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2003 EJ20K Forester
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It probably isn't rust, but fretting corrosion. I bet the splines are filled with a red dust when you do get it apart. I agree violence is the solution, just be careful not to mushroom the end of the shaft or damage the axle nut threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Lol yeah that's true. I'm looking into probably getting an axle from Raxles. It's $189. I haven't heard anything good about any other aftermarket ones. I tried the reverse axle nut position ( that just sounds dirty lol). I pounded on it but it still wouldn't budge. I know there's not a seal or clip of any kind on the outside holding it in. So I think I'm just going to pull it all out and take it to a shop. I'm afraid I'm going to ended up replacing that whole assembly. Hub, bearings and axle. Hell that right rear will almost be completely new if that happens. AND if there is still a loud banging noise coming from the back after all this, I'm good to remove the lift. So, I might have a slightly used lift kit for sale.
 

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2007 Forester AT
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6 Posts
I had a left rear bearing go last year, and my local mechanics shop called to say they had to go with a new axle because the couldn't separate all the particular pieces. Once everything was repaired, about a week later my ABS cable on that wheel failed and the shop would not admit fault, but replaced the cable for no labor and cost of the cable.

(Six months later, the same left rear bearing failed and I had my new garage replace it.)

It's been fine since.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I'm gonna have to be careful with it I think. I'm hoping I won't have to replace everything
 

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2000 Forester
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I just got done replacing the right rear wheel bearing on our 2000 Forester. You're probably right about that being the source of a droning sound around 40 MPH. Test for right vs. left is to take hard corners as fast as possible and see which direction the sound lets up: less noise one direction means bad bearing is on other side (still under load). Left rear bearing went at 113k miles, dealer replaced bearing and hub. Right rear went at 180k and I did the job myself for $50 for SKF bearing and Timken seals from RockAuto and another $50 for a front wheel bearing removal/installation tool set (yes, "front", since the Subie is AWD). That tool is a must for on-car bearing replacement, as is a hub puller and slide hammer, both of which can be rented from parts houses like O'Reilley's. Good videos here and here. You won't be able to visually check the condition of the bearing without pulling the hub, which also means getting it off the axle. And in my case, the outer seal and outboard inner bearing race came off with the hub, so it wouldn't have been a "just put it all back together if good" situation anyway. The big shocker for me was finding the original bearing to be a combo tapered roller inboard and angular ball outboard unit. My '55 Chevy had ball bearings on the front spindles, but I thought manufacturers had all gone to all tapered roller bearings eons ago. Replacement bearings are all double tapered roller bearings. So, all that said, you should be able to feel, by rotating the hub, whether the bearing is good or bad before you pull it all apart. Compare to the other side if you need a reference.

But, anyway, your axle appears to have gotten stuck inside the hub on the splines, as there is indeed nothing else to hold them together once the axle nut is removed. Either a front hub puller or a universal hub puller, along with a BFH to whack the screw once you've tightened it as much as possible, should get it loose. That is all that is needed on tapered axles, and this thing is just a straight spline! If that doesn't do it, then the whole thing will have to be removed from the car and put in a press, but the problem there is supporting the back side of the wheel flange on the hub, which has the ABS tone ring on it and not much room behind it. Ugh.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Yeah this has been a nightmare so far. I got a slide hammer from AutoZone. The counter guy said it would fit because it's
universal. Nope. It didn't, it was too big. Now I gotta go back and see if I can get one that fits
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I took the whole assembly to a shop and they got it loose finally. The spindle was rusted inside the hub. Now I get to buy new bearings, seals, parking brake shoes and hardware. The mechanic said the axle seemed ok to use but to just clean up the rust and use anti seize when I put it back together. Fingers crossed. What after market bearings and parking brake shoes would be recommended?
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2004 FXT 4EAT
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609 Posts
I'm surprised you got that long bolt out! That one usually seizes! Yours looks super-clean!

