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I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
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657 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 1998 with 235K miles. I had the engine replaced with a 2.2. It runs fine. But when I reverse. I get a "clunk" sound from the front [or it sounds like from the front] after backing 10-20 ft. And then when I go forward, I can hear another quieter "clunk" again after 10-20 ft. All the fluids are full and I replaced them all. The clunk is a little like when the hood is released from the inside, but of course that's not the cause. The clunk doesn't repeat if I back up further and going forward.

I'm posting because this must be a characteristic of some problem that is relatively common and someone must know what it is.
 

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1998 Legacy Outback
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25 Posts
I just purchased a 98 too, working bugs out of mine also. I here a light clink in mine but it isn't bad. I have almost 200K on mine too. I was thinking it was a CV joint in the front but mine isn't bad enough to worry about.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,620 Posts
if this happens at fairly low speed, have someone drive the car back and forth while you pace it on foot, try to get a sense of which corner or which end of the car is invloved. Then you will need to inspect underneath.

Subarus must have matching 'rolling diameter' at each corner so, if the tires are mixed, maybe there's some torque bind?

tires must be same size/brand/model and near each other in wear.

could perhaps be some brake pad issue....?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,620 Posts
the 10-20 feet part of the story makes me think torque bind - it might take some distance to build-up drive-line stress.


mikec - would this do precisely the same in gravel or dirt?
 

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Registered
I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
Joined
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657 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I still haven't located the sound. It makes the same noise when backing up on gravel. It also makes the same noise when I put in the FWD fuse which should eliminate the propeller shaft. It doesnt should like it's coming from underneath the drivers seat anyway. It"s more from the front.

An internet search suggests the upper control arm bushing, the torsion bar bushings, the CV joint, or a loose ball joint. I notice that the drivers side control arm bushing is leaking grease. But the sound seems more from the right side.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,620 Posts
ok, seems unrelated to torque bind at least.

maybe take a hard look at exhaust hangers?

and trans/engine/rear diff mounts?
 

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Registered
I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
Joined
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657 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
UPDATE A bolt on the right front caliper was not tight! I would never thought of that! I finally did figure out that the thud occured when the brakes were applied which made it easy to reproduce for the mechanic to listen to it.
 
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