I recently changed one of the rear wheel bearings in my 2016 Outback. This is fairly typical, as the car just passed 50,000 miles, and this is a common problem with Subaru’s. I have changed many rear wheel bearings on Subaru’s. I can usually do the job in less than an hour.
The Subaru does not have a serviceable bearing, the whole hub needs to be replaced. The hub bolts on to the spindle with four bolts. The process of replacing the bearing use to involve removing the axle shaft, then removing the four bolts, and the hub simply comes off.
For some reason, Subaru redesigned the hub assembly in 2015. The new hub design retains the four mounting bolts, but the assembly is pressed in to the spindle with a flange that presses in to the hub. This flange is over an inch long.
I took the axle nut off, and easily removed the four hub mounting bolts. To my surprise, the hub would not come off the spindle. I used a big slide hammer, and even heated up the spindle assembly. After struggling for hours, I ended up removing the spindle and pressing the hub out on the press. Fortunately, I was able to remove the spindle without damaging the rubber boots on the links or the ABS wheel speed sensor. I have a 20 ton press, and it was all I could do to remove the hub assembly. The new hub assembly had to be pressed in to the spindle.
I noticed the rear brake pads were almost worn out while I was working on the wheel bearing. This was my first introduction to electric parking brakes, and how to reset the caliper to replace brake pads. That will be discussed in a fu-ture column.
I can not understand why Subaru changed the design of the bearing. The spindle was also redesigned. The spindle is mounted to the car with conventional ball joints, and the links have conven-tional tie rod ends. The rear spindle looks like it is mounted on the front, not the rear. When these cars get some years of use, the chances of the ball joints and tie rod end link assemblies coming off easily will dwindle signifi-cantly. A simple rear wheel bearing replacement will likely result in having to replace the links, ABS wheel speed sensor, backing plate, and the spindle in addition to the hub assembly. The job could easily take 2-3 hours and cost well over $500 in parts.
This is a classic case of newer cars not having serviceable parts, and an unbelievable amount of labor to replace wear items.
I really enjoy reading articles, be it from Wheel Tracks, Hemmings Muscle Car Magazine or other publications about the men and women that have their first car.
I am not one of them, although parts of that first ride are still with me, we shall get back to that later.
It was the 2014 Stowe Show that got us to where we are today in the ownership of our 1966 Fairlane GTA. At the time, I was the Automotive Instructional Aide at Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury . The instructor was not able to use the tickets he had received from the Golden Wrench Award so he asked if I could use them. Not one to pass up a freebee I said: sure. When August rolled around, I said to my wife Mary, let’s go to the Stowe Car Show, I have free tickets. We made a day of it, going for lunch, site seeing and attending the show Friday afternoon.
As we were getting ready to leave, she asked what was my first car? I responded, “a 1967 Chevelle Convertible”. Then she asked, “what does one look like”? Have you ever been to a car show and seen less than a dozen of that vintage? Well, wrong place and wrong time, as none were to be found, but fortunately I did spot a 1966 Hardtop as we were getting close to the parking lot, on our way out. To my great surprise, she stated, “if you really want to get another one, its OK with me”. Wow, what an offer! I thought I knew pricing on that vintage. Wrong! Want’s are one thing, but I did not need a car that badly to pay what asking prices were.
I had just about given up, then I remembered my parents had a 1966 or 67 Fairlane. It was a nice car with a 289 and auto transmission. A few minutes on Craigslist and I found a good looking 1966 GTA S code 2-door in Lynn, Mass. We had already planned a trip to see our grandkids who at the time lived in Saugus, only minutes from the car. An appointment was set. We looked at the car, made an offer and two weeks later, Dave Welch and I picked the car up and returned home.
What impressed me about this car is how complete it was. Sure, it needed a complete once over but it was basically rust free, all trim, emblems and interior original. Mary wanted a complete car, not a project car that would probably never see the road. Always listen to your wife!
What we have done since 2015 is: a complete suspension rebuild including brakes, springs, shocks and new front end components. The rear end and drive shaft has been rebuilt with new bearings and gears. The engine has had head work done, a new cam and intake manifold. The transmission was totally rebuilt.
Next on the agenda for 2022 will be new interior pieces such as seat covers and door panels. It will never be a show car but neither was that 67 Chevelle, just a fun car to drive and get an occasional ice cream in. And speaking of that first car, I do have the Motorola 8 track player that was once in the Chevelle. It now resides in the Fairlane, in great working order. So I guess in a small way, I still do have that first car, at least a small piece of it and a fond memory every time I play those 8 tapes ( the one I am listening to at the moment is by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band).
