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Old 06-25-2001, 07:58 PM   #1
Joelk
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Member#: 7790
Join Date: Jun 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minneapolis
Vehicle:
2003 wrx
sy

Default AWD Legacy Wagon strange noise...

I have a 98 Legacy Wagon AWD that has a strange rattling noise coming from what sounds like the rear passenger side door(or right behind it). It only happens when I am going a constant speed, ie, with cruise control on. If I am accelerating or decelerating, then it goes away.

I could swear it is coming from inside the door, but the door doesn't rattle at all when I open and close it. I thought it might be the gas door, but if I leave that open, I still hear the rattling noise. I checked everything underneath the car, I couldn't find anything loose. I jacked up all four corners of the car, all the wheels spin quietly and the suspension feels tight. I oiled all the moving parts I could find on the rear gate. Dragging the brakes doesn't make the sound go away either.

The fact that it goes away when I hit the gas or let off the gas scares me. This seems to indicate to me that it is somehow related to the drivetrain. But then, it doesn't sound like a bad bearing or anything, it is a rattling sound, and it is affected by bumps. If I drive on a very smooth road, there is no rattling. But even on a very bumpy road, the sound goes away when I accelerate.

I thought it was maybe the strut, but there's no clunking noise when I go over large bumps. Is it maybe something in the AWD? CV joint or u-joint?

If anyone has any ideas, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks

Joel
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Old 06-27-2001, 06:55 PM   #2
tonytiger
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Vehicle:
1993 Legacy 1.8
White

Lightbulb

There is the sway bar connected to the struts. It has several bushings and if one of those is worn or missing it might make the rattling sound. I know that you checked everything beneath, but just a guess.

I have a rattling sound coming from my car. The louderness depends of the RPM. At something like 1000 rpm it's fairly loud noise and a bit higher it doesn't sound at all. I haven't had a chance to check the problem, but I believe it's one of the heat shieds. Those are metal things between car floor and exhaust pipe. Might be it, but again you checked.

Can't think anything else, but I believe it has nothing to do with your engine internals or drive train. Some metal resonates when the engine movement is steady;when you accelerate the movement change constantly and it therefore doesn't resonate. Sounds strongly a bushing somewhere or similar.
Might forgot something...

Hope you get it fixed.


tony
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Old 06-27-2001, 07:50 PM   #3
Joelk
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2003 wrx
sy

Default Re:

I'm going out right now to look at things again... It's possible that it is the suspension and it just might not rattle when there is weight on it.. so I'll jack it up and take a look.

Otherwise, I'm thinking it might be in the brake, something loose on the caliper... It almost sounds like it is rubbing on something...

I'm pretty sure it's nothing major, but this kinda stuff really bugs me, especially on a new(er) car...

Thanks

Joel
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Old 06-27-2001, 08:42 PM   #4
Jonathan
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Location: Natick, MA USA
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

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Could it possibly be your exhust system ?

Drivetrain and exhust are both very tricky to track down as sound can be conducted the length of your exhust/drivetrain.

The fact that the rattle happens only at constant speeds may be a significant clue. Perhaps when you jackup all four corners, you might want to set the cruise control, and crawl underneath the car with a mechanics stethoscope... (just make sure you keep someone in the car who can shut it down is something goes wrong !)
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Old 06-29-2001, 10:35 AM   #5
Joelk
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2003 wrx
sy

Default Driveshaft?

Ok, now I think it's coming from the driveshaft. The sound could be coming from directly below the hump in the back seat...

Two questions.

What does a u-joint sound like when it's going bad? I've never had one fail before, but I would guess it would make more noise under a heavy load, right?

and

Are there and shields or brackets that could come loose and rub on the drive shaft? It seems to be well buried up underneath the car...

Thanks

Joel
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Old 07-01-2001, 03:26 PM   #6
Joelk
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Location: Minneapolis
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2003 wrx
sy

Talking Found It!

I found the source of the noise. There is a heavy bracket that mounts directly in front of the rear wheels and goes up to the drive shaft from both sides. Where it mounts to the car body it sits on large rubber bushings, these bushing appear to be shot, when there is any jolt to the car, they rattle like crazy, also any driveshaft vibration is transfered to them and makes noise. But, when there is any load on the drive shaft, the bracket has force on it and doesn't make any noise.

So, I'm bringing the car in to the dealer on Thursday. At least now I know what to tell them. Any ideas on how I can get the to do this under my warranty? I'm going to tro to tell them it is part of the drivetrain... what do you think?

Thanks

Joel
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Old 07-01-2001, 05:45 PM   #7
JoeT
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle:
2000 Turbo Legacy GT
Titanium

Default

Hi Joel,

This happened to our 97 outback. The problem is people tend to use this cross member mount as a jack point. As a result, it bends it upwards causing the bracket up and touch the cross member.

I too was guilty in using that as a jack point. The bushing is probably still OK. Have your car lifted on a hoist and check the angle of the bracket. Grab a huge pry bar and bend the bracket back to it's original location and all will be well.

Hope this helps... Keep us informed.
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Old 07-01-2001, 09:31 PM   #8
Joelk
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minneapolis
Vehicle:
2003 wrx
sy

Thumbs up Thank You!

JoeT, you rock! Thanks a lot. You just saved me a lot of trouble. I hadn't jacked up my car there, but I had put a jack stand under that point. It was just enough weight to bend the edge of the bracket. I bent it back with an adjustable wrench and the noise is gone.

Thanks again,

Joel
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