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Hi All.

I'm working on replacing the rear hubs on a 2014 Crosstrek, and having some trouble. I have removed everything (brakes, brackets, center hub nut, brake shoes and disk), but absolutely cannot get the hub itself off. I have also attempted to use a hub puller, but they use the driveshaft as a reactive point, and the driveshaft simply slides inward on the splines. I do not want to put too much pressure on the shaft since it is not meant to bear a load in a lateral direction - I'm concerned that force will damage a CV joint or differential internals.

Below is a list of things I have tried up to this point, but to keep it short, I'm looking for thoughts and recommendations, particularly from anyone who has done this before. Things tried to this point:

  1. Soak everything with PB Blaster,
  2. Beat the **** out of the hub and flange,
  3. Put the four hub assembly bolts in the opposite direction and tap them from the back,
  4. Mild heat (I only have access to a small propane torch),
  5. Put a jack under the hub flange and lift - this simply picked the entire car up off the jack stands without breaking the hub assembly away,
  6. Attempted to wedge a flathead screwdriver in between the splash plate and the suspension knuckle (it won't go in).
  7. I've included a couple of pictures to give you an idea of what I'm looking at.

Any other thoughts?

Disc brake Auto part Vehicle brake Tire Wheel
Auto part Disc brake Vehicle brake Brake Tire
 

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I just did this with my 2000 Chevy S10 with 150k miles on it (front axles though). I had to use a large screw driver and a little muscle but the hug eventually slid off. There is some play in the CV axles to I wasn't too terribly concerned about lateral stress. I would let the PB Blaster do its thing and then gently tap all around the hub and it should come off. It may come off with the entire splash plate assembly. Sounds like it is corroded in pretty good.
 

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I know this is an old post, but this may help others. I’ve replaced wheel hub assemblies on a 15 Forester and a 15 Crosstrek. For the Forester, the hub blaster tool worked after hitting it about 15 times with a 20lb sledge. The crosstrek would not budge. Finally disassembled both rear knuckles and had the bearings pressed out at a machine job. Count on replacing the backing plates, too.
 

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Hi All.

I'm working on replacing the rear hubs on a 2014 Crosstrek, and having some trouble. I have removed everything (brakes, brackets, center hub nut, brake shoes and disk), but absolutely cannot get the hub itself off. I have also attempted to use a hub puller, but they use the driveshaft as a reactive point, and the driveshaft simply slides inward on the splines. I do not want to put too much pressure on the shaft since it is not meant to bear a load in a lateral direction - I'm concerned that force will damage a CV joint or differential internals.

Below is a list of things I have tried up to this point, but to keep it short, I'm looking for thoughts and recommendations, particularly from anyone who has done this before. Things tried to this point:

  1. Soak everything with PB Blaster,
  2. Beat the **** out of the hub and flange,
  3. Put the four hub assembly bolts in the opposite direction and tap them from the back,
  4. Mild heat (I only have access to a small propane torch),
  5. Put a jack under the hub flange and lift - this simply picked the entire car up off the jack stands without breaking the hub assembly away,
  6. Attempted to wedge a flathead screwdriver in between the splash plate and the suspension knuckle (it won't go in).
  7. I've included a couple of pictures to give you an idea of what I'm looking at.
Any other thoughts?

View attachment 284924 View attachment 284926
I'm currently having the same problem. What ended up working for you? Just time and patience?
 

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I did a couple of these a few years ago. One on a MY15, and one on a MY09.

I believe that I loosened the 4 bolts that hold the hub on the knuckle, then beat the heads of the bolts with a 2lb sledge until the hub popped out.

These either pop loose easily, or they're a B!TCH. Nothing in between.
 

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2021 Ice SIlver Sport
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1,322 Posts
The Hub Buster was the only thing that worked for me and it was still a pain. Just depends on how rusty yours is. If from the north east, it's going to be a real bear. Good Luck.
 

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2012 Impreza Sport Sedan CVT
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Woah, in the back of my mind I was thinking of the Texas Twister, so I guess I wasn't paying enough attention. That tool looks pretty good for removing bad hubs, but I might need to replace my backing plates and my bearings are still fine. Pretty sure that tool would ruin them. I'm really hoping to be able to get them off with the slide hammer and possibly a towel if necessary.
 

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2013 xv limited
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I recently replaced both rear hubs on a 2013 xv. It was in California for first 6 years so not as bad for rust. Loosed the 4 bolts and then drove chisels between backing plate rivets an knuckle top and bottom. It came out some and then soaked with rust penetrant and let set. Eight hours later I finished using the chisels to wedge it out after driving in and out. These were smaller 6” so they fit nicely. Using the hub blaster could end up bending your knuckle out of alignment. I would be careful with that method.
 

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Reviving this thread. I used the slide hammer but the bearing came apart. So I bought some longer bolts and connected them to the hub puller. Currently I’m alternating between more pbblaster, chiseling and slide hammer. Still no go!

I need help and am considering taking the whole knuckle off. Do I need any special tools for that job? Or advice, link?

