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rear bearing in 95 impreza AWD has been going out for a while.  There is some play if I shake the wheel hard.  Is it possible for this to come off when Im going 80 down the highway?

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Unlikely since the axle cup wouldn't fit through the hub, but still its not a good idea to let it go to long. I've heard of people's cars catching on fire cause of bad wheel bearings

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Had a 81 gl with wheel falen off the axle shaft wore thru riding on the dead bering and lost the wheel funny thing is a 81 gl will drive on 3 wheels well for a bit anyway

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It can if the axle spindle breaks, which is not out of the question if you're trying to do 80 on the highway. If you have play that bearing needs to be replaced ASAP. It's on the verge of chewing through the bearing races and causing damage to the knuckle, hub, and axle. At this point I would say the car is not even safe to drive.

It may also damage the brake rotor, and ABS tone ring and speed sensor if your car has ABS.

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When I worked in a shop, I had a forester come in with a REALLY amazingly bad wheel bearing. They ruined the axle, hub, knuckle, rotor, caliper bracket, tire was rubbing stuff and it ruined the sidewall... They completely hosed EVERYTHING in the rear on that side. It was a very expensive repair which could have been avoided by just fixing the problem in the first place.

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they also get very unsafe to drive....the car will start loosing control and fishtailing at highway speed...you'll go from 80 to less than 80 really fast when it starts happening.  if it's that loose you can tell you may have signs or you're at least really close to have issues like that.

 

the first thing to break on the one i was driving was the tone ring for the ABS and the ABS light came on obviously.

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I do a lot of wheel berrings about 2-4 a week rears fronts they seem to go alot round here all the dirt and salt beats them up on some cars i have done them mutiple times they just get overwhelmed with dirt. And i get alot of damaged spindles from bering race spining on spindle shaft

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Nothing like driving a known unsafe car at 80 mph, and possibly causing a wreck. Your life, and life of your family members are at stake. Do the right thing and get the bearing fixed as soon as possible.

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Unlikely to fall off but it could if it got bad enough.

 

It would most likely need the spindle nut to come off, which it could if the stub starts walking around too much in the loose bearing and getting hot..

 

Also, the brake caliper bracket would try to hold the rotor from coming all the way off.

 

I actually had a buddy drive back up from california (800 miles)and lost his spindle nut along the way, the wheel was being held on solely by the brake capiper bracket.  It had eaten through the outer pad, and ground half the outer bracket off.  It probably wouldn't have made it another 100 miles.

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I had a rear making so much noise I was wearing ear plugs on the freeway, only had a tiny bit of movement, hard to detect. The race was beat up pretty bad, I can't imagine what it looks like if you can really tell it can wiggle.

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Can it? Yes. But pretty unlikely.

 

 

It's more likely to seize (that's right, freeway speed, locked wheel. Very dangerous, and could do serious damage to differentials/transmission). Also really hard on the tire, so you could have a catastrophic tire blowout.

 

 

 

 

Long story short, get it fixed. It is dangerous.

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Email me if you want my step-by-step guide on how to replace your rear wheel bearing with the Hub Shark (HF style) tool kit.


The lateral link bolt is the potential show-stopper.  But I have a solution for that puppy.


nwlovell at yahoo.

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