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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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1,799 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Got the '03 up in the air while waiting for new exhaust stuff to arrive, and decided that I may as well do some other preventive maintenance while I'm at it - rebuild the brakes ( no parking brake at the moment, and the pads are getting rather thin), zinc chromate the hubs, do some rust proofing, etc.

What's the usual expected life of the rear wheel bearings? The car has just over 180K now, with only 8k being my mileage, so I don't really know how it was driven or possibly abused by the previous owners.
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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976 Posts
I have had to replace a rear wheel bearing on a 2004 Impreza and a 2006 Forester at just over 180,000 miles. Both vehicles had the left rear bearing fail (as seated in drivers seat) but all the other bearings were OK.

The Impreza bearing was noisy for some time before I replaced it, the Forester bearing catastrophically failed within a few weeks of the noise being detected. Both vehicles used the same bearing!

Seagrass
 

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Outbacks, SVXs, XT6, 4Runner, Celica, Brat, E150s
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532 Posts
I've only had one '00-04 rear "fail" (make a little noise). ~320k miles, no reason to suspect it had ever been changed. I've got 10k miles on my SKF '05-'09 replacement and it's butter-smooth.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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2,384 Posts
The impreza/forrester platform use a different design for the rear wheel bearing. The Outback rear wheel bearings hold up for a very long time.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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1,799 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Looking at my shop work load now, I'll hold off on the bearings for now - the racing season is starting, and pretty soon I'll be buried.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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1,799 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The impreza/forrester platform use a different design for the rear wheel bearing. The Outback rear wheel bearings hold up for a very long time.
How about the front wheel bearings?
 

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4, Gen 2 H6's: 2001 LLBean, 2002 LLBean, 2002 VDC, 2003 Plain...I love the H6's!
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245 Posts
I have replaced zero rear wheel bearings in my fleet of OBWs, and two front wheel bearings. All my cars have 100K-210K miles on them. I recommend you wait for a symptom to occur before replacing any wheel bearings. While you have your car in the air check the upper end links in the rear for play. If you can move these links by jiggling them with your hand, then replace them.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback AT 246K Miles/ 2005 Forester 2.5i Engine 115K Miles
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62 Posts
On my 2005, the left wheel bearing was severely whining by 75K and there was an extended warranty program (long since expired) to replace them. The other one was starting to sound off a little at 175K and since I was replacing all the bushings and shocks in the rear-end suspension, I replaced both sides preventatively. It's not too difficult a job if the bolts are not too rusted and I bought entire hub/bearing assemblies rather than deal with the bearing extraction/pressing challenge.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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10,350 Posts
Both front wheel bearings on the Baja needed replaced but both rears have been fine.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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25,660 Posts
Both front wheel bearings on the Baja needed replaced but both rears have been fine.
miles on the baja body now ?
rock crawling on dorky overly worn to shitt michelin snow tires must suck the life out of them.

I got 138,000 on one car and 130,000 on the other. and never changed any. (been lucky on nasty pot holes so far)
 

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2000 & 2002 Outback Wagon EJ251/Auto + 2004 Outback LL Bean EZ30/Auto + 1996 Legacy Outback Wagon EJ22/5sp + 2008 Outback Wagon EJ253/Auto + 2004 Legacy Sedan 35th Anniv. EJ251/Auto (not OB) + 2005 O
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143 Posts
Of the seven 2nd and 3rd gen wagons I've owned with over 175k miles (my highest mileage one has over 240k miles) I've only had to replace the front bearings (driver's side) on two of them due to failure. I did have one other that was leaking grease on the inner seal and I replaced it as well. I do replace them in pairs when I do the work to avoid a higher rolling resistance on one side. I have done a few rear pairs, but only as a precaution since I'm trying to get as many miles out of them as I can. I do occasionally check for high temps on the hubs with an IR gun when I travel longer distances.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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10,350 Posts
miles on the baja body now ?
rock crawling on dorky overly worn to shitt michelin snow tires must suck the life out of them.

I got 138,000 on one car and 130,000 on the other. and never changed any. (been lucky on nasty pot holes so far)
125k ish.
 
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