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2006 Outback Limited
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90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 2006 Outback for a couple of months now and with 123k miles on it I believe one or both of the rear wheel bearings are on their way out. Some times it sounds like a scraping sound and other times you can match the sound to the wheel rotating. It's hard to distinguish from which of the rear wheels the sound is coming from, it seems to alternate so it wouldn't surprise me if both are gone. I'm starting with one and if the sound persists I'll do the other side too.

I first took a stab at this last weekend, but had to stop and put everything back together without making the switch.

I'm using a Timken bearing that I got through AutoZone and a new axle nut picked up from a Subaru dealership (thankfully I bought two).

I'll explain what I did and then hopefully someone can fill in some info on where I had to stop.

1. Pop off the axle nut cap and work out the hammered in indentation in the nut with a screwdriver and hammer. I just wanted to get it out enough so when I broke it loose the force would be able to do the rest. This seemed to work fine. Broke the wheel nuts loose and put a jack under the differential to get the rear wheels up in the air. I wasn't able to put stands on the sides where the pinch weld is, they would dig into the plastic trim so I left them loose and had the weight on the jack. Not ideal, but I wasn't going to spend time under the car. I then put some wheel blocks on the front wheels.

2. Undid the parking break and put the car in neutral. Took out the (2x14mm) caliper bolts and let the caliper rest on a part of the suspension. I then took off the bracket (2x 14mm) that holds the caliper to be able to get the rotor off.

3. To get the bearing hub out the (4x14mm) bolts holding it were taken out from the back.

4. Took out the 10mm bolt holding the ABS sensor and pried it out with a screwdriver on either side of it.

5. I was now ready to separate the bearing hub from the axle. As I grabbed the hub it fell off the backing plate and hung there with the axle being connected to the differential as the connecting point. I had borrowed a slide hammer and puller from AutoZone and it didn't seem to fit properly. It looks like the arms on the puller need to be further out from the center shaft to get a more perpendicular angle on the hub. So this wasn't going to work. It also didn't seem right to work the slide hammer on the axle and hub when the axle is connected to the differential. it was hanging loose with the hub and all the force would go straight back the differential area.

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Would it be smarter to use a puller which you crank down on to separate the hub from the axle, instead of using the slide hammer? There is an indentation in the center of the axle shaft to fit a puller cone to align it. This would exclude any force from being put on the axle and differential. Thoughts?

When you re-assemble the new bearing hub and the axle, do you just spray some WD-40 on the splines and align it and work it on with a rubber mallet, then finish it up with the axle nut? 160 lbs, correct?

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I don't have too much experience of working with newer import cars so I'm trying to be careful and not break anything. I've been mainly tinkering with old classics.

Many thanks for your help!

Kimson
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,966 Posts
My understanding is if you are going to use the slide-hammer method you have to remove the axle nut, leave the hub bolts and assembly in place, then pull the hub off the axle and out of the bearing.

I much prefer the $35 pep-boys axle press tool you describe to the slide hammer, and you can even borrow the thing.

 

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2006 Outback Limited
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90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

That tool seems to make more sense, I'll swing by Pep Boys and see if I can take another stab at this tomorrow.

:29:
 

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2010 OBW limited 2.5 CVT
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1,602 Posts
Your slide hammer puller was incorrectly assembled in the picture. The large cone shaped nut goes on the shaft first with the cone toward the hub (away from the hammer) then the claw goes on. Then you turn the cone nut toward the puller head to clamp the arms onto the part being pulled. That being said, that is a gear puller and not the proper tool to pull a hub with. The tool already posted is the one you want.
 

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2006 Outback Limited
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90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for clarifying that, it makes sense that the cone would move the claws inwards and lock on.

I've picked up the Pep Boys axle press tool and will try to get this sorted out tomorrow. I was hoping that someone else would have done a writeup on this since it seems to be a common problem, but I couldn't find anything on this forum. Maybe I'll try to take some more photos and go through the process in more detail so the next person who encounters this will be able to do it without asking around.
 
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