2001 Rear Wheel Bearing replacement - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 07-06-2010, 08:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation 2001 Rear Wheel Bearing replacement

I just started my first repair job on our "new" 2001 Outback. I purchased a pair of rear wheel bearings online and was appalled at what I discovered.
BALL BEARINGS? For a REAR suspension on an AWD automobile that is designed to drive off road? And the grease looked like Vaseline and there was hardly ANY with the balls! What a joke! NO wonder these bearings don't last. First off, folks, pull the races when you purchase a set, if you get them without the hubs that is, and clean the Vaseline out and put some REAL hi temperature bearing grease in there. A LOT, since these are basically sealed up units when installed. That might give them some extra life, that is having grease in the unit. What I would do, if someone has a pair of these housings laying around with bad bearings, is pull the old bearings and races out, machine out the lip that stops them, machine a slot on the front and rear for a c clip, and find a bearing that is a CYLINDER style bearing with the same size hole for the hub and the same size hole to be pressed into the housing and walla...a bearing that will last a million miles in a car like this. I have a similar set in a 1992 Ford Econoline van that has 239,000 miles on it and the bearings have never been out. Oh and it weighs 6,000 pounds vs the 3500 the Outback weighs. Does anyone have a set of those housings they will let me have for shipping to start an experiment? And the other FUN thing was taking the housing off in the first place. I used a flange puller with a slide hammer and surprise surprise, the race came out on the hub and left the bearing in the trailing arm. Which meant pulling the arm off the car to get the bearing housing off because it was fused with rust to the arm. That was so much fun I can hardly wait to start the other side! I might not be up on all the terms, but on my 72 Ford Wagon they would be called trailing arms. Anyhow, a job that should have been one hour took 6. One other thing I did was when I reassembled everything I used anti seize compound to make it next to impossible to rust together again. I actually had to leave the strut attached because the bolt would NOT come off the strut until I got it off the car and was able to use two wrenches at once. And the front of the arm would NOT come off the bracket so I removed the bracket's 3 bolts after lowering the plastic floor pan protector. If this is any indication what this car is going to be like to work on...I am NOT going to be impressed!
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just curious ... were the new bearings Genuine Subaru or aftermarket?
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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While I am not sure about the bearings for the rear of the Outback, it may be a point to say that some bearings are not to be over greased, and other bearings are NOT suppose to be greased at all. It all depends on heat, rotational speeds, working conditions, and metallurgy.
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The rears are a bolt on (4 bolts hold it to the trailing arm) type set-up.

See this pic; http://opposedforces.com/parts/legac...llustration_1/
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I haven't done this myself (yet), but I think sometimes the bearing housing still gets stuck on the trailing arm (I think by rust) even if you undo the 4 bolts on the back.

I wonder if you could just thread some bolts on the front of bearing housing w/ the hub flange adapter and slide hammer it off instead of taking off the trailing arm?
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I finally got around to doing this.

I used a 6" gear puller with a 18" breaker bar and the whole assembly popped out fine.

For me the hub/bearing got stuck to the rear dust shield.

If that happens, I recommend using a putty knife of some sort, wedge it in between and use one of the bearing housing bolts to back the bearing off.

I also had a hard time getting the axle into the new hub/bearing assembly, the splines were fine but it was still a tight fit. (maybe due to the combination of the rust on the axle and a new hub?)

Ended up getting creative using a few C-clamps and the old rotor to get the hub on the axle enough to thread the 4 bolts.

Even with the bearing assembly on, there wasn't enough of the axle nut threads poking out for the axle nut to engage. I guess this is why they specify the special tool (922431000).

I managed to get enough of the axle through by using the thin side of the axle nut, engaging a few threads and prying the back end out with a pair of needle nose.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmltick View Post
I finally got around to doing this.

I used a 6" gear puller with a 18" breaker bar and the whole assembly popped out fine.

For me the hub/bearing got stuck to the rear dust shield.

If that happens, I recommend using a putty knife of some sort, wedge it in between and use one of the bearing housing bolts to back the bearing off.

I also had a hard time getting the axle into the new hub/bearing assembly, the splines were fine but it was still a tight fit. (maybe due to the combination of the rust on the axle and a new hub?)

Ended up getting creative using a few C-clamps and the old rotor to get the hub on the axle enough to thread the 4 bolts.

Even with the bearing assembly on, there wasn't enough of the axle nut threads poking out for the axle nut to engage. I guess this is why they specify the special tool (922431000).

I managed to get enough of the axle through by using the thin side of the axle nut, engaging a few threads and prying the back end out with a pair of needle nose.
I am contemplating doing rear bearings on my sone '00. I haven't taken a look at the situation yet but can't you run some bolts through the front of the Bearing assemble and use a Slide Hammer?? That what I do with Front Bearing assemblies on many of these new cars.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a harbor freight slide hammer kit but the hub adapter for it didn't fit. The 5x100 hub bolt patter was too small for the adapter. The gear puller worked fine. The bolts for the bearing assembly are tucked behind the hub..
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It sounds like many are saying the Hub/Bearing assembly gets stuck not just the Hub. did you find that to be the case?
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For me the whole thing came out fine with the gear puller. strange enough, I had a tougher time putting the axle through the hub... it was a pretty tight fit even after I cleaned up the splines.
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