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2005 Legacy Wagon Limited 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so for the past few weeks I've been hearing this sound on and off. It's like a whistling/squealing noise but sometimes presents as a light scraping sound. Sometimes it does both.

Conditions:
  • Seems to be temp related. Happens mostly in colder weather although it's hard to tell because it's just been plain **** cold out every day here.
  • Usually goes away after exceeding 30 or so mph.
  • Usually goes away after the first few miles once things get heated up, although it didn't do that today. Today it appeared after about 20 minutes of highway driving.
  • Comes and goes. Sometimes I wont hear it for days.
  • Speed dependent only. Gear doesn't matter, coasting in neutral doesn't change things, AWD or FWD does the same thing. Throttle position makes no difference.
  • Turning/braking doesn't seem to change anything.
  • Sounds like it's coming from the front right of the car
Now. I've also had what I believe to be a pinion bearing that sings a bit at around 50mph for months. I don't believe this is related. That sound hasn't changed at all. I'm also not 100% sure it's the pinion bearing. Diff oil looked good last I changed it although I might drain it again to see if there's anything of concern going on in it.

I ran the car on jackstands and it sounds like it's coming from the right side. I was working by myself so it was hard to get the wheels spinning at speed and listen at the same time. I also had to hold the left side wheel from turning because the diff was favoring that side. It sounded like the scraping/hissing was getting louder as the right side wheel sped up but I was on the left side of the car. This test was kind of inconclusive so I might have to try again with someone else to help me and perhaps crawl underneath.

Here's a short video I took.

Any guesses?
 

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2005 Legacy Wagon Limited 4EAT
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176 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I considered that just due to where it sounds like the sound is coming from. I've just never heard a wheel bearing make a sound like that in my life. I'm guessing you've seen/heard this before. I'll take a closer look at the wheel bearing.
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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I considered that just due to where it sounds like the sound is coming from. I've just never heard a wheel bearing make a sound like that in my life. I'm guessing you've seen/heard this before. I'll take a closer look at the wheel bearing.
Yes I've seen mainly pulley bearings make this sound. Also makes since as well since the grease is cold and tacky, versus being at operating temp and able to "flow". I've also had a pulley bearing sound like a massive boost leak, threw me through a loop for 30 minutes lol.
 

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2005 Legacy Wagon Limited 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #5
I'm wondering if the bearing is just dried out and rusted. That would make sense for it to make that sound rather than the typical groaning sound you'd hear from pitted bearings.
 

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2005 Legacy Wagon Limited 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #6
Just ordered a new Timken wheel bearing since the only time I have to address this is on Sunday. Hopefully that's the problem. :)
 

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2005 Legacy Wagon Limited 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #7
Ok so I swapped out the r/f wheel bearing. That wasn't the problem. My fault for being lazy and throwing parts at it. Not my usual style. I'll have to get it on jackstands again and crawl underneath while everything's turning. I'm beginning to suspect the driveshaft center bearing but we'll see. In the meantime I'm going to continue driving it. Maybe whatever it is will fail catastrophically so at least it will no longer be a mystery.
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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Ok so I swapped out the r/f wheel bearing. That wasn't the problem. My fault for being lazy and throwing parts at it. Not my usual style. I'll have to get it on jackstands again and crawl underneath while everything's turning. I'm beginning to suspect the driveshaft center bearing but we'll see. In the meantime I'm going to continue driving it. Maybe whatever it is will fail catastrophically so at least it will no longer be a mystery.
The center bearing would be more load dependent though. They are pretty soft anyways, I thought mine was bad, when in fact it was the front u joint. Either way the driveshaft needed replaced, but just a heads up from what I found.
 

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2005 Legacy Wagon Limited 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #9
I'm also wondering if it could be a seized front diff side-bearing. It's weird because the sound seems to speed up and slow down when it comes and goes as I drive. Like I can be cruising at 30mph or so, and along comes the scraping noise often accompanied by the whistling noise. And then it might slow down and disappear for a bit and then come back up. I'm visualizing an inner or outer race is spinning in whatever it's housed in. A seized side bearing is also completely unheard of in Subaru world. I've been searching to see if it's happened to anyone else and I can't find a single mention across any model line/year.

