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Old 10-29-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
Ryan314
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Default Is it the transfer case?

02 WRX OEM Transmission 152k OEM Clutch/Flywheel
EJ257 Hybrid motor

My 02 WRX has been providing me with some not so pleasant transmission noise over the past 6 months or so. The sound can be heard most noticeably inside the cabin coming right from the shifter area. The sound can be described as a grindy/course noise that is most prominently heard while coasting in neutral. The sound is always there if the car is moving (in any gear or neutral). It's pretty loud and you would certainly hear it.

We put it up on the lift and took a scope to it and the sound is being generated towards the very back of the transmission. What in this area of the transmission could be causing the racket? I also noticed that with the car OFF and slowly rolling backwards, the wheels tend to slightly "catch" or buckle once per full revolution. It's subtle, but it's there.

Also. It's important to note that the car has no driveability issues and shifts perfectly fine. There are no crunches nor have I had any issues shifting into gear or reverse. I went into an open parking lot and did some figure 8s and it doesn't have any problems with those. The only issue has been the terrible sounding noise coming from the shifter area.

Transfer case maybe? I have no idea. I don't want to have to purchase another transmission if it's not something that needs an entire new trans or whole rebuild.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
rkramer
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Does it change pitch when you shift? (ie, if you are coasting in 4th vs a quick downshift to 3rd, does it change?)
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
Ryan314
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The tone changes compared to neutral and in gear. From gear to gear, I can't say it sounds any different.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:56 PM   #4
04stigeorge
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sounds like one or more of the transfer gear bearings...if you could pull the driveshaft and then the tailshaft you should see if thats what it is...i have a set just in case... let us know..
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:53 AM   #5
rkramer
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seems to be the popular problem lately! I'm dealing with the same thing, the bearings just started getting noisy, but its going to have to have some quality dealer time unfortunately in the near future. (pretty much the only place to work on a subaru locally is a dealer, short of a 200 mile road trip.)
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
Ryan314
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It's weird, some days it sounds worse than others...
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
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Diagnose it yet? I've had the same problem for like 9 months and now it got worse, sounds like a bearing, definitely.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
Ryan314
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Not yet. Hard finding time being a full Time student. I hope I don't regret getting this looked at ASAP.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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Well just FYI, my car doesnt make that noise anymore b/c about a month ago i think the part that was making that noise finally went out. Now it sounds like shutter/clacking coming from the transmission/driveshaft area and its also making noise around the differential so that sound it used to make is now gone. The car, of course, still drives perfectly. No power loss what so ever and every gear goes in good. Taking it to the shop today! so i'll let you know what my problem was... might be the same ****.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
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I say clutch... Ive had similar issue with a new clutch... Im pretty sure it was the pilot bearing that caused my issues...

Id say clutch before i started ripping into the trans, if it shifts good.. its easier and cheaper..(clutch)
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:45 PM   #11
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Can't be the clutch Aaron. I had a clutch change during the period in which my car was making the very much similar sound and under the same circumstances as him and the sound never went away!
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:30 PM   #12
Ryan314
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It's not the clutch. The sound is independent of the clutch being engaged or not. The sound is coming from the back of the transmission...
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:48 AM   #13
Chunks
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As it has been said previously, it is most likely the Center diff.

Either a bearing is bad or the circlip on the VC has failed.

Just a matter of time before the bearing explodes and shreds your transfer gears or the circlip falls out enough and gets chewed up.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #14
rkramer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX_alex View Post
Well just FYI, my car doesnt make that noise anymore b/c about a month ago i think the part that was making that noise finally went out. Now it sounds like shutter/clacking coming from the transmission/driveshaft
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunks View Post
Just a matter of time before the bearing explodes and shreds your transfer gears or the circlip falls out enough and gets chewed up.
Sounds like it already has! No word from the shop yet OP?
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:47 PM   #15
Ryan314
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Nope

.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:28 PM   #16
Ryan314
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My mechanic thinks it's the transfer case. Gonna open it up tomorrow.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:21 AM   #17
Silver Sedan
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This sounds almost exactly what had happened to my transmission. expect the part about figure 8's.
I'm willing to bet its your EXT housing and gear(s). More than likely some bearings will be shot as well.
Good luck.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #18
Ryan314
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I hope it's just the bearings that will need replacing and that my gears are fine... I can't find a used transfer case anywhere!

How much did it cost you to fix everything?

Is it a pretty simple job replacing those bearings? Do dealerships keep these parts in stock?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:30 PM   #19
Ryan314
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As we thought, transfer gears are shot, along with the center diff.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:19 AM   #20
mj213
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Wow. Looks awesome. I have to consider this to be a possibility of my issue as well. Thanks for posting an update Ryan!
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #21
Ryan314
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No problem. I think this might relate to alot of the decel noise we get with these transmissions. My mechanic said the center diff retaining ring came loose and went into the transfer gears.

It's an easy job to fix with replacement parts thankfully. The only problem I'm running into is finding the parts. People usually don't want to sell these parts off a whole transmission.
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