Pictorial wheel bearing guide. EA / Loyale 4WD rear.


You will need

for wheel bearing replacement:

- New wheel bearings


- Breaker bar

- 36mm axle socket that fits on your breaker bar

- I believe I used every size between 10 and 17

- You'll also want at least a 17mm box end wrench

- Obviously a socket wrench

- A socket extension

- Wheel bearing grease

- Inner AND outer seals

- Jack stands

- Lug wrench (I really hope one of these lives in your car anyway...)

- 10mm flare wrench for brake lines

Additional bits if you're doing the brake upgrade:

- The brake parts (TheSubaruJunkie has a really nice swap thread here <http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=49975> So I won't go into to much detail)

- Flare tool

- Flare nuts for the new brake line flares

Start by loosening the axle nut and the lug nuts before you jack up the car.

Take the cotter pin out of the axle nut.

The nut is 36mm and on there wicked tight. I had to literally jump on the breaker bar to break it loose.

block up the car. I don't have jack stands but an old generator stator and some 2x4s work just fine...

Take off the wheel, loosen, and take off the axle nut, the big washer, and the cone washer.

Take off the hub, it should just pull off, but on the left side it needed a good amount of pounding to come loose. No idea why and I probably destroyed it. I converted to disc brakes anyway though

Here's what it looks like with the hub off

At this point you can pound the axle through a little bit, you can't pound it all the way out, but loosening it will make it easier to get the suspension arm off.

Don't pound directly on the end of the stub shaft or you'll bugger it up. Put a block of wood between the shaft and your hammer

Now you'll want to remove the strut. The nut is welded on so just unbolt it from the inside where the arrow is.

Now remove the 3 bolts on the side of the suspension arm. You can see I'm using a box end wrench here. These bolts did NOT want to come out on either side. So I had to pound them around. Air tools would be awesome here...

The nuts on these are also welded on the back side

Now you'll have to remove the last bolt on the suspension arm. The bold head is on the inside (red arrow) and the nut is not welded. So you'll have to put a wrench on it.

Now you're here' all the bolts out. Just a little pounding left and the arm is off!

Before you take it off, you should disconnect the brake line at the red arrow, but most likely it won't come loose. So just be careful with it. If it doesn't come loose, however, you need to cut the mount with a hacksaw.

Hacksawing the mount ...

You'll have to disconnect the brake line from the old drum brake. I didn't want it leaking all day long so I plugged it up. A little ghetto, but it did the job

With the brake line taken care of, safely out of the way, and everything unbolted the suspension arm falls to the ground. Plop!

Next thing I did was take the drum brake off because it makes it easier. You don't have to, but I swapped to disc brakes. So it had to come off anyway.

After taking out the 3 bolts, and some pounding the brake is off!

Now you're ready to start with the wheel bearing!! The part that I thought was the most fun. Putting new shiny bits in!

First we need to get the old one out.

Pull out the outer seal. Can be a real hassle to get out, but you're not going to hurt anything, so have at it!

Then pull out the old bearing. YUCK! I can see why that was making awful noise.

Now for the inner side. Here's what it looks like before taring it apart.

Pull out the seal.

Next you have to take out the ring. Unless you're really special and have the tool to do this, you need to pound it around.

I used a 1/4" punch and a hammer.

The left side came out without TO much pounding, but the right side just wouldn't budge. After some closer inspection it seems the last person to change the bearings punched the side in to keep it from backing out.

It's a little hard to see because it's all gritty and rusty, so I circled it in red

After tapping that out, the ring pounded out with relative ease.

Now you can remove the bearing just like you did for the outer end.

And you have no bearings left, and need to remove the race


Outside. Note the lip that stops the race from being pressed all the way out the other end:

I should note here that some bearings are 2 part, and some are 3 parts. With the inner section being separate.

Also some of the races come out as one part, and some come out as 3 parts.

I had one of each on my car on each side

The 2 part bearing and 1 part race that came out. (like the new on I installed):

The multi-part one that came out of the other side:

Now you need to get out the old race, I found that my mallet fits perfectly in the race to pound it out. Just bang on it with a hammer and a few minutes of pounding later the race popped out!

Now clean everything up really well! You don't want to contaminate your new bearing!!

Here's the new bearings, race, seals, and grease that are going in.

Put in the new race. One side I put in, I barely had to tap it at all and it just went right in nice and easy. The other side I had to bring to a machine shop to have pressed as I didn't want to damage the new race. It only cost $5, so not a big deal.

You HAVE to put the race in from the back side. Press it in until it hits the lip and won't go further.

Now that your new race is in, it's time to get the bearings greasy. Put on gloves and work as much grease as possible into the bearings.

Grease up the race and pop in the new bearing, and then get it more greasy. I started with the inner side, no particular reason.

Next you need to put the lock ring back in, again, make sure everything is spotless. You don't want any grit getting in the new bearing!

After the ring is in, make sure pounding didn't loose any grit into the grease, if it did, remove it.

(And yes, I realize I have the punch going in the wrong direction for the picture...)

