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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'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.

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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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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In order to get the rotor off you have to release the parking brake. I turned the key to clicks forward, put one hand on the brake to release the gear lever and put it in "N". I then disengaged the hand parking brake. The key will now have to stay in the ignition, I think you can only remove it in "P".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To get the rotor off you have to remove the bracket that holds the caliper. This is done by removing two 14mm bolts from the back. If you look closely you'll see how it's all put together and the bolts are a little hard to get to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To get to the bottom bolt you can put the 14mm socket on an extension and have it go through a hole in the suspension arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Then slide off the caliper and let it rest on the suspension arm. No need to disconnect the brake line. Ideally you should tie it with a string or bungee cord to the sway bar so it doesn't fall off.

*** If you can't get the caliper back on later when you re-assemble everything you can use a c-clamp to slowly squeeze the piston back. I didn't need to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The rotor should come right off. If it doesn't, it's most likely because the parking brake is still engaged, check there first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Once you get the rotor off you'll see the hub which holds the bearing. This whole unit comes off in one piece. It's held in place with four 14mm bolts from the back. You'll see this clearly on your replacement part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I read somewhere that you should remove the ABS sensor. I'm not sure why this is necessary, or how it interferes with the hub, but it's removed with a 10mm socket from above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You can then fit two small screwdrivers, one from either side under it and pry it out. I also read that you shouldn't use magnets around this sensor, so don't use magnetized screwdrivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When you remove the four hub bolts form the back, the hub will now fall out and will hang from the axle which is connected at the differential. Here you can also clearly see the holes for the caliper bracket to the right.
 

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