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Discussion Starter #1
Hello clever people,

I have a clunking noise coming from my Subaru and 3 mechanics have had a look and failed to find the source. Its driving me nuts and I want to find and fix it. Have you had this before or do you know what causing it? Here is the run down:
Car:2006(7 years old) Subaru Outback 2.5 L Manual RHD 120,000 km, no modifications, and well maintained.
Both CV joints(full shaft assembly) have been replaced recently(5-10,000km ago) as the CV boots had torn.
The car makes a clunking sound when under load or turning. It varies in loudness and when it does it. It can also be felt when you are driving. It sound like its coming from around the gearbox/engine/front suspension. I have tried turning in a full lock to get the classic cv clunking noise to occur but it doesn't make a sound, so I don't think its the CV joints. There is no axial play in the CV joints, the ball joints have been checked, the brass nut which holds the CV joints to the wheel hub has been tightened. There are no leaks or funny smells and fluid levels are as they should be.
There must be a worn out bearing or something loose or broken somewhere! Its is driving me nuts.

Please let me know if you have any ideas or have experience this or know someone who has.

Cheers

Em
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,628 Posts
if it wasn't doing it before the CV shaft swap, and is now, you probably need to determine what the warranty is on the new shafts. If they were typical rebuilt units, they have a reputation for being poor quality.

I suppose you could also check the transmission's drain plug for chunks of metal and confirm its fluid level is good. You said you already tried turning circles. If the car will turn tight circles on dry pavement at idle with no bucking/jerking, then 'torque bind' shouldn't be a problem. Sometimes our cars have carrier bearing or u-joint problems.

my money is on one of the CV shafts though.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
Can you recreate the noise with hard shifts? Possible trans mount. They are real squishy on th Gen 3. I have stange knocking sometimes under braking and turning corners as well as crazy vibration when in gear (5EAT)

I am I haven't changed or upgraded mine, but it might be your issue. it is easy to check. If yours is real bad, you can get it to clunk with a prybar.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks traildogck and 1 Lucky Texan for your responses.
The CV joints that were replaced, the first one I bought from ebay new and did myself, the second I got a mechanic to supply and install a full new CV joint assembly. Joint CV joints were completely replaced with new full CV joints. The first joint repacement (Ebay one) was suspicious, the inner joint was much stiffer than the outter joint. I took it to a mechanic who said that they were all like this. So encouraged by this opinion, I installed it. The clunking noise only started several months after the second CV joint repacement, although it could just be the first joint reaching a state of wear that clunking occurs. Are all inner joint much stiffer than outter joints?

I cannot recreate the noise with hard gear shifts. When you say that you could attempt to get the transmission(gear box) mounts to clunk using a pry bar, do you mean jus wedge a bar between the gearbox and anything structual and try and move it back and forth?

Anymore brainwaves out there keep them coming!
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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"the brass nut which holds the CV joints to the wheel hub has been tightened"

Wheel bearing a possibility. I had a '92 ranger pickup 4WD that had the front wheel bearings very close together much the same as a sube front bearing, it would clunk under the same conditions you describe.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
Bushings, cross-members, rod-ends etc.

At risk of opening up a huge onslaught. Check out all of your bushings, joints, and check torque on suspension cross-members/connecting plates, engine mounts/trans mount. I just completed a whole suspension rebuild/upgrade on my 2006 XT. My car has 69,000 miles on it. Every Subaru mechanic that has looked at it, passed it with flying colors, completely dismissing any suspension concerns, always pointing to the low miles. I had few random clunks over bumps and hard turns. My car has next to ZERO drivability, tracking, tire wear concerns. During my work I found multiple issues:

FRONT
  • DS-FSB bushing toast, PS FSB bushing 20% failed.
  • DS-FSB connecting link, twisted approx 30deg.
  • PS-FSB connecting link play in upper heim joint.
  • Connecting plate/light cross-member-covering the sway bar, all connecting bolts had less than 5lb, just over finger-tight.
All of my control arm bushing ad ball joints were good. Essentially good up here. The inner control arm bushings can be degraded, and difficut to see. With the car in the the air and wheels hanging is the best way to overstress the geometry and allow some visual inspection. The rear on my car was far more significant.

REAR
  • DS Upper Control Arm, in-board bushing, 40% failed.
  • PS Upper Control Arm, in-board bushing, 40% failed.
  • PS Lower Control Arm, in-board bushing, 20% failed.
  • DS Lateral link, in-board bushing, 70% failed.
  • PS Lateral link, in-board busning, 70% failed.
  • PS RSB connecting link, twisted apporx 30 deg.
  • DS RSB connecting link, twisted approx 10 deg.
Any/all of these could have been the source of noises in my car. Tracking them down can be a [email protected]#h. Hope you find something.
 

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2002 Outback 2.5 5-spd
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I know you probably don't want to hear it but, if you feel this clunking/hard vibration in your seat and it seems to be coming from the transmission area check the U-Joint going into the transmission from the driveshaft.....also check to make sure the mounts on the rear of the transmission are fully intact, (not missing, or having gaps in them)

I just had a very similar problem and had to order a complete driveshaft fully assembled from wholesaleimportparts.com out of Cypress, CA and I was able to go to the local AutoZone and pick up the Transmission mount (In my case the Transmission mounts had rotted on my 2002 Outback which allowed for more than usual play and in turn blew out the U-Joint). I was able to pick both of these up for less than $500 and I think that was with a $85 dollar upcharge for overnight delivery.

The driveshaft from wholesaleimportparts.com has a $70 core with it that is refundable after free return shipment of your old driveshaft.

I really hope this helps as I had to find out this problem on my own
 

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Discussion Starter #9
scoot-aru,cardoc,traildogck,CNY_Dave,1 Lucky Texan
Thank you for you help. I took the car to a Mechanic friend of mine who got it up in the air and concluded that its the "tail shaft centre bearing". As the tailshaft comes out of the gearbox as before it goes into the rear differential there it a support bearing and bush in the centre of the tailshaft. When you move the tail shaft around you can see that there is play in the bearing and bush. I aim to replace it with cheaply sourced internet parts fingers crossed.
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/8201-1-lucky-texan.html
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Team

Does anyone know if you can separate the tail shaft centre bearing from this tail shaft? So far I can only source full drive shaft assemblies and not the centre bearing by its self. Has anyone experienced this in 2006 Outback 2.5L manual or similar?

Cheers
Em
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dave and Cardoc

Why do you say that I should replace the whole shaft? I have a price from a wreckers to replace the whole shaft for about $300, but I am a bit concerned about, condition of the shaft as is may be similar to mine, and the competence of a mechanic who works at a wreckers yard.

Cheers
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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I got a good used shaft for under $150, including shipping. Good yards will tell you the mileage of the part.

Replacing the bearing requires, I think, un-welding part of the shaft (I think). Anyway, large labor expense and then you still have used U-joints.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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^^ And an unbalanced drive shaft afterwards. Salvage shaft or new is the way to go. And if the salvage yard want 300 and is the evat price you can find, you may as well fork out the little extra and buy a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Finally Solved:

Low quality cv joint replacement from EBAY. The inner joint was poor quality. It felt rough and tight when you moved it prior to when it was initially installed.

You get what you pay for, should have trusted my instincts.
 
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