Our Subaru Forester (2015) started making a growling noise towards the rear of the vehicle. I jacked up the rear of the vehicle and turned both rear tires, one side made a growling noise. Oddly enough there was no play or other signs indicating a problem. I replaced both rear wheel bearings since they both have ~90k miles.
This is just a brief outline, I recommend reading the FSM for this job.
The service manual specifies a couple of special instructions that I will outline here.
- There is a magnetic encoder built into the rear of the hub, be careful with this, keep anything magnetic away from it.
- The FSM recommends installing the brakes before torquing the axle nut. Apply brake pressure when torquing the rear axle nut down. Do not load the bearing with the vehicle's weight before torquing the axle nut. The FSM doesn't specify but the axle nut must help set preload on the bearings so this step is very important.
- Don't forget to stake the axle nut when you are done torquing it down.
- Wheel Bearing: BCA part #: WE61771
- Rear Axle Nut: Subaru part #: 902170049
Torque Specs from the FSM:
|Wheel Hub bolts (4)||47.9 ft-lb|
|Brake Caliper Hanger bolts||48.7 ft-lb|
|ABS Wheel Speed Sensor||5.5 ft-lb|
|Axle Nut||140.1 ft-lb*|
*See note above on torquing axle nut.