Join Date: Jun 2010
Car: 2001 Outback Limited 2.5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
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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