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Registered
2007 Forester Manual.
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118 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well of course the old girl tossed me a curve ball.

I always suspected one of the wheel bearings in the rear end was noisy. Didn't have any play in it, nor did it present anything obvious before. Just call it a hunch.

Anywho, driving back from one of my locations I noted what sounded like a metal grinding type sound out of the rear right wheel area. Slow speed it went away, go over 15 and it kicked right up. Parked and grabbed the top of the wheel and there was noticeable play when I rocked it in/out at the top of the wheel. Basically I could see the rotor tilt in/out slightly when I was cranking on the top of the tire.

Confirmed it today when I finally got it up to the barn (my work area...) Put it up on jackstands and it's clearly a bad wheel bearing. Grabbed the top and bottom of the tire while mounted, nice 'chunk chunk' when I played tilt and yank with it.

Okay, that's the background. Due to the expense of having a shop do this repair, We're going to do this one ourselves. By the time we've paid anywhere from $600-$850 parts and labor? I can pick up a few specialty tools and do it ourselves. Or remove the complete hub/brake/entire assembly and take it to a machine shop that can press the old bearing out, and press the new one in (as well the hub shaft into the new bearing.)

First order? Getting that &itch bolt out. That job has been done before, I can tell by the witness marks and the nut for the driveshaft looks pretty fresh. Of course the lateral retaining bolt is rusted in place. It's not rusted out in the cross area between the mounts/bushings. It's rust welded itself to the bushing sleeves. Having known it's been out before, I'd like to kick the person that did this job and never bothered with anti-seize. The bolt's trashed as well the bushings. So it's all going to get cut out and replaced.

Anyone ever did this job with a shop press? All I see on the reference notes are using the OTC tool. No one in my area 'rents' that tool out. (it's over $750) And we're planning on buying a 'kit' from Rockauto for the hub/bearing/seals. And hitting amazon or eBay for a bushing and bolt kit. In the past I've always outsourced the wheel bearing press in/out to the local shop. Problem is? They charge $75-$85 a hit. To be blunt? I can buy a shop press after paying that bill 2 times.

Advice welcome as always. We'll be working on that "&itch Bolt" Sunday afternoon for a while to get it removed. I look at it this way: Even if I cry 'uncle' and have a shop do this job? My doing that bolt and bushings will save a ton of labor time. I've got patience when it comes to getting stuck bolts out of bushings. (Been there...done that....)

And of course, The Subaru didn't leave me stranded! Bit of a noisy ride, but the ol' girl got me home!

S-
 

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2003 Forester X 5 MT
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522 Posts
I did that job twice on my 03 an it was a bear. No lift or compressor makes it a pain. For getting the bearings in and out I used this kit from Harbor Freight

https://www.harborfreight.com/front-wheel-bearing-adapters-63728.html

It's similar to the Hub Shark kit but certainly not expected to last if you do these every day. Weak point is the bolt that tightens. Use lots of grease on mating surfaces. Count on the Lateral link bolt being toast as well as the bushings. Buy a new wheel hub too (Dorman makes one). I ended up having to replace the knuckle as well on my two rears after cutting the lateral link bolt with a cut off wheel.

Impact wrench and long wrenches help in tightening the bolt to press out and press in the bearings.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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I did it many years ago. Unless you really know what you are doing. ..... Totally insuring the bearing fits are correct..you will be redoing it within 10K miles. I had the advantage of an industrial press and am pretty skilled in bearings do to my job as a mechanical maintenance forman.

Good luck.
 

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Registered
2007 Forester Manual.
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118 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I did that job twice on my 03 an it was a bear. No lift or compressor makes it a pain. For getting the bearings in and out I used this kit from Harbor Freight

https://www.harborfreight.com/front-wheel-bearing-adapters-63728.html

It's similar to the Hub Shark kit but certainly not expected to last if you do these every day. Weak point is the bolt that tightens. Use lots of grease on mating surfaces. Count on the Lateral link bolt being toast as well as the bushings. Buy a new wheel hub too (Dorman makes one). I ended up having to replace the knuckle as well on my two rears after cutting the lateral link bolt with a cut off wheel.

Impact wrench and long wrenches help in tightening the bolt to press out and press in the bearings.
Ah well..... Little problem with the air compressor.... There's a few up in the barn. My step father has a larger capacity one, and it wouldn't even spin the motor due to the cold weather and the wiring in that ol' place isn't built for high amps. So we're doing it by hand.

I do have an electric impact that works pretty well considering it's age. So it's getting a work out!

Just ordered in a lateral link bolt/hardware/bushings.

We are considering picking up a shop press: https://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-shop-press-33497.html

However if the wheel bearing tool by "maddox" can do the trick? That will save a few bucks. The OTC one listed is mega bucks. (If I was doing this professionally? No problem...Once in a while? I'll go cheap)

S-
 

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Registered
2007 Forester Manual.
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118 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I did it many years ago. Unless you really know what you are doing. ..... Totally insuring the bearing fits are correct..you will be redoing it within 10K miles. I had the advantage of an industrial press and am pretty skilled in bearings do to my job as a mechanical maintenance forman.

Good luck.
That's one of the things I was on the fence about. Getting a press and doing it that way, or the tool itself.

I've rebuilt several front ends over the years, and have done our VW wheel bearings and other assorted repair and maintenance items. And it's crucial that the bearing fit is correct. Must go in 100% straight and fully seated. (meaning clean out all the old gunk/rust from where ever it contacts.)

The maddox tool might be easier to deal with on the car. Seems there are plenty of you tube videos showing it being done that way. Still collecting parts so this should be another adventure.

And excellent ideas also given about getting the hub as part of the kit. I've seen and heard horror stories on trying to get the hub and bearing to separate. (the VW was a nightmare...Finally took a cut off while and sliced the snot off.)

S-
 

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2003 Forester X 5 MT
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522 Posts
Also helps to put the bearing and wheel hub in the freezer for a while. Makes it all go together easier.
 

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Registered
2007 Forester Manual.
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118 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
LOL...

In that case we'll just leave it outside. (We're doing this in 20deg outside temp in a barn) LOL!

We'll put it into the main freezer (below zero)

It's actually a good idea, Thanks!!

S-
 
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