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2000 Outback drive shaft problem?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 kwkslvr

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:11 PM

The car has suddenly started making a load whamming and thumping noise when going over bumps, even at low speeds. DH jacked it up and, after checking to see if there was any wobble or movement in either rear tire (there wasn't) crawled underneath and checked the differential. Apparently there is no grease that would indicate a leak anywhere but as the shaft is turned by hand something is making that clunking noise. We also heard it when either of the rear wheels were turned by hand. (it's an automatic. 1-2-3-D)
Is this indicating a problem with the differential? DH had noticed once or twice in the last weeks that the car didn't shift into high gear immediately. I haven't noticed that problem but don't doubt he did.
The old girl has 169K miles on her and everything is original and, up recently, working fine with no weirdness.


ETA: Now the check engine light has turned on, then off, then on a while later. Will get to OBD out and see what pops, will check diff. for fluid level and check back with results.

#2 nipper

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 03:46 PM

Differntials either whine (gets louder as you go faster) or thunk when changing direction. (from drive to reverse).

You need to check the lube level in the siff. You also need to check the universals in the driveshaft, and the carrier bearing.

Do you feel any vibrations that come and go at highway speed?

A bad strut is also a possbaility. INspect all the rubber bushings also. How are the exhuats hangers?


BTW noises are hard to diagnose over the net, so best we can do is guide you :)

nipper

#3 kwkslvr

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 04:24 PM

Differntials either whine (gets louder as you go faster) or thunk when changing direction. (from drive to reverse).

You need to check the lube level in the siff. You also need to check the universals in the driveshaft, and the carrier bearing.

Do you feel any vibrations that come and go at highway speed?

A bad strut is also a possbaility. INspect all the rubber bushings also. How are the exhuats hangers?


BTW noises are hard to diagnose over the net, so best we can do is guide you :)

nipper


Ok, thanks will do.

I had a 4wd at one time with u joint problems and I remember the sound of that... bad! This isn't quite like that. Don't feel any vibrations, the little beast rides like silk.

First thing will be check that lube. Then will proceed from there.

I'm glad for the guidance as I have very little mechanical ability... DH is good, though. He won't work on the engine or the tranny on the Sube but lubes and such things he will do.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 05:10 PM

odd combo of syptoms for sure, particularly considering there aren't any typical failure items back there - ujoints would be the only that are "common".

a few questions:

if it's making a noise that should help immensely in tracking this down. is the noise at the hub (wheel), rear diff, or center of the car (driveshaft). the only two that could be close and hard to tell apart are the rear diff and last one (of three) driveshaft ujoints.

can you tell if it's more noticeable left-to-right or more central?

is there any history of repairs back there, accident, axle boot, etc?

if you can see (not sure how much room you'll have to look), see if the struts appear wet, like they are loosing oil.

did you read that check engine light code yet?

i'd be suspicious of the rear axles too...but really only if there's been any previous work - like an accident or repaired boot.

i've never seen a bad driveshaft not vibrate or only make noise when hitting a bump - but not saying that's impossible, particularly considering axles can be problematic.

#5 nipper

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 05:32 PM

hrmmmm

What happens when the car is driven in a tight circle?


nipper

#6 grossgary

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:12 PM

What happens when the car is driven in a tight circle?

oh man, stand back, his thinking juices are flowing!!

#7 kwkslvr

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 04:51 PM

I bought this Roo used so am not sure about accidents. It came back clean on the carfax report, though. The mechanics at the Roo dealership believed that everything was original, though. (I don't know how they could tell but they seemed to be sure.)
DH was in a "minor" accident in the car last July. Backing out of a tight space he clipped the rear bumper of a Yukon who was haulin' thru the lot (tore the bumper right off the suv.) Didn't do much damage (we thought) at the time but it may have thrown something off and we're seeing a landslide effect.
The noise seems to come from the point where the axle joins the wheel assembly. We think...
It behaves just fine when driven in a tight circle. No weird handling, no odd noises, it's only that hard metallic whamming sound when going over bumps. It's louder on the passenger side than on the driver's but present on both. It doesn't always do it when "bounced" by two people pushing down on it at the back, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.
We have found that, when the rear tires are off the ground and moved to partially rotate them, we do hear a clunking noise. It's present on both sides, but again, much louder on the passenger side.
There doesn't seem to be any wetness of any kind in the rear end. That's one of the first things we looked for and when we checked again, nothing anywhere.
The engine light is still coming on for a while, sometimes as soon as the key is turned, sometimes a ways down the road and, more oddly, sometimes it doesn't come on at all.
Haven't' had a chance to get the OBD on, yet. DH is currently replacing the engine in one of the kid's cars and is tearing his hair out about that. (nothing like a ford for having a weird-o electrical harness.)
He will get the lube done ASAP but why would a low level cause the noises on bumps?
This is weird. I'm not a mechanic by any means but none of this fits into any reasonable explanation I can come up with.
I sure do appreciate any advice, though. Love that car!

