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Front wheel seals - a note about bad and incorrect parts

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Here's some notes for others needing front inner wheel seals for EJ's. This is applicable to all 1997 Legacy's.

 

Advanced Auto Parts. Ordering an AWD front inner 1997 Legacy wheel seal (Ej25 or EJ22) will get you the wrong part. They claim (from some searching) that it gives you a FWD seal even though the database doesn't ask whether it's FWD or AWD. Which is doubly odd since 99% of Subaru's in 97 were AWD. So their database is wrong.

 

Odd since I thought all FWD and AWD hubs and axles were interchangeable and would assume wheel seals would be the same as well. (minus ABS differences and the whack job 93 impreza splines of course).

 

Off to Autozone, they had Timken seals. It was rather strange looking. The metal was not covered in rubber like every other seal i've ever seen. I figured no big deal, it's a big well known name. Well it was a horrible fit and didn't work. It wouldn't seat properly and I didn't like the exposed metal/no rubber idea anyway. I figured if it ever had to come out again it would be perma-rusted/seized to the hub with that exposed metal.

 

Off to NAPA. Can't recall the brand, NATIONAL maybe? Anyway, it was a perfect fit. Coming from the NAPA database which yeas ago gave a distributor with 4 points on it for a 6 cylinder XT6 engine!

 

Sometimes what auto parts stores have in stock amazes me. Sometimes how incredibly incompetent their databases are amazes me too!

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Hey!, what a coincidence!

Can I ask you about this?

I just (Friday) took my 97 Legacy into the shop when I had this big growling from the left front wheel after driving in this horrid flood last weekend.

They (Axle and Wheel in Pasadena / Houston TX--great place, by the way) agreed with me that it was a gone bearing.

(Don't ask me how I thought it was a wheel bearing, I think this was the only thing I'd never heard on a car before.)

But when they wrote up the estimate, it said front bearing and rear inner seal.

And when they had the parts ordered ahead of time (Napa, also) they seemed to have a problem with the inner seal, which they felt didn't fit and they had to reorder.

Is this the seal you're talking about?

Thanks, once again for all your help, and omniscience, Grossgary.

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Sometimes what auto parts stores have in stock amazes me. Sometimes how incredibly incompetent their databases are amazes me too!
haha yah it is surprising sometimes that is for sure! How they can't correct these issues is beyond me. I mean on newer vehcies yes ok maybe htey havne't had feedback. But on a '97? I mean could you be the first person to buy inner bearing seals for a soob from them and then have issues?

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Can I ask you about this?

I just (Friday) took my 97 Legacy .

sure thing, I'm glad this was helpful, sometimes I wonder....:lol::lol:

 

i happen to have the info right here:

 

From NAPA:

My receipt says: WHL SEAL NOS 22026

 

The box says: SKF (brand) 22026

the SKU number (bars) 0085311182966

 

That's the front inner wheel seal you want for a 1997 Legacy. When they checked for me (if you believe the database!!!) the EJ25 and EJ22 vehicles are the same, so if yours is AWD it's the same part number, both being 1997 Legacy's.

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