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Hey,

I have a 1997 Outback Legacy wagon and I'm experiencing a loud grinding noise when turning right. The noise is coming from the driver's side wheel as far as I can tell. I just replaced the axle on that side because of a broken boot, but the grinding sound maintains. I couldn't find any obvious wear on the rotor or anything else, though it appears the caliper may be minorly dysfunctional - It's not clear that this is the culprit because one of the cylinders doesn't engage nearly as well as the other, but I don't see why this would cause the noise since it's not related to braking.

Thanks
 

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Sounds like a bad wheel bearing to me(based on you description). But that is just a shot in the dark without actually being there to hear it.
 

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The top strut mount on the front has a bearing in it, as the entire strut needs to turn with the steering knuckles. You may well be hearing that upper strut bearing grinding if the bearing is shot.

I just replaced all four of our struts and the front two mounts had bearings that were easily felt as binding, however, they still moved. Much longer and I'm sure we would be hearing grinding noises as well!
 

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try checking the temps of the front hubs after a drive, with an infrared remote therm if you can get one. Bad wheel bearing or dragging brakes should heat up one side mor ethan the other.

Also, since you just change axles, double check that the stub hasn't pulled partially out of the front diff. Did you torque the axle nut with the weight of the car on the wheel?

Getting the front up in the air, you could use a hose or mechanic's stethoscope, and a helper to spin tires, to compare the sounds of the right and left hubs. many folks have had bad bearings that will not allow any detectable movement grabbing the wheels and rocking them so - that may not help.

As a last resort, you could swap sides with the axles. If the noise stays with the new axle, you may need a warranty exchange on it.
 

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A manual I have states to not have the wheel (tire, rim) on the hub while the axle has not yet been bolted tight.

Have an assistant lay onto the brakes to tighten the nut to torque specifications (151 ft-lbs rings a bell, however, double-check that). Do this BEFORE the wheel or tire is installed!


The manual stated that, putting on the wheel BEFORE the axle nut has been tightened then staked will cause damage to the bearings.

Also, is there much rust around the perimeter of the disc?
If so, could rust be rubbing on something?
 

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Could it be the front diff? When the car is in turn front drive shafts have different speeds, so it's up to the front differential, I think. I don't know what else it could be, if it's not the wheel bearing or one of CV-joints.


- Serge.
 
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