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Thread: Wheel Hub Removal (Subaru... of Course)

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  1. #1 Default Wheel Hub Removal (Subaru... of Course) 
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    The Subaru has had a bad wheel bearing for a while. I have been avoiding the job because I hate working on that car. Nothing ever goes right with it and in the end it's a winter beater anyway.

    The bearing was getting louder and had not healed itself over the summer. Since winter is coming I figured I'd swap it out. It's worth noting here that the part is $85 from rockauto and close to $300 from autozone. WTF, autozone?

    So this morning I went to swap the bearing. I got pulled off the wheel. My harbor freight electric impact gun zipped the CV nut right off. With a little effort I got the four bolts that hold the bearing in removed.

    But the hub won't come off. Hit it with a hammer... hit it with a bigger hammer. Went at the seam with a chisel and hammer. Bought a slide hammer from HF and after filing down the wheel stud adapter for an hour so it would work with the Subaru's bolt pattern I went at it, convinced I had it beat.

    No luck. Hasn't budged.

    Things I do not have: welder, acetylene torch or a shop press.

    Does anyone have any tips for getting this fucker out? In lieu of advice, words of encouragement are appreciated.

    -Justin
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  2. #2 Default  
    So you can't get the bottom half to release from the top? Is it still on the car?


    Have you soaked it in PB Blaster? I'm not familiar w/that setup but depending how long you drove it for the bearing could've welded itself in place. With that design I'd just replace the hub and bearing assembly (is that what AZ is selling you for $300?).

    A torch would be your best bet here tho. Heat up the area, give it a couple taps and try the puller at the same time. Someone you know can bring you one or you just throw it back together and shoot down to the store?
    '00 Mercury Cougar V6 5spd | '13 Ford Fusion SE 2.0l Ecoboost | My site: Skolenimation
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  3. #3 Default  
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    I'm trying to remove the entire assembly. The bearing itself (top of the part pictured) fits snugly into the steering knuckle. It's not a press fit, but apparently they rust themselves together. I've been soaking with PB blaster. I'll go at it a little later with the hammer and puller. I looked it up again on autozone and it's coming up around $150 now. I'm not sure if I was looking for a pair before.

    I don't want to torch. I'd need to pull everything off the car to keep the heat from damaging things around the hub. At that point I'd rather throw it in a press and be safe from burning myself.

    -Justin
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  4. #4 Default  
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    First I'd try penetrating liquid to see if helps. Second would be a blowtorch and the slide hammer.. If the slide hammer and a BFH still don't work, air chisel where the hub rusted itself to the knuckle. Bitches love air chisels.
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  5. #5 Default  
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    I have been hitting it with PB blaster since yesterday. I hope I can find a way to pry between the hub and steering knuckle so I can combine that with the slide hammer.

    Every job on this car seems to require a multi-day penetrant soak.

    I kind of miss the bearings on my old GMs. Pull a cotter pin, pack the new ($15) bearings and put them where the old ones were.

    -Justin
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  6. #6 Default  
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    Try Kroil if the pb blaster doesn't work.
    "It was more passionate than just cuddling"
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  7. #7 Default  
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    Thanks, I'll find some and give it a shot. I'm just resigned to seeing this thing on jackstands for the week.

    I had very high hopes for the slide hammer that quickly turned to disappointment. Well, not that quickly. It took a while to file off enough steel to get the adapter to fit on the Subaru bolt pattern.

    -Justin
    Last edited by Justin.b; 11-27-2016 at 04:15 PM.
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  8. #8 Default  
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    bumping a 2 month old post. justin, any luck? lmk if you need help
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philsans5
    Wes get your hands out of there!
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  9. #9 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by the.wong.kid View Post
    bumping a 2 month old post. justin, any luck? lmk if you need help
    I bought a shop press from Harbor Freight and got it out. Of course, once I took care of the noisiest bearing I can hear others.

    -Justin
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  10. #10 Default  
    what year and model?

    OT, any tips on buying an 09-13 Outback ?
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  11. #11 Default  
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    Wheel bearings seem like a weak point. Not really weak, but expect to change them around 100k. Same for the front axles. There doesn't seem to be much wiggle room in the expected service life of a lot of parts on these. The parts go right about when the rule of thumb says you can maybe expect them to start failing.

    09 was the newest 5 speed we could find, but subaru has serious issues with their throw out bearings. The bearings themselves are shit and they also mount to an aluminum snout that gets all buggered up by the bearing. There's a relatively easy fix (stainless sleeve for the snout) but it requires pulling either the engine or the transmission (engine removal is the 'short cut'). So the auto version may not be so bad afterall.

    Headgaskets are an issue for the non-turbo 2.5. I've heard that it was addressed in 08-09, so maybe the newer model is a bit more dependable there. It's worth taking a look under the car to see if oil is starting to seep at the head/block junction.

    I only really post about the thing when it's a problem, but ours has never stranded us. It has caused us to drive around in a car making embarrassing noises but has not stranded us anywhere. All the features of the car still work. No real rattles or buzzes. It doesn't even acknowledge the existence of snow.

    -Justin
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