I ordered the bearings from Rockauto.com when I did my rear bearing on my 2004. You get what you pay for. So, spending a couple of $$ more is probably not money thrown away. Dealer may stock them.

Now that you have it all apart, that should be easier to do as well. Though you may find yourself going back to that shop to have them pressed on... (unless, of course, you have the tools to do it)
 

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Discussion Starter #32
It's been a journey that's for sure. But it's not over yet. I still have to get parts and get everything back together. Even when I do I still might not be done. If the right side keeps making that banging noise again coming from that strut then I'm going to remove the lift kit. Which sucks because I paid a lot of money for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Yeah I've seen videos on that bolt. I will consider myself lucky. But then again look what happened to the axle. If it's not one thing it's another.
 

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2000 Forester
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I took the whole assembly to a shop and they got it loose finally. The spindle was rusted inside the hub. Now I get to buy new bearings, seals, parking brake shoes and hardware. The mechanic said the axle seemed ok to use but to just clean up the rust and use anti seize when I put it back together. Fingers crossed. What after market bearings and parking brake shoes would be recommended?
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2000 Forester
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Boy, I'm sure glad I didn't have that problem on my job. Took me long enough as it was! I see you have the factory original ball/roller combo bearing.

Go with a name brand on the bearing (it is sold as one, even though there are two roller cages), like Timken, SKF, or NTN. Same with seals, or National. There are three seals total: outer oil, inner (center) oil, and inner dust. All available on RockAuto. For the brake shoes go with Raybestos or Bendix. One set does both wheels. Why do you need to replace them? The minimum thickness is 1.5 mm (0.060"). Looks like there is well over that in your picture. In fact, they look like full thickness. And unless you have rear disc brakes that I can't see in your pics, those are "rear" brake shoes, not "parking" brake shoes.

You won't be able to put it all back together without the proper pressing tools, either a shop press or the front hub removal/installation tools shown in the video I linked. I got mine on Amazon for under $50. And I still wound up using a socket out of my 3/4" drive set as a pusher with that tool in one step of the process. I also had to use the tool to get the outer seal pressed into the housing as it would just not go in by hand or hammer. And you'll need a bearing separator and puller or press to get that outboard bearing race off the hub if you haven't already. Or cut it off like some people do.

Unless you carefully marked things when you took the housing out of the strut, you'll need an alignment after you get everything back together. One advantage of doing the on-car bearing replacement is you don't have to worry about that, but you didn't have that luxury.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I ended up ordering the OEM bearing and seals. I'll get a break from it until the parts come in. I need it lol.
I have rear disk brakes. That was the parking brake shoes in the picture. I was going to replace them because one of the shoes is broken.
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2006 Forester 5-speed manual
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169 Posts
I don't think that's broken at all... but I could be wrong... if it's broken there should be a loose piece floating around in the works somewhere.

The biggest thing with reassembly of the bearing is to not have to pull it apart again half-way. Take care to assemble everything in the correct order so you don't forget how it all goes and then have to dismantle (and damage the bearing doing so) to put in what you left out.

I used regular grease on the splines when I reassembled, I'm guessing that will do the trick. I'm also surprised at the corrosion on your outer quarter-shaft (that's the bit with the spline outboard of the CV joint), and seeing that I'm not surprised you had all the trouble pulling it to bits.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
It took some time that's for sure. Let's hope the parts will go back ok. Maybe the Fozz and I can call a truce and let by gones be by gones and let's get it back on the road ! Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #40
I got everything back together and took it out on a test drive. It started making a loud thumping noise from the right rear. I found out the axle was bad. So I replaced it. I had to force everything to go back together. Because of the lift everything is really hard to bolt up. The lift has been a headache so far so I took it off. Everything went back together really simply. I took it out for a test drive and a loud grinding noise started coming from the right rear, where all the work was done. It stopped grinding when I applied the brake. AND now there is a big vibration and thumping noise coming from the front. All this after taking the lift off. Geez what now. Any ideas guys?
 
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