Wherever power is needed, the practical and careful man buys a McCormick-Deering 6HP engine to do his work. The 6HP engine has water-cooled cylinder head and belt pulley can be put on either side.
I believe it was the 2006 Shelburne Vt car show where I first met Gael. I was involved setting up a display of my Galloway engine belted to a Papec Silage blower.
I had no idea who this gentleman was that ventured into the display but we introduced ourselves to each other and struck up a conversation. He seemed quite mesmerized by the displays our club was beginning to get operational. As words unfolded, he mentioned he had a few of these engines. Of course as with any hobbyist my ears then really “perked up” with the prospect of a new find. As memory serves me, he did not know what or how many he had or at least that was what he was leading me to believe.
Eventually, the fateful question was asked by Gael Boardman. “Would you be interested in getting a couple of them running?” Somehow my nature of: shoot first ask later, did not kick in. The more rational Dave, answered Gael, “maybe but I would like to see what they are and what you have in mind.” He answered with if you get one running then I will give you the other as payment. That inner voice said: how could I go wrong? To this day, I am still amazed I stuck with my first response that I would need to see the engines before making a commitment.
Again, memory is fuzzy but I remember that it took until November for me to get to Underhill for my first preview. As many of you know, visiting Gael and his collection was not a quick venture. Maybe it was a teachable moment, that it is not about the trip but the journey. I was beginning to understand Gael’s love for so much of our past through his diverse collection. I viewed his air-cooled Same tractor, Army Truck, WW2 bulldozer, memorabilia of all sorts, and a Chevy Coupe with overheating issues which was really perplexing him. Each piece Gael seemed to know where it came from, and what it had done, how long he had owned it, and a justification of it.
Eventually, we got to the two engines he had in mind he wanted me to work on. Both were larger than anything I had or laid a wrench to. One was a McCormick Deering 6 HP (pictured above). I knew that, as I owned the smaller 1 ½ and 3 HP models. The other I was unsure of, other than it had a Fairbanks Morse tag. Both pieces were very complete and original engines from the local area according to Gael. It sure seemed like a sweetheart deal. Again, it happened, reason over excitement. My response, Gael let me think about it and I will call you.
Needless to say, I soon called back and said sure I will get both going and Gael you decide which one you keep. It was not until the following summer that I made the second Underhill trip to retrieve both engines. My thinking that the loading process would be simple, quick and somewhat effortless, proved to be flawed as no tractor or other powerful machine Gael possessed was used. I soon realized Gael has ancestors dating back to the pyramids as we moved both engines onto my trailer using pipe as rollers and a come-a-long all the while he was saying: work like the Egyptians.
I decided to work on both engines simultaneously but really concentrate on the McCormick as it appeared the quicker of the two since the Fairbanks had a serious issue with rust.
My employment journey had taken me to be an instructor/aid role at Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury. The perfect situation, a great place to work, students to help and teach basic engine operation and the detail needed to restore an 80 year old piece and the use of tools I do not possess. Although to complete the engine still required a bit of work, in reality a lot of work. Tasks included; complete disassembly of all components, magneto rebuild, gas tank replaced, igniter refurbished, rings unstuck from the piston, valves and seats refaced plus the springs replaced, fuel pump and lines replaced, mixer rebuilt and the governor repaired. As most of you know, projects tend to take on a life and direction of their own. I decided this project should not just be a “just get it running” one but, a complete restoration including repainting and a period correct horse drawn cart to mount and move the engine on.
Finally in the spring of 2012, Gael got a call from me asking if he would enjoy being at Hannaford for startup day. I think you all know the answer and the smile Gael had when he heard the engine run for the first time since he owned it. Later that spring, the engine returned home to Underhill where it still resides.
The IHC/McCormick Deering Type M gasoline engine was debuted in 1917 and built until 1937. All M engines were throttle governed and both low tension ignitor and high tension spark plug ignition systems were used. A unique feature of these engines was a completely enclosed, but dry crankcase. The crankshaft main bearings and rod were still greased by mechanical grease cups and the cylinder oiled by a drip oiler. All timing gears were inside, while the remaining parts, including the cam, were outside the crankcase. No oil was stored inside the engine.
“Right Power for the Bigger Jobs” was IHC’s motto. It furnishes plenty of power for the hay baler, feed grinder, corn sheller, buzz saw, cane mill, deep well pump and other hard work.