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front drivers side clunk while moving forward.

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1 Lucky Texan, on 10 Dec 2011 - 11:36, said:snapback.png

I think your car is built like my wife's which has splined stubs
sticking out from the front diff. The big axle cups are splined
internally and slip over the stubs and are held in place by a spring
pin. However, the stubs are held into the diff by a 'circlip' (w'ever) a
circle of springwire in a groove. (IIRC)

Some of your initial symptoms seem to fit a scenario in which a 'hard'
turn (to the lock) could have pulled on the stub enough to pop it loose -
enough to compromise the diff seal - cause leakage of the fluid (which
might blow back onto the exhaust) and maybe cause the smell (diff oil
smells bad anyway - so it may smell different than engine oil if it got
on hot exhaust) thuinking and other odd driveline sensations you report.

Doesn't mean any of that is correct, but it's something different to
look for. (could be the previous owner got an axle that was too short -
or, the stub was pulled out of it's groove just slightly when the old
axle was pulled out, but your hard turn when reversing pulled it more,
comprimised the seal, it bound-up and is now so far out of place is
intermittently engaging internally)

I came across this in search and believe I have this happened. 99
legacy brighton wagon with automatic and 270,000 miles. Original cv
axle, boot is not cracked or showing leakage.  I have seepage from the drivers side diff, smell
as it hits exhaust, and the clunking noise under load while accelerating
even on straight line. not while turning. clunking got faster as speed
increased. no clunking while still and engine running. If diff stub/spline did
"pop" out, how hard is it to get it re-seated and sealed?

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Search for "ERIC THE CAR GUY" vids on YouTube. He has a 2 part vid on how to remove an reinstall the axle shafts on his older OBW. The guy is a licensed mechanic, and I was impressed with his video. I think you'll find what you need. I know that if I ever need to tackle the job, I won't hesitate at all after watching his vid. You might even try under Subaru Axle Shaft Repair looking for his "ETCG" signature. Good Luck

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thanks gbhrps, I checked them out. I didn't find anything about the if the stub slips out of the differential (as if you pull the cv axle and the differential shaft comes with it). Does it just pop back in or am I out of luck.  Thank you for the recommendation.  I'll register with his website and post question there as well.  It's not a whine noise but a clunking sound that speeds up and slows down with car speed. nothing while sitting still.

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