'03 Outback wheel bearing a DIY job? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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'03 Outback wheel bearing a DIY job?

Hi. I have a 2003 Legacy Outback with about 67k miles on it. I've begun noticing a howl that seems to show up around 35 MPH, definitely gets louder turning the steering wheel to the left, and quieter turning to the right. After poking around the forum it seems like the cause is a wheel bearing on its way out.

The posts I looked over implied that Subaru made the wheel bearings easier to replace around the '03 model year. My main question is, is "easier" easy enough for a DIY job over the weekend? I don't have a bearing press or much in the way of special tools so if it requires one of those I'll be taking it to a real mechanic.

Thanks for the input!

-FP
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 07:20 PM
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i think the press is required regardless of how easy it is to access and change out - but im not sure

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 09:43 AM
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Press required

I did mine and had to used a 50 ton bearing press. It is not an easy job..
it took me a couple hours and I'm a mechanic.

I would take it to a mechanic..in your case...

OutbackwBeer!

cheers
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to take it to a garage tomorrow.

-FP
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 11:39 PM
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from my (exceptionally bad) experience, have them check the other bearing and the brakes.

the vibration from the left side seemed to fubar the whole shooting match.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 12:08 AM
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I had a wheel bearing done on my '02 recently and it was about $250 out the door, if I recall.

They did a solid job and the car drives great afterwards--they also did an alignment, not included in price above.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Well, got it fixed. The ride is nice and quiet now. It was the passenger side front wheel bearing. It cost $500 total, a little more than I was hoping. But I sure wouldn't have been able to fix it, especially in one day.

-FP
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2009, 07:46 PM
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Thought I'd register just to throw my 2 cents worth in.

Having just finished this I'd have to say this is most definately a DIY project.

I had read all the horror stories, but when I found out the dealer wanted $500 per side, decided I was going to do it myself.

You do have to press the hub & bearing race, but I ended up buying a Harbor Freight cheapie 12 ton press for $100. It worked great, and was plenty strong.

I went ahead and did the ball joints, struts, brakes, and rotors at the same time. Had to replace both hubs, they were fairly trashed.

All told it took about 9hrs for both sides from start to finish.

This thread is very helpful.

So don't let the horror stories scare you, it is very doable at home.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2009, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ottodog
Thought I'd register just to throw my 2 cents worth in.

Having just finished this I'd have to say this is most definately a DIY project.

I had read all the horror stories, but when I found out the dealer wanted $500 per side, decided I was going to do it myself.

You do have to press the hub & bearing race, but I ended up buying a Harbor Freight cheapie 12 ton press for $100. It worked great, and was plenty strong.

I went ahead and did the ball joints, struts, brakes, and rotors at the same time. Had to replace both hubs, they were fairly trashed.

All told it took about 9hrs for both sides from start to finish.

This thread is very helpful.

So don't let the horror stories scare you, it is very doable at home.
I have a bearing job in front of me at some point.

So you just pulled the whole spindle carrier and set it up on the press, and everything just came out the way it was supposed to?


I'd like to see the subaru tool that lets you do this on the car, and try to duplicate it.


Dave
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2009, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CNY_Dave


I have a bearing job in front of me at some point.

So you just pulled the whole spindle carrier and set it up on the press, and everything just came out the way it was supposed to?


I'd like to see the subaru tool that lets you do this on the car, and try to duplicate it.


Dave
Yes, I pulled the knuckles off the car.

Basically after that you press the hub out of the knuckle, you remove the inner seal, and the snap ring right below it. At this point you can press the race out from the outer side of the knuckle (wheel) to the inner side (axle) using the old bearing.

From there you just reverse the procedure. I used the old race to press in the new race. Install the snap ring, bearings, then outer seal. Then press the knuckle back onto the hub and install the inner seal and you're set.

Don't get me wrong there were several bolts that were a real beotch. The toughest for me were the tie rod ends, and ball joints.

This tool made short work of them though:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=99849

The other was the passenger hub nut. Took a 6' breaker bar and wife holding the brakes to get that puppy loose.

I bought 2 cans of PB Blaster but ended up not using it. I was surprised that being a snow car all its life things weren't a little tougher. I don't think they use as much salt out here as they do back east though.

I'm doing the rear bearings and struts this weekend. They seem ok but with 165,000 miles I'm sure it's just a matter of time. Hard to complain as these are the original factory bearings and struts.


Here's a list of the tools I needed to do the Job. I bought Harbor Freight because the chance of me using them more than a few times are slim to none. Plus you can always find a 20-50% off coupon out there on the internet somewhere:

Press for hub and race:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=33497

Bearing seal driver set for press (you could use big sockets if you have them):

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=95853

Seal Puller (you could use a screwdriver, but this thing works well):

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=35556

Ball Joint/Tie rod end seperator (this thing will save you a ton of time!! I tried a pickle fork but all it did was tear up the boot):

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...er=99849<br />

Bearing Separator (if you are going to reuse the hubs & the outer bearing stays on the hub, which it probably will.):

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3979

and a 32mm hub nut socket (I think I read an 1 1/4" socket will work also but not 100% sure.)
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