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Old 08-26-2006, 10:11 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 68390
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Rear Wheel Bearing Issue After Changed... 2002 WRX

Hi Guys,

Just got done changing the pass rear wheel bearing in my wife’s car, a 2002 WRX. Symptoms were grinding noise during hard left turns, from the pass rear corner. Figured we'd try the bearing, see if that helped... Which it does seemed to have helped, unfortunately ran into a few other problems...
First we used a press to do the bearing removal and replacement. Used a socket/pipe and hammer for the seals. Bottomed everything nicely, placement seemed well... Measured the distance from down to the inner race of the bearing before and after and all seemed good.
Had a slight problem while pressing the hub into the bearing, totally slipped our mind to push against the rear inner race of the bearing (damn two piece bearing...)... So that was pushed out slightly, which we then pushed back into place with no problem. Seemed to turn freely with no problems, distances seemed good.
So we bolted everything back in place, and tightened down the axle nut. The hub then became very hard to turn... More alarming was the lack of play in felt through this wheel into the diff, compared to the driver side (referring to the forward and backward lash). We loosened the axle nut slightly and the play became more like the other side... Turning the hub was still quite hard but felt slightly better...
We decided to bolt the tire on and take it for a spin. Felt fine and the noise seems to have gone away. Got back to the garage and jacked it up again to take a look and feel around... The axle on the pass rear side was considerably hotter than the other side... Also the pass rear hub was very very hot, could not hold it... While the other side was hot, I was still able to hold it... Directly where the boot from the axel meets the rear of the hub was so hot on the pass rear side it burnt my hand...

Any ideas what went wrong... Def seems like excess drag... But what could have happened? Anything I can do at this point? And idea why the play felt through the hub was less when the axel nut was tightened all the way?

Thanks very much in advance... Hopefully it is something easy, but I doubt it...

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Old 08-28-2006, 07:40 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 68390
Join Date: Aug 2004

Monday morning bump...
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:16 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 68390
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Solution...

Since I hate finding a thread with the same problem as the one I'm having and people never responding or the original poster never writing the solution back... Here is the solution...

Side note, general info from Dave at RalliSpec

The outer race of the bearing is pressed into the axle housing (knuckle, upright, whatever you want to call it) until it bottoms out on the step. Then you put the snap ring in on the other side. The bearing must be pressed from the outer race during this procedure. If necessary you can remove the bearings from the outer race and just press the race in. Then, after installing the seal, you press the hub onto the bearing by pressing from the inner race of the bearing. This is pressed until the hub bottoms out. Then install the inner axle seal or seals. It sounds to me like something (probably inner race) is not located properly and axle is heavily preloading the bearing against the race generating big friction. The hub should turn freely no matter how tight the axle seal. I would take it apart and replace the bearing again and start from scratch.


So the problem was that the inner most seal, one that pushes up against the axle as it comes into the inside of the hub, was pressed in incorrectly. From experience mostly with older cars, the open part of the seal always goes in towards the bearing - this is not the case with this seal. The open part actually is ment to face outward, while the flap on the seal is now on the inside of the knuckle and tappered inward.

This was somewhat odd, even the Subaru documentation didn't have a reference to this... I was using the 'new' bearing installation document for 2.5RS's and such, as I couldn't find a free manual for the WRX. Since the Service Bullitin stated excluding WRX I took that to mean the WRX prob already had this method... Which I confirmed when I uninstalled the bad bearing, that it was the same tappered style as the instructions called out.

Thanks to Dave for helping where he could, with the limited info I provided.

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