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2004 Forrester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've got an 04 Forrester 2.5 XT. A while back I noticed a noise, sort of a muffled whine. I thought it to be from the new tires I has just purchased as they had a little more aggressive tread pattern than the previous tires. This muffled whine has turned into more of a muffled roar. Still sounds like mud tires only has gotten louder. I've changed the rear differential oil with no change. I'm thinking rear wheel bearing as it seems to be coming from the right side. I've changed wheel bearings on many American made cars and trucks, but not a Subaru. Any help with a different diagnosis and or dissassembly of the rear wheel hub would be helpful.
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,039 Posts
most manuals say you have to take the knuckle out and put it in a press. or it's too difficult and take to the dealer. :icon_rolleyes: it IS harder than loosening a locknut and just pulling off (like front wheel bearings on RWD vehicles). it is very similar to many FWD wheel bearings if you have done those before. bearing is pressed into knuckle and hub is pressed into bearing. axle locknut holds it all together.

you can use a "hub shark" type tool to change out the wheel bearing without removing the knuckle and bleeding brakes and immediately having to have realigned.

this is the idea, although I have not used this set on a Subaru yet.
- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices


i changed out mine with a homemade hub shark set. you have to take the big, long bolt loose on the bottom of the control arm. you should then have enough movement to get axle out of knuckle. (if it seems difficult you can loosen the top of the strut nuts.) be careful and don't pull axle apart. put in new oil seals and dust seal. note proper direction to turn them.
 

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2004 Forrester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Forrester Bearing Noise

Thanks Woody04, when you changed yours, were the symptoms simular to what I've described? I know how some noises can be transmitted throughout the vehicle. I have done front wheel bearing on FWD trucks. Thanks again
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,039 Posts
yeah, sounds similar, although I've not had one go bad that I would describe as a whine. the key is now it is more of a louder roar or rumble sound. i also got a bit of a "crunch" sound when first taking off and moving the car slowly on mine. i believe i remember reading the right rear goes bad sooner and/or more frequently.

as long as the diff oil has been kept at proper level and not backed underwater it would be unusual for a diff bearing to go bad before a wheel bearing.

people sometimes get irritating whine or whirr noises with some subaru diffs, but it usually stays fairly constant and changing diff oil can make some impact, as well as the rubber bushings where it mounts to the support.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
Mine's doing the same thing. I'll be changing it out soon. Might as well do both rears if you're going to buy the tool. I did the same thing you did, change the diff oil hoping it would change something. I will either buy the hub shark or this.

OTC 6537 Hub Tamer

I know that the harbor freight would probably do it, but my experience with cheap tools is that it can cause more problems than its worth. You can find videos of the tool in use or this may help.

http://endwrench.com/current/Current6/03/WhBearRep.pdf
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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Mine's doing the same thing. I'll be changing it out soon. Might as well do both rears if you're going to buy the tool. I did the same thing you did, change the diff oil hoping it would change something. I will either buy the hub shark or this.

OTC 6537 Hub Tamer

I know that the harbor freight would probably do it, but my experience with cheap tools is that it can cause more problems than its worth. You can find videos of the tool in use or this may help.

http://endwrench.com/current/Current6/03/WhBearRep.pdf
that looks like an awesome set! OTC makes good stuff.
 

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Just a note, if the bearing has been bad for any period of time, its usually a good idea to replace the hub as well. Also, if the bearing was bad enough to see visible play, the knuckle may need to be replaced too.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
True true. Mine's only been making noise for about 50 miles, so I hope it'll be okay. The noise is not bad, but there.
 

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03 Forester X
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136 Posts
I see Autozone sells a hub/bearing kit for 150 which I assume eliminates the need to press the old bearing out and the new one in....

Thoughts on taking this route? Especially if the noise has been around for ~ 1-2 months?
 

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2001 Forester S
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13 Posts
jsahara,
Where did you see that Autozone deal? are you saying they sell a combination hub/bearing that would fit the Forester and would bolt on as if it were OEM?
 

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I see Autozone sells a hub/bearing kit for 150 which I assume eliminates the need to press the old bearing out and the new one in....

Thoughts on taking this route? Especially if the noise has been around for ~ 1-2 months?
All foresters have press in bearings, there are no bolt in solutions. The hub goes in the bearing which goes in the knuckle. No matter what you need to either press in the bearing with a hydraulic press or use a hubshark type tool.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
It's about $85 from Jacky at annapolis subaru per corner.
 

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03 Forester X
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136 Posts
I appreciate the responses, I was just looking at prices and I came across this (link above). Unfortunately there is no picture. What you think?

Edit, im not allowed to post URL's yet..I am going to PM it too Funkymonkey and hopefully he can tell me what it is.. Thanks!
 
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