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destey

Vibration in 2000 Legacy starting at 30mph

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Got a 2000 Legacy GT limited sedan auto. It developed a vibration that first starts being felt at 30 then gets worse at 45 and pretty bad at 50.  I thought it was the driveshaft, put in a new one and its still doing it. Replaced all 4 cv shafts and rear wheel bearings a little over a year ago. Could it be the front wheel bearings? Spinning the front wheels, they feel smooth and no slop when I have the car up on my lift. Not sure what else it could be. Put 4 new tires on last year, doesn't really feel like out of balance tires anyway. Any ideas?

Edited by destey

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yeah, what ^^^^ said.

 

swap tire pairs front to back. while doing that, check that calipers are free to slide and brake pad wear is even, inside vs outside. wouldn't hurt to examine axle nuts in case one is loose.

 

is it a vibration you feel in the steering wheel or just 'everywhere'?

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Calipers and rotors are all new. I've had tires lose weights before and that seems more like a shake and shimmy. This feels like a strong low to mid frequency vibration. Can feel it a tiny bit in the steering wheel, barely noticable, but the rear view mirror vibrates enough that everything looks blurry. I looked the wheels over and they seem to have the weights from when it was balanced, I don't see any missing. Could it be the rear differential?

Edited by destey

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rear diffs are very robust I guess, extremely rare to read of a failure but, anything can fail.

you might experiment with the FWD fuse to perhpas eliminate a torque bind issue - does the car buck/jerk/grab when maneuvering tight turns in parking lots?

 

 

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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It does have that binding on sharp corners when parking. Though when I had it up on the lift and drove it while my father watched everything to see where the vibration was (only took it up to 20-25) , the clutch pack did seem to be able to engage and disenage the rear driveshaft. The harsh grab seemed kind of bad for the drivetrain which is why I didn't take it up to a higher speed.

 

edit not sure if this is causing it, but I did notice the fluid level in the transmission is a bit overfilled.

Edited by destey
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Get it up to speed on the highway, where the vibration is very noticeable, then:

- ease off throttle and decelerate - any change?

- accelerate gently - any change?

- accelerate hard - any change?

- brake gently - any change?

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1 hour ago, destey said:

It does have that binding on sharp corners when parking. Though when I had it up on the lift and drove it while my father watched everything to see where the vibration was (only took it up to 20-25) , the clutch pack did seem to be able to engage and disenage the rear driveshaft. The harsh grab seemed kind of bad for the drivetrain which is why I didn't take it up to a higher speed.

 

edit not sure if this is causing it, but I did notice the fluid level in the transmission is a bit overfilled.

1. See if using the FWD fuse (any size spare fuse in the FWD position in the box under the hood near the strut tower) helps. If it does, you can drive that way indefinitely or until you get a new trans or decide to fix the clutch pack w'ever. Are all 4 tires identical? same brand/model size? they need to be. Has the trans or rear diff been replaced right before this problem began? maybe you have mismatched final drive ratios.

2. The trans will look overfilled of you forget to check the level while idling. It's the only fluid you must check that way.

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10 hours ago, destey said:

Replaced all 4 cv shafts and rear wheel bearings a little over a year ago. 

 

What brand?

I've seen many, many crappy cheapo axles.

Just yesterday I replaced a "brand new" axle from Les Schwab (carquest) It was making terrible clicking.  It was the second one schwab had put in, doing same thing.  We took the inner boot off, and found 3 of the balls were down in the bottom of the cup, not the cage.

Subaru Reman axles are about 175, and worth every penny.  The new style HD sliding axles are decent too in my experience, although some have reported problems.

I will not install cheapo parts store, "new" china axles.

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3 hours ago, forester2002s said:

Get it up to speed on the highway, where the vibration is very noticeable, then:

- ease off throttle and decelerate - any change?

- accelerate gently - any change?

- accelerate hard - any change?

- brake gently - any change?

Only seems to vary with vehicle speed. I couldn't tell any difference doing those conditions you listed.

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2 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

 

What brand?

I've seen many, many crappy cheapo axles.

Just yesterday I replaced a "brand new" axle from Les Schwab (carquest) It was making terrible clicking.  It was the second one schwab had put in, doing same thing.  We took the inner boot off, and found 3 of the balls were down in the bottom of the cup, not the cage.

Subaru Reman axles are about 175, and worth every penny.  The new style HD sliding axles are decent too in my experience, although some have reported problems.

I will not install cheapo parts store, "new" china axles.

I'd have to go look, but whatever was the cheapeast off ebay and amazon. I suppose it could be the CV shafts. How could I tell? Boots aren't broken and they look ok.

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2 hours ago, 1 Lucky Texan said:

1. See if using the FWD fuse (any size spare fuse in the FWD position in the box under the hood near the strut tower) helps. If it does, you can drive that way indefinitely or until you get a new trans or decide to fix the clutch pack w'ever. Are all 4 tires identical? same brand/model size? they need to be. Has the trans or rear diff been replaced right before this problem began? maybe you have mismatched final drive ratios.

