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Old 09-05-2008, 07:10 PM   #1
rendog24
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Default diff or wheel bearing problem

i didnt know whether to put this in the drivetrain section or suspension as i am trying to diagnose it.

i am getting a distinct humming noise from what it sounds like to me, the rear of the car. these are the symptoms....

- only occurs when i hit ~35 mph
- i am not too sure but i can say that it is constant with speed, but only above ~35 mph
- this nois eis only audible when i am applying the accelerator ( even the slightest amount and the humming begins, but when i lift off the noise subsides to near nothing)


now i did check the diff fluid and it is full. i checked to see if there was any play in the rear hubs and there was not ( not saying i did every worn out wheel bearing test on it, but from this method i found no play)

any suggestions out there. btw i am running a 04 sti 6mt and a complete 04 sti rear end.thanks in advance.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:45 PM   #2
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bump ttt
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:32 PM   #3
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My car ('04 WRX, stock drivetrain) is doing the exact same thing.
The sound is basically in any gear from 32-40mph, peak noise at 35. It sounds like a loud WHOOOOO.
One additional thing of note is that on mine, the car has to be fairly warmed up before it starts making the noise, and gets progressively louder as it continues to get warmer.
Anyone have some ideas? I can't drive at 35mph anymore once the car is warm, this noise is killing me!
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:41 PM   #4
rendog24
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it so wierd but now i have also noticed mine at 70 mph exactly. no other time, just between 35-40 mph in any gear and now at exactly 70 mph in 5th or 6th.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:44 AM   #5
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yeeep

Last edited by xstuning; 01-11-2011 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:26 PM   #6
michael_wrx
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Anyone figured this out yet?

I had my alignment done, tires re-balanced and rotated. Also checked:

wheel bearings - no apparent play when tugging
rear diff fluid - no debris
cv boots - no grease leaking
brakes - no uneven pad/disc wear

Could it be a failing driveshaft u-joint?

On my car the sound seems to be heat related. It will only start making the noise after about 15 minutes of driving. Are you others noticing the same thing?
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:31 PM   #7
Web Foot STi
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Just a guess. Have any of you tried different diff fluid?

35 x 2 = 70 Nice harmonic coincidence. I'm thinking a slightly different oil may change the ring and pinion's resonant frequency. Again, just a guess.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:06 AM   #8
ritky
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Uneven tire wear causing the humming? If the sound is coming from the rear, you could check by rotation the wheels/tires front to back. Just a guess though.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:12 PM   #9
rendog24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_wrx View Post
Anyone figured this out yet?

I had my alignment done, tires re-balanced and rotated. Also checked:

wheel bearings - no apparent play when tugging
rear diff fluid - no debris
cv boots - no grease leaking
brakes - no uneven pad/disc wear

Could it be a failing driveshaft u-joint?

On my car the sound seems to be heat related. It will only start making the noise after about 15 minutes of driving. Are you others noticing the same thing?
Nope, mine is right off the bat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Foot STi View Post
Just a guess. Have any of you tried different diff fluid?

35 x 2 = 70 Nice harmonic coincidence. I'm thinking a slightly different oil may change the ring and pinion's resonant frequency. Again, just a guess.
i have an r180 and only use the subaru specific rear diff lsd fluid they have. I have changed it twice with no large chunks, just usual shavings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ritky View Post
Uneven tire wear causing the humming? If the sound is coming from the rear, you could check by rotation the wheels/tires front to back. Just a guess though.
i'll try this and see what happens.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:20 PM   #10
michael_wrx
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Anyone figured this out yet? I was doing a little research online and came across a page that seems to describe my car's symptoms exactly:

http://www.bernardembden.com/xjs/diff/index.htm

I'm not really sure I care to try adjusting the pre-load on my pinion myself, so I will probably take it to a shop when I get some time...
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:33 AM   #11
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Rotate your tires. If it doesn't follow the tire its an extremely strong possibility that its the wheel bearing. Checking for play is not the end all of diagnosis.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #12
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:56 PM   #13
michael_wrx
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In my case, rotating the tires did not change the location of the noise.

In regards to it being a wheel bearing - wouldn't that make a noise all the time? This only makes the noise upon *very* light application of throttle at 35mph after the differential has warmed up. I have felt the hubs after a long drive and they are all very close to the same temperature. I have also spun the wheels by hand and did not feel any roughness.

At this point, I'm pretty sure its the ring/pinon in the rear diff. My car had rear diff problems around 35k miles and Subaru swapped out the rear diff and driveshaft u-joint. I'm guessing they did a shoddy job of setting things up and/or I have whacked it out of tolerance somehow.

Oh - and the car has 94k miles.

Last edited by michael_wrx; 11-18-2008 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:01 PM   #14
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If you turn to the left and it goes away its the left side rear wheel bearing, if you turn to the right and it goes away the right side wheel bearing is bad. Try this and listen close. IF it doesn't go away it may not be wheel bearings at all but this trick has been pretty accurate for me over the years on a veriety of cars. This isnt 100% proof of anything but it can help get you looking in the right spot.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:14 PM   #15
SpongeBob87
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There are some very good tips posted , The first time I dealt with this on my Outback it was the rear dif @ 52k the dealer said to change the fluid every 25k, which I did. The next two times was the left rear wheel bearing and less than a year later the right one. I found almost every Subaru with any kind of mileage you'll hear this noise to some degree. The wheel bearing job is a little bit of a pain, I found it easiest to remove the hub and have a shop press them for you. The special tool to do it on the vehicle is $900.00. The bearing and the three seals for each side will cost you a little over $100.00 a side in parts. It only takes a shop with a press a few minutes to press the old one out and press the new one in . My guy only charged me ten bucks each time. I paid him and ran out the door!!
After you eliminate the easy ones like tire pressure and alignment the bearings would be my suspect if you have kept the diferential serviced good luck!
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:46 PM   #16
rendog24
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anybody have a pretty definite way of checking each bearing? i have done the "wiggle" on them to check for play, but found none. any other sure way of finding which one it is, even if it involves taking the hub and kunckle off the car and checking somehow?
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rendog24 View Post
anybody have a pretty definite way of checking each bearing? i have done the "wiggle" on them to check for play, but found none. any other sure way of finding which one it is, even if it involves taking the hub and kunckle off the car and checking somehow?
i only know about the wiggle test.


that said - as asked before - what fluid are you running?
It could just as well be your center diff.

There have been people that have had tranny / diff bearing noise that have fixed is just by switching to a high end fluid such as Motul Gear 300 oil or pure redline lightweight shockproof.
I would advise trying this as well.

It's a cheap test and will be good for your tranny either way.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:05 PM   #18
rendog24
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i am running subaru extra-s in the tranny, 04 sti 6mt, and have also gone through motul 300 already. im already diagnosing a whine in the tranny.

this thread, post #8 http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1498787

in the rear diff, r180, i am running the subaru specific lsd fluid.
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:19 AM   #19
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ya my 04 wrx whines at only 60mph take it out of gear the nosie stays sounds like a rf hub but i put it on a lift at work and my buddy says it sounds like the front bearing on the rear pinion but it sounds like its in the front.... uh if its not one thing its another...
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