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98 Legacy Outback - noise while shifting and coasting in gear.

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I own a 98 Legacy Outback, 5sp manual, 118k miles.


About 10k miles or so ago I had to replace the front main oil seal. During the project I also had the clutch replaced. The clutch was done professionally, but everything else I did myself.


About 2k miles or so after all that I started hearing some noise while shifting in the lower gears. I also hear noise if the RPMs are over say 3k or 4k in 4th or 5th gear and I let the car coast in gear. That noise is much louder than the noise I hear when shifting.


Strangely, during the winter months when I first started hearing the noise while shifting, it would go away after driving a couple miles and the car warmed up.


Now that it's getting hot here in Minnesota, the shifting noise doesn't seem to really go away after a few miles.



So here's my speculation. I'm thinking maybe, hopefully, there is some loose heat shielding or something down under my car that rattles loudly during shifting or coasting in gear.



Knowing how things usually turn out with car repairs though, I'm probably wrong. That's why I've decided to post here. I'm wondering if there are any known common issues with Legacy Outbacks that might cause this type of noise. Or maybe if anyone has any thoughts that can get me started on diagnosing the problem.


So far I haven't done much to be honest. It's kinda hard to crawl under the car and listen when the noise only happens while the car is moving. ;) The best I can describe it is that when the windows are down, it's much louder. It seems to come from directly under the car, not up in the engine compartment or anything.



Anyone have any comments or suggestions?




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Start with the heat shields. Get down and dirty and start banging on the exhaust at various points. You may be "lucky" and are the victim of heat shield vibration.

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