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Guest Message by DevFuse

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97 legacy wagon.help with noise issues from front axle/bearing.

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2 replies to this topic

#1 Cpm590



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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:32 PM

Had the front axles replaced last year. Recently started hearing squealing noise coming from the front. It was hard to pin point while driving but was thinking wheel bearing. Jacked and Hand turned each wheel. The sound seemed to be coming from the inner axle/diffrential area. I checked the diff oil and it was way above the full line. Changed the diff oil and it seemed quieter at first but still getting the noise. Not sure what steps to take next. Can the wheel bearing transfer the noise up the axle shaft to where it would sound like its coming from the inner axle? Also on tight turns like at a stop sign both left and right the turns aren't smooth. There isn't any clicking but just feels kinda of segmented. The new axles only have about 11k so feel like it shouldn't be the cv joint. Can the tie rods create these issues? Sorry I realize its a lot of info. Any help anyone has to offer would be great. Thanks.

#2 Fairtax4me



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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:55 PM

Only thing I can think of if youre sure its coming from the differential end of the axle, maybe the inner dust cover on the axle cup is rubbing against the differential case.
Much more common for the brake pads to squeak from rubbing against the caliper piston and on the slide shims on the mounting bracket. This can usually be fixed by removing the pads and throughly cleaning the backs of the pads and the shims on the bracket. Then applying a smear of high temp brake grease to the back sides of the pads where they make contact with the caliper.

The jerky, jumpy turning is usually what's called "Torque Bind", caused by the drivetrain when going around corners. The wheels all need to turn different speeds, and the speed difference from left to right gets sorted out by the front and rear differentials. But there is also a speed difference between front and rear wheels, which normally is sorted out by the center differential (in manual trans) or AWD transfer clutches (in automagic). If the transfer packs (or center diff) fail they lock up and don't allow the necessary speed difference between front and rear. This causes the drivetrain to twist until there is enough torque to force the clutches in the AWD unit to slip. The twist is relieved for about a foot, then it starts to bind again, releases, bind, release, which is what causes the jumping feeling. The process repeats itself until the car is going straight again.

Automagics are most prone to this, and there is a way to test if the clutches are bad or of the solenoid (Duty C solenoid) the controls fluid pressure to the clutches is functioning properly. Under the hood on the passenger strut tower at the back is a small black fuse holder which should say FWD on top. Put a fuse in the holder (any fuse) and the trans will be forced into FWD only. This mode takes all of the line pressure off of the AWD transfer clutch pack which should make it unlock completely. The FWD light on the dash should also turn on. If the jumping feeling goes away, its because the clutches are "sticky" and may need to be replaced.
If it doesn't go away, the Duty C solenoid may be bad, or the clutch pack is damaged and is no longer able to unlock. (Grooves wear into the sides and wedge the clutch plates together)
Generally its best to try changing the ATF first, just drain and refill 3 times with short drives in between. It can help to do tight circles in reverse. If that doesn't help the clutch pack needs to be replaced.
In a manual trans there is no way to service the center diff and it just needs to be replaced.

#3 Cpm590



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Posted 27 September 2013 - 11:54 AM

Ok I'll take a look at that. Can that be addressed without taking the axle off? I still think there is an issue with the bearing as well and plan to replace that next so I would be able to check it then if it does need to come off. Thanks

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