Only half the hub came off!

Hey again!
I posted a week or so ago about a drone coming from the rear of my 2015 Forester and have since decided to replace both wheel bearings/hub.

As an opportunist, I’m trying to learn some new skills with the whole social distancing thing.

So far, so good. I purchased an air impact wrench, the OTC 5lbs slide hammer and all the replacement parts that I (think) I need.

Brakes and rotors came off relatively pain free and the slide hammer made quick work of the passenger side.

The drivers side, however, only half of the assembly came out, leaving the other half still stuck to the knuckle.

It’s currently soaking in penetrating oil, but, I’m seeking a bit of advice in it’s removal as now I do not have the spindles / lugs from which to pull on.

Is there another solution in my OTC kit? It came with a three pronged grabber, though, I’m not sure what the attachment point would be.

Thanks in advance, stay healthy and safe!


You’re going to have to take the brake drum assembly apart so something can be wedged in between the bearing flange and knuckle to pry the bearing out.


Just a SWAG here. I’d remove the knuckle and drive the inner race out from the back. But be patient. There may be a bona fide Subaru expert along any minute.

Screw the bolts in a few turns and strike them with a hammer and drift to drive the bearing housing through.
Or you could get longer bolts, screw them in from the outside and use your puller.

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I didn’t see the holes in the bearing are threaded.

Take a chain and attach it to the bearing flange with two bolts.

Connect the slide hammer to the chain and yank the bearing out.


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Both @Nevada_545 and @Tester ideas will work but I would use Nevada’s first. Put two bolts on opposite sides of the hubs. Run them all the way in finger tight and back out one turn. The wack each one once, then check to see that the bolts cannot be screwed in. Both sides of the hub should have moved one thread. Repeat, one thread at a time, until the hub is loose. This will prevent the hub from getting cocked in the knuckle and damaging it,

Thanks! Gonna give this a go in the morning and I’ll report back.

I wish this hub was as easy as the first! Here are the issues I’m running into:

I put two long bolts in the rear of the hub, on opposite sides and was successfully driving them in with a hammer, though, got to a point with both where they would go no further and it was getting too tight underneath the car to provide an adequate whack.

I’ve still got two holes free on the hub and am thinking about picking up two more long bolts tomorrow and bolting them to the front and using the slide hammer to yank it out.

I cannot visualize @Tester idea with the chain. Do I slide a link of chain over the long bolt and then secure it on with a lug nut? Couldn’t the same result be achieved with a long bolt and a lug nut to secure the slide hammer?

Open to all ideas still. Frustrating! Thank you for all your help. Stay healthy!



Explain what the hell is going on with mounting holes for the bearing?

With the mounting hardware removed, you should see light.


That hub looks like it may be beyond repairing.

@Tester After reading your reaction I’m thinking I did not follow the advice here as intended. I was under the impression I’d be driving the assembly out from the rear…

How tragic of a misstep is this?


That works if you can get a good hit on the bolts with a heavy hammer.

With a chain, use one that allows two bolts to pass thru the links to connect the chain to the bearing flange diagonally.

Leave enough slack in the chain so the slide hammer can hook the chain.

Pull back on the chain, and slam the slide hammer back.

It may take a few slams.


You said pass side came out fine? Look at old bearing to get some clues. Driver side bearing comes out same as pass side. You did one side right?

Hey @Cavell. Yes, I employed the same method for both sides, unfortunately however, only half the assembly came off on the side I’m currently working on.

Going to try the chain suggestion tomorrow. Trying to exhaust all my options before having to take off the entire knuckle or using heat.

Thanks for all the quick replies.


The whole hub with the bearing is an assembly and has to be replaced as an assembly. The fact that it came apart shows that it was really damaged or worn. I had a similar problem on my Saturn, one rear wheel bearing went bad. It was so hard to remove that I finally removed the other side just to confirm that I was doing it right. A bad bearing will deform the hub and make it extremely hard to remove. It tends to bulge in the middle so it gets harder before it gets easier.

Just keep going at it the way you were. Don’t be afraid to really wack it if you have to. Use a BFH if you really need to.

You may need to remove the drive axle to get a good shot at it.

@keith This is strangely encouraging. I’m going to try the method with the chain tomorrow. Hoping that does the trick before I’m forced to bust out the BFH.

For my own clarification, I’ve heard of many people having to remove the entire steering knuckle to hammer out the stuck hub. In your post you mentioned removing the drive axel. Is this a different process than removing the steering knuckle?

Thank you all for the continued responses and patience.

Hoping to post pictures soon of her sitting in the driveway on all four wheels.


The drive axle is the part going through the middle of the hub. It had that big nut you had to use a big breaker bar (probably with a cheater) to get off. It may be easier to just remove the knuckle. Some axles come out easy, some do not. Sometimes you have to remove the knuckle before you can get the axle out. Not sure on Subarus, but I’m soon to find out as mine has a bad bearing also.

One more thing, make sure that axle is free to move back and forth in the remainder of the hub. If it is stuck, put the nut back on down to just where the end of the nut and the end of the axle line up. The give it a tap with a hammer, lightly at first, then progressively harder until it breaks free. The reason to put the nut on is so you don’t damage the threads or else you will ahve to replace the axle as well. Might even put a block of wood over the end before hitting it just in case.

Been through similar a few times, most recently on my Camry. You have to walk it out a little each side. If you get impatient and hammer too much on one side it gets cocked and much more difficult to remove. I had to work the Camry’s more than normal and sometimes tap the flange from the front to straighten it back out before going to the back again. Try alternating diagonal holes too. Most importantly, use a good penetrant like B’laster PB or Seafoam Deep Creep around the edge of the flange in front and hub in back.

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A 3 lbs hammer would be preferred to drive the bearing housing out, a claw hammer will be inadequate. Because there is little room next to the CV joint it will be necessary to use a drift, a metal shaft between the bolt heads and the hammer.

I have had to remove the axle carrier and use the press to drive the bearing housing out due to rust, I don’t see any rust in your picture, that bearing housing should come out easily.