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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 2003 Outback that is producing a grinding noise while in gear from the center-ish to passenger side front...said grinding noise only happens in gear and upon acceleration. For example, if I let off the gas pedal while driving and just coast, the noise will completely go away. It only happens above maybe 20mph and again, only upon either physically depressing the gas pedal or engaging cruise control. Front differential is full of fluid. Pads and rotors are okay, tie rods have been replaced, broken sway bar bracket replaced (all this needed to be done anyways) but that grinding is still present. It does it turning or driving in a straight line.

Any thoughts? Differential on it's way out?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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Subaru wheel bearings have a wide range of symtpoms.

has any service been done recently? sometimes incorrect fluids are drained and replaced. front diff got GL5 ?
 

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Thanks for the replies...auto trans, should have put that in there first.

This grinding started in 2014, not within a reasonable time frame of any servicing. I put new snow tires on it but then just parked it and figured I'd deal with it some other time (I have other vehicles). Every once in a while I would drive it and aside from the grinding it drives fine, no shuddering or any of that. So this week I finally decided to get it fixed and brought it to the local shop. They looked it over and replaced a tie rod and sway bar bracket and felt it was fixed. But when I drove it home today it was absolutely not fixed. They did check the bearings and said they were fine.
 

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'03 Outback H6-3.0 Black Granite Pearl, base model with cold weather package and cloth seats.
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Possibly front diff.

Check for metal shavings/chunks on the drain plug for the front diff.

Front Diff repair usually means replacing tranny with used/rebuilt, as diff is part of overall tranny.

Good luck...
 

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Okay thanks, I'll dig out that big Torx bit I have laying around somewhere and change the fluid, see what is in there.

Yeah I know I would rather not deal with a tranny replacement, I'm literally fixing the car to give it away to a family member.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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they make a trans X product for differentials too. (put in and leave in).

https://www.amazon.com/CRC-402508-Trans-X-Limited-Additive/dp/B000M8Q1D0/

such may help define if the problem lies in the diff or is external.

I have had a Ford taurus that had worn front LCAs would drive fine slow on the 2 lanes but on the 4 lanes would spread the front out of alignment under power. and vibrate / shake the wheel in your hand, and then you go over another undlation in the road and it would stop again.

so just on the 4 lanes it was about 50% shaking, 50% not. sold it with details of what it needed, and bought a 2nd subaru.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks eagleeye,

Anybody know the oil capacity for the front differential off of the top of their heads?
 

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Thanks eagleeye,

Anybody know the oil capacity for the front differential off of the top of their heads?
capacities are in the back of the owners manual.

here it says: 1.3 for the front. (H6 and H4 in these years should be about the same).

I think 3 quarts is what you need in hand to do both front and rear. (as its about 2.25 quarts together.). AND if no one has been paying attention to the front maybe the rear needs a swap too.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/89-oil-fuel-discussion/45932-transmission-differential-change.html#post436173


BEWARE, when under the car it is easy to mistake drain and fill holes for ATF and front diff,....and a few people have emptied one and double filled the other with a mix of thick gear oil and thin ATF. (making sure the fill holes will unscrew before opening the drain hole).
 

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'03 Outback H6-3.0 Black Granite Pearl, base model with cold weather package and cloth seats.
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capacities are in the back of the owners manual.

BEWARE, when under the car it is easy to mistake drain and fill holes for ATF and front diff,....and a few people have emptied one and double filled the other with a mix of thick gear oil and thin ATF. (making sure the fill holes will unscrew before opening the drain hole).
Isn't the front diff filled thru the dipstick tube? But it is certainly possible to put the fluid in the wrong dip stick tube !

Agree completely on the warning for the rear diff, though...
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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Isn't the front diff filled thru the dipstick tube? But it is certainly possible to put the fluid in the wrong dip stick tube !

Agree completely on the warning for the rear diff, though...


on my own subarus I have used the diptstick tubes to fill. and siphon up.

I should have rephrased that,...thinking about the rear diff with its high fill hole and its low drain hole.
 

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Could just be engine moves under load and the exhaust or a heat shield is touching the floorpan.
Would indicate a worn engine or trans mount, or out-of-position exhaust.
 
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