Now you'll want to grease up the inner seal (the smaller of the 2)

NOTE: the side of the seal that is facing up (it has the groove and the metal ring) is the INSIDE. It goes toward the bearing.

Apparently I don't have a pic of putting it into the lock ring, but it just slides in the same way the old one came out. You can use a punch to tap it in. BUT VERY SLOW AND VERY CAREFULLY!! If you force them to hard you'll break them. I did this with an outer seal.

New you'll need to install the outer seal, get it greasy like before, and tap it in. This one does NOT like to go in. And DON'T force it. Just take it easy, go slow. Otherwise you'll break it and have to make another trip to napa for a new one

Now you have successfully changed the wheel bearing!!! That wasn't so hard was it... oh wait, you have to put the car back together now ....

It's now time to put the suspension arm back on the car. First though, you'll need to clean off the stub shaft, because that's going through your brand new $85 bearing.

Now it is time to put the shaft through the bearing. And it will require a bit of pulling. The perfect tool for this would be a propeller puller. But alas, I have loaned it to a friend and didn't have it. So... I came up with another creative method. Worked alright, got the job done.

Just be really really careful you don't damage that outer seal!

Once you get the shaft through, bolt the suspension back together. I didn't take detailed pictures of this because it goes back together the same way you got it apart.

I advise doing it exactly the reverse of how I said to take it apart.

The hardest part will be getting the strut back on, I had to kneel on the knuckle and simultaneously thread in the bolt.

Now you have it all back together.

At this point, if you were keeping your drum brakes all you'd have to do is put the hub on, put on the cone washer, the flat washer and bolt it all together. Don't forget your brake line!

But I'm not keeping the drum brakes.

So I bolted on the backing plate for the disc brakes.

Now if you're using either drum of disk brakes you'll want to clean up the part that mates up to the bearing and outer seal. Shine it up nice and make sure it's devoid of dirt. Don't contaminate that brand new bearing!

Next put the drum hub or disk hub back on and tighten her up!

Don't forget the cone washer and the big flat washer!

Here's the cone washer, the flat washer looks like, well, a big flat washer.

Here's the hub all bolted back on with the cotter pin in. DON'T FORGET THAT!!

The way I torqued the castle nut on is more or less the same way I got it off. Stand on the breaker bar until I can't get it to turn anymore, the jump on it until I can put in the cotter pin.

And remember, I only weigh 145lbs, so if you're a lot larger you might break something, I don't know...

Then you'll want to bolt on the calipers.

They'll go on the same way they came off, if you're converting refer to TheSubaruJunkie's swap thread.

As a final part of the brake swap I decided to shorten the metal lines. The metal line goes directly into the drum brake, and the disc brake caliper has a length of plastic hose. So the plastic hose on both ends of the metal line has a lot of stress on it. I decided to cut the metal line to a more appropriate length.

I did this partly because it makes sense and will prolong the life of the plastic lines, and partly because I couldn't get the brake line off the left caliper. I just turned the head off the nut.

In order to shorten the line you need a double flare tool.

After all the brake lines are connected up you'll need to bleed the brakes. I'm not going to go into detail because it's easy and there are probably guides on here how to do it.

But a very important note whenever removing brake lines is that you never want to run out of brake fluid in the reservoir under the hood! Then you'll be bleeding the master cylinder and yuck yuck yuck. So if you lose a lot of fluid flaring a line, or bleeding just keep it topped up. Pretty easy especially considering what happens if you don't.

You are now DONE with your wheel bearing AND brake swap! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

BUT, don't drive your car yet. As excited as you may be.

First get under the car and check EVERY nut and bolt you touched.

Make sure they're all torqued down.

Make sure they're all there and you didn't forget to put some important bolt back in.

Make sure you're brake lines aren't leaking where you made new flares and connections.

Make sure the brake bleeders aren't leaking.

Make sure you have the cotter pins in the axle nuts.

Make sure you put the axle pins back in the axles if you removed those.

Before you put the wheels back on the ground grab a hold of them and make sure they don't wobble. This would very quickly destroy your new bearings.

Make sure that if I left something off this list that you check it so your car is safe.

NOW. FINALLY. You are ready for your test drive. Take it slow, make sure everything is alright, and be amazed at how insanely quiet your car is!!

After your test drive do another double check.

Check axle nuts to see if you can get them any tighter. You REALLY don't want them loose.

And also VERY important check to make sure you don't have any leaks in any connection in the brake lines you touched.

Some final notes:

The reason the suspension arm must be removed is because you can't pound the stub shaft out without either removing an axle or the arm. I couldn't get my axles off.

After you remove one arm, you do not need to remove the other. Just drop the differential and slide the axle out. If you do this, you take the gamble that you won't be able to get the race back in and the arm will have to be removed for pressing the new race in.

Then the arm will have to come off anyway.

Now you should be done! And very greasy as well ....



Subaru Ambassador- AdidaSubarus
Jefferson, ME
As I said on USMB, great write up!!! And great job completing this project with very little help, and no experience!!



Thanks for the nice comments guys!

I wish I had more content pertaining to EJ cars, my legacy just doesn't break too much ...

More EA guides to come soon ....