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I have a 2011 outback with about 130,000 miles on it.  I had new front pads, rotors and hardware installed a while ago.  I live on a dirt road and lately I have been hearing a rattling sound coming form the driver’s side front wheel when I hit bumps, there are a lot of bumps.  If I apply the brakes the rattling stops so I suspect something in the brakes.  The parts were from Rock Auto, a Power Stop kit with pads (shims preinstalled) rotors and hardware.  I purchased the parts and had them installed at a local shop as I recovering from a twisted knee.  Any ideas would be much appreciated.

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More than likely it is the caliper bracket mounting bolts not tight or the caliper guide pins loose or worn.

Check it out soon. You don't want the caliper popping up and lock the wheel from turning. That may not happen, but you know about murphy's law.

Our 95 acts the same way on bumps. It is the hole in the caliper for the guide pins is worn and lets the caliper bounce up and down only a little, but it is noisy.

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I finally got a nice day and was able to look into the brakes.  All the bolts were tight so that was not the problem.  On the driver's side, there was some play as I pushed on the caliper with my hand. The passenger side was tight, no play.    I removed the caliper and saw that all shims and hardware were in place.   I put the caliper back in place and did a test drive on my bumpy road.  The noise was gone.  But over the next few days, the noise started to come back, not as loud as it was before but there.    I would assume that since it stopped for a while that the cause would not be worn holes for the guide pins.  Is it possible that the piston is going back into the caliper too far and causing the play?  If so what would cause that?  Would it be worth bleeding the brakes but the pedal feels firm.

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Maybe it's not brakes but balljoints or some other suspension bits? Could be that braking puts load on the suspension and stops the rattling.

Oh just saw the part where you found some caliper play by hand.  Could be a worn wheel bearing causing pad knockback as the rotor wobbles when you go through bumps.

Edited by nvu

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Pry the outer side of the caliper away from the rotor just a little to push the piston in about an eighth inch. If you can wiggle or move the caliper up and down, the guide pins a worn.

I have a big C-clamp to do that.

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Thanks for the replies.  I will try Rampage suggestion when I get another decent day.  Still wonder if it was worn guide pins why it got quiet for a couple of days but certainly worth a try. Will post how it goes.

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Slide pin bushings.  They can swell/stretch and hang the one side of the caliper. 
 

using old school generic grease is often problematic with the bushings. If that’s the case then address all of them now,  or just the one problematic one.  Use something silicon based appropriate for pins with bushings.  I use Sil Glyde. Older Subaru’s and vehicles never had bushing and it didn’t matter   

Replace, or just throw them away and run them with no bushings. I do it all the time for hundreds of thousands of miles.  They’re not necessary at al. 

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I'm not sure what these bushings are.  Are they inside the holes the guide pins go through?  Is there an exploded diagram of the caliper that I can see them on?

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thanks for the diagram, a big help, and all the other advice.  I have to work outdoors  so when I get a nice day I will try what has been suggested.

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