. Just to get the axle out. The bearings are easy at that point.

i've swapped a rear diff on older gen stuff by just dropping the rear diff, knocking the axles off and installing another one (that's how install LSD's on my XT6's). so on those the axles could be removed without doing anything to the hub but removing the axle nut.

EJ's the same or no way?

bearings = easy - really? sounds complicated to me, i keep avoiding it.

#20 unibrook

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:51 PM

But grossgary, if you replace the whole knuckle/hub assembly as a unit, you must still have to go through the hell of removing the lateral bolt, right? Seems to be the toughest part of the deal.

#21 EVOthis

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:24 PM

when it comes to that lateral link bolt that goes through the knuckle and you dont have air tools available....i have found it much much easier to remove the nut than try and remove that bolt...after the nut is off you can usually just kind of knock the bolt out with a hammer....after you coat the whole thing with PB of course...:)

#22 hohieu

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:42 PM

Usually, yes -- but not always. I soaked mine with PB Blaster for 3 days and hit it with everything I had: impact wrench, 3-lb. hammer, impact hammer, and a torch.

I had to to ultimately cut it off with a grinding wheel and replace the bushings along with the bolt.

After I cut off the bolt head, I could see that the the sections of the bolt were corrosion welded inside the the bushing collars. Even with the collars sitting on a vise, I couldn't budge what was left of the bolt no matter how hard I whacked away at it. Pretty astonishing.

I can't imagine they're all like this -- guess I just got lucky. :)

But grossgary, if you replace the whole knuckle/hub assembly as a unit, you must still have to go through the hell of removing the lateral bolt, right? Seems to be the toughest part of the deal.


Yes, and if you're replacing the knuckle, you're also messing with the strut. Provided you have the right tools, the bearing installation is the "fun" part.

Even though it's usually the inner wheel seals that fail, it's really worth it to replace the outer one as well if you're this far into it, but this requires disassembly of the knuckle/hub unit.

In any case, remembering to replace the inner seals at every cv half shaft service will prolong the the life of your wheel bearings. The outer seals are shielded from the elements by the rotor/drum and, therefore, tend to hold up longer.

Edited by hohieu, 08 December 2008 - 09:42 PM.
corrected typo


#23 grossgary

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 10:10 PM

But grossgary, if you replace the whole knuckle/hub assembly as a unit, you must still have to go through the hell of removing the lateral bolt, right?

yeah that bolt sucks bad. soak it like crazy for weeks ahead of time in PB Blaster. i did one this summer, was nicer than dealing with bearings.

#24 unibrook

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:28 PM

Is PB Blaster substantially better than WD40? Or does it not really matter much as long as you spray the bastard down for days.

#25 bratman18

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:37 PM

Is PB Blaster substantially better than WD40? Or does it not really matter much as long as you spray the bastard down for days.


As far as freeing up any nuts and bolts PB blaster is far superior to wd-40




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