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Old 11-27-2013, 05:37 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 113878
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Southern NH
2004 STi

Default Wheel Bearing Bad??

I've ready plenty of threads, but most tend to lean towards noise rather than movement in the wheel for bad bearings.

My front passenger wheel (04 STi) I can move fairly easily from top to bottom and side to side - not a ton of movement but enough to be sure it's not normal. The rotor assembly is moving with the wheel as well - I did double check the lugs.

I knew I had to check due to weird vibration where it literally felt like the wheel was wobbling though it felt like driver side was wobbling. Vibration only occurs on highway when moving to a left lane. Other than the left lane switches the suspension feels solid.

Side note - I just had a whiteline sway and endlinks installed in the front - coincidence or possibly related??

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Old 11-27-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 254851
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor-Cal Bay Area
2002 WRX wagon 5mt


Check to make sure the movement is not the tie rods or ball joint.

If not then most likely its the bearing.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 371799
Join Date: Oct 2013
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: Sooke, B.C, Canada
1993 Impreza WRX


I'd say for sure your bearing. I had the same problem, not the vibrations while driving, but ever tight right turn (like a U-Turn) i could hear a grinding/squealing noise, from the front right wheel. So since im in college for automotive i put it up on a hoist and checked how much movement there was. As suspected, there was quite alot of slop, even the left wheel was pretty darn bad. Checked with my instructor and he agreed as well. Replaced the bearings today, both the front cause why not? Noise is gone . Price of both front bearings, 2 inner seals and 2 outer was $130 so not to shabby.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:57 AM   #4
Back Road Runner
Scooby Guru
Member#: 60082
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minnesota
2004 Forester STI


They don't really move. They're pretty mechanically constrained. They mostly just get noisy be it small irregularities or major failure. The whir just gets louder and louder or if in the event of heavy failure, metal on metal squeal. You don't really get any play until you loosen the nut.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
Web Foot STi
Scooby Guru
Member#: 39086
Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Portland, OR
2004 STi


Try re-torquing the axle nut. If that doesn't work I'd schedule a bearing replacement. Much easer to do when you want than when the car needs it.

P.S.: You're scarring me.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:34 AM   #6
Aaron'z 2.5RS
Scooby Guru
Member#: 1026
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Hickigan
'00 RS/WRX Stg5
'98 RS Stock


I've read accounts of WB failure with no signs.. just boom gone..

Swap wheels with another corner first and see if it follows
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:20 PM   #7
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 337700
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Minnesota
2013 WRX
Ice Silver Metallic


Spin the wheel while holding the spring, if you can feel a vibration then its a wheel bearing. This is how I've checked for them in the past.
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