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97 Legacy OutBack, 09 Forester XT, 12 Silverado 2500HD
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Discussion Starter #1
I have to replace the rear rotors on my 97...176k miles on the originals. Just did the fronts last weekend, figured I'd wait until the next weekend to do the rears. I had the front all apart before, so it fell apart...took less than an hour to do both sides. Never had the rears apart, other than to take the caliper loose for pad replacement. I know the parking brake shoes are toasted, haven't had a working parking brake in a year or so after buying the car...wife tends to forget I park with the brake on.

Can someone point me to a how-to? I'm not completely clueless, just want to get an idea of what I need and what kind of time frame I'm looking at. I have sen mention of using two 8mm bolts to press the rotor off, I'm assuming they thread into the rotor and then push against the wheel bearing flange? Anything tricky to be aware of?
 

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97's came with drums in most cases. Depends on how much rust you have. I just did pads on a Civic this weekend and the rear drums popped off by hand with just a slight tug. Zero rust California car though.

Make sure you block tires and release the parking brake given the drum won't budge till the parking brake is released. If they refuse to budge by hand make sure you find the right thread type bolts two per drum and thread them into the holes in the drum. These help force the drum to break loose and come off. They just slide off after the tire is pulled off. Don't be afraid to use a heavy hammer to add some persuasion to the effort.
 

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Your understanding of the M8 bolts for removal is correct.

I don't have the clearest memory on the 1st gen car, but IIRC the bolts holding the caliper carrier onto the hub can be a bit of a bear. You are likely going to want to pre-treat them with some liquid wrench/PB spray. You may also need an odd combination of shorty sockets and extensions to reach them around the suspension arms. Have a peek and you'll see.
 

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97 Legacy OutBack, 09 Forester XT, 12 Silverado 2500HD
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710 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the insight.

This car definitely has disc rears, with the parking brake using the inside of the rotor for the drum.

But you hit on an odd thing...I bought front rotors (pretty much standard) and front pads...they offered two versions Legacy and GT, or single piston or dual piston. I couldn't remember and figured the GT was for the turbo variant, so I took single piston pads for the front...turned out I remember wrong and the car does have dual piston calipers. Is this a quirk of the software/manufacturer, or has someone swapped parts on me?

I bought the car used in 2006 with 50k on the clock...so I don't know its history (other than I'm fairly sure the PO traded it because of a blown head gasket).
 

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No the Legacy GT wasn't turbo but it did come with larger better brakes than the OB model. The swap is 1 to 1 bolt on its not a stretch that it might have been changed. I recall the high end limited OB came with disc in the rear but I don't recall that happening till like 2000 or 99ish. But could be wrong about that.
 

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97 Legacy OutBack, 09 Forester XT, 12 Silverado 2500HD
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Discussion Starter #6
This is a standard (and very common) red on silver 1997 OBW...nothing special, disks front and rear; dual piston fronts. Definitely NOT a GT.
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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According to FSM models with 2.2 engine had one piston in the front brakes and 2.5 engine -- two. My 1997 also has 2 pistons in front brakes, and one in rear.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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not saying re-freshing the parking brake isn't a good idea on such an old car, but, they aren't self adjusting and you may have only needed to flip the star adjuster up a few notches.
 

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95 Outback 2.2L/auto stone stock
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Let us know how it turned out, have to replace the rear rotors on a 95 OBW. And have been dreading it, I've done the pads a couple times on the car, but never the rotors. I know that the passenger side rotor on Lisa's car needs to be replaced, looks like it lost a fight with an angle grinder...
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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WD40 or PB Blaster well before hand. My 2nd Gen has two tiny holes in the suspension used to reach the caliper mount bolts. It was very difficult to get any leverage on the passenger side because of the way the bolt spun. You might bust some knuckles. If you've got air tools you're golden.

Have fun and good luck.
 

