Subaru wheel bearings Explained part 2.
Pictured below is what is called a captured wheel bearing.
And here is a wheel bearing and hub assembly.
Rather than the bearing being pressed into the knuckle assembly it now bolts in with the choice of replacing the entire unit hub and all(the part the wheel bolts up to) or just the bearing and transfer over the hub.
This particular bearing fits the rear of a 2000 to 2004 Subaru Outback & Legacy. The Subaru Legacy and Outback starting in 2005 use this design front and rear. The Impreza in 2008, and finally the Forester with its redesign in 2009, the Tribeca has always been a captured type bearing.
The 2005 and up Legacy & Outback have had some significant problems with the rear wheel bearings and Subaru has extended the warranty on the rear wheel bearings to 100k on the affected vehicles.
The bearing area is also no much larger than it has been in the past on the Subaru and is much larger than the rear wheel bearing on a Forester/ Impreza of the same era that has had so many problems. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be instances of replacement, but we see these fail much less often.
There is no special Subaru special tool needed to replace the bearing, like on the rear of the Forester, no “hub tamer” short cut tool needed to speed up the process. While there is still a certain skill level needed to complete the job, it isn’t as daunting a task as it was before, one that if wasn’t done correctly would yield a very short bearing life. The only real drawback is that there is no way to increase lubrication. But the part is now much easier to replace, and as the part starts to come down in price the overall cost passed on the customer should come down as well.
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