I've removed the front left hub bearing assembly on my Subaru. Its the type which bolts in place so you don't need a press.

To get the old one out I used a slide hammer. This was semi-successful - it took a lot of banging to finally get it to budge, only it didn't so much remove the assembly as disintegrate it:

enter image description here

The actual hub with the lugs came out, and the flange + inside race portions were left in the car. I separated the flange from the knuckle using a chisel. That went OK though I dinged the heat shield a little.

This question is intended as a post-mortem. Did I do something wrong? Would there be a more effective procedure to use when I do the other side?

Other details:

  • I did apply some penetrating oil to the bolts and the flange in advance. Bolts came out no problem. I found some corrosion on the flange portion (not terrible)

  • The axle nut was of course removed before attempting to remove the bearing

  • Didn't use heat or anything other than the slide hammer

  • Slide hammer had "universal" fitting which went on the lugs.

  • What was the original purpose for removing the hub? If you were doing it to replace the bearing, then you did it right. If you were just trying to remove the hub as an assembly, then you really FUBAR'd it. Nov 15, 2020 at 22:27
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 The purpose was indeed to replace the bearing - which was original, about 120K miles, and quite noisy. Nov 16, 2020 at 0:21
  • Yah, then I'm not seeing where you went wrong. It's about the easiest way to get it done. Destroys the bearing in the process, but since you're replacing it anyway, it really doesn't matter. Nov 16, 2020 at 1:38
  • Are the bearings available separately? I know that was common years-ago but today I suspect that the entire wheel bearing assembly is all that's available for purchase.
    – jwh20
    Nov 16, 2020 at 12:27
  • @jwh20 I am not sure... but since the full assembly was available & much easier to do (AFAIK) that just seemed like the better choice for me. Assuming you can get the bearing it does look like you might be able to reuse this assembly, if its designed for that. Nov 16, 2020 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


My guess would be that the assembly came apart for two reasons. The wear in the bearing caused some play between the inner race and the bearing shell. Some corrosion resulted in more resistance between the bearing mount and the knuckle than the bearing and the inner race. The result was the inner race wanted to come out easier than bearing mount. You did nothing wrong, you got the defective part out albeit in pieces. This is a classic case where a small amount of anti-seize during initial assembly would have made the job much easier.

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