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Old 05-25-2001, 09:51 PM   #1
Bob OM,Md
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Member#: 1349
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Post '99 Forester Wheel Bearing

Once again my '99 Forester S is having a problem with a worn rear wheel bearing now at 45K. [Previous bearing failures were at 23, 25 and 34K--all discussed here in the I-Club forums] I have been in contact with SOA and they are sending their Tech to the dealer early next week. In the meantime, the service manager is thinking about using a Legacy bearing as a replacement. Something about the Legacy being a tapered bearing which is more durable than the Forester ball bearing. In addition they are replacing the everything except the tone ring from the axle nut to the housing.
I'd appreciate any feedback and information so that I can be in a better position to discuss this with the dealer on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
This has been the only problem with this otherwise great vehicle. And I must add that SOA has been more than helpful and cooperative ever since they became involved.
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Old 05-26-2001, 10:33 AM   #2
SubyTechMaster
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Member#: 4423
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Placerville, CA USA
Vehicle:
'04 08 Tribeca, SVX
Gold, Maroon

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You should encourage them to use the Legacy wheel bearing. This is the same bearing Foresters originally used when they they were introduced in '98. No problems with this bearing.
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Old 05-26-2001, 12:48 PM   #3
Ken S
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Bay Area, CA
Vehicle:
05 Leg GT Ltd. W
Silver

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Wow, that's a lot of bearing failures. I've heard that one factor in premature bearing failure is improper installation. Being that it happened at the same dealership, I wonder if it would make sense to try a different one.

Ken
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Old 05-27-2001, 11:11 AM   #4
Geoff
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Member#: 592
Join Date: Dec 1999
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: P-Ville, Texas
Vehicle:
'08 X3 3.0si 6MT
'09 135i 6MT & '08 STi

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I've been through 4 bearings within the first year of owning my car and 4 subsequent. I've got a '99 Outback Sport...probably the same bearings as the Forester. 4 different dealerships have done repairs. I'm currently involved in a lemon lawsuit with Subaru of America over it. I've been left stranded one too many times. There is no reason a new car should throw so many bearings.

It may be in your best interest to look into your local lemon laws as well. Subaru has problems with bearings on some vehicles, often their dealerships aren't trained to install them, and the customer ends up suffering.

I LOVE my car to death, but the bearing issue is ridiculous. Good luck.
-Geoff
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Old 05-28-2001, 08:01 AM   #5
Bob OM,Md
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
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Thanks for your post, SabreLion. You are the second person to seriously suggest looking into the lemon-law option. It is really a shame and I can't imagine really going that far, but you are right. Four replacements would indicate some flaw in the works. I, too, love my Subaru --and this os the fourth one in the family! My wife's '87 lasted over 115K and was replaced in '95 with a Legacy wagon --still going strong with over 130K. My sister-in-law took our advice back in '93 and got a Legacy wagon which is still going. When I spoke with SOA most recently, they wanted to have the factory tech come and look at it and a replacement of the entire left rear axle was mentioned.
The dealer wants to try a less radical approach using a Legacy bearing and replacing the hub and housing as well. I'm not sure if I wouldn't prefer the more radical approach of SOA (If this is the radical approach, I wonder what I'd call invoking the Lemon Law process would be??).
But again, thanks for your post.
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Old 05-28-2001, 10:14 AM   #6
Rich L
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Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: near Atco(NJ) 13.566@100.64-
Vehicle:
1999 RS-Tw/ CobraMAF
Custom Rallispec kit/IC#1

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I too have problems with wheel barings.
I will be needing to replace another one, and i have 39,000 miles.

My mechanic claims that hitting potholes and rough streets can "put a nick" in the baring, causing pre-mature failure.

Does this sound like a plausable theory?
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Old 05-28-2001, 11:58 AM   #7
Geoff
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: P-Ville, Texas
Vehicle:
'08 X3 3.0si 6MT
'09 135i 6MT & '08 STi

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No, that's a BS mechanic excuse. I've talked to a few people who have had bearing problems, but Subaru likes to just try and sweep it under the rug and place blame on any aftermarket equipment you have on the car. For example, Subaru blamed the Minnam kit I have on my OBS for the driver's side rear bearing going out 8x's.

If your bearing keeps going out, remember to tell them to torque the thing on by hand and put in new grease. If that doesn't work, keep on having the bearings replaced until you've exceeded the lemon law threshhold and harass SOA. If Subaru starts seeing more and more less isolated incidents of this, and knows we're all talking together, maybe they'll take some proactive action against it.
-Geoff
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