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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

So I've completed a search and couldn't find anything similar (that I could tell) so I'm posting.

I'm experiencing this crazy shake at speeds ranging from 40-65 mph... Just in this range, doesn't matter RPM, and doesnt really go away when the engine is off (did the drive down the highway, drop to neutral and shut off test). Also, I do not think it's TC related because the stall test reads 2500 rpm... is this normal?

So, this leaves me in a weird situation. One would think Axle issue, but I'm not so sure. I did just replace the front passenger side axle, but I used an OEM (well, at least it came from the dealership) axle. This axle was also fine up until a week ago, meaning NO vibration or anything.

I was thinking unbalanced wheel, or something, but is there any other issues I could be overlooking? I'm pretty sure the engine shut off test eliminates all of the mounts, spark plugs, engine issues, but does it remove drive shaft or transmission issues? Also, my balljoints were nearly shot... and by nearly shot I mean they have the giant tear that is apparently "OK" to drive on, but I want to replace them... Is this something that could cause this?

Also, one last question.

I'm used to up keeping a Z, so I'm used to expensive hard to find parts, but I CANNOT find parts for this car other than OEM / autozone.

Is there a good site you guys use for suspension / engine parts? Thanks!

-Rob
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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are the tires all the same brand and wear level? Haveyou inspected them and tried moving back to front to see if that changes the vibration?

Is vibration felt in the car or the steering wheel?

mileage? transmission?

many folks here get parts from on-line dealers like fred beans, subarugenuineparts, subarupartsforyou,or, rockauto, even amazon. Plus, there are junkyard/used parts distributors and even ebay. check boxer4racing for some legacy/outback bits. maybe not as much aftermarket stuff as Chevrolet, but not impossible to find most common stuff.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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There aren't a lot of aftermarket engine or suspension parts available for Outbacks. 1 Lucky's list is great.

There are tons of aftermarket goodies available for the turbo engines- the aftermarket guys concentrate heavily on that and show little love for the other engines.

Similarly, the aftermarket suspension guys focused on the low-riding models like the Legacy GT and the Impreza WRX/STI. Not much for high-riding Outbacks, though some parts do cross over.

A few brands to look for:

Grimmspeed
Perrin
Rallitek
Whiteline
Cobb

Good luck!
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Definitely would not want to drive around on shot ball joints. Do those puppies.

As per the shaking - David's top ten:
1. Most obvious, easiest, and cheapest - balance all four wheels - road force balance if available
2. Check for bent or out of true (large run-out) rim - road force balance guy can check this if you pester him and he's not some inexperienced kid (sorry old resentment against Mr. Tire)
3. Check the struts - push down on each corner and it it bounces more than one and a half times it may be time for struts - bad struts can cause a "harmonic vibration" that builds with speed
4. If it's in the steering wheel check the U-joint in the shaft where it heads into the rack
5. If it happens while braking (doesn't seem like from your post) but just in case, it could be warped rotor or time to re-lube the caliper pins
6. Alignment - do all four wheels
7. Mismatched or bad (broken belt inside) tires
8. Tie-rod ends
9. Steering rack
10. Bad karma (I needed one more to make it ten)
 

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2011 OB 2.5i limited
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This is a long shot, but are your wheels factory or aftermarket? I had a wicked shake in my Tacoma around that speed that was caused by my aftermarket wheels. A set of hub-centric rings fixed me right up.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the list. Already ruled out most of it (especially the braking... it's weird, but it goes away when the brakes are applied... I'm guessing it's due to a shift of weight because it returns as soon as it lets go).
I am taking it to a local Ken Towery to get the suspension fully checked, but I am pretty positive it (all of the suspension) is shot and needs to be overhauled (which is why I'm looking for AM parts). Looks like the suby stuff is pretty solid though.



Wheels are out of the question. I rode on a bent rim before switching them out of my Z and this is totally different.

Tie rods are fine, checked em when I replaced the axle.

Mileage on the engine is about 30k. Tranny is about 130k. No slippage or anything crazy, but the first thing I did was change the fluid / filter and it was DEFINITELY not red.... It honestly looked more like motor oil than transmission fluid. Definitely some debris in there, but didnt do a flush because of some things I read on here about not flushing the transmission.

I may drop the pan if the suspension comes back relatively clean...

That being said, what about a wheel bearing? I've never had one of these fail, so what do they feel like?

oh! more on the vibration... it starts off slow and heavier at around 35-40, worst between 40-45 and then feels like one of those massage things from 50-65 (and less noticeable after, but I can hear change rattle so it's definitely there).

Thanks again guys!
 

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Sounds like a tire with a bad belt or in my case a tire that really went egg shape on me. Given the effect seems to cover the full speed range the tire is the #1 suspect.

Bearing is more of a noisy tire vs a vibration given the bearings get loud as they become less smooth etc. Think really terrible road noise but only coming from one tire vs all 4 etc.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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The fact that it lets up when the brakes are applied leads me to believe there is something loose that gets pressed up against something else due to the brakes being applied. So, if your suspension component is rattling around in its fitting while driving, applying the brakes causes it to move forward against its fitting, socket, or whatever, canceling the vibration.

Sir Issac Newton wrote about it a while back, "Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it." Uniform motion = vibration. External force = the cancellation of forward momentum caused by slowing down when you hit the brakes. Like touching a bell that is ringing to make it stop ringing.

That's today's physics lesson kids. Now go to bed.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #9
The fact that it lets up when the brakes are applied leads me to believe there is something loose that gets pressed up against something else due to the brakes being applied. So, if your suspension component is rattling around in its fitting while driving, applying the brakes causes it to move forward against its fitting, socket, or whatever, canceling the vibration.

Sir Issac Newton wrote about it a while back, "Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it." Uniform motion = vibration. External force = the cancellation of forward momentum caused by slowing down when you hit the brakes. Like touching a bell that is ringing to make it stop ringing.

That's today's physics lesson kids. Now go to bed.
This is EXACTLY what I was thinking. As I said, I'm 100 percent sure the suspension is shot and all bushings / whatnot need to be replaced, but just wanted to make sure as it seemed like a common problem! I should know by this weekend.

Also, got a lot of good info for parts in this thread! thanks again
 

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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #10
Turns out it's the driveshaft u-joint. Anyone know where to get one of these? stealership is quoting 640 for the driveshaft... never seen one that $$$ in my life lol
 

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Drive shaft - U joint? So we are talking just a CV joint and axle which case go find another shop. Also keep in mind that your issue could be due to the original axle being replaced with a cheap parts store axle which case this is a very well known thing with Subaru types. You might save a few bucks on a cheap knock off but there are dozens of threads on these forums that point to the OEM axle being the best way to go if you want vibration free - and trouble free issues vs having to replace a cheapie axle again not long down the road when it causes the same issue again.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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kinda surprised an 05 would have a frozen u-joint

some people have found some Ford (?) u-joints that can be welded in place but, I think a shop will have to do it to confirm balance, etc.

try a search, folks have found ways around just buying one from a dealer, but it's tricky. I suppose a low mileage junkyard unit with a 30 day warranty should be OK.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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I did well finding a good used driveshaft on the cheap via car-parts.com, and that was for the unique H6 shaft. $150 plus $25 shipping. A more commonly used shaft should be a bit cheaper.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #14
I ended up going with the guys at the colorado shop. I'll be replacing it next week and, if I have time, giving a review on it.
 
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