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Thread: Transmission/axle/differential clunking noise.

  1. #1
    "FNG" Michelle's Avatar
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    Transmission/axle/differential clunking noise.

    How's it going, everyone?

    My boyfriend recently replaced the clutch in my '05 Outback XT and we seem to have a hiccup now. We think the driver front axle was going bad since before the repair, but now the clunking has increased ten-fold! It has only added to the annoyance of the whirring noise caused by the center differential bearings these transmissions are famous for.

    The noise used to present itself when making VERY slow left turns. You could feel a slight repetitive clunk in the steering wheel to coincide with the noise. Now, it does it on turns in either direction below 20 mph. Moving around in parking lots is awful!

    The axles were supported with zip ties while the transmission was out, so I don't suspect that they became ruined in the repair process from being hung by their own weight. However, axles are a wear item and it certainly sounds like axles. I'm really just wanting to know if any of you agree or if there's that random person who will have had a similar experience and can tell me it's something else before I go buy axles. Wishful thinking, perhaps!

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. #2
    t3h ub3r m3mber r3v_v3ng3's Avatar
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    I think the rhd wagon that we have is doing the same thing. Weird thing is that we didn't do any work with it. When I got it aligned they told me that the steering rack is bad (too much play) and the rear control arm bushing is also bad. We'll after driving it for awhile it started to make this really bad judders on the pass side like its about to explode lol. I already changed to a good rhd steering rack and replaced the bushing and yet the noise is still there. There is no play in the suspension now so like you I also suspect the axle other than that it would have to be the hub or strut/spring. I would suggest, which I'm going to do on the rhd also is to remove the axle (In my case the pass front) and see if its still making the same noise. If it goes away then obviously the axle but for now that's how I'm going to start the process of elimination

  3. #3
    "FNG" Michelle's Avatar
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    My noise won't manifest unless the car is moving. If I sit still and turn the wheel I won't hear anything. If I inch forward at a snail's pace then I'll hear it. So it's driveline related for sure. Whether it's the axles or the center differential is what I'm trying to determine. I don't hear anything in a straight line, so that further points toward axles. I'm still just confused as to how they ruin themselves after a clutch replacement.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Dead91silvia's Avatar
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    The center diff will not make any noise when they go back, but they will bind and make the tires chirp. The axles will typically click. What I've seen happen a could of times though is that the driveline U-joins will go bad. We had a clicking/clucking noise in an 02 H6 car and gave it a new driveline and it was fine. So you might want to check that out.

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