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Knocking from front limited slip on 89 Subaru GL


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29 replies to this topic

#1 cameront21

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:47 AM

I have an 89 Subaru GL Wagon. Been a great car, I bought it with a blown head and then had a refurb put in. Probably only put 40k on the refurb motor so I am attached to the car. It was recently making a grinding noise from the front passenger wheel. I took apart everything, found a torn boot on the CV, replaced the boot. While it was apart i checked the bearings and repacked them. The bearings didnt sound bad, they were smooth and made no noise when spun. So after getting the new CV installed I put it all back together and took it for a test drive. Everything sounds good until I step on the gas and then I hear a knocking noise from the same wheel while accelerating. When I let off the gas the knocking noise stops. I have checked the tightness of all of my bolts and the hub nut. I am thinking that something is wrong in the transmission. It seems that when the limited slip kicks in and power is being given to that front passenger side wheel then the noise occurs.

I am not a car guy, so I do not even know that my 89 Subaru GL has a limited slip so I could be entirely wrong. Just am going off what I have heard as to what the problem could be.

Any input greatly appreciated

Thanks
Cameron

#2 grossgary

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:15 PM

has an open front diff, so no limited slip.
does turning it change anything - accelerating with the wheel all the way to the left and all the way to the right - what happens then? same exact noise or does it change?

i'm thinking an axle or front diff would do this. given the CV issues previously i'd be checking into those a bit more.

if it feels like it's on "one side" more than another then it's probably the axle. the front diff will seem more central. but if it's an inner axle joint going bad those are right next to the trans and may be hard to distinguish.

have the axles ever been replaced?
was it the inner or outer boot you replaced?

#3 doobieryan

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:30 PM

It sounds like your car does pretty much the same thing as my 82 wagon. I have never been able to figure out what it is. I've replaced the axles multiple times and put in new bearings and ball joints. Still does it. Im thinkin its either the tranny stub shaft is knocking around or the strut is bad. I dunno tho.

#4 john in KY

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:08 PM

If you removed the brake caliper for the repair, recheck its mounting bolts.

#5 cameront21

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 02:37 PM

I replaced the entire axle from the tranny to the tire. Does not seem to make the noise specifically when going around corners, I can get it to make the noise going straight. Will have to test it with wheel all the way to right and left.

The reason I thought it had a limited slip was because I had it up on jacks and put the car into gear to see if I could target which wheel the noise was coming from. When the car was in gear my front left wheel was spinning but the front right was not. I called a guy I know who knows a little about cars to ask him what was up, and he said it was normal that only the drivers side was spinning because the passenger side would not get power unless the drivers side slipped.

What is interesting is before I replaced the entire CV the wheel made a grind noise. Now the grinding is gone and it just makes a knocking noise but only when accelerating. At first I thought it could have been a loose hub nut so I tightened those back down and it still makes the noise.

At this point I am thinking its the front diff.

Thanks
Cameron

Edited by cameront21, 16 November 2010 - 02:41 PM.


#6 cameront21

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 02:40 PM

If you removed the brake caliper for the repair, recheck its mounting bolts.


Will have to check this.

#7 doobieryan

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:16 PM

If you removed the brake caliper for the repair, recheck its mounting bolts.


Ill definitely have to try this too, cause when i make a really fast left my brake fluid light comes on.
But the thing is it did the shake and knock thing before the repairs, so the PO would have had to not had the caliper tight enough too. Idk. I got to the point where i just stopped worrying about it but now that someone else is going thru the same thing...

#8 grossgary

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:38 PM

At this point I am thinking its the front diff.

i think you'll be pleasantly surprised it's the axle. now to figure out which one (if you replaced them both). if you have an old one - just swap one side and see if it goes away. if not, then swap the other side.

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:52 PM

It's not the diff.

It's either one of the axles....which is very common. Alot of the axles available now are cheap chinese junk. Klick clak right out of the box.

Other possibility is the hub splines. pull the hub, and look at the splines. There should be a flat spot between each of the valleys. If the splines come up to a point, and there is no flat spot on the tops of the splines, the hub is worn and needs replaced. Makes all kinds of weird false bearing/axle problems.

#10 987687

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 05:31 PM

As Gloyale said, I've had brand new (not reman) axles from parts stores click right out of the box.

#11 cameront21

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 05:39 PM

Hmmm... well it was 69.99 at O'Reilley?

#12 987687

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 06:06 PM

Quite possible .... Did you move move the joins through their motions before installing it? My latest napa axle I spent a few minutes extending and contracting the DOJ, putting it through it's motions before it was on the car and it's still lasting... Maybe that got the grease better worked in? maybe I just got lucky and got a good napa axle? dunno. But it's worth a try next cheap axle you get.

#13 Gloyale

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:42 AM

Hmmm... well it was 69.99 at O'Reilley?


Happen to remeber what brand?

The "Whon" axles from china are GARBAGE.

