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17 MX-5 RF, 10 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All. Proud owner of a 2010 3.6R with 163k miles. Got it for a decent price knowing it would need some work, but sheesh not like this. Story follows. Cliff notes/Request for help at the end

Among other issues, the car needs at least one rear wheel bearing. Determined which side was making the noise (passenger rear) and began taking things apart. I got brakes off, axle nut off, axle moving freely, ebrake pads off, and bearings bolts off, but have had no luck with the wheel bearing. For two nights I have tried a 5 pound sledge hammer (the head broke off, 4th pic), a 20 (?) pound sledge, air chisel, and heating the assembly, but zero luck.

So, next option is remove the entire knuckle so I can have it pressed out. More issues. 1) I got the nut off of the front lateral link (the part with the ball joint or bushing that "points" up) but could not remove the ball joint from the knuckle. Tried to carefully wedge it off with a pickle fork, and it instantly popped the bushing so now I will have to replace the link (1st and 2nd pics). The nuts on the other end look REALLY bad; I imagine I will need to cut those out. 2) Next, I got the nut off the controlling arm which holds on the other ball joint (the one that "points" down, but cannot for the life of me get the bolt off. I think its a "pinch" bolt; is there a trick for those? (3rd pic) Even if I get that bolt out, pretty sure I will destroy that ball joint too.

Cliffs: Wheel bearing won't come off. Effort to remove knuckle are not working
1) Any other suggestions to get the wheel bearing off besides air chisel, or sledgehammering (with heat)
2) How to remove the front lateral link ball joint
3) How to remove the control arm ball joint pinch bolt and the control arm without damaging it.

Please and thank you!!
 

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I was about to take on this also. my 2010 OB has been making a humming sound.
And everything you have tried I have seen on Youtube videos
Hopefully, someone comes along and can give you some insight on how to proceed.
I guess at this point just buy a new knuckle and install a new bearing. your time has to more then what
the knuckle cost. (nevermind, just checked the price on new knuckles $327.00)

Good luck.
 

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2000 Outback Limited, Dual Range 5 Speed
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Those ball joints might be like the steering and front ball joints an be on a taper. I use happy just smash the part the joint goes though with a hammer to shock the joint free. As for the bearing, sounds like it’s rusted in. Maybe a slide hammer to even the force over the entire surface to pull it out straight.
 

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17 MX-5 RF, 10 Outback 3.6R
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I appreciate the responses. bx77, based off of this and a former wheel bearing experience (could not get the axle out of the bearing, had to take them out together and get a new axle) I'd bring it to a shop if you can get it done for a decent fee. I'd gladly bring mine to a shop now but everything is so mangled I don't think I'd be able to get it back together enough even for a tow.

I don't have access to a slide hammer but will pick one up as a last resort. I was able to pull the axle out of the knuckle last night (after removing the two bolts I could actually unbolt). So now I will try
1) hammering/air chisel (with heat) the back of the wheel bearing to hopefully push it through.
2) if that doesn't work, keep working on the ball joint bolts using air chisel and new sledge hammer
3) patiently await new lateral link and hardware and HOPE AND PRAY I can get the old one out with causing any more damage.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '12 Mazda3 skyactive
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Sorry to hear about your luck. I'm in a similar boat as you in regards to the OB I purchased being identical to yours and a similar price/condition situation.

I haven't had to deal with any rear issues but I can give you some tips as to what helped me replace my seized front control arms and axle and hopefully it will help you out.

An air chissel with a flat hammer bit works much better than any non impact press/method. Screw the hub bolts in only half way and use an air hammer (psi cranked right up) with a flat bit to hit the heads of the bolts. This will slowly work the hub out if the knuckle.

This may take 20 mins but it seems to be the most effective approach for mechanics in the rust belt. If this doesn't work then use heat, MAP gas at the minimum and a mixture of 1:1 ATF to acetone, best penetrating fluid I have ever used. Keep on working at it with the air hammer.

For the ball joints, use a specific ball joint tool that doesn't damage the boot, I got mine from Princess Auto (Canadian version of HF). Google them and you will see pictures - they are worth their weight in gold, makes a frustrating thing take less than a minute.

The pinch bolt sucks, no way around it. I snapped the head off of one of mine as I tried to remove it while the knuckle was still on the car. I was able to remove the other one relatively quickly by removing the knuckle from the car, heating up what the pinch bolt goes through and constantly covering it in penetrating fluid as long as I could. I then used an impact wrench in forward and reverse. Eventually the pinch bolt started to move and it came out.

I'm not sure if it is possible for you to remove the rear knuckle to do this with your current situation.

