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2006 Outback 2.5 Ltd
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Discussion Starter #1
I just changed out rear brakes & the passenger front axle on my 2006 this past week, and oddly enough a low grinding noise at speed (which I was hoping was my worn CV) has not only persisted, but has now increased notably in the last two days (about 100-ish miles of mostly freeway driving).

My best guess thus far is a passenger side wheel bearing (can't quite discern if it's front or rear) due to the increase in the noise when turning left. I've assumed wheel bearing failure would be mostly linear, but the rapidly increasing noise/rumble has me wondering now... has anyone experienced a bearing failing in a relatively short timespan?

Or - should I be potentially looking for/ concerned with something else here?
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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verify which corner/front/right/left/rear

check brake pads and dust shield for dragging

as to wheel bearings, there are multiple failure modes and variables which make it uncertain in terms of predicting but in general stock/properly installed/nominal wheel bearings usually get worse slowly over thousands of miles - like 10-20k before physical (rather than audible) damage starts to occur, IME it's usually the ABS that starts to freak out or throw codes as the clearances get eaten up by wheel bearing slow and data/sensor gets damaged or compromised. they are "linear" at first - like the first 9,000 out of 10,000 miles as an illustration, but get worse notably quick towards the end.

if you installed an aftermarket axle i'd get an OEM axle in there when you do the wheel bearing. dime a dozen for used ones $15-$35 and will last longer/be more reliable than aftermarket.
 

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2013 BRZ 2005 OBXT
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Depending on what brand of bearing you bought its possibly if it was a cheap Chinese bearing it could be making noise immediately. Get what you pay for when it comes to wheel bearings.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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You could try driving it for a bit and then using an IR thermometer to measure temperature at the hub. If bearing is trashed/worn it's likely to heat up considerably more than other.
 

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I've replaced both of my rear wheel bearings at different points in the last 75k miles, and it currently sounds like both need replacement again.
 

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and this:
Depending on what brand of bearing you bought its possibly if it was a cheap Chinese bearing it could be making noise immediately. Get what you pay for when it comes to wheel bearings.
yeah i'd get OEM bearings or recommended aftermarkets/suppliers if subaru specialty shops are using them.

when the 05+'s first came out it was common to have ABS signal errors from aftermarket bearings. i haven't seen it as much in the recent 5 years or so, so maybe they caught up to those issues, but it wouldnt' be a shock for them to be inferior in other ways either.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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It is possible to over-torque the large nut when installing a driveshaft... hence causing damage and premature failure to bearing. If an impact wrench was used as the torquing-device, it is VERY likely.

Never forget.... most mechanics dont give a [email protected] if they cause this kind of failure... it is more money for them if you come back for additional work.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5 Ltd
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Discussion Starter #10
It is possible to over-torque the large nut when installing a driveshaft... hence causing damage and premature failure to bearing. If an impact wrench was used as the torquing-device, it is VERY likely.
I tightened the axle nut & torqued it by hand, but wonder if the front bearing was already compromised enough that regular torquing might have been too much? Definitely much louder now than beforehand.

I believe Timken is the consensus acceptable OEM replacement.
I’ve heard Timken is good replacement, but does anyone know who the manufacturer is for the Subaru OEM ones? I heard once it is NSK but never confirmed it...
 

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2006 Outback 2.5 Ltd
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Discussion Starter #11
BTW... I love hiking the Iron Goat Trail.... the snow sheds are amazing!
“Iron Goat” is a nickname I got from a buddy a few years ago. Oddly enough, I still haven’t done the Iron Goat Trail; I live so close to the Mt Loop Highway that I usually don’t go that far south for day hikes.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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Last week car started houl as jet plane from 60km/h and even worse at speed over 100. Guess its time for rear bearings as well.
 