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^ air tool would be nice. I've been using socket wrench with a heavy rubber mallet the trick is the heavy mallet which gives the socket wrench handle enough of a shock load that it breaks the bolt free. So far its worked on several cars and for the most part keeps my knuckles intact. I like the air tool idea or they sell these impact electric drill type rigs now would love to try one of those curious how well they work? Dave you use any of these new electric impact drills yet?
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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I haven't tried the electric impact tools yet. I've used the kind you bash with a hammer but couldn't get enough swinging room under there. I used the rubber mallet on the socket wrench and to bash the rotor off, since I was putting new ones on anyway.

The Harbor Freight near me just sent their catalog with a coupon for a great price on an air compressor. I'm thinking of taking the leap so I won't have to borrow air tools. I love having an excuse to buy new tools. Now I just have to find a way to muffle them so my wife doesn't know I spent the money. lol
 

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95 Outback 2.2L/auto stone stock
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Electric impact guns work okay. I use them all the time around here on stuff as small as a VW Super Beetle to as large as a John Deere 4020 tractor. For something truly stuck I still have to use a breaker bar and a 6-8 foot cheater pipe though.

I wish I could find some mini yet high torque electric tools. I wear a 4 or 5X glove, not a lot of room in the Subie's work spaces for my hands, let alone full sized tools.
 

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Electric impact guns work okay. I use them all the time around here on stuff as small as a VW Super Beetle to as large as a John Deere 4020 tractor. For something truly stuck I still have to use a breaker bar and a 6-8 foot cheater pipe though.

I wish I could find some mini yet high torque electric tools. I wear a 4 or 5X glove, not a lot of room in the Subie's work spaces for my hands, let alone full sized tools.
Scruffy - I had to research small light cordless drill for my mom's B-day. She was redoing her kitchen her self and wanted a light weight drill.
Makita has a light weight very compact 18v cordless. Was just a hair under 2lbs ended up getting that for her. I've used it a few times **** impressive piece of gear! They make a near identical impact drill which I've been eyeing. Couple of the contractors we've had through the house all had the new Makita 18v drills and loved them!!!!!!!!!!!!

For sure worth a look might be exactly what your looking for.
Fairly sizable house projects have put my tool collecting on hold feels like we are just bleeding money right now. 1000sqft of wood flooring refinishing and some of that was new flooring put in the real stuff.. Then ripping out some seriously dated shelving and brick hearth and having a cabinet maker redo that stuff. I did demo though wasn't going to pay $7000 for what ended up being 2hrs of demo work for two people ha ha. Contractors around here are making money hand over fist been that way for the past three years.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I bought one half way through the strut job on our 03. Got it from Lowes. Wish I had one for 35 years just for removing wheels.

worked well so far for axles, transverse links, sprint compressors, strut bolts.....

 

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96 Legacy OBW, EJ22 swap, 2" suspension lift, 215/75r15, HIDs, 06 WRX interior swap
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my 96 has 4 wheel disc and i have yet to see an outback with rear drum... we work on quite a bit at the shop im currently at. just my 2 cents.
 

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my 96 has 4 wheel disc and i have yet to see an outback with rear drum... we work on quite a bit at the shop im currently at. just my 2 cents.
Odd when I was shopping in 2000 all of the OB's had drum unless you bought the upper trim. Same thing for the Legacy. The GT then was bumped up with a larger disc 16inch wheels etc.

I wonder if some prior years they ran all disc at 4 corners.
 

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There may be confusion, because there were two Outbacks. One built on the Legacy frame, which always had disk brakes and one on the Impreza frame which came with drums.
The only thing to be concerned about is that early units only used one real bolt for the caliper. the other was a slider and had a metal cap.
If you run into this type, don't bother trying to get to the bolt, just flip up the caliper.

O.
 

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There may be confusion, because there were two Outbacks. One built on the Legacy frame, which always had disk brakes and one on the Impreza frame which came with drums.
The only thing to be concerned about is that early units only used one real bolt for the caliper. the other was a slider and had a metal cap.
If you run into this type, don't bother trying to get to the bolt, just flip up the caliper.

O.
^ sounds right.
 
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