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Discussion Starter #1
So I have been throwing parts at my car trying to fix a small repetitive clunking noise over smaller bumps until I finally discovered it was my CV axle. My previous drivers side CV axle was giving me back and forth play so I went to a subaru dealership to get a subaru remanufactured axle. After installation to no surprise the noise is still there. I throw my car on the lift and the axle is doing the same thing as my last.... Did I get a bad axle or is there something deeper to this problem? I will upload the video I have to youtube and link it under this.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So I have been throwing parts at my car trying to fix a small repetitive clunking noise over smaller bumps until I finally discovered it was my CV axle. My previous drivers side CV axle was giving me back and forth play so I went to a subaru dealership to get a subaru remanufactured axle. After installation to no surprise the noise is still there. I throw my car on the lift and the axle is doing the same thing as my last.... Did I get a bad axle or is there something deeper to this problem? I will upload the video I have to youtube and link it under this.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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fwiw I have always noticed this type of play in my cv axles in many fo the cars I have owned. The axle should have some play that way as it needs to compress and expand due to suspensions variations. The one axle i didn't have play in actually caused a severe vibrationg issue under hard cornering as the axle was fully compressed under normal driving and cornering compressed it more which caused the outer joint to max itself out and vibrate.

I'm assuming you checked your end links - as in unattached your sway bar and test drove it?

Another potential area to cause this issue is the top mount/bearing on your front struts as they wear out
 

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'17 OB 3.6 , '12 OB 3.6 (Deceased MVA), '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
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fwiw I have always noticed this type of play in my cv axles in many fo the cars I have owned. The axle should have some play that way as it needs to compress and expand due to suspensions variations. The one axle i didn't have play in actually caused a severe vibrationg issue under hard cornering as the axle was fully compressed under normal driving and cornering compressed it more which caused the outer joint to max itself out and vibrate.

I'm assuming you checked your end links - as in unattached your sway bar and test drove it?

Another potential area to cause this issue is the top mount/bearing on your front struts as they wear out
What about if the Axle Nut was NOT properly torqued down ? Would that give him the same kind of play?
 

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What about if the Axle Nut was NOT properly torqued down ? Would that give him the same kind of play?
yes, but that play would be within the spline and the hub interface and that would be a bad thing. That axle nut is what determines the bearings preload which is why it is so important to torque the axle nut down to spec. When you move an axle to illicit play you need to be able to identify what (if any) parts are moving and where. The play I spoke about above in my past cars was only the middle part of the cv axle, or essentially the parts between the two joints.

I'm not saying this isn't the OP's problem, just that I have always noticed this in past cars and it has never actually caused issues for me. I'm not convinced that this is not a normal finding. The CV axle has to be able to change lengths so it leads one to think that you should be able to illicit some movement in that direction. I wouldn't spend too much time or money unless you have very carefully assessed and ruled out all other areas of the suspension. There are quite a few that can cause clunks. (I currently have a mild one when going in and out of driveways, it is the strut top mounts that are just worn and don't muffle the spring noise as well anymore)
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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The only movement you should ever see will be in the inboard joint - it is the only one designed to have any in/out movement, and the only time you should be able to see that is while moving the suspension up and down. All else should be almost zero movement.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have replaced both end links, stabilizer bar bushings, and lower control arms. None of my other axles have this kind of play in them at all and I can’t seem to make anything else make a noise in the front end. I have tried a ratchet to the top hat and shook the **** out of it and did not get any noise at all. The noise is only small repetitive bumps and will not be created over larger bumps/speed bumps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a date with the wonderful dealership on tuesday so i’ll see what they have to say and how much money they drain out of me considering i’ll be paying 1/3 of the price of the part to get it diagnosed to maybe get it exchanged but we all know how it goes with dealerships...
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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What @richardsaid above it correct now that I think about it more. Your outer joint shouldn't have play in the direction. Since the outer joint is secured to the hub you can only move the inner joint by manipulating the suspension.

Maybe it is possible you have a bad reman'd axle? And I guess it is possible that my past axles that have always had that movement never really led to any noises or issues so I just kept on thinking it was all fine.

Post back what the dealership says
 

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The outer joint should exhibit zero play if it is good - the balls should fit tightly between the inner and outer races when new, and will loosen only slightly over the next 100+k miles. However, it is possible that the axle itself is sliding inside the splines of the inner race if it was not assembled correctly. Unfortunately, you can only diagnose the difference by taking the boot off to expose the insides of the joint.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay, so I brought it to the dealership and would you look at that my appt is the last one of the day :) ..... so I am kindly greeted by the “best mechanic they have” and I show him the video and clearly show what my problem is. After having my car for a solid 10 minutes in the garage then bringing it back out to just sit there for a solid hour while I wait just to be told there is nothing wrong with my axle, I have to pay a $61 bill for labor, and there is no noise. I speak to a manager? And I get to go on the ride this time :) with a different mechanic. Wow! He hears the noise! Asks me if he wants me to have him take it back in and poke around and I declined because then I would have to pay more money for “labor”. He tells me to switch the passenger side with the driver side and see if the noise persists, and it follows they will warranty it. SO LOOKS LIKE I’M PLAYING WITH SOME AXLES TOMORROW BOYS..... :)
 

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Okay, so I brought it to the dealership and would you look at that my appt is the last one of the day :) ..... so I am kindly greeted by the “best mechanic they have” and I show him the video and clearly show what my problem is. After having my car for a solid 10 minutes in the garage then bringing it back out to just sit there for a solid hour while I wait just to be told there is nothing wrong with my axle, I have to pay a $61 bill for labor, and there is no noise. I speak to a manager? And I get to go on the ride this time :) with a different mechanic. Wow! He hears the noise! Asks me if he wants me to have him take it back in and poke around and I declined because then I would have to pay more money for “labor”. He tells me to switch the passenger side with the driver side and see if the noise persists, and it follows they will warranty it. SO LOOKS LIKE I’M PLAYING WITH SOME AXLES TOMORROW BOYS..... :)
Good luck, keep us updated on the noise
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, got the car on the lift and looked at both axles and said hey this might be the dumbest thing I could do potentially breaking my passenger side axle to check if the rattle switches sides so instead I poked around some more and noticed my abs wheel speed sensor wires were not where they should be seated and just kinda dangling around I zip tied her up real nice back where they should go and we’ll see if tomorrow when I go to work the sound is still there since I hear the noise the most on the road to work. If the noise is persistent i’m just going to buy another reman and return this one and take the hit.
 

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Okay, got the car on the lift and looked at both axles and said hey this might be the dumbest thing I could do potentially breaking my passenger side axle to check if the rattle switches sides so instead I poked around some more and noticed my abs wheel speed sensor wires were not where they should be seated and just kinda dangling around I zip tied her up real nice back where they should go and we’ll see if tomorrow when I go to work the sound is still there since I hear the noise the most on the road to work. If the noise is persistent i’m just going to buy another reman and return this one and take the hit.
Why would you risk breaking the axle just by swapping sides?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay grew some balls and did it. When I took off the axle the part that goes into the transfer case just seems to be flopping everywhere and the noise does follow. Clearly I have a bad axle as I was saying
 
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