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Jadu108

Humming/groaning/droning noise from front.

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Im getting a humming noise in the front of the vehicle. Noise starts at 30, gets loudest at 50/55. When breaking it is audible until stop. Breaking hard makes it audibly worse... Changing lanes to try and put pressure on the suspected side doesnt really cause a noticable difference. But being in the driver seat to hear exactly where it is coming from. Its definitely coming from the right of me, but im having a hard time telling if its the wheel well or something closer to me. I really cant figure it out. Not excessive play in the tire, neither from side to side, top to bottom, or in an out..., i can maybe move the shaft of the axle a tiny amount when i grip it. Diagnosis has been inconclusive. This is really bugging me and setting me back. Is it transmission, axle, bearing? Uhg. Any help is appreciated. 

Its definitely not tread noise, i changed the tires yesterday. Ive also replaced ball joints, tie rods and rack and pinion. None of those have answered the issue. Brakes were recently done but it doesnt sound like brake noise... And its not road noise... Salt lake has like 50 different types of road and the noise is consistent. So consistent it haunts me...

Also feeling the hubs around the bearing, none feel excessivley hot.

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you did great troubleshooting already!

maybe find a way to rent or borrow some Chassis Ears - or pay a shop equipped with them try to narrow the diagnosis for you.

 

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IMO  wheel bearings are the most likely, but to see/feel actual wobble you need to press back the caliper pistons. 

When the brakes are at rest they kinda hold the wheel in place, preventing wobble.

Pull the wheel off, pry back the brake pads a little, put the wheel back on and see if the hub wobbles.

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if you want to check for wheel bearings, jack up so both front wheels are in the air.  spin one wheel by hand while holding onto the strut coil.  you'll feel some grittiness on the one with bad bearings.

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Im going to do one more drive with a friend to verify the position of the noise, as well jacking the car up when im back.

But im getting a lot of feed back for wheel bearing.

A couple follow up questions.

So far im getting quotes in excess of 100$ to have a shop press a new bearing into the hub. Is that fair? Seems ridiculous to me. One shop refused to press a bearing and insisted they do the job start to finish...

Am i able to do this without a press? Or would pulling a fresh looking hub in the junk yard be the way to go without a press?

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I could probably rent one. Actually. Which i probably will.

Friend says he hears the noise more in the floorboard area closer to the transmission exceot when im braking then its def in the wheel well. 

i can definitely feel it in the spring when the car is jacked up.

I imagine the noise just resonates down the axle when there isnt much load?

Well regardless. Seems i know what tomorrow's project will be. Thank you guys.

Any tips or tricks I could use?

 

 

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can't believe no one has asked what year

not sure exactly what year it started, but newer models have a bolt on hub with the bearing in it that is a separate piece attached to the knuckle - you can replace just that part rather than screwing around with pressing bearings out/in. The other half just did one on his 06 Outback.

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If it's pre-05 for front bearings they must be pressed. 

Subaru specifically disallows use of a hydraulic press for this due to the danger of deforming the knuckle. 

It should also be done on the car so as to not disturb the alignment. 

Dealer replacement pricing for the pressed in bearings is in the neighborhood of $700. The job is 3.2 hours labor with the Subaru specific on-car press tool. If you bring me a bare knuckle it's still going to be about 1.25 hours so $125. Including measuring the bearing pocket for deformation. And then you'll need an alignment. Plus you want to use a quality bearing, seals, and may need a new hub. Do the math. 

We use a hub tamer (hub grappler actually), and we charge $400 without a new hub, or $450 with a new hub.

So how much are you really going to save? Beware anyone that's going to press this for cheap. They probably shouldn't be doing it. 

Keep in mind that we see other shops screw this up routinely. It is very easy to get in way over your head. From rusted axle splines, to deformed knuckle pockets, hub's with severe wear lips, and other nasty surprises. If you have no experience pressing bearings, do yourself a favor and have it done professionally or get a used knuckle from the junk yard. 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder
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While you did say the noise was to the right of driver, in the front of the car, in my case similar symptoms turned out to be drive shaft u joint.

