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Old 03-21-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
The Fusion
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Default 2004 WRX drivetrain noise (details inside)

I got my 04 WRX about a year ago with 72k miles on it. Right now its at 86k. Since the day I got the car, its made a higher pitched humming noise (not a squeal), and it makes it from 63-66 MPH. Anything outside of that range and its gone. Doesn't really get quieter if I let off the throttle, doesn't matter what gear I'm in or if I'm in neutral. Today I finally put it on the lift at work (Fail for taking this long, I know) and had my coworker hold speed at exactly 65 while I was under the car. I narrowed down the location of the noise to this general area.



I'm almost 100% sure its not coming from the tranny, and not from the rear wheels, it sounds like its coming from either the front of the rear diff or the driveshaft behind that cover. I didn't have a lot of time to take things apart and check so that is why I'm posting here. Is there a bearing of some sort behind that cover? Or has anyone had this issue before? Opinions/suggestions etc are welcome.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:58 PM   #2
Nikryj
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There's been a few threads about this the past couple of days. When was the rear diff fluid changed last?
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:08 PM   #3
The Fusion
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Not a clue...doesn't hurt to change it.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:20 AM   #4
zumnwrx
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i had a similar noise and it was narrowed down to worn bearings where the cv axles mount inside the transmission area ... while in there i replaced all the bearings and also noticed the 3-4th gear set bearing was damaged so i replaced that whole set and the noise has been cured...

wasn't cheap
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:29 AM   #5
The Fusion
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The noise is definitely not coming from the transmission or anywhere near the front of the car.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:00 PM   #6
art@grimmspeed
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I would change your diff fluid for starters as it can't hurt anything.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:53 PM   #7
The Fusion
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Changed diff fluid. Fluid was still nice and golden. Took off the bottom cover for the driveshaft and ran the car again. Noise seems to be coming either from that last u-joint before the diff, or from the very front of the diff. Is that where the pinion bearing sits in these diffs? I'm replacing something, just gotta decide if its going to be the driveshaft or the rear diff. I unbolted the driveshaft from the rear diff and moved the end of the driveshaft around to see if the u-joint was bad, but I don't have much experience with bad u-joints in general. Also, at about 30-35 mph when I was under the car, I would occasionally hear a clunk from the same area. I've never heard a bearing make a clunking sound so I'm still leaning towards the driveshaft.

Also, I don't know how loose the center bushing is supposed to be on these driveshafts but I can move the driveshaft up and down about half an inch at the center bushing. Food for thought.

Opinions still welcome.

tl;dr, help.

Last edited by The Fusion; 03-23-2013 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:43 PM   #8
Turd Nugget
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The worse the problem gets, the easier it will be to find it.......I say just drive it. If it is something mechanically worn or dammaged, your going to have to replace it anyway so why shotgun parts at it? Unless you can nail down the exact cause just keep on keeping on.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #9
Nikryj
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Wut. He risks damaging other parts if he isn't sure what it is. That's like telling someone who is losing coolant to keep driving even though they risk warping heads from coolant loss.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:19 PM   #10
Turd Nugget
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He's not losing coolant, and hes contemplating throwing parts at the thing even though he doesnt know what the problem is. Its going to be alot more expensive to replace parts that are fine and still have to replace whatever is broken in the end. If you dont know how to determine the problem, and dont want to be out of pocket alot in the end, might as well spend the money and take it to someone that can now. If a CV is bad now and making a little noise as it gets worse it will be easier to determine the problem thats all i'm saying and he will still just end up having to change the same part, but with a higher probability of changing the correct part.

If plotted on a graph with one axis being a persons mechanical skill required to determine a problem and the other axis being the problems difficulty to correctly be dertermined, the lines would be inversely proportional. The place they cross would determine the expense to the owner. If your not mechanically inclined, maybe its not a good idea to have a car like this and the place the lines usually cross is more on the expensive side.

Last edited by Turd Nugget; 03-23-2013 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
Nikryj
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I totally understand what you are saying, however he should probably have a mechanic take a look or someone local who knows Subarus, at least that's what I would do. I wouldn't want to risk messing anything else up.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:34 PM   #12
The Fusion
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Lol hi guys way to assume I'm not mechanically inclined and/or don't know what I'm doing. I have never taken either of my cars to a mechanic (ever), and I track my other car. I'd say to pull that off, being mechanically inclined is a necessity. (not to mention I'm a tech at Toyota)

Anyway, I asked here because me and my coworkers don't have superman ears and can't pinpoint a noise down to spaces that close. I'm saying its either that last u-joint at the driveshaft, or its the bearing right at the front of the diff. I figured I'd also ask to see if anyone has had a similar noise, and what they replaced to get rid of it. Second opinions are always nice.

Also, the coolant analogy is irrelevant. This isn't even on the same scale as losing a 2k shortblock + heads to overheating.

Last edited by The Fusion; 03-24-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:37 PM   #13
Nikryj
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Never said you weren't bud. I made the analogy because some people simply google answers without ever asking on forums. They see a post saying drive it until it gets worse to find out what it is, and they may possibly apply it to everything.
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