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Old 03-05-2006, 06:39 PM   #1
Siper2
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Question Scraping noise: Bad brakes or wheel bearings or what? (Outback - pics - rotor color)

Hey guys. As my avatar lists, we have a 2001 Outback LL Bean (wagon). Great car, but lately we've noticed a scraping noise on braking. Typically only noticeable at slow speeds, just sounds like a metallic scraping essentially.

At first I thought it was brake pads. We got this car from GRMPer, who just put pads on it not long, I don't think, pre-purchase (which was last June, and about 10K miles ago). He said I believe that they're AutoZone pads. Now, not to put him down, but I surmised that it may be the pads as I myself got some AutoZone rear pads for my RS. I have Porterfield R4-S up front (they came used in a second set of calipers I'd purchased). No scraping from them, but lots of squealing. And the rears on the Outback do the same.

So, I thought, maybe it's a not-so-good brakepad. But today the sound got much much worse, literally over the course of the day. I also noticed that it's making the sound while rolling, not necessarily with the brakes on. Worse when turning to the right. I'm thinking, "bad front left wheel bearing."

Here's the weird part. Just snapped some pics:

Front right rotor. Looks fine...




Next three are the front left. Notice the weird black striations. Pad problems, heat damage....? I've no idea.








I'm planning to have my wife make an appointment at Subaru to have them check the bearings, but... What's up with that rotor? Any correlation maybe? I did not check the condition of the pads yet. Last I checked though, they were pretty healthy.

Thanks-

=S2=
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:40 PM   #2
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Oh, also, if I need new rotors, these I think are the 10.7" rotors from the RS Imprezas, right? Not the 11.4" (~294mm) WRX size ones?

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Old 03-05-2006, 07:17 PM   #3
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a lot of times the slight scraping noise is as simple as the heat shield being bent in a bit and it contacting the rotor. Seen it dozens of times as it s a typical place to grab when working down there. Its really soft and often gets bent in towards the rotor making a scraping sound. However, from the looks of your rotor, it might be something pad related too.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:47 PM   #4
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I would have to say you need some new pads. The rotors might be able to be turned. Depends how deep they are gouged out.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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1) check the pads

2) check for a sticking caliper

3) jack up the front of the car with wheel/tire intact
can you move-jiggle the wheel? is there movement when solidly mounted?

if so... yeah. probably bad bearing.....

Jamie
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:57 PM   #6
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Looks like you got some junk pads that are scoring the crap out of your rotors. When you do change the rotors be sure to measure them before ordering. My wife also has an 01 LL Bean, and when I went to change the rotors it turned out it has 2002 rotors and not 2001.

Also, all the parts catalogs at autozone and such are wrong. If you do have the larger rotors then just order WRX ones. Otherwise they'll keep giving you the smaller rotor size over and over again.
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:01 PM   #7
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re: rotors...

if you want me to verify which rotors you have, feel free to pm me your vin
and i'll confirm your setup for you

cheers,
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:44 PM   #8
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Could be the dust shield, I'll check that next chance I get. As for junk pads, I'll likely buy new ones anyway but I find it weird that it only happened on one side... yeah unless a caliper is stuck or something.

Jamie, didn't shake the wheel yet, but that was in the plans. I'll PM you the VIN for the car.

More thoughts welcome, I'll follow up with you all tomorrow.

=S2=
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:55 AM   #9
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Ordered the Satisfied Pro OE pads from TireRack. Just got the fronts for now, the rears are on backorder. Not sure why it's nearly $10 apiece for shipping either.

But they're like $29/pair, so no complaints. I'll try that first.... Jamie, PMed you the VIN last night, please let me know about the rotors!
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:11 AM   #10
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will do... sometime today....

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Old 03-06-2006, 01:30 PM   #11
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Okay, got one suggestion today from a non-board member that my caliper is probably locked up. Which does make sense.... that'd keep the pad on the rotor, and would account for the overheated marks/glaze on that one rotor.

So I guess some high-temp grease on the slide pins. I'll check for rebuild instructions, I think Brian has some on www.northursalia.com.
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:37 PM   #12
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Solution:
I have a 2001 RS. problem began with a metallic grinding sound only when backing up with the wheel turned. As it progressed I found that when driving at high speeds and cornering I would notice some play in the (front right in my case) wheel which effected steering. This caused a 'swervey' feeling going around corners. You may or may not notice that.

We initially thought it was a wheel bearing problem and when I took the wheel/calliper/disc off I noticed huge gouges on the inside of my disc exactly like the ones you have. I also noticed a fair bit of play in the hub. This was exaggerated out through the disc and caused it to rub on the caliper body, dust shield, etc.