2. The trans will look overfilled of you forget to check the level while idling. It's the only fluid you must check that way.

I'll give the FWD fuse a try.  The tires are all identical. I'm not aware that the trans or diff has been changed, but I know the motor was changed back 50,000 miles ago (before I owned it). Im guessing its the same transmission because the propeller shaft fit ok and its pretty specific to only a couple of years if I'm not mistaken.

Edited by destey

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15 minutes ago, destey said:

I'd have to go look, but whatever was the cheapeast off ebay and amazon. I suppose it could be the CV shafts. How could I tell? Boots aren't broken and they look ok.

 

Was the problem present before those axles?

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1 hour ago, destey said:

Only seems to vary with vehicle speed. I couldn't tell any difference doing those conditions you listed.

My money would be on wheel-bearings.

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15 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

 

Was the problem present before those axles?

No, though I only owned it a month before changing the axles out. Some shop said I needed a control arm bushing to pass inspection. Getting to that bushing I had to remove the rear knuckle and the axles were frozen into the wheel hub. The problem didn't surface until 6 months after the axle change IIRC.

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1 hour ago, destey said:

No, though I only owned it a month before changing the axles out. Some shop said I needed a control arm bushing to pass inspection. Getting to that bushing I had to remove the rear knuckle and the axles were frozen into the wheel hub. The problem didn't surface until 6 months after the axle change IIRC.

So they had to change the front axles too?

I can almost guaranty that the cheapo front axles are the problem.

Get a set of good ones.  Even used as long as they are OE subaru with the green inner cups.

$60 axles NEVER work out. 

get the subaru remans, some HD type new, or a set of used OE.

 

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3 hours ago, destey said:

No, though I only owned it a month before changing the axles out. Some shop said I needed a control arm bushing to pass inspection. Getting to that bushing I had to remove the rear knuckle and the axles were frozen into the wheel hub. The problem didn't surface until 6 months after the axle change IIRC.

get new Subaru axles or used Subaru axles and reboot them.  $15-$30 for an almost guaranteed known good OEM axle. 

the axle(s) you installed are trash and a likely cause of the issue. 

i also won't install any aftermarket axles.  

just to make up numbers....33% are bad out of the box....50% will have issues in 1-3 years....more will have issues after that...anyone that doesn't know that simply isn't doing many Subaru axles or following up on them. 

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get your tires balanced.

cheap and easy on the back.

Start simple but if that doesn't solve your issue then dig deeper into the soup pot.

common things happen most commonly...

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1 hour ago, brus brother said:

get your tires balanced.

cheap and easy on the back.

Start simple but if that doesn't solve your issue then dig deeper into the soup pot.

common things happen most commonly...

could also rotate them front to the back for a quick test.  not entirely conclusive but easy. 

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3 hours ago, idosubaru said:

could also rotate them front to the back for a quick test.  not entirely conclusive but easy. 

A good start but while possibly hitting the nail on the head, the diagnosis might not be definitive IF one of the rear tires is also out of balance/bent rim.

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6 hours ago, idosubaru said:

get new Subaru axles or used Subaru axles and reboot them.  $15-$30 for an almost guaranteed known good OEM axle. 

the axle(s) you installed are trash and a likely cause of the issue. 

i also won't install any aftermarket axles.  

just to make up numbers....33% are bad out of the box....50% will have issues in 1-3 years....more will have issues after that...anyone that doesn't know that simply isn't doing many Subaru axles or following up on them. 

Seems like it definitely could be the cause. I made an error in my previous post. I found that I had only replaced one of the two front CV axles, the other is original. Thought I had done  both but I see I must not have. The front is a GSP brand axle, and the two rear are Surtrack  I wonder if that one original CV shaft is bad? It feels the same as the new one on the other side. Doesn't look visible bad or boots ripped.

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5 hours ago, brus brother said:

get your tires balanced.

cheap and easy on the back.

Start simple but if that doesn't solve your issue then dig deeper into the soup pot.

common things happen most commonly...

I just swapped the front and rear tires and put in the FWD fuse, now time to test drive it. If its stiill bad, I'll probably try this next as its the cheapest and easiest as you said. Then I guess its on to cv driveshafts. There is an audible clicking coming from the left rear (when i'm going really slow and drive over uneven ground), but I thought it was just the new caliper being cheap and loose tolerance. I wonder if that noise is the cv shaft instead

Edited by destey

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1 hour ago, destey said:

I just swapped the front and rear tires and put in the FWD fuse, now time to test drive it. If its stiill bad, I'll probably try this next as its the cheapest and easiest as you said. Then I guess its on to cv driveshafts. There is an audible clicking coming from the left rear (when i'm going really slow and drive over uneven ground), but I thought it was just the new caliper being cheap and loose tolerance. I wonder if that noise is the cv shaft instead

the problem is definitely the cheap after market axles - the audible clicking is a dead giveaway.

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