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always loose castle nut!


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13 replies to this topic

#1 gmcfan

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 03:19 PM

I am having a problem with my '84 front wheel drive subaru. One day, I was inspecting the front brakes, and I had front jacked up off the ground. I found I could wiggle the right front wheel back and fourth, a sign of trouble. I checked the castle nut. I could turn it with my fingers. The cotter pin was still in it, so I pulled the pin, and torqed the nut to specs. I noticed, however, that the shaft turned ever so slightly, telling my that the splines are damaged :(

Anyway, I tightened it, all was good. I drove it for about a week, and out of curiousity, I checked the nut again. It was loose again! the cotter pin was installed, so I know the nut can't travel far. What is the deal? I think from all the years of the nut being loose, and the wheel vibrating back and fourth, chewed up the splines on either the rotor, or the shaft. I guess I will have to pull the disk and all to find out. All the parts seem to be there, a donut looking thing, with a split in it, I guess its the "center peice" as my book calls it, as you tighted the castle nut, it gets pushed in, and keeps the rotor centered, and a thick washer between that and the nut.

What do you guys think? Pull the rotor? with the car on the ground, I can push the car down and let it come back up, and the right wheel makes a metal on metal groaning noise, so I know it is still loose. I can also be driving, have my foot of the clutch at low speeds (I noticed this at the wal-mart parking lot) and the right wheel makes a rythmic metal groaning sound. When I push in the clutch, it goes away, so I figure, in the presence of torque, the shaft is moving around in there. I am really concerned about this. What shoud l I do?

Sorry for the long post.

#2 baccaruda

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 03:24 PM

might be sloppy wheel bearings or something? check that cone washer and the flat washer for wear. if they're worn try changing them out with fresh ones from the JY.. remember that the flat washer should be marked OUT on one side, so putting it on backwards might be a contributing factor?

#3 edrach

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 04:17 PM

The nut doesn't loosen. What is happening is that when the axle was installed, there was dirt, grease or something on the curved part of the axle stub (on the backside of the hub). As you drive down the road, that material works its way out and the nut "loosens." Usually, tightening it once is all that's needed. Sometimes you might have to do it twice. Actually, you can over-tighten that nut without damage to anything else. The real fix is to pull the axle out, clean the mating surface on the axle as well as the hub and then re-install.

#4 87 Pimped Gl

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 07:17 PM

I had the same problem and I tried about every thing but It came down to the stupid cone washer. I even bought brand new ones, they were a pain in the but to find them Subaru, Cheker, even my local subaru shop only had used ones. What happened to mine was the washer gets worn on the out side and a lip forms thus not really tighting the hub down. Just binding agianst the hub and not getting a tight fit. Grind the outer part of the washer to a slightly sharper angle and reinstall but be shure it is really clean and perfectly round. good luck

#5 Ratty2Austin

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 09:14 PM

I have had this happen to me a few times...

why it does this-

there is a cone washer, a curved washer and a castleated nut with a coter pin.
the cone washer starts to wear out (from friction or something..) becase the curved washer needs to be installed one way only, if it is installed wrong, or is not the right kind of washer, it will cause the nut to back off, and wear out the cone washer.

how to fix-

get a new cone washer, and a new curved washer. check to make sure hub is not stripped out. grease it all up with wheel bearing grease, or anti-seize (whichever one you prefer) and install the curved washer correctly.
I am not 100% sure which way the cone washer is supposed to be installed, but it should be with the convex side facing outward.

then when you tighten it down, you dont need to over tighten it, but make sure you can get a nice fat cotter pin in there :D

this should help! (seems to be a common problem)
it even happened to me yesterday (same symptoms too!!!)

#6 incognito

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 03:31 PM

cone washer/spacer wasn't re-installed with hub or bearings are toast..

#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 04:01 PM

My opinion is you need to get it tighter. Grab a big section of pipe, and a breaker bar - reef that sucker down. Stand on it - jump on it - drive backwards with the bar wedged on the ground - do whatever it takes - your not putting enough "luv" on it. I have done quite a few axles, and never had one loosen. I've broken a few breaker bars tho. I'm not a small person, and I do strip things out now and then - but if I tighten it - no way it's comming loose.

GD

#8 Qman

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 04:45 PM

There are torque specs for this. I believe it is 145 ft/lbs. It sounds like a washer problem to me as well. Try Edrachs suggestion of cleaning the mating surfaces. While doing this you can check for grease amount and condition in the bearings. It may just need to be repacked or even just replacing the bearings with new ones and new grease may solve the problem.

#9 Megell

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 06:08 PM

I just went through this with my 90 Loyale turbo sedan. I had the 4spd auto replaced this spring and a couple of K miles later I hear a strange growling sound when I let off the trottle on hiways. Turn the steering either way and ..no sound. I checked the recently re-installed axles (one new) nuts. Both washers were backwards resulting in a loosing of the castle nut and therefore wearing out the hub and center piece. Subaru wanted 280. for one of the hubs and ten dollars each for the cone (2) and washers (2) and since there all trashed now, all must be replaced.
I found a good set of hubs and ordered new cones. I didn't replace the washer, but turned them correctly around and torqued to #145.
BTW, I would highly recommend SUPER-RUPAIR in Boulder, Colorado for some of you parts needs. These guys have been great for me and their prices very fare. The hubs I got from them were just fine and only $20. ea.
Check em out.
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#10 junkyardgabe

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 09:00 PM

if this has happen a couple of times then i'd replace you hub and both washers because your hubs probably going to strip out soon

#11 MilesFox

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 03:08 AM

check to see if the axle nut or the shaft threads are strupped. sometimes the nut will yighten up, but will walk off on bad threads. take the nut off completely and check it out

#12 CIS Subaru

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 07:03 PM

I had this happen too. Once again, it was the cone piece. I just grabbed a couple "no charge" from the junkyard, and they solved my problem.

Which way is the flat spring washer supposed to be installed??
If you look at them from the side, they are slightly cone shaped too. I always put them on with the larger side out. Is that correct?

#13 Megell

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 01:47 PM

CIS Subaru, Rounded side out (towards nut). You want the washer to "quash" against the center cone. Put it on the wrong way...... and bye bye hub and cone. Replace cone and washer ($10.00 each from SOA) together at the same time... providing the hub is still good.
BTW, I have one good hub that I just purchased used. It is in very nice condition. I bought two but only used one. (sold car)
Megell

#14 CIS Subaru

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:18 AM

Good, I've been putting them on correctly.




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