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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Rear Wheel Bearings (again)

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Mike W_*

Guest_Mike W_*
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Posted 26 June 2003 - 09:31 PM

So I'm finally getting around to doing the rear wheel bearings on my '93 Legacy. Today I scored some spare hubs from a car at the junk yard and proceeded to pop out the old bearings. That was easy enough but the replacement bearings from NAPA have me a little concerned. These new bearings are a single unit with both outer and inner bearings connected to the central sleeve. The old OEM bearings (now disassembled) appear to have been seperate outer and inner needle bearings in cages and a seperate sleeve that they rolled on. So before I start pressing in these new bearings, can anyone verify that they should really work?
Another issue is that the old OEM setup had three seals but NAPA says only two seals are needed with the aftermarket bearings. Now I remember reading a story or two about replacement rear wheel bearings on Gen1 Legacies only lasting 40k miles. So now I'm wondering if these aftermarket seals may not keep crud out as well? Anyone have any real life experience with this or other feedback?

#2 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 05:57 AM

You sure they gave you the right bearings?

The FWD models have normal ball bearings, and the AWD models have dual tapered roller bearings.

If you're in doubt that they are the right ones, I'd go back and double check, or go get some bearings from the dealer.

#3 Guest_Mike W_*

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 09:47 AM

Well the NAPA computer system is sure that they are the correct bearings and so far NAPA has been real good about supplying me with correct parts (most of their business is to shops.) The reason I didn't get them from the dealer is because as usual they're prices are outrageous compared to everyone else. And I didn't order them online because those prices were the same as the local vendors like NAPA.

Dual tapered roller bearings...ah yes that's what they're called. The new bearings look exactly like the old bearings would if you stacked them all up nice and pressed them together into one lump (that is, the new ones are a big lump or cartridge.) I guess what I now want to know is, do the OEM bearings start out as one unit when installed but they come apart when you disassemble the hub? Or are these aftermarket ones a cheapo substitute that works but doesn't last for 150k miles like the OEM?

Good thing I'm putzing around with an extra set of hubs so my car isn't out of service. Guess I'll go to the dealer and ask to look at their bearings and then talk to some technicians I know and see what they say. (Going to the dealer is about the absolute last thing I ever want to do. Between the salesmen and the price gouging...I just freekin' hate the place.)

#4 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 05:58 PM

I don't really have first hand experience with replacing them, so I'm not sure how the dealer bearings come. maybe someone else might.

#5 Guest_camosuba_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 04:27 AM

can you post any pics of the set up as i have to do mine shortly and the pics would be handy.

regards camo

#6 Guest_bossgvr4_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 04:48 AM

Just had these done.

98-02 Foresters had caged ball bearings in the rear (I have pics of my old ones.

A contributing reason to them dying out is that they came fromt he factory packed in "shipping" grease. This grease will wash out if you go tip toeing through a water or in my case trudge out to a muddy paintball field a couple times a month. Suby techs almost NEVER replace this grease with real wheel bearings grease that can hold up to advers conditions.

As a result Subaru updated ALL the AWD rear wheel bearings to a new dual tapered design in 2003 ... so the design differences you are describing seem correct. The old set up was the bearing + 1 dust shield + 2 oil seals. I think the new one doesn't include the dust shield.


#7 Guest_ferret_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 05:47 AM

Subaru just UPDATED Again their Rear Wheel Bearing replacements. You can right click on these, then left click and "save" it to your hard drive (Much Faster since these are Adobe PDF files). Good Reading......
This link is what Non-Subaru Service Depts gets when they request the proceedure: www.endwrench.com/current...earRep.pdf
Next is the "official" service bulletin:
Finally, and this is an 8 meg file, this is the Service proceedure the Dealers get:

#8 Guest_Mike W_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 02:13 PM

Ok it turns out that my replacement bearings just look a little different than the old ones but are in fact the same thing. I got to measuring them with calipers and just about the time I was ready to conclude that dimensionally they should work fine, I dropped them on the ground and they popped apart and got all dirty. So through that accident I discovered that they are not some kind of funky cartridge bearing after all, but were just stuck together so tight I thought they were one unit. I do need one more dust seal that I'll have to get from the dealer.

As an interesting side note, they were packed completely full of that clear "shipping" grease. I can see how someone might just install them without repacking with good grease. Question is, why in the heck would they do such a good job of packing them with a wimpy grease if they didn't expect the customer to install them that way? Makes me wonder if it's a total accident that Subaru wasn't using a more durable grease.

Camosuba, I'll try to snap some photos before I finish the job. However it might be a few days before I get to play in the grease again (family reunion today and hopefully do something FUN tomorrow.) This job really doesn't seem as tough as it was hyped up to be. Hopefully I'll get some decent photos and do a little write-up to add to the Ultimate Repair Manual.

#9 Guest_camosuba_*

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 11:33 PM

We have had the same problem under warranty here in Aus as well, they were replacing bearings without repacking and they were failing prematurely. But they finally worked out what was going wrong :) .Unfortunately mine is my own problem as the car is now ten years old, and has done 245k klms , it took a while to diagnose the problem as i have slightly noisy tyres that were masking the noise thanks for your info :)

regards camo

#10 Guest_alia176_*

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 07:04 AM

I read the article from endwrench.com, Christ, this procedure is quite involved. I'm assuming it's possible to do this w/o the OTC tool mentioned in the article, right? That's the only tool I don't have in my garage!


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