Another thing is that a diff bearing would be logically be less affected by outside air temp, which this seems to be related to, and probably wouldn't sound that clear. This morning I was driving past parked cars with the window open and the all of the noises were pretty audible reflecting off of the parked cars. I doubt I would hear that scraping sound if it was inside the diff because high frequencies won't travel through the case. I'm completely grasping at straws right now, I know, but that's all I really have the ability to do right now until I have the time to mess with it.

It could just be the driver's side wheel bearing but the fact that it doesn't change with turning makes me suspicious of that idea.
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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Check the u joints in your driveshaft. Mine was making a scraping noise at one point before failure. If you see rust streaking out of the joints, it's on it's way out.
 

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2006 Outback XT 5 speed
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The description reminds me of a recent occurrence of a couple large ice chunks getting wedged between the heat shield over the center muffler and the driveshaft just in front of the center bearing on my Outback. There was a scraping/whirring noise that would randomly come and go. Probably not the issue in your case but worth taking a quick look.
 

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I’m having the same issues on my 09 Outback. It’s a pretty loud scraping sound that is very intermittent (as in once or twice a month, and lasts for 5-10 mins). It’s also the front passenger wheel. The only thing I can think of are rocks getting jammed in between the dust shield and rotor. I drive gravel roads everyday so it’s definitely a possibility.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2005 Legacy Wagon Limited 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #13
Figured it out. It’s the driveshaft carrier bearing.

I put the car on jackstands and ran it with the wheels off the ground. Noticed the sound doesn’t occur in FWD with the parking brake on. Crawled underneath with it running and sure enough that’s exactly where the sound was coming from. I took a nice video for you guys too!


Anyway just to further verify I hosed it down with PBlaster and it STFU.

So as far as replacement options:

  • Amazon has a Dorman driveshaft with grease fittings on the u joints for $348 shipped prime.
  • Used driveshaft that might have the same issue in the future for $150+ shipping since nobody local seems to have it.
  • Send it off to a driveshaft shop to be rebuilt which might take days and end up costing the same as the Dorman one at the end of the day.
I’m thinking the Dorman shaft might be the way to go here unless any of you have some horror stories you’d like to share.
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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Figured it out. It’s the driveshaft carrier bearing.

I put the car on jackstands and ran it with the wheels off the ground. Noticed the sound doesn’t occur in FWD with the parking brake on. Crawled underneath with it running and sure enough that’s exactly where the sound was coming from. I took a nice video for you guys too!


Anyway just to further verify I hosed it down with PBlaster and it STFU.

So as far as replacement options:

  • Amazon has a Dorman driveshaft with grease fittings on the u joints for $348 shipped prime.
  • Used driveshaft that might have the same issue in the future for $150+ shipping since nobody local seems to have it.
  • Send it off to a driveshaft shop to be rebuilt which might take days and end up costing the same as the Dorman one at the end of the day.
I’m thinking the Dorman shaft might be the way to go here unless any of you have some horror stories you’d like to share.
I have the Dorman shaft in my car. I think about 10k on it now? No problems. Like I've said in other posts. It's a superior design to the subie one imo.
 

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2005 Legacy Wagon Limited 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #15
I just like the idea that it's greasable. Imagine how rare u-joint failures in Subarus would be if the factory ones could be greased.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
All fixed! The Dorman driveshaft fit like a glove. It was a bit annoying working on my back since I’ve only ever done them on a lift. I did have to disconnect the rear section of the exhaust and lower it. There was no way to get the driveshaft out otherwise. Fortunately my exhaust bolts are in pretty good shape and zipped right off.

Glad that’s over with because it was sounding increasingly worse every day. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to make it home today. It was like a jet engine. The bearing was completely shot and probably wouldn’t have lasted much longer.

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