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2001 H6 OBW
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So tell me your secret, how do you get these off? These bolts haven't budged. I just broke a 19mm 1/2 inch socket and last resorted to a 3/8 inch and broke the breaker bar. These bolts have not budged. Here is what I've tried: Penetrating oil, breaker bar with a pole put on it, hammer the bolt, torching the bolt. They aren't moving.

Do you have a secret for getting bolts this tight off? Please do not say pneumatic! Maybe this will give me a reason to finally fold and buy one. Will a pneumatic drill make the difference?

A side note: I found these instructions and so far they have been helpful.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,572 Posts
remove the strut bolts instead (mark the 12 0'clock position of the camber bolt with a scribe)
 

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2001 H6 OBW
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Wheel bearings are as far as I have gone. That got me half way and now I am traveling into uncharted territories.

I will give it a go and post my results. I'm sure they will be good unless I run into another unexpected obstacle.
 

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02 OBW
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130 Posts
+1 to Tex, strut bolts are the way to go. I believe the top one is the alignment bolt, but don't quote me off-hand.

Your other option is to pull the ball joint - but do some pre-reading on that if you're in any type of environment prone to rust/corrosion. :/
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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514 Posts
Remove the axle nut (should have been removed already using someone on the brake pedal for leverage). About a 5' extension on your breaker bar will break the axle nut on the hub free. First, though, a Dremel or other tool to remove the staked portion of nut that prevents it from turning.

With the strut removed from the steering assembly (bottom two strut bolts only, scribing the top bolt for exact replacement), you should be able to push on the axle to make the inner CV joint compress as much as possible while pressing the end of the axle through the hub bearing. Of course, the wheel should be off right now. You DO NOT need to remove the four hub screws that hold the hub in place. You should be able to swing the steering hub assembly out of the way, making sure not to stretch or brake the thin speed sensor wire that goes from the strut down to the hub bearing. You may need to remove the bolt from the hub that holds that wire in position if you cannot seem to move the hub enough out of the way to clear room for pulling the axle.

If you CANNOT swing the hub assembly enough, you need to remove the stabilizer link bolt from the lower arm so the lower arm has more flexibility.

When you have the axle removed from the hub (may require a wheel puller), use a bar and carefully pry on the innermost portion of axle (which should be a metal dust shield) using a large flat bar, and carefully prying the axle out of the differential.

You will want to replace that seal that is in the differential. Pry the seal out, being careful NOT to SCRATCH the hole into which the seal goes. Make a note of which way that seal was oriented as you will want to install a new seal (identical, probably from the dealer).

I found that a cut-down plastic prescription bottle was just the perfect diameter to install the new seal, with a rubber mallet. I first placed just a bit of O-ring lubricant (silicone grease in my case) on the perimeter of the new seal so it drives in a bit easier. If you have such grease, a little on the inner portions of seal may be good to help the new splined end to go into the new seal without causing damage.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
CV's - once the wheel is off you only remove one nut and one bolt, that's it. and the axle roll pin, just punch it out.

remove the axle nut and then loosen the lower strut mount bolt.
make the position of the HEAD (not the nut) of the top bolt so you can reinstall it in the exact same position as it currently resides. it's cambered and affects alignment. remove that bolt and the entire hub assembly will pull away from the vehicle enough for the axle to come off the trans (after you remove the axle pin). wiggle the axle back and up for it to pull out of the hub.

you can mess with control arm bolts and the ball joint to do axles, a lot of folks do. but it turns into a mess if those bolts shear off or are hard to get off. the strut mount bolts are never difficult to remove so it's a 100% solution.

the axle nut should be the problem, but that will be the case no matter your approach, it has to come off to get the axle out of the hub....they can be very difficult and the consistent solution to those is a 3/4" socket set and 4 feet of pipe. they shear 1/2" tools all the time.
 

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2001 H6 OBW
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the input! The strut bolts were exactly the answer. WAY easier! Just got a couple of breaker bars and went away. The axle bolt came of a little to easy but I put it back on much tighter. This car is back on the road! Now that the popping and clicking from the CV joint aren't there, I am wondering about a rear wheel bearing being a little dry.

Also, now I have a couple of new breaker bars. Not sure how I got by with my biggest one being a 3/8"!
 

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02 OBW
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130 Posts
Excellent to hear! Funny you mention the axle nut, mine was exactly the same on my '02. It even came off with my cheapo electric impact.
 
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