A short drive later the problem was getting much worse. Turned out to simply be the axle nut had been loosening up. My mechanic tightened down to spec and re-crimped it so it wouldn't turn.

We hope that is a final solution but I'll keep an eye on it an let you know if there are any other problems. Best part: free vs. $450 wheel bearing

Good Luck!
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:21 PM   #13
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Axle nut. No kidding....?

Enh, worth checking. I think it's like a 19mm nut, I have zee tools for eet! (Dunno the torque spec though.... "good 'nuff" will work.)
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:24 PM   #14
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Siper, I think its bigger than 19mm, something like 24mm or so.
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:50 PM   #15
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Looks Like Your Metal To Metal On The Brake Pads. You Need New Rotors And Brake Pads.
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:26 PM   #16
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yah, I think spec is 137 lb/ft... mechanic took a pneumatic wrench to it and got it as tight as possible... hope it works! I'd get yer rotors turned or maybe even replaced though asap
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie
Siper, I think its bigger than 19mm, something like 24mm or so.
Bigger I think. I have a 27mm wrench for removing the oil drain plug in my RS (for those of us with the factory gauge pack, it's a bigger plug), and it even seemed too small...

Jacked the car up though, no play in the wheel if I shake it, so I don't think it's bearings. Also, my wife said that sometimes if she taps the brakes, it'll go away for a time. And sometimes the noise doesn't even occur.

So yeah, I think it's pads/caliper. Didn't get to it today, ran out of daylight. Too danged busy. Will probably get to it tomorrow. Get out of work at 3:30pm, drive home right away. Let the brakes cool for ~30 minutes I guess, then give it a shot.

I'll keep everyone posted! Oh, and Jamie says I have 2002+ rotors, which I guess means they're the 11.4" WRX-sized ones?

-Chris
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:47 PM   #18
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The scraping sound could be that the rust is thick enough to hit the caliper (not a big deal - you can file it down) - something is amiss on that wheel, though - definitely pull the wheel - if the pads still have lots of meat on them, maybe they have something embedded in them. They could be metal on metal - that makes a rather distinctive grinding sound which usually gets louder when you brake - esp. as you come to a stop. Could also be a stuck caliper (slide pins could be bound up - make sure it can move freely - if not, try to remove the caliper and see if you can push out the pins - in a pinch, if they aren't too bad, you can clean them up, regrease and reinstall them (will last a little while, anyway) until you can get a new set. I wonder if it's a combination of a stuck/sticking caliper and unevenly worn brake pads (due to the caliper) which are down to metal on metal or close... I don't think the cylinder itself is bound - when that happens, the whole rotor usually rusts up and stays that way (the pad no longer keeps the surface clean)
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:58 PM   #19
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Yeah I was wondering about the combination deal you mentioned, myself. What sucks is I had a set of RS front calipers in my garage, but sold them not long ago. Figures!

I'll check out the wear pattern on the pads, and will check the sliders and all. I know a full rebuild involves regreasing and new gaskets, but I don't have the gaskets. Would any generic high-temp grease work, for lubricating the calipers though?

I know there's instructions out there somewhere, maybe on Scoobymods... I'll find 'em.
(Just checked www.northursalia.com, not there.)
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:40 PM   #20
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DONE!

Bad brakepads. Like... worn to the metal bad. So, brownie points to those who guessed that. A little scoring on the right, but the left (the bad one), the rotor needs to come off. Leaving it there for now, a MAIC member has some WRX takeoffs he's sending me.

Hopefully that scoring won't harm the new pads too much, but... that should wear off okay I guess.

Took me wayyy longer than it should have, had a hard time getting the pistons back in, and I don't have any c-clamps. Guess what I'm buying next.

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Old 03-09-2006, 08:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subie Gal
3) jack up the front of the car with wheel/tire intact
can you move-jiggle the wheel? is there movement when solidly mounted?

if so... yeah. probably bad bearing.....

Jamie
Also a bad bearing might not exhibit those signs. I had a bad one that I apparatly trashed at the same time as I bent a control arm. No play in the wheel whatsoever, but terrible noise coming from that corner. When I had the old spindle out next to the j/y replacement, there was still no play in the bad spindle and the bearing had a bit of in-out motion on the new one. It seems fine and makes no droning/bad bearing noise.

Although I have gotten some clunking since the replacement. Tomrrow I'm going to see what I can find. It seems to be swaybar related so maybe I tightened the endlink up a bit too much. Or maybe it's a bad hub.
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:55 AM   #22
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Good luck man.

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