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“Iron Goat” is a nickname I got from a buddy a few years ago. Oddly enough, I still haven’t done the Iron Goat Trail; I live so close to the Mt Loop Highway that I usually don’t go that far south for day hikes.
I'm in Lake Stevens. I have done a ton of hiking on the Mt. Loop also. There are some pretty amazing hikes there too.

If you want to swing by, I could probably give you a hand figuing out what's going on. If you have the budget, I would recommend deciding if it's front or rear and doing both sides. When one side is making noise the other side is not far away. If you are pretty mechanical, they aren't too bad to change.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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the FSM warns against torquing axle nuts with the car's weight on the wheel. Did you do that?

I did mine in the air - put a big screwdriver in a rotor vane and backed it against the caliper. On some cars you need a helper standing on the brake pedal I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm in Lake Stevens. I have done a ton of hiking on the Mt. Loop also. There are some pretty amazing hikes there too.

If you want to swing by, I could probably give you a hand figuing out what's going on. If you have the budget, I would recommend deciding if it's front or rear and doing both sides. When one side is making noise the other side is not far away. If you are pretty mechanical, they aren't too bad to change.
At this point it appears to be the front passenger; it's not that I'm too worried about changing it out myself (I have a nice dry garage :) ) but more a matter of deciding what replacement to use & then making time in my schedule.

Timken seems to be good, but if I can confirm that NSK is the manufacturer for Subaru OEM, might pay the extra $20-30 to go with those. I have the budget but spending more money on a car I just bought last July still makes me grumpy.


the FSM warns against torquing axle nuts with the car's weight on the wheel. Did you do that?

I did mine in the air - put a big screwdriver in a rotor vane and backed it against the caliper. On some cars you need a helper standing on the brake pedal I think.
I did the exact same as you - screwdriver in the front brake vane and torqued it down manually to the full 165 ft-lbs before refitting the wheel & putting weight on it.

I was just wondering if anyone else has dealt with something like this, since determining the source of the increased noise has not been as straight forward as I would have hoped. Even with a passenger listening as I drive, it isn't instantly obvious where the source of the noise (which increases & changes tone turning left) is coming from.

Have you heard anything about if hubs should be replaced in pairs like brakes, or would that even matter? Maybe just for piece of mind?
 

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Looking outside right now... dry is good!
I would be comfortable with a good name brand hub - SKF, Timken, Moog, NSK.

I seriously doubt anything you did affected the bearing. I suspect it was just a coincidence that it failed when it did. There is no real reason to replace in pairs. I suggested it because I have replaced one and gone back and replaced the other shortly after. If you want to wait for the other one to start making noise, that also seems like a reasonable approach.

Usually I have it on a lift, pull the tires off and secure the rotor to the hub with the nuts tightened lightly. I then push the brake pads back so they don't drag. You can usually rotate them both and tell which one is rough.
 

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2005 3.0R
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Timken seems to be good, but if I can confirm that NSK is the manufacturer for Subaru OEM, might pay the extra $20-30 to go with those. I have the budget but spending more money on a car I just bought last July still makes me grumpy.
I can confirm that Subaru OEM rear hub assembly is manufactured by NSK. I suspect the front would be the same supplier. As others have said, NSK, SKF, Timken are reliable replacements. I'll probably be going with Timken when I replace a front hub assembly in the next few months... I don't have any experience with Moog.
 

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Usually I have it on a lift, pull the tires off and secure the rotor to the hub with the nuts tightened lightly. I then push the brake pads back so they don't drag. You can usually rotate them both and tell which one is rough.
Another method, if the car is on a lift, is to put the car in gear and let it idle so that the wheels are turning. Hold a wrench to the strut at each corner. If the bearing's bad enough to make noise, you should be able to feel it through the wrench.
 

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2008 Outback Wagon LL Bean Limited 2.5i
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If i remember right, the 2005 and half of the 2006 models had bad rear hubs in the first place. I think they may have had a recall notice on those years or warrenty extension (Old age sucks)
 
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