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stupid axle nuts...


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13 replies to this topic

#1 hooziewhatsit

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Posted 17 December 2004 - 11:09 PM

on my '88 d/r GL wagon I've recently been getting bad grinding from the left front wheel when going slow. As I slow, so does the grinding. It seems to be one 'grind' per revolution. It mainly does it while coasting or going slow.

I had this same problem last winter on the same wheel, and discovered the axle nut was loose (thank God for cotter pins). Anyways, tightened it back up and it's been fine.

Also had similar grinding on the right rear after doing a brake job and not tightening the axle nut enough. Again, tighten it up and it's been fine.

So here's the current problem:
I have it as tight as I can get it, put the cotter pin (which is loose) and it's fine - no grinding.

soon as I drive a little bit, the grinding comes back, and the axle nut has only backed off enough to make the cotter pin be snug (ie, about 1-2 degrees of revolution).


I've jacked it up and the tire doesn't rock or otherwise make noise. Tomorrow I can back the nut off a little and see if it does while jacked up or not.

So is this bearings going out or what? My fix in the past isn't working anymore.


lol, that got to be a long post,

Thanks for the help
-Dave


ps, I need to stop browsing around here - makes me want to put a turbo in or do other cool mods :)

#2 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 17 December 2004 - 11:12 PM

Sounds like it might be your bearings. Since the castle nut rotates with the hub and CV's, i dont see how that would cause a grinding noise.

-Brian

#3 GLCraig

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 12:04 AM

It sounds like the splines in the hub have gone bad. Pull off the hub and take a look, if they spines come to a sharp point then they are bad. From what I remember there should be about .040" to .060" of flat across the the top of the splines.

#4 subiemech85

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 12:20 AM

use a torque wrench, 150 ftlbs
the cone washer and spring washer may be bad or in the wrong way

#5 hooziewhatsit

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 12:57 AM

I assume the cone washer and spring washer are the first two washers that come off after the axle nut?

If that's the case, the cone washer looks fine, but the spring washer was slightly convex and had a very small rim around the edge. I cleaned them both off and put them back in.

I found a site here: http://cybrina.mine....el_bearings.htm
that details some of the bearing replacement process. I don't have the puller, but I do have a hammer :grin:


I'll see what I can get apart and find out tomorrow or sunday and go from there.

I assume it would be fine to drive on for a while? I'm planning on going back to folks' place for christmas which is 265 miles north. If need be I can get our good suby mechanic there to look at it.

thanks for the replies so far
-Dave

#6 Numbchux

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 12:59 AM

mine does this too, and my cotter pin was missing when I bought the car, the nut was loose, but mildly rusted (it wasn't coming out) tightening it didn't help, and I cannot reproduce the sound when jacked up, I'm hoping the rear disc swap this weekend *crosses fingers* will solve the problem. i.e. hub/spline problem, otherwise, I bet bearings.

#7 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 01:24 AM

bearings can be removed with a hammer and a metal rod of some sort. To install new ones you can gently tap them into the hub. Be very careful not to strike the inner race, and everything should go smoothly. I used a socket that was the same diameter of the outer race one time, and that was the best way to go at the time. Ive also used a chunk of 2x4 to dampen the blow, but I'd be affraid of getting wood chips in the bearings.

All-in-all, front wheel bearings arent difficult at all and its something every subaru driver should have to go through at least once in their life :)

-Brian

#8 edrach

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 02:44 AM

A number of things can cause the axle nuts to "loosen". If the curved portion of the CVJ is dirty when installed you're tightening it with dirt between the joint and the hub and as you drive, the dirt goes away and the nut is now loose. Nextly a bad cone washer can cause you grief. Also, the wavy flat washer goes in only one correct way...I believe the colored dot is to the outside. It's not the bearings that are bad if tightening the castle nut makes the grinding go away. Lastly, Craig is right about worn splines in the hub.

#9 phishy75

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 03:58 AM

i fixed a similar sound on my rear left side by just packing grease into the bearing. didn't even have to remove or replace the bearing. different of course on the front with the cv, but you might want to just pack it with grease before you try tourquing down the nut.

#10 hooziewhatsit

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 02:03 PM

Hey all

Got the hub off this morning. Around the outer edge the splines have a flat top about the size that CraigGT suggested they should be. Although, as you can see in the picture, further in they go to a point.

I assume this means I need a new hub?

When I put it back on I assume I can put some hi-temp grease on the axle?

The axle itself looks fine; the splines have a flat top.

The bearings on the inside don't look excessively clean. For now I'll probably just throw some more hi-temp grease in and call it good?

Thanks for the help.
-Dave

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#11 hooziewhatsit

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 06:47 PM

Went to the junkyard and picked up a new hub/rotor combo. That hub had flat tops on all the splines, so I knew mine was working on being stripped.

Anywho, finally got it all put back together and no more grinding :)


However, since the new rotor is slightly thicker than my old one, I think the brake pads are rubbing all the time, causing a yummy smell. Tomorrow when it gets warm again I'll screw the piston in a little bit and see if that helps.

thanks for the help.
-Dave

#12 Will Smith

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 10:34 AM

there is a tapered washer behind the axle nut. the washer should be wider to the outside of the vehicle, narrower to the center.

#13 SAR-baru

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 01:16 AM

When I first got my Beast/Sarah, I went through this process too.. turned out that two of the lug-nuts on my right rim were just barely loose enough for the rim to wobble when i started driving. i couldn't get it to wobble when it was up on the jack, though.. but they still managed to tighten down two turns..

#14 Numbchux

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 01:23 AM

well I went to a JY this morning, and found a Gl-10 Turbowagon!!! but it was FWD :banghead: then I thought i'd just get a new drum (it's a cheap yard, what the heck) so we found another GL, and broke a needlenose trying to get one cotter pin out (it won, other side!) and broke a 1/2" drive craftsman ratchet on the nut on the other side, needless to say, I didn't get a drum, and we stopped at sears on the way home (yea craftsman!), but I'm glad this was posted, now I'm like 98% sure what's wrong with my car now! yay




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