The situation you're in sucks no doubt, but if you reinstall everything with copious amounts of anti seize and cover all of that with an antitrust spray, you will have a breeze doing this job again down the road. Where I live if you don't buy a car within it's first 4 years, you have to deal with seized parts like this. Salt is not fun.
 

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2000 Outback Limited, Dual Range 5 Speed
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I appreciate the responses. bx77, based off of this and a former wheel bearing experience (could not get the axle out of the bearing, had to take them out together and get a new axle) I'd bring it to a shop if you can get it done for a decent fee. I'd gladly bring mine to a shop now but everything is so mangled I don't think I'd be able to get it back together enough even for a tow.

I don't have access to a slide hammer but will pick one up as a last resort. I was able to pull the axle out of the knuckle last night (after removing the two bolts I could actually unbolt). So now I will try
1) hammering/air chisel (with heat) the back of the wheel bearing to hopefully push it through.
2) if that doesn't work, keep working on the ball joint bolts using air chisel and new sledge hammer
3) patiently await new lateral link and hardware and HOPE AND PRAY I can get the old one out with causing any more damage.
Could try air chisel on the edge to see if you can get it to rotate back and forth, might free it up.
 

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17 MX-5 RF, 10 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #8
thank you both for your suggestions. Timberwolf, I definitely tried hitting the bearing/hub with the air chisel from all directions trying to get it to spin. no luck so far. Tmontague thanks so much for all of your insight. I never thought of hitting the back of the bearing/hub on half screwed in bolts. Will try that tonight. I wish I could remove the knuckle but its that pinch bolt that is one of the four connections that holds the knuckle in place. Two are removed, the third is the lateral link which I've already ruined the balljoint so I'll just keep destroying it until it comes out. That leave the pinch bolt. IF I can't get the bearing/hub out, then I will have to keep working on that pinch bolt. Hopefully hitting it with an air hammer from one side and a ratchet on the other will free it.

On that pinch bolt, just to confirm once the nut is off its NOT threaded into the knuckle, correct? With enough force it should slide out?
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '12 Mazda3 skyactive
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thank you both for your suggestions. Timberwolf, I definitely tried hitting the bearing/hub with the air chisel from all directions trying to get it to spin. no luck so far. Tmontague thanks so much for all of your insight. I never thought of hitting the back of the bearing/hub on half screwed in bolts. Will try that tonight. I wish I could remove the knuckle but its that pinch bolt that is one of the four connections that holds the knuckle in place. Two are removed, the third is the lateral link which I've already ruined the balljoint so I'll just keep destroying it until it comes out. That leave the pinch bolt. IF I can't get the bearing/hub out, then I will have to keep working on that pinch bolt. Hopefully hitting it with an air hammer from one side and a ratchet on the other will free it.

On that pinch bolt, just to confirm once the nut is off its NOT threaded into the knuckle, correct? With enough force it should slide out?
I'm not sure for the rear pinch bolt but the one in the front threads into the knuckle.

Most people mess up the threads anyways when drilling out the bolt when the head snaps off and end up using a slightly larger bolt with a nut on the other end.

If the rear has a nut on it then I doubt it would also be threaded into the knuckle, that would be redundant
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not sure for the rear pinch bolt but the one in the front threads into the knuckle.

Most people mess up the threads anyways when drilling out the bolt when the head snaps off and end up using a slightly larger bolt with a nut on the other end.

If the rear has a nut on it then I doubt it would also be threaded into the knuckle, that would be redundant
Thank you. yes the rear bolt has a nut on the end so hopefully its not threaded also. Should make it a little easier to work out. I will find the part number and try to view a pic of the bolt and make sure the thread is just on the very end of the bolt.
 

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'17 OB 3.6 , '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
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I never got mine out. I replaced EVERYTHING within reach in my L-Rear wheelwell corner (spindle/knuckle, hub, UCA, axle, RSB Endlink, Trailing Arm, all bolts, etc). My 2011 OB has 179k miles, and has lived all of its life in OHIO, and is now approaching it's 9th salty winter. I figured for $1300, I have new EVERYTHING in that corner (including rear brakes and rotors both side), and like was stated above, I coated ALL of the connection points in never-seize. I needed new tires anyhow, so when I took it in to have those installed, I got an all-wheel alignment after my new hub was installed. It's done and done right, I have all new bushings, no drone hum, life is good. I beat the **** out of that freaking hub (Hub Buster, 4lb hammer, 8lb sledge, MAPP, days of PB, from the front, from the rear, etc), but it was NEVER COMING OUT. When I finally disassembled the spindle from the vehicle, I laid the spindle between two wood blocks on the ground, and was able to use my 8lb sledge and after 5 hard hits the hub came out ; mind you these were dead-on perfect, gravity assisted, full-force blows. You can never accomplish this while it's still on the car, always glancing blows. That spindle took so many hits, and was so rusted, I was NOT interested in cleaning it up myself, and honestly would've worried about it's integrity if re-installing (I know, they are VERY strong). For $300, it was well worth it to me, PLUS the new spindle came with a new bushing already installed for me !! My axle was in decent shape, but I am pretty sure it was also original (just like my hub) and was showing some dry rot on the boots, so there goes another $300 for insurance and "while you're in there". I'm pretty sure my dealer would've ended up charging me $900 or so JUST to replace that bearing, so for ME it was worth another $300-$400 to get all new parts. My subframe is in decent shape, BUT I did coat everything in PB multiple times while it was within reach, just in case, for future fun. It was a dirty, tough job, I ached for days. The peace of mind knowing it was done right, antiseize applied, new nuts/bolts was worth it to me. Next one will be much easier, I learned so much (but NOT looking forward to another one). Car has been paid-off for some time though, and I understand others may not have that luxury. Costs add up real quick, I understand. Rust-Belt cars are a completely different reality. Good Luck with this :)
 

