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Old 09-06-2005, 03:45 AM   #1
Patrick Olsen
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Member#: 120
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Where the Navy sends me...
Vehicle:
1997 Legacy 2.5GT
QuickSilver Metallic

Default H6 and front wheel bearing done

I had a nice busy Sunday, installing some H6 rear brakes on the car and finishing up a left front wheel bearing replacement. I had actually started both the weekend prior, but had to wait on a new hub to finish the wheel bearing job, and was waiting on some used '02 WRX calipers to finish up the brakes.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a good "before" shot of the stock brakes behind the stock or race wheels. Here's how things look now:


The caliper brackets are just painted with Duplicolor 500* gloss black engine paint. The calipers themselves I painted with G2 silver paint. Still need to do the front calipers to match, I was too lazy to do that today.

The H6 upgrade has been covered in detail elsewhere, so just a couple of points. First, I was curious if the BD/BG calipers would work with the H6 caliper brackets. Turns out, the answer is definitely NO, which is why I had to buy some used WRX rear calipers. Here's a picture showing how different things are:

The newer H6 rears are basically set up like the front - 2 slide pins, and the caliper is held to those by 2 bolts (which are identical to the front bolts). The older BD/BG brackets have one fixed slide pin and then a through-bolt that actually screws into the bracket. Since that fixed slide pin slides in and out of the caliper, the mounting ear on the caliper is thicker and doesn't even have a hole it for a caliper locking bolt. Very different, and no way the two are compatible.

I've seen lots of talk about the H6 upgrade, and removing/modifying the dust shields to clear the larger H6 rotors. People talk about drilling out the spot welds. Well, after 147,000 miles my dust shields were so filthy I literally couldn't even see the spot welds to drill them, and I'm not gonna keep the dust shields to who cares if they come off neatly, right? I went with the BFH approach:

Probably took me all of 2min on each side to pound the things off.

As for the front wheel bearing, here you can see how bad the old one was flexing:

Yup, the inner face of the rotor was actually rubbing the caliper bracket! It also caused contact between the ABS sensor and the exciter ring, breaking the ABS sensor:


Here's the pretty new hub, ready to go for assembly. Note the black coating on the center where the wheel mounts - not sure what exactly that is, but I'm assuming it's some sort of anti-corrosion coating.


I repacked the wheel bearings with Mobil1 grease. Interestingly enough, the temperature ratings on Mobil1 grease really aren't all that great - it says -40* to 350*F on the package, and I think the conventional Valvoline stuff that was on the shelf next to it said it was good to 380* or 400*. There was another guy at the Navy Auto Hobby Shop doing the brakes/bearings on his 4Runner at the same time, and he had Redline CV2 grease, which is supposed to be good to 500*. I don't know if Mobil1 just rates their stuff conservatively, or if the conventional stuff was a bit optimistic in its ratings, or if the Mobil1 just isn't that great. It's what I used, so hopefully it doesn't suck too bad.

There's a good thread about replacing the front wheel bearings in the Brakes and Suspension Forum, that's pretty much what I used as my guide. I didn't take many pics, since it had basically all been done before. I did try to screw up the re-assembly when I went to press the hub into the bearings - really, you want to press the bearings (already pressed into the spindle) down onto the hub. I started to do the opposite - spindle on the press, pushing the hub outside-in to the spindle. If you do it that way, though, unless the bearings are supported from the inside the inner bearing is just going to pushed out of the spindle. Not sure if that makes any sense, but if you follow the assembly pictures in the thread in the Brakes and Suspension Forum you'll be good to go.

All in all, a productive weekend. Did both these projects, plus the JDM taillights, plus reassembled the rear brakes, installed new pads, and installed a new parking brake handle on my Mustang, plus installed new taillights on the Mustang. Next up is a helical front diff for the Legacy - I'll be letting the professionals handle that job!

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:19 AM   #2
xcntrk75
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Dark Grey Metallic

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Looking good... Man you really let that wheel-bearing go a while before getting around to it. That sucker must have been screaming up till the point you got it in the garage. Looks like the inner bearing of the assembly had seized and the race was actually spinning on the hub I had one do the same thing and have learned my $100 hub lesson about neglecting them once they start whining.

Great write-up…
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:53 PM   #3
KD7000
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Nice write up and photos, Pat.

-I used an air chisel to remove my dust shields when I did the H6 upgrade. It took about a minute... I could've almost torn them off by hand. Hooray for salty & rusty New England
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:04 AM   #4
Patrick Olsen
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1997 Legacy 2.5GT
QuickSilver Metallic

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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcntrk75
Looking good... Man you really let that wheel-bearing go a while before getting around to it. That sucker must have been screaming up till the point you got it in the garage.
What's weird is that there was basically no noise. A couple months ago I heard what I thought was the left front wheel bearing starting to go bad. I even went as far as calling the dealer to see about scheduling an appt. That weekend I changed my front pads and the sound went away - huh, that's weird - so I called the dealer on Monday and told them "Never mind!" Fast forward a couple months and I started hearing a grinding/rubbing noise when I would crank the wheel over hard right and back out of my garage into the street. That grinding noise obviously was the rotor dragging on the caliper bracket. It wasn't until I started hearing that noise that I did the "grab the wheel and 12 and 6 and check for bearing play" test and was like .

Pat
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:47 AM   #5
xcntrk75
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2008 FXT Sports 2.5
Dark Grey Metallic

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^^^^
That test sucks anyway… If you have enough play to be detected like that it’s all ready drastically damaged IMHO. The seizing situation happen to me and it was like night and day. The bearing set had been whining for a while (signs that it was failing) then in an instant one of the bearings seized going down the highway and the race started spinning on the hub. Made a terrible noise and felt like the tire was going to fall off. I had to drive on it another 10 miles to get home too. Once that race moves on the hub, the entire hub is trash and you have to get a new one.

My lessons learned: Get the bearing promptly serviced when it first starts to whine otherwise risk damaging the hub and spending extra to replace it…
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Old 09-12-2005, 02:09 AM   #6
Patrick Olsen
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Member#: 120
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Where the Navy sends me...
Vehicle:
1997 Legacy 2.5GT
QuickSilver Metallic

Default

Took care of the other side today. It wasn't bad (yet?) but I figured I'd do them in pairs. The hub looked a little worse for wear, but nothing really bad, so I reassembled using that same hub.

Interestingly enough, while re-organizing my files at home (bank statements, insurance papers, etc) I came across receipts from August '03. Turns out I had both front wheel bearings done then (I was thinking it had been the rears). That was at 122,500 miles, the car now has 147,000 miles on it. The car definitely took more abuse (in the form of auto-x and open track events) from the time I bought it at 54,000 miles until the front bearings were done in '03 than it has in the two years since then. I can't help but think the dealer did a rather crappy job. Hopefully this time, repacked with good Mobil1 grease, they'll last longer. If not, well, at least now I know how to do it.

Pat
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