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I,ve had to replace both sides of wheel bearings in the rear on my forester. Anyone else having this problem? I,ve never had this problem with any other car i,ve owned.

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Subaru tried to save money by using Ball bearings for the rear of foresters and imprezas. If the person who replaced the bearing is up on there subarus they would have replaced them with Legacy wheel bearings since they are tapered roller bearings and hold up much better.

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thanks for the information. i dug up my old bills and called my service center and he said he did put the legacy wheel bearing on my car, that was june 12 2002 and now i have an appt on monday to replace the same right side again. I guess i will have to put $300 a year back to keep replacing wheel bearings.

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There was a rash of rear wheel bearing problems a few years ago on the Impreza platform (which includes the Forester).

 

It is known to happen occasionally on the Legacies too. I've recently had to change the right rear on my 97 OB for the second time. Then again, I've got 380k km on my car. However, both time, it's required a new (remanufactured) half shaft since the seal area was pitted. As far as I know the other 3 wheels are all still running on original bearings. (I got the car with 66k km on it.)

 

Commuter

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my now over 100,000 mile Forester.

I was trying to decide wether to change them for PM when I changed the brakes and struts recently.

I don't hear any noise from them and there is no play yet so I left them.

I suspect our CA roads and mild temps make wheel bearings last longer.

My Mercedes lasted over 300,000 miles and had the original wheel bearings in it when I sold it.

My Jeep was 24 years old and I had never serviced the wheel bearings in it either when I sold it.

When I lived in Maine we used to change them every several years

but the cold temps and frost heaves took a toll, not to mention salt.

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Commuter wrote

However, both time, it's required a new (remanufactured) half shaft since the seal area was pitted.

I found the same when I had the right front bearing replaced on the Loyale.

I think this tells us what is responsible for bearing failure most of the time: a bad axle seal letting water enter the hub and bearing area. That's why I think replacing those seals when replacing the axles is good preventive maintenance.

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doing the pitting?

Since this started with Forester wheel bearings I think there have even been failures here in CA and we don't have the salt.

I suspect those Forester rears are likly to fail anywhere as they added a lot of weight with the Forester body and did not upgrade the wheel bearings.

Anyone from a salt free state who has had to change wheel bearings out there?

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Cookie, I was not specificaly thinking of the Forester bearing problem. In that case the fact that ball bearings were used instead of rollers seems reason enough for them to fail even if the seal is not at fault.

I was thinking of the Loyale and Legacy roller bearings. In their case I think the inner grease seals are often the cause of failure. They wear over time and replacing them at every axle change seems to be a worthwhile precaution.

Just my opinion based on a couple of personnal observations.

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Those seals may be cheap PM. On busses I used to fit better seals when I did the job and move them in and out to good surfaces with spacers.

If you go to a large bearing wholesale warehouse you can learn a lot of interesting things about bearings and seals.

Many bearings and seals are standard sizes on inner and outer bearing suface mounting areas.

You can mix and match to achieve what you need for the job. You can even get sealed bearing that ride on thier own surfaces with the seals. These tend to be more expensive than a factory engineer would use, but great for rough service areas.

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Cookie wrote

On busses I used to fit better seals when I did the job and move them in and out to good surfaces with spacers.

 

I'll keep that in mind. Seems like a

very good idea everywhere it's possible (crankshaft and camshaft seals would be good candidates on older cars).

The problem with the Legacy's front inner grease seals is that they have two lips. One sticking outwards and making contact lateraly with the side of the c.v. joint housing and one, more regular, making contact around the axle's butt shaft itself (this is a place where my unperfect command of the english language does not help me...)

You could'nt move that seal without crushing this outer lip against the c.v. joint housing.

 

Since you seem to have experience with wheel bearings and seals, maybe you could shed some light on this question.

I'm amazed at how little grease can be made to stick to these seals and I'm wondering how in heaven they can last so long. Do you usually pack the space behind them (between seal and bearing) full of grease or do you just smear some on the seal itself?

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in NY to SF service so I assume it was OK. First training was on airplane inspection and packing and the same tecniques were used.

By the way your English is better than mine, we are all part French from Maine.

We used to clean the bearing with solvent and dry it thouroughly so that all grease was gone. do not blast it with shop air as you can cause chipping.

Hold the bearing up to a light and turn it slowing looking for pitting on the races and any damaged sufaces on the rollers. Any serious marking rejects it.

Place a handful of grease in one palm and force it through the bearing from the side that is open wider so that it coats the rollers and packs the interior surface. when it comes out the opposite side all the way around it is packed. Then go around the outside of the bearing with grease and set that one on a clean surface.

Pack the rest and then prepare for the install.

Clean the hub and axle and inspect seal surfaces. If you have a damaged surface that you cannot move the seal to correct replace the part with that surface or refinish it. There are seal surface repair kits for some things.

Grease the seal after inserting it in the hub and fill the chamer half way with grease. Install. Cross fingers.

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and fill the chamer half way with grease

 

«Chamer?»

Thanks in advance.

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What I mean is the area left after you have inserted the bearing.

Fill the hub halfway up with grease so that is has room for expansion when hot.

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I have a 2000 Forester (just purchased yesterday) and the wheel bearings went out on me. ugh! I've been told to replace them with Legacy Roller Bearings. How is your 2000 Forester since this post?

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