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Swap axles side to side?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 uniberp

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 07:15 PM

Is this a nutty idea? I got an intermittant rumble up front, I think right side, on my 2008 Forester. It vibrated one day on the expressway until i pulled off and made a few left and right turns, but I really have no idea what caused it. Since then I hear a bump like a loose shock mount over bumps on certain roads at certain speeds. Tires are Avid Ascents at 12k miles and 32 pressure.

 

Anyhow I thought swapping the front axles side to side might be an interesting experiment, but since the noise or vibration only occurs sometimes, I don't know what the observed condition would be.

 

Will I be able to tell if the axle joint is damaged if I remove the axle? No clicking or other symptoms. I'm not a "throw hardware at it" type of person.


Edited by uniberp, 26 October 2013 - 07:17 PM.


#2 MilesFox

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:37 PM

Your clunk may be the ball joint. Yes, the axles are interchangeable side to side, but i doubt that wil accomplish anything. A worn ball joint can case the wheel to shimmy if bad enough and will rattle on bumps.

 

If the ball joint fails, the wheel rips away pulling the axle out and cramming the tire into the fender sideways, leaving the car inoperable and damaged, if not crashed.


Edited by MilesFox, 27 October 2013 - 09:45 AM.


#3 heartless

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 07:30 AM

Yup - what Miles said...

 

jack up the car, support it safely, and grab a tire at the 12 & 6 o'clock positions and try to wiggle it - see if there is any movement.



#4 MilesFox

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:44 AM

Sorry if my comment seems so startling. But you would notice a bad ball joint if you attempted to swap axles.



#5 uniberp

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 12:56 PM

Sorry if my comment seems so startling. But you would notice a bad ball joint if you attempted to swap axles.

 

I hear the rumbling occasionally still, and still it gets corrected with a few low speed tight turns. Kind of a pain when on the expressway.

 

I pulled off this morning and smelled hot boot rubber. Not split or anything, but I noticed the driver's side shaft can wiggle a little along the axis. The passenger side does not. I guess I got a tight or seizing bearing in there, probably heated up. As long as the boot is intact it probably won't catch fire.

 

Factory original axle with 80k miles.

 

 

 

At some point it will need attention



#6 lewisd

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:40 PM

wondering if your wheel bearing is ready to crap out.



#7 LetteLizard

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:58 PM

wondering if your wheel bearing is ready to crap out.

That was going to be my thought.. my truck makes horrible grinding noises, every now and then, when bearings are going bad.

 

But if I am not mistaken you can test bearings by jacking up car and wiggling tire...  ?


Edited by LetteLizard, 15 August 2014 - 12:58 PM.


#8 uniberp

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 06:58 PM

That was going to be my thought.. my truck makes horrible grinding noises, every now and then, when bearings are going bad.

 

But if I am not mistaken you can test bearings by jacking up car and wiggling tire...  ?

 

 

Wheel bearings are ok. No runout at all. It happened again coming home on the expressway, a vibration, and when I applied the brakes a rhythmic grinding timed to wheel rotation. This time it seemed to come from the left front, previously I thought it was right.

 

Nothing loose with the axles, at all. I've done many axles on subarus and kinda know this stuff.

 

As I was checking the right front wheel I noticed a little blue plastic cone cap sitting on the control arm edge. It was a cap to a gear oil squeeze bottle. I don't think I ever changed that, but I may have

 

I checked the front diff and it seemed a little overfilled. 30k change recommended, so I did. The oil that came out was cleanish, I'm letting it settle overnight to see if sparkles settle.

 

It scares me when the noise happens, I can feel the grind in the brake pedal,  but it self-corrects every time.



#9 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:34 PM

brake caliper sticking?

 

also, try swapping tires back to front.



#10 uniberp

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:07 PM

brake caliper sticking?

 

also, try swapping tires back to front.

 

New brakes since the first occurrence. Tires all new (<10k, rotated at 6k), aligned, since first occurence.

I'm hoping it was the slight overfill of the front diff causing a backlash of some kind.


Edited by uniberp, 26 August 2014 - 01:08 PM.


#11 bratman2

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:15 PM

Still could be a sticking caliper. Especially if the slide rails were not greased when the brakes were done.






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