You still haven't identified the year/model of the car.

As GD pointed out, 05+ have bolt on hub/wheel bearing assembly which will save you money and time.

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Sorry. 95 legacy.

There isnt a prepressed assmebly for older models unfortunately.

General disorder. I had one subaru shop here in Salt Lake(mark miller subie) say the exact same thing you did about subaru not wanting to do it, but the other said theyd do it for like 200$(nate wade subie).

Honestly, im travelling, recovering from my other vehicle being totaled,and funds are limited as i still need to get home.

Honestly i bought a new bearing, but im gonna try and take the advice and go to the junk yard it this morning. I remember seeing a few good knuckles in the yard attatched to some fresh looking axles. Fingers crossed and Hopefully they are still there.

 

Edited by Jadu108
Typo

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Also alignment is alrdy gone. When i was given the car the immediate concerns were ball joints, tie rods, rack and pinion, brakes, rotors and calipers and ive replaced them.

So the alignment is thr last thing im doing as obviously im still getting at that area.

Also i do have experience in bearing pressing, buts its been a really long time since ive done it(like 10 or 11 yeara) and i do not have a press, or access to one.

Edited by Jadu108
Clarification

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Was there much rust when you did the balljoints?  If those came out easy the bearings would come out easy also.  Get the press kit, unhook the ball joint and you'd have enough room to do it on car.  I like to also unhook the tie rod to get even more access.  Make sure you find and remove the snapring.

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For a first-timer, more detail is helpful. In addition to the "press kit" you will need the "hub and bearing" part unless you have a press and bearing remover.
The seals are sold separately, also.

I've never done one on the car. I supposed if I did I'd still want my press to remove the outer race from the hub. 

GDisorders note about checking the knuckle pocket for out-of-round is totally news to me. I suppose i'll eventually buy a bore guage.

BR930557K-1__ra_p.jpg

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When you see a car with play in the "bearing", you replace it correctly with all new parts only to find it still has 1/2" of play at the tire..... you will definitely check bearing pockets for distortion from being abused on a press. 

GD

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The ball joint was the biggest bitch to remove... So i took generals advice and pulled one from junk yard. Found one that had a new axle nut, and lo and behold the bearing looks near new too.

Time to take it home, clean it up and regrease, throw it on and ill get back with results.

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Wheel bearing is replaced. Followed Generals advice as for pulling from the junk yard. 1000 times better. 

There was no wheel play but after the whole assy was off, there was a ridiculous amount of play in that bearing...

Thank you General.

Thanks to everyone else.

I believe my free car is finally able to ve safely driven back home. :)

 

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Glad it worked out but what the hell homes?

Nearby machine shop it's  $50 while you wait to press in a stupid bearing!

Done it twice on my subarus, this isnt some goofy one man operation in a corner, its Napa! 

Thats a reason to hug an old school chevy, you can hit those wheel bearings in with a big socket but never go bad cause you can simply take a fistful of grease and cram it in there without removing the wheel even.

Cheers man, happy wrenching! 

 

Edited by sparkyboy

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Dude there was no 50$ shop to press it in for me.

Subaru #1 wouldn't do it. Subaru #2 wanted 200$. spoob holes wouldnt touch it. Some wouldnt do it for less than 100. And most ppl made up some liability excuse...

I really got left without much choice unfortunately

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5 hours ago, sparkyboy said:

Glad it worked out but what the hell homes?

Nearby machine shop it's  $50 while you wait to press in a stupid bearing!

Done it twice on my subarus, this isnt some goofy one man operation in a corner, its Napa! 

Thats a reason to hug an old school chevy, you can hit those wheel bearings in with a big socket but never go bad cause you can simply take a fistful of grease and cram it in there without removing the wheel even.

Cheers man, happy wrenching! 

 

just because you have that option where you are does not mean everyone has that option. Different areas, dude.

