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Hey guys, it's me again Road trip was successful from Alaska to Southern California. Since I bought her in April, I've already put on 15,000 miles, including the road trip, passing the 250k mark. I've got to tackle an issue I've had over the summer to finally quiet down my front end. In May, I replaced both front cv joints, getting a new but not OEM part from Carquest/Advance auto (https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/carquest-new-cv-axle-shaft-assembly-ncv66011/20870575-P?). When I took apart the knuckle assembly, I remember having to hammer out the original axle shaft to get it freed. When I put in the new parts, they fit in loosely, but I pulled them through using the axle nut as leverage. The car sounded great after that, the axles and hubs were quiet. After a while, both sides started humming (like white noise) on turns, growing subtly louder as days, weeks, and months passed. I finally replaced the bearings on the passenger side at the suggestion of this forum. It didn't stop the humming, so I got lazy and didn't replace the bearings on the driver side. I did make sure the axle nut was at the proper torque. I researched on here some more, and read that when replacing the CV axles, one should replace the spring washers and cone washers. I found those parts OEM on ebay and replaced them. No change in the hum during turns. Again using this forum, I found that overtightening, loosening, overtightening, loosening and overtightning once again on the axle nut is one way to make sure everything is snug; that the bearings are self-torque-something-or-other, so over tightening doesn't burden them. The humming lessened when I did this, but never went away completely. During the road trip, both axle nuts backed off a tad, and were stopped by the cotter pins. I did the overtightening/loosening/etc bit three times during that 5k miles, and finally the nut seems to stay in place. I am still getting hums/white noise on both, but it's a bit louder on the driver side. I checked all four wheels for play, and the driver side had probably 1/8 to 1/4 inch of play up/down and left/right. The other three are fine. I took apart the driver side assembly to the rotor, and when I checked the spindle, it's just loose. I can feel the play in the hub, and when I push it, it can easily be moved out of the knuckle. According to installation instructions, the axle shaft should be pressed into the hub using one of those do-dads. I hate replacing the bearings, but I will probably go ahead and do that on the driver side just for good measure - but I doubt that it'll solve the problem since it is still happening on the passenger side. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckAnENBIwBo Any ideas on how to quiet down my front end? Thanks again for all your input!
When you suspect you have a bad wheel bearing: droning noise, scraping sound occurring randomly or on turns, before you jump to any conclusion: CHECK the AXLE staking nut. If it comes loose, the bearing will behave as if failing. The staking nut on my 2008 is torqued to 160 ftlbs. It had come loose after a year, for some reason. If I had tried that early, I might have been able to just tighten it, saving the seals and myself a whole lot of learning. Instead, after seeing the wheel wobble, I "knew" it was a bad bearing. Having been thru a couple legitimate bad/burnt bearings before, I decided I should buy the press and bearing pusher tool. The 12 ton press was more than sufficient. The 2 Youtube videos on Forester/impreza gloss over a critical point, that when you are pressing out the old inner race, you need to use the undersized tool, (65mm I believe), and although it does not fit correctly, it works. DO NOT USE THE 72MM TOOL. My excuse is that it was late Saturday night and I was tired, but the way it fit so well let me press on the casting 'way too hard, expecting the 'pop', and feeling stupid. I was just pressing on the knuckle casting. I went inside and sat down. It was at this point I realized the possibility that the stake nut was just loose, and the whole thing was probably a mistake, but now I had it in pieces. I heated the knuckle in the oven the next morning, when my eyes worked, and using the 65mm tool, the press slid out easily. It DOES require a press. I seriously doubt you could tap it out with a chisel. I used the skf hub kit, which DOES NOT COME WITH SEALS, and got new seals, and it all went back together nicely. You need a "bearing separator" if you want to reuse your old hub. I piece of 1-5/8 id exhaust tube slotted up the side works well for setting the inner race on the hub. Don't forget the outer seal first. I torqued the stake nut, went for a drive, then torqued it again and staked it. I had to take the wheel off once more to bend the scraping backing plate, after the brakes warmed up. Apparently the disc expands a few mm when hot. The seals were probably damaged by the wobble, and maybe the bearing also, so ....whatever. Oh yeah, 2008 Forester NA 4EAT