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Has anyone had to replace a rear wheel bearing more than once in a year. I'm on # 8 now. What the hell is up with this thing... I'ts not just one, both go at different times. I don't get it. And does anyone sell an aftermarket hub?? Im getting sick of these things too, every time the wheel bearing goes, it takes the hub with it too and the damn thing is $90, I've paid over $400 in hubs this year. HELP!
 

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Formula 1 Freak
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wow!! I got 102k on mine, and I've never had to replace one! There's gotta be something causing them to go so often I would think!?! Sorry I don't have any advise or a fix, but this is interesting. I'd really like to know what it turns out to be...or better yet why.
-Jeff
 

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My experience mirrors Jeff's . I have over 205k on my '89 SC and it has all 4 original wheel bearings.

Any possibility the seals are allowing dirt/water in? Guess that can't be happening to every hub set.
Anyway, here is a page from a Suburu SVX tech article that speaks to some issues that MAY be relevant for the SC and your hubs. Good luck

"4. Wheel bearing failure

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Overview

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The wheel bearings on the SVX are prone to fail prematurely. The reason for the initial failure is that the original seals allowed water to get into the bearings (the seals have since been redesigned to prevent this). Subsequent failures occur because the proper grease is not used when repacking the bearings AND over tightening of the lateral link bolt and the axle nut.


Preventative Measures
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Don't drive your car like a maniac. Hard turns may stress the bearings.


Symptoms
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The symptom is a roar coming from the back of the car. It starts out barely noticeable and gets louder very gradually. You may wonder if it is just your tires making the noise (and it may be your tires). But if the noise makes you start to wonder, "Did somebody put snow tires on my back wheels?" or "Did I leave my back seat down?" then it's time to get the rear bearings replaced.

Cost
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Parts, labor, and everything for one wheel is about $230.
You'll pay $75 for just the bearing itself.


Repairing Your Bearings
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This is not a job for a shade tree mechanic. They are sealed bearings and special tools, including a press that can exert 5 tons of pressure, are needed to correctly do this job.

Don't just take it to the dealer and drop the car off (unless you want to come back with the same problem in 10,000 miles). You need to make sure the mechanic knows how to properly install the wheel bearings. There are 4 technical service bulletins issued by Subaru on proper bearing installation for the SVX!

First, the bearings come packed in shipping grease. This grease is NOT to be used for packing the bearings. This grease is to be removed and, if you want your bearings to last a long time, a synthetic grease (usually green) should be used for packing.

Second, all the nuts and bolts must be tightened to exact specifications...over tighten them and you'll be back for more wheel bearings. The proper torque specs for the lug nuts is 72-87 ft/lbs. Most shop impact wrenches are set to around 120 ft/lbs. so this is important. I could not find specs on the lateral link bolt or the axle nut. If you have these figures, please e-mail me.


Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)
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A January 95 TSB discusses how to tighten the lug and axle nuts properly (I don't have this TSB).

A Subaru Service Helpline Update, SHNO495,April, 1995 states:

"When replacing rear wheel bearings on all-wheel drive SVX vehicles, be certain not to over torque the lateral link bolt that secures the two transverse suspension arms to the wheel bearing housing. DO NOT AIR GUN THE BOLT OFF.

Refer to appropriate manuals for the proper torque specs. If this bolt is over torqued, it can deform the housing and may lead to a repeat failure of the wheel bearing. If you encounter a repeat failure of a rear wheel bearing occurring in an unreasonably short amount of miles, the housing may have been deformed during the first repair. Replacement of the bearing and the housing may be required.

Other things to remember when working on wheel bearings. Never loosen or tighten the axle nut with the weight of the vehicle on the wheel. Vehicle should be in the air with the wheel removed prior to loosening or tightening the axle nut. If this precaution is not taken, damage to the wheel bearing may occur.

The axle nuts are NOT reusable. A new nut should be used with the new bearing. Always insure that the new bearing is properly packed with suitable wheel bearing grease. The grease that is shipped with the bearing is NOT sufficient. Always use the proper special tools to install the bearing and torque the the axle nut to correct specifications".

Also, Subaru Service Helpline, June 1993, states:

"Whenever wheel bearings are being replaced or serviced, always make sure they are properly packed with high temperature wheel bearing grease. The light grease found on the new wheel bearings is for storage to prevent the bearings from becoming oxidized".
 

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wheel bearings!

There's a good chace that your knuckles are damaged and it won't matter how many times you change the bearings, it will never be right.
If it were me, I would replace the knuckle/bearing/hub as a unit and a new nut on the axles, torqued to 250 Lb-Ft. Its very easy to damage the bearing and knuckle if you don't use a new nut every time you remove it and torque it correctly. Also be sure to have your torque wrench checked one a year. Good Luck
 

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Me too!

I have had all kinds of problems with this and I have changed the whole knuckle as a unit maybe a dozen times in the last 2 years. these things suck. there has to be something else wrong.

Ps. don't tq to 250 ft.lbs, you will shred a bearing in about 100 miles or so. Ford says 350 ft.lbs and replace the nut each time you take it off. The nut loses its torqing ability after its loosened. They said its beakaway tq. is cut in half when removed.I had some fool of a ford mechanic tell me that 250 ft.lb. thing last year, just to have it fail 100 miles from home.
 

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wheel bearings

350 Lb-Ft is about 100 Lb-Ft more than all of their manuals (for 12 years) which call for 188-254 Lb-Ft. So the question is, was he quoting N-m (which would be 255-345 N-m)? Or is this change something that should be placed in a Service Bulletin so that everyone doing repairs on these cars would know. Personally, I will wait until it is officially posted by Ford before changing. Its to bad that you've had so many problems with them but I'm out of ideas for you to try. Good Luck.
 
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