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Driveline/vibrations 86 GL


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10 replies to this topic

#1 dem577

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:00 PM

'86 GL 4x4 Sedan automatic-
Maybe it's a newbie question, and I don't care, I'm a newbie at 50 to Subies and in one short year now own 4 I like them so much.
Situation: Huge vibration through out vehicle at 25 mph and above.
Question: Can I remove the driveshaft and 'take it out of the system' and still drive the car? It's probably a piss poor way to trouble shoot the u-joints in the driveshaft, but....

I do not know how to troubleshoot the cv joints on the rear axles either. There is no clicking or anything and they seem 'tight' to the touch/shake/pushing up & down. Is the solution 'throw dollars at new parts' and see what happens? LOL, it's been done before.

Thanks. Doug, 50 year old newbie

#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:42 PM

Can I remove the driveshaft and 'take it out of the system' and still drive the car? It's probably a piss poor way to trouble shoot the u-joints in the driveshaft, but....


You can remove the rear section but not the front. The front section holds all the tranny fluid in. But if you get all 4 wheels up in the air you should be able to detect any play in the joints. They are, unfortunately, staked in place and according to official documentation "not repairable", however they can be removed (with some effort) if you are careful and there are joints (for a toyota I beleive) that can be fitted. It's generally better to find a good used one unless you think you'll need to do it again in the life of the vehicle.

I do not know how to troubleshoot the cv joints on the rear axles either. There is no clicking or anything and they seem 'tight' to the touch/shake/pushing up & down. Is the solution 'throw dollars at new parts' and see what happens? LOL, it's been done before.


The "solution" is the same as for the driveline - remove each one and see if it makes a difference. I'll tell you right now your rear axles aren't the cause though - I have never seen one fail on a non-lifted Subaru of the 4WD vintage.

Your description sounds like either a bad u-joint or, quite possibily, a bad front inner DOJ. The inner axle joints are a type of CV known as a Double Offset Joint - when they fail, or lose their grease protection, they vibrate to an obscene degree.

GD

#3 grossgary

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:42 AM

DOJ of the front axle is a good one to check out. that sounds more likely to me based on what i read in your post and all the times i've ridden in soobs that have had both items fail (ujoints and CV axles DOJ).

did it gradually come on or just all of a sudden start one day?

if it is you'll want to replace it soon - i drove one too long and the vibration killed the speedo gears inside the transmission case - turns out they're plastic and that DOJ joint on one side is nearly adjacent to them, although the case is between them. they're internal to the trans so trans replacement is required to fix.

you can crawl under and grab the driveshaft looking for ujoint play. also have a light handy, if they're seized they'll be stiff as a board and not move at all. this failure won't feel like anything, but you might be able to see it if you look really close at the actual ujoints and know what to look for.

if you remove the driveshaft you won't need to drive around - it'll be really obvious which joint has failed. it'll either be seized, very sloppy, or lumpy feeling when moving it by hand.

i'd replace the axle with used or rebuild it with Rockford ujoints (they make one that fits). and the CV axles i'd replace with an MWE unit or try and find an original subaru in good shape and reboot it (not what i would do but take your pick!). aftermarket axles are extremely low quality (read all the threads on here about it "i bought a new axle and it....still vibrates...blew up.....leaks...).

#4 dem577

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 09:35 AM

Thank you, Gentlemen. Your help on this board has been invaluable to helping me resurrect a GL that has sat for 10 years. I will post some pics this week when I'm officially 'done' and driving it daily.

#5 presslab

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 05:57 PM

I had two of my u-joints in my driveshaft go bad and it caused vibrations at around 40 MPH. Once the driveshaft parts were out it was obvious that the u-joints were partially siezed up. I replaced them all with the clip in Rockford kind but I had a tough time getting them centered. After I got that sorted out the driveshaft now works like it should without any vibration.

#6 Reveeen

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:26 PM

I had a tough time getting them centered.

The yokes are as soft as butter, any kind of "thrashing" on them, and they bend. I cut the centers (of the "U" joint) out with a disk grinder (cutter disk), carefully tap the cups inward, and de-burr the holes with a die grinder, this is after marking the pre-disassembly relationship of the parts, so I can put it together EXACTLY how it came apart. I push the new joint caps in with a "C" clamp carefully so as not to bend the soft yokes.

#7 presslab

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:58 PM

I had a tough time getting them centered.

The yokes are as soft as butter, any kind of "thrashing" on them, and they bend. I cut the centers (of the "U" joint) out with a disk grinder (cutter disk), carefully tap the cups inward, and de-burr the holes with a die grinder, this is after marking the pre-disassembly relationship of the parts, so I can put it together EXACTLY how it came apart. I push the new joint caps in with a "C" clamp carefully so as not to bend the soft yokes.


I'm not sure what my problem was; it seemed the u-joints were not quite the correct width.

When I solved the vibration issue, I used a digital caliper to measure the depth of the cups, and nudged them around until they were centered exactly. The clips were not tight up against the yoke at this point, but the cups were a pretty tight fit in the yoke so I didn't worry too much. After doing this, the vibration issue was solved and I have been driving on the new joints for a couple years now.

#8 Reveeen

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:18 PM

Every Rockford joint I ever bought for a Subaru fit EXACTLY.

http://www.rockfordd...ked In Page.pdf

430-10

Also available @ NAPA (a Rockford joint in a NAPA box)

#9 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:43 PM

Might be a Foolish Suggestion, but Sometimes the more Simple Li`l Things can Cause Huge Problems: Have you Checked the Tires / Tire Balance \ Tire Damage and their Air Pressure?

if your Subie Sat for 10 Years, your Subie`s Tires Maybe are a Li`l Bit "Squared" at this Time. So I Suggest to Check `em First.

Good Luck! :burnout:

#10 Flowmastered87GL

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 11:15 PM

I had my U joint go out... mine was on the rear diff end of the driveshaft. It was WAY off center by the time it nearly failed. $25 for a used low mileage part and a beer mug to have a friend (thanks Mark) put it in and I was back on my way :banana:

I had like 270K maybe when mine died. The transplant had only like 115K

It did what you are explaining too... vibrated... mainly under power at higher speeds. Not so much when coasting.

#11 dem577

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 06:32 PM

It is the u-joints on my GL that have failed. There is a tiny 'hitch' in the rear-most joint. While most likely not recommended by Subaru, I have been driving it with the rear half of the driveshaft laying on the garage floor...smooth as silk. Thanks for all your help. Now if I can figure out these staked u-joints!




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