'05-'09 - Replacing rear wheel bearing - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 07-21-2012, 08:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default '05-'09 - Replacing rear wheel bearing (hub)

Hi, first off I'm not a certified or professional mechanic. I've never gone to school for any of this or had anyone teach me. If there's something that doesn't make sense, please voice your opinion so we can make this write-up as correct as possible for future users.

- - -

I've had some noise coming from the rear wheels for a while and apparently there's a common problem on these cars. Unfortunately for me, my car has over 100,000 miles on it, otherwise this should be covered by Subaru (Subaru Recalls: a list of recalls on various model- Outback, Impreza, Legacy, WRX, STI, Forester, Tribeca). If your car has under 100k miles and is less than eight years old and you're having noise coming from your wheels, give Subaru a call to have them take a look at it - sounds like they'll replace it for you.

It's hard to tell from which wheel the sound is coming, and some times it's a scraping sound, other times it's a sound that correlates to the wheel turning. I decided to start with one side and then do the other side if the noise persisted.

I went with a Timken bearing (HA590119) which I picked up at AutoZone. The reason for this was the extended warranty compared to the Duralast one which was considerably cheaper. The best deal for these bearings seem to be on Ebay, where you currently can have a Timken bearing shipped to your door for under $80.

You also need to install a new axle nut, since it gets indented when installed and thus compromising it from future use. Subaru sells these for around $5 and the parts number is: 902170049.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I thought I'd take a shot of all the tools I used during this installation. Some of them require a little further explanation

• You'll need a torque wrench which goes at least 150lbs and then you'll have to wing it a bit more if that's max.

• I borrowed a hub puller form Pep Boys (OEM 27037) which is needed to extract the old hub. You can buy it from there for $35 or borrow it.

• The axle nut socket is a hefty 32mm and I bough an impact drive version from Harbor Freight for $5. They are sold as sets there, but I just picked up the one I needed.

I'll go through the rest as we proceed with the installation.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First up is to park the car on a flat clean area. Put it in park and engage the hand brake.

Remove the axle nut cover with a tiny screwdriver or similar. I think I used two; got one inserted and then walked around the edge with the second one to get the lid to come off.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Then I put a small screwdriver where the axle nut had been indented to move the indentation back out by hammering on it. A narrow flat punch would be more ideal, but I don't have one. It's not necessary to get it back out 100%, the force you'll apply with the breaker bar will force it to come out enough for the nut to come out.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I then used a breaker bar to loosen the 32mm nut. Just a quarter of a turn s enough, the rest you can do by hand once the wheel is up in the air.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Same for the wheel nuts, just break them loose.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I used the differential to jack the car up just enough to get the rear wheels off the ground. This was the correct location according to several "internet" sources. It doesn't look too substantial and it does look a bit sketchy with the rubber mounts moving on top of it, but it seems to work fine.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Place some wheel blocks on the front wheels. This is especially necessary since the car will be out of gear and with the hand bake disengaged.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I then placed jack stands at the back of the car by the jack points. There are two markings about three inches apart where the stands go. These markings are also at the front of the car along the pinch welds. Something interesting happened here where the cup shape of the jack stand was too deep and would start going into the plastic trim on the rocker panel. I set them as high as I could for safety and relied on the jack. Not ideal..
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Time to take the wheel off.
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