#14 VaporTrail

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:59 AM

I just went through the same thing on my Brat. it would knock really bad on the gas, but not if I let up... it would change when I turned the wheel early on, but as it got worse, it didn't matter...

I was dead sure it was the right axle from the "feel" (read: overconfident) and I was already in progress of taking out the right axle, when I went to remove the roll pin from the inner joint, I noticed my left axle was missing the boot entirely... I buttoned back up the right side, and replaced the left axle, and it's all good now.....

#15 grossgary

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:33 AM

Hmmm... well it was 69.99 at O'Reilley?

lots of low percentage axles out there no matter the store or price. MWE or reboot a Subaru axle are how i choose to avoid them.

Maybe that got the grease better worked in? maybe I just got lucky and got a good napa axle?

you got a good axle for now. it's not that every axle is bad, not even close. it's just that a high percentage (relatively speaking) have issues. i want near %100 success rate on a job like that, not %80...or whatever it is.

#16 tysn

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 11:51 AM

Did ya check the Hub assembly? we had soem noises after replacing 3 axle with in a 2 week period, it ended up being the hub assembly, this was on a 85 xt turbo

#17 cameront21

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:52 PM

In the process of moving currently, havent had a chance to check all of your suggestions. Hopefully will get a chance over turkey day weekend.

Thanks
Cameron

#18 cameront21

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 11:31 PM

Alright, got all moved and had a chance to get back to the subie. Jacked the subie up, put it in 4wd with a brick on the gas and layed down next to each tire. I wedged a steel pipe under the left side tires while spinning to stop them so I could hear the right side. No noise from any tire that sounded like cv or bearings. Got underneath the car and there is a squeaking/scratching like metal on metal coming from the drive shaft it sounds like. Cant tell if its the front U or rear just sounds like its coming from the entire drive shaft. To me it makes more sense that it would be coming from the drive shaft since I could never really tell which wheel the noise sounded like it was coming from. I wish I would have just done this from the beginning.

Does this sound right?

Thanks
Cameron

#19 987687

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 04:58 AM

Ultimately to confirm if it's the driveshaft or not, put it in FWD. Since the driveshaft won't spin in 2wd with just the front wheels off the ground the noise should go away. U-joints usually make more of a clunking noise than a squeaking noise. It could also be the carrier bearing.
You'll know for sure if it's the rear driveline though if you jack up the front and do your same test in FWD.

#20 WRX2FFU

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 07:05 AM

When my 88' front diff went, it went. Broke a gear on it and it would actually get wedged and make the car buck. Sometimes I would have to do a clutch dump to get out of the broken chunk. It was pretty violent but it got me home. :) If fact I drove it that way for 2 days. :lol:

I also had a weird clunking on a recently replaced axel. The in borad side has a little metal disk that seals off the grease in the cup. The disc was loose and bouncing around in the cv cup. It made a horrible clunking on the one side.

Sounds like you have isolated to ds issues but just thought i'd share.

#21 987687

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 07:07 AM

I also had a weird clunking on a recently replaced axel. The in borad side has a little metal disk that seals off the grease in the cup. The disc was loose and bouncing around in the cv cup. It made a horrible clunking on the one side.


I actually had that happen on a CRAPA axle I put in over the summer.

#22 WRX2FFU

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 07:14 AM

I actually had that happen on a CRAPA axle I put in over the summer.


Mine was a napa too. I got it replaced because it was under warranty.

I still like napa, my wife worked there for 13 years so I got lotsa parts really cheap. Mostly they were good and I still recomend them.

It is sad though but to compete they have had to start using chineese,and mexican parts...

#23 grossgary

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:19 AM

right, this doesn't say much about NAPA. the aftermarket axle industry is the problem, not NAPA. you can buy low percentage axles from any auto parts store just about, except Subaru and MWE. :lol: it'd be nice if places started recognizing and trying to do something about the problem but the economic incentive isn't there since buyers want cheap.

#24 WRX2FFU

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:23 AM

I don't blame NAPA. I still buy almost all of my parts there even though my wife doesn't work there anymore.

It started years ago with starters and alternators from AZ, advance, ?,. I used to buy parts form these other places and almost always eneded up having to do the job twice because of failed parts. So i decided to spend more money with NAPA parts(the discount was awesome too!). It went well for a while and then My wife told me lots of stories about how napa was changing who they bought from to save money.

Now NAPA still offers their high line parts but most of them are way more expensive than people want to pay. I almost always got the highline parts becuase with my discount it was cheap anyway.


What I have witnessed is that whn people come in or call and ask for a price, the parts person just tells them the cheapest price on the cheapest part. They don't even ask them if they want highline parts or not.

Sorry for the rant.

#25 MilesFox

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 12:15 PM

i would say bad wheel bearing causing the rotor to rub onthe caliper bracket or create clacking noises. Tryng to wiggle the tire wilbe vague with the wheel bearings considering they are a pair of roller ball bearings.

good luck, its the kind of thing you might not confirm untill you pull the wheel bearings apart.




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