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1999 RBP 2.5RS
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238 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My car has been running a set of 4 different tires (all same size) since my dad decided to be cheap and buy four different tires. While it was fine for a while, there is now a repeated knocking sound in the front of the car. The sound goes away sometimes when I turn and gets faster when I speed up. The sound occurs regardless of engine speed. I checked for bad wheel bearings by grabbing the wheels and trying to move them. The wheels didn't move so I'm assuming the bearings are fine.

I'm assuming this is a result of damage to my front differential but I would definitely wish it wasn't. I was told that running different brand tires can damage the drivetrain very quickly. My dad just told me that differentials were strong and wouldn't break from just having different tire brands.

Any opinions on the matter would be greatly appreciated.
 

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It's not the different brand tires that are the issue. It's the material that is... Although your tires are "all the same size" they wear differently because of different compounds used by the tire companies.

However, this might just be a bad axle making this sound. Check your rubber boots on your axle - are they ripped? If so, that's most likely the noise. If they are not ripped, open them up and see if there is still grease in them.

Where precisely is the clunking noise coming from? Front/Middle/Rear of car? Does it go away when you brake? Etc...

My money is on the axles... but it could easily be something else.
 

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1999 RBP 2.5RS
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238 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sound is coming from the front/front right. It doesn't go away as I brake, it just slows down. It's 4 in the morning here so I'll check the boots when the sun comes back up. The noise goes away when I turn, so I was assuming it may be the differential.

Is the only indicator of a bad axle the rubber boots? What do I need to do if it were the axles? I'm not too sure if I can afford to replace an axle at this time.
 

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1998 Suby Impreza RS, Red
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389 Posts
I agree w/ redlinerally...it very much sounds like an axle to me. This doesn't seem to be too much of a problem on our cars, but ask any Honda guy, and your symptoms sound like every Honda guy describes when their axles are beginning to go bad.

I think you would be able to afford an axle, they make remanufactured, sometimes even new...for less than 100 dollars. Just make sure you look at a DIY on axle replacement here on the forum because the Subaru set-up is slightly different by using a dowel pin and gasket cover on the trans.

Hope this helps:)
 

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2005,Impreza RS Black Pearl
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13 Posts
I'm new to the Board and just came across this post.. I bought a 2005 RS and it had this same noise. Right front clanging noise as described. put it up in the air and rotate your Axles by hand..Move them around.. My right front CV was Hamburger. the outboard on the inner Joint was extremely loose. the car only had 30K miles on it. it will be noticeable if its an axle. good luck.

PS.. good news if it is your axle its one of the Easiest CV jobs you'll ever do.

David
 

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1999 RBP 2.5RS
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238 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm betting by now it's a damaged axle. Not sure if axles go off and damage themselves, but I'm trying to figure out what caused this. I'd rather not put in a new halfshaft and damage it again. About two weeks back, I installed a new set of struts and springs. The install was flawless other than not having the rubber lower spring seats on the front two struts. All the bolts have been tightened down.

Is it possible that the new struts and springs may have damaged the halfshaft?
 

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2005,Impreza RS Black Pearl
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I wouldn't think any of the new parts installed had anything to do with the axle going out if this is the case. the springs and struts don't stress the Axle. unless the angle has changed so much by lowering or raising that shouldn't be the case. either way its super easy to check if its bad and almost just as easy to swap it out. I had mine rebuilt and they put in a much stronger outboard than the OEM Style. My CV guy that does the rebuilds says there's nothing that "usually" wear the outboards "Inner Joint" out other than hot rodding or an accident. But they do decide to go for next to no reason some times.

Good Luck

David
 

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1999 RBP 2.5RS
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238 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ran the car on four jack stands, noise persisted. The front right wheel wobbles as it's spinning, so I think I can assume it's the bearings. Thanks for all your help guys.
 

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2005,Impreza RS Black Pearl
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Does anybody know about how much play there should be when rotating the wheel back and forth? also, if braking makes the noise stop is it the same issue?

Its next to impossible to truly feel the amount of play in the Axle by just moving the tire back and forth. If you hold the axle with one hand and rotate the wheels back and forth with the other hand this will give you a better idea. There should be very little play if any in the outer nuckles of the axle.

With the wheels moving freely the momentum will allow parts to move around more allowing the clunking or banging sound. As soon as the brakes are applied it holds the Rotor/hub back and will almost Eliminate the noise.

Having the car up in the air and rotating by hand will give you a good idea if this part is bad..

Best of luck!
 
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