#8 nipper

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 04:55 PM

im guessing a blown strut or broken strut. Thats about the only place where you can bounce the car and make a noise. Next would be a borken exhaust hanger. Then finally a suspension bushing.


nipper

#9 kwkslvr

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:21 PM

OK, will check those out.
That would make sense, too, because (at least to my untrained ear) it sounds like some type of a suspension issue. Almost as if the shocks or what were shocks years ago are bad.
Will be sure to check the exhaust hangers, as well. The whole length of the shield around the exhaust has been rattling for some time. It may be that one of the kids, driving on gravel, bottomed the car out and is not 'fessing up to it.
DH believes he can either reweld the shields or take them off? Has anyone done that?

#10 nipper

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:23 PM

How many miles on this car?


nipper

#11 kwkslvr

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:29 PM

169k.

#12 nipper

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:35 PM

You are overdue for struts. Blu did the same thing at 190,000 miles, a front one was blown and a rear one broken. I thought the rear noise was the exhaust system, but new struts made it go away.


nipper

#13 kwkslvr

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 07:05 PM

All right!
I didn't realize that the struts needed to be changed out...
Will do that as soon as possible.

#14 nipper

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 07:19 PM

Technically the may need replacing anywhere from 60,000 miles up, but sooby's they start to share failure around 150K or better

I recomned KYB GR-2's. They are cheaper then factory, a little bit on the stiff side (at this point anything you put in there is going to feel stiff) when cold, but great struts.


nipper

PS have you ever replaced the PCV valve?

#15 grossgary

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:08 PM

the heat shields can be welded keeping in mind they are aluminum and the exhaust is cast iron. hose clamps will fix them too. chance you won't really be able to remove them without damage (rusty bolts), so welding off the car might be tough.

for the check engine light - just pull the codes. get a scanner for $40, plug it in and do it yourself and then be able to do any other OBDII car in the world (most since 1997) for the rest of your life (basically i'm saying it's a great investment/tool!). or have autozone/advanced/any other place that does it - pull the codes for free.

do us (yourself!!!) a favor - if you have the codes pulled, make certainly you right down the actual code it gives you. don't listen to their interpretation or what they think it is, suggestions, etc. we want the exact code in the ECU.

nipper has you covered - the bouncing test you spoke of definitely makes the struts sound suspicious.

#16 kwkslvr

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:40 AM

Will advise DH to check the struts for sure. He took the car to work this a.m. so will have a bettr chance of figuring out just what is going on.

Would be nice to do something about that blasted shield. Thing is annoying, it isn't a big mechanical problem but makes a lot of noise. He may try fastening the thing up tighter before spot welding it. Have a good friend who is a welder by trade and he might do it if I ask nicely and make him a big batch of shrimp etouffee... :)

When we get the autoxray on the car, will take note of the codes and let you know. I haven't checked the manual that we usually rely on for such thing so don't know if subys are listed or not. Yay or nay, will reportback.

#17 sidedown

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 12:57 PM

Not sure if anybody suggested this yet. Have you checked the rear sway bar end links? I has the same car and at about the same mileage the end links both dried up and would rattle around when going over bumps at any speed.

If you're not familiar with that part they look like small barbells and are attached behind both rear wheels to the sway bar which crosses underneath the rear of the car.

#18 kwkslvr

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 01:48 PM

OK, will check those, as well.

We'll get this figured out. Thanks everyone.

#19 kwkslvr

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:02 PM

Turned out to be the rear struts. Replaced them and the noises stopped. Thanks for all your help!

BTW, check enginge light still indicating problems, see here: http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=101724




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