Just like there is no such thing as a "pull n pay" junkyard near me.. customers are NOT allowed out in the junk yards around here anymore. I can not go find a car, pull the part I want and go pay for it. Nope.. have to go to the front counter, ask for what i need, wait for one of their employees to go get it (if they even have it) and pay premium prices for that privilege. <_<

and there are very few shops around here that will do the kind of work you are suggesting anymore, either. That is just the way it is now.

Be grateful you still have that option, but also realize that not everyone does.

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Napa machine shop work, scored egregiously below limits:  there's no machine in my county, dealers use a NAPA in an adjacent county so I tried it:

 

Edited by idosubaru

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14 hours ago, sparkyboy said:

Glad it worked out but what the hell homes?

Nearby machine shop it's  $50 while you wait to press in a stupid bearing!

Done it twice on my subarus, this isnt some goofy one man operation in a corner, its Napa! 

Thats a reason to hug an old school chevy, you can hit those wheel bearings in with a big socket but never go bad cause you can simply take a fistful of grease and cram it in there without removing the wheel even.

Cheers man, happy wrenching! 

 

 

You might have someone at a NAPA that actually knows what they are doing - that is not at all the norm. I don't buy parts there and I wouldn't even consider them for machine work. If it came down to that (and it has with some things and I've carried out the threat) I would just buy the machine tools and do it my d*mn self. 

And as with almost everything - if you want it done right, do it yourself. OR - pay an a$$load to someone like me that can actually do it properly on the car with the correct tools prescribed by the engineers who designed it. 

It's only "expensive" because of the perceived value of the vehicle and your time. IS your time worth more than the proper repair? If not then do it twice or three times and spend your time rather than your money. Or you can sell your time using the skills YOU have and trade it for money that you buy the skills WE have with. Up to you. But it does say a lot about a person when you consider all the angles doesn't it?

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder
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On 5/15/2019 at 1:12 AM, GeneralDisorder said:

If it's pre-05 for front bearings they must be pressed. 

Subaru specifically disallows use of a hydraulic press for this due to the danger of deforming the knuckle. 

It should also be done on the car so as to not disturb the alignment. 

Dealer replacement pricing for the pressed in bearings is in the neighborhood of $700. The job is 3.2 hours labor with the Subaru specific on-car press tool. If you bring me a bare knuckle it's still going to be about 1.25 hours so $125. Including measuring the bearing pocket for deformation. And then you'll need an alignment. Plus you want to use a quality bearing, seals, and may need a new hub. Do the math. 

We use a hub tamer (hub grappler actually), and we charge $400 without a new hub, or $450 with a new hub.

So how much are you really going to save? Beware anyone that's going to press this for cheap. They probably shouldn't be doing it. 

Keep in mind that we see other shops screw this up routinely. It is very easy to get in way over your head. From rusted axle splines, to deformed knuckle pockets, hub's with severe wear lips, and other nasty surprises. If you have no experience pressing bearings, do yourself a favor and have it done professionally or get a used knuckle from the junk yard. 

GD

Interesting.  Had my son do this job at the dealer and he said they only use the Hubshark for the rears?  I have done the job on about five or six bearings with the Harbor Freight tool and other than one misfortune with trying to press the bearing out the wrong way that wrecked the bolt it works amazingly.  The car involved is a 99 with 540k miles so when it dies again probably will scrap the car since it has a number of body issues and rust.

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On 5/15/2019 at 9:12 AM, Jadu108 said:

Sorry. 95 legacy.

There isn't a pre-pressed assembly for older models unfortunately.

General disorder. I had one Subaru shop here in Salt Lake(mark miller subie) say the exact same thing you did about Subaru not wanting to do it, but the other said they'd do it for like 200$(nate wade subie).

Honestly, I'm travelling, recovering from my other vehicle being totaled,and funds are limited as i still need to get home.

Honestly i bought a new bearing, but I'm gonna try and take the advice and go to the junk yard it this morning. I remember seeing a few good knuckles in the yard attatched to some fresh looking axles. Fingers crossed and Hopefully they are still there.

 

Did this job on the wife's 2004 Ford Explorer and the rears are available as an assembly (knuckle, brake backing plate and hub).  Wish I had known that before I bought all the parts individually.

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