I feel quite relieved having finally detached the rusted on wheel hub and backing plate from my car (Subaru Impreza). I decided to take on the project myself, but it has been weeks in progress, from ordering parts and getting more tools to actually taking things apart. I fought since Sunday just to get the hub and backing plate on the one side disconnected from the “knuckle” they are attached to so they can be replaced, pulling with a hub puller, beating with a mini sledge hammer, prying with a pry bar, cutting with cold chisels. I did this for hours spread across every evening from Sunday to Friday. A lot of effort and it was still seeming like it was welded together.

What finally did it was the addition of a pickle fork and bigger pry bar to the sledge. The angled end of the pickle fork fit perfectly between part of the knuckle and the backing plate, and the long handle gave a striking surface outside of the wheel well for easy hitting. After hitting on it for a while, it created a gap between the two surfaces. I then hammered the thin edge of the pry bar in the gap to push it apart a bit more. Several whacks on the hub with the sledge did the rest. It took about 10-15 minutes.

I will finish the project tomorrow, assuming the other side goes that easy and putting things back together goes smoothly.

Even though it’s not done yet and I still can’t drive my car after 5ish days, it feels accomplishable in a reasonable amount of time where earlier today I was struggling and wondered if I could get it done before a planned family get-together Sunday. It can be amazing how good it can feel to get past sticking points of difficult but important tasks, especially when they’re blocking all sorts of other things in our lives (I make a lot of use of driving). It’s a common, repeated cycle: normal, problem, conflict, then resolution, back to normal. Or: stress, relief.