I took the parking brake shoes off, and am going to try and rotate the hub with a power hammer.

update: I got it off by attaching the slide hammer hub puller to the hub bolt holes themselves, purchased a small battery powered rotary hammer from harbor freight, and used a lot of pbblaster. Alternating between hammering between the backing plate and the knuckle, trying not to damage anything too much and pulling out on the hub, and applying more pbblaster eventually allowed me to see a sliver of light between them!

Now to file off my dings, clean it up and reassemble (with anti-seize), … whew.

Automotive tire Vehicle brake Steering part Bicycle part Rim
 

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Good lord . Is this what i have to look forward to ?? arrrg. Bad enough one has to completly dissasemble the lil EMG brake components .....

Up front i used BFH , chisels , Rented a 5lb slide hammer , onto the wheel studs ... no go .
HAD to resort to the " power steering Trick " ( the last trick i have ) . Boom it popped out .

Then i got to thinking ..... what to do for the rears ? No hydro back there .......
** I was told , beat / chisel / rotate the unit bearing a bit , then use the bolts thru the front to press them out .
NOT verified yet .
Arrrg.
 

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Doing rear brakes / rotors , and One rear unit bearing ( both roar a bit ) on this car soon . Daughters car .

Being the fronts were almost stuck and pretty tuff , ill assume the rears as are worse . Arrrg.

Bought a cheap slide hammer kit .. and a cheap air chisel/hammer . I plan on welding a 14mm socket onto one of the air hammers bits ,, use the air hammer and the lossened bolts to break the hub loose . IF all that fits or is feasible .
Arrg.
 

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2013 Crosstrek, Black, 5 speed
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I started my first of the dreaded rear bearing replacement this week. I've been hammering and trying all the various YouTube tricks and nothing worked. Using a big bolt and nut to separate the hub flange from the knuckle/backing plate succeeded in pulling the bearing apart, but hub still exactly in the same location, no movement at all. With the flange gone nothing to pull on any more, but more room to hit with a hammer and use an air chisel. Was going for rotating the hub mount relative to the backing plate - zero movement. Gave up and pulled the whole knuckle assembly. Still not a clear cut way to separate hub and bearing from knuckle. I think taking it to a shop to have them press it out is next on the agenda.

What's the verdict on replacing the CV axles when going this route? Both CV boots on the side I'm working on are fully intact and look decent, although there is rubber degradation evident. I think I will leave it unless there's prevalent problems. Also, there is some slight damage on some of the suspension attachment boots. I don't know proper names, but the big ball joint at the top has a small slit, as does the boot on the forward control rod/strut. It doesn't seem like the boots on these are replaceable? And of course, no zerk fittings so is there any way to add grease?
 

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Harbor freight hydraulic press for the bearing. I use mine for all sorts of things...even a vice in the garage. For greasing joints without zerk fitting, parts retailers sell grease needles with a zerk fitting that work with standard grease guns. The tiny hole left in boots "pretty much" seals itself and doesn't leak grease.
 

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2013 Crosstrek, Black, 5 speed
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Harbor freight hydraulic press for the bearing. I use mine for all sorts of things...even a vice in the garage. For greasing joints without zerk fitting, parts retailers sell grease needles with a zerk fitting that work with standard grease guns. The tiny hole left in boots "pretty much" seals itself and doesn't leak grease.
Thanks for the reminder on the grease needles with zerk fittings. I have one in my arsenal now. I had one of those HF presses a long time ago when I was rebuilding entire front suspension on another car, but I ended up getting rid of it after that job. I just didn't have need for it as much as I thought I would. We'll see, maybe I'll get another. But I got the bearings out without one....

Bearing removal is pretty simple if you have the knuckle off the car. (R&R of knuckle really not that difficult - easier than I thought it would be) The method that worked for me was installing two of the hub to knuckle bolts part-way, resting the whole knuckle in a big vise with the jaws wide open so the hub would clear, and then pounding those two bolts down. After a few hard strikes with a BFH the hub started to move. I ended up damaging one of the bolts doing it this way though. Better way, that I did for the other side: get a longer 12mm x 1.25 pitch (this is a super fine pitch, hard to find. The regular coarse 12 mm are 1.75 pitch, then there is fine which is 1.5, the 1.25 are super fine or something like that. I have a local hardware store that has an awesome fastener section and even they only had a few of these. Make sure you get the 10.9 grade ones, too). I watched a lot of videos on this process and most of them would have saved a ton of time if they had just removed the whole knuckle from the car and then pounded on those bolts from the back side. They spent hours trying every trick in the book to get bearings out, as did I. The other side should have been easy as pie, I'd be done now, but.....another snag.

Driver's side axle was frozen inside the hub. This one I tried a lot of different tricks too. 3-jaw puller did nothing at all. Finally took a sledge to it, knowing I'd probably ruin the axle, which I did. But it moved. Not enough though so I took the axle out of the diff and finished the removal off the car. So now I get to take a break for a few days until my new axle comes in. I used Subaru parts for the backing plates and hubs, but went with aftermarket for the axle. So now one side is done, including parking brake reassembly, and other side is all taken apart, waiting for axle. Whew, I'm ready for this job to be over.
 
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