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Sorry to hear about your luck. I'm in a similar boat as you in regards to the OB I purchased being identical to yours and a similar price/condition situation.

I haven't had to deal with any rear issues but I can give you some tips as to what helped me replace my seized front control arms and axle and hopefully it will help you out.

An air chissel with a flat hammer bit works much better than any non impact press/method. Screw the hub bolts in only half way and use an air hammer (psi cranked right up) with a flat bit to hit the heads of the bolts. This will slowly work the hub out if the knuckle.

This may take 20 mins but it seems to be the most effective approach for mechanics in the rust belt. If this doesn't work then use heat, MAP gas at the minimum and a mixture of 1:1 ATF to acetone, best penetrating fluid I have ever used. Keep on working at it with the air hammer.

For the ball joints, use a specific ball joint tool that doesn't damage the boot, I got mine from Princess Auto (Canadian version of HF). Google them and you will see pictures - they are worth their weight in gold, makes a frustrating thing take less than a minute.

The pinch bolt sucks, no way around it. I snapped the head off of one of mine as I tried to remove it while the knuckle was still on the car. I was able to remove the other one relatively quickly by removing the knuckle from the car, heating up what the pinch bolt goes through and constantly covering it in penetrating fluid as long as I could. I then used an impact wrench in forward and reverse. Eventually the pinch bolt started to move and it came out.

I'm not sure if it is possible for you to remove the rear knuckle to do this with your current situation.

The situation you're in sucks no doubt, but if you reinstall everything with copious amounts of anti seize and cover all of that with an antitrust spray, you will have a breeze doing this job again down the road. Where I live if you don't buy a car within it's first 4 years, you have to deal with seized parts like this. Salt is not fun.
All of this is VERY good advice.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5
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'17 OB 3.6 , '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
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Best advice i can give after re-reading my thread is:
When i have to do my front, I am getting the Hub Shocker tool!
The Hub Shocker did NOT work for me on this particular hub ('11 OB 179K), and to be honest I was completely surprised that it didn't. It's really got some "mass" to it, and I will continue to use it on future bearings. The Scissor Jack idea, I think I got that one from you :) , was indeed VERY helpful, and clearly took some stress off of the other suspension components while I was beating the crap out of the hub. You are RIGHT about not giving up, wow, this job kicked my butt. Next one will be a little easier though.
 

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The Hub Shocker did NOT work for me on this particular hub ('11 OB 179K), and to be honest I was completely surprised that it didn't. It's really got some "mass" to it, and I will continue to use it on future bearings. The Scissor Jack idea, I think I got that one from you :) , was indeed VERY helpful, and clearly took some stress off of the other suspension components while I was beating the crap out of the hub. You are RIGHT about not giving up, wow, this job kicked my butt. Next one will be a little easier though.
Glad I Could help!


Another thing i thought of was when you are done, before putting the new hub in, take a blade to the inside of the hub mating surface and lightly scrape any crap that is in there off, and cover both mating surfaces and the four bolts in Anti-Seize so if you need to do this again in the future you'd have a better chance.
 

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2010 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/AWP 6MT
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Slide hammer and blowtorch and WD40 and a few hours. I went through this with my 2010.
 

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'17 OB 3.6 , '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
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Slide hammer and blowtorch and WD40 and a few hours. I went through this with my 2010.
Did you buy your OWN slide-hammer? Which one do you like best? I may go that route next-time. Thx
 

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2010 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/AWP 6MT
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Did you buy your OWN slide-hammer? Which one do you like best? I may go that route next-time. Thx
I free-rented one from Auto Zone for an Explorer we did, and took the Outback to a friend's shop and helped him, using his tools.

So, I don't recall which, sorry.
 
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