Update on subaru forester rear wheel bearing replacement


#1

First , this car had new tires installed & was taken to a Subaru dealership for a 4 wheel alignment a few months ago . All 4 tires had been quickly wearing unevenly . Subaru did the alignment & told the owner that the front tires aligned properly but they couldn’t do the rear because they couldn’t loosen the lateral link bolts necessary to do the alignment .
Within a couple months the new rear tires were unevenly worn out . Subaru gave the owner an almost $600.00 estimate to do the work necessary to align the rear tires . There is no caster or camber adjustment that comes on the rear of the car , only 1 cam headed bolt on the inner end of the rear lateral link on each side for toe adjustment .
The new rear tires are worn out & the left rear wheel bearing goes . We decided to replace the bearing ourselves & at the same time see if we could loosen the bolts necessary for alignment . The 2 outer lateral link bushings didn’t look the best so we ordered those 2 bushings , the long bolt that goes through the hub & these 2 bushings , the new wheel bearing & the 3 seals that go in the hub with bearing replacement for a total cost of $120.00 .
The only thing about doing this ourselves that had us concerned was the wheel bearing had to be pressed both over a shaft & into the hub . The inner & outer races were both pressed fit . We heated the hub to 200 degrees in the oven & had the bearing in the freezer . The bearing didn’t fall into the hub but light tapping around the outer race with a soft nosed punch easily seated it & the snap ring was installed in its groove .
The shaft that had to be pressed through the inner races of the bearing was in the freezer but we didn’t feel comfortable heating the hub with the bearing & 1 seal already installed so we decided to try pressing the shaft through without heating the hub/bearing assembly . We found a socket that was the same size as the inner race & used a large threaded c clamp with one end of the c clamp against the socket & the other end of the c clamp against the outer end of the shaft that needed pressed in & started cranking on the c clamp . The shaft pressed right through the bearing to the seated position without using excessive force & we installed the 2 seals on that side of the hub assembly .
We installed the new bushings in the outer ends of the lateral links without too much trouble & reassembled everything . We also managed to loosen the cam headed bolts needed for rear alignment . The car is all back together & ready for new rear tires & rear alignment .
Total cost $120.00 & a few hours labor . Subaru’s estimate didn’t include wheel bearing or wheel bearing related work . Their $600.00 estimate was to do whatever it took to loosen 2 bolts so the toe could be adjusted .


#2

hope you enjoyed a couple of beers as you savored all that money saved!


#3

Interesting. It sounds like you are on the way to getting this fixed. I don’t recall the beginning, but it seems like you would be better off going to an experienced alignment shop to get the whole thing set up properly, and leave the dealer out of it. The profit motive is alive and well, isn’t it?


#4

It’s nice to be able to do things yourself & also save some money . I realize lots of people are very busy with their jobs & other commitments & maybe only have one vehicle so they just about have to take their vehicle to a shop when it needs a repair . I was helping a family member with this so it actually didn’t save me money but it helped them out .
The beginning thread about this was an inquiry I posted about the heat & freeze method for pressed in bearings . I just went ahead & included the alignment aspect part of it now . Yep , a few cold ones & a few shots of our favorites helps the day go by smoother .


#5

Good job. You were correct to be concerned about overly-heating the new bearing.