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2007 Subaru Forester X
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Issue: I've got a thumping sound from the rear passenger wheel/tire/assembly that I can't figure out for the life of me! Happens at all speeds, acceleration independent, no change when braking. It's less of a noise and more of a low thump I feel in the driver seat with each tire rotation.

Background: I have 152k miles on my Forester and last March we moved across the country from OR to MA and IL, IN, and OH roads reeked havoc. After the trip my rear passenger wheel bearing went out along with the suspension (I presumed). I got the bearing replaced by a shop ASAP, but waited to do the suspension myself. My rear driver side bearing was finally starting to go so it was time.

Recent work: A week ago I replaced all four struts and springs (used the drop in kind), the rear crosslinks, all rotors and pads, front passenger CV axle (busted the boot putting in that strut), front passenger tie rod (burst without effort moving the knuckle), and the rear driver side hub & bearing. I used the harbor freight bearing press kit and a slide hammer for the bearing job.

Origination of the problem: During this work, I noticed that when the shop replaced my rear passenger bearing, they never notched in and locked the axle nut, the torque was under spec (possibly came loose), and there was play where the axle meets the inner bearing gasket. I tightened everything up, but after a test drive I realized that bearing needed replaced again.

I replaced that bearing this weekend and noticed the outer axle shaft that goes into the hub had greasy rust all over the teeth and rust build up where it meets the inner seal - clearly from the loose/bad seal. The job 'seemed' to go smooth. The handling wasn't perfect on the test drive, but I needed an alignment and new tires.

I took it to a shop, bought new tires and got a front and rear alignment. This is when I really noticed the thumping.

Possible sources: (1) I possibly didn't press the hub in all the way and there is some slight runoff causing an imbalance? It was really tight when I pressed it on, it spun really easy, and looked to be well centered. I'm not having problems with the driver side I replaced and they look the same. (2) Possibly the rusted CV axle is causing issues on each rotation? I did clean it up as much as I could (3) I haven't rotated the tires to see if they didn't balance them correctly, but they seemed competent. (4) Ball joints or control arm bushings? (5) I somehow damaged the bearing when pressing the hub in? This is my least favorite option....

I'm just exhausted from all this work and wondering if anyone knows where to start. I need to jack it up again and check for noise in the rotation, but I know the tire didn't have any play in it (before I took it for new tires).

Sorry for the excessive detail and thanks for any thoughts or ideas!!!
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... A week ago I replaced all four struts and springs (used the drop in kind)...
I don't know the answers to your questions, but would like to know about the drop-in springs and struts. Do you have a link to a source, or a name?
 

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2007 Subaru Forester X
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know the answers to your questions, but would like to know about the drop-in springs and struts. Do you have a link to a source, or a name?
Definitely, they are TRQ assemblies I got from 1A Auto. I know some people say to just buy the struts and keep OEM bearings/springs, but this made my life much easier. Unless they’re the root of my current problem...

Here’s the link, and they sell them without the crosslinks too.

 

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2012 SH Manual Diesel
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738 Posts
Does the speed of the thumping sound increase with road speed?

Did you adjust the the handbrake, when new rotors went in? I assume you bled the brake lines, and serviced the callipers etc.

Did you check the clearance gap for the rear wheel speed sensor?
 

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2004 Forester XS 5MT
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1,048 Posts
I worked at 1A for a good stretch, their TRQ stuff is knockoff chinese junk, and most people from what I heard from the CS staff use 1A and A1(they are the same,...) because once they crap out in a year, give or take, in many cases they get a return on them. Ruturns are alarmingly high there. They to their credit do make relatively useful instructional videos, however.
 

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2007 Subaru Forester X
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I worked at 1A for a good stretch, their TRQ stuff is knockoff chinese junk, and most people from what I heard from the CS staff use 1A and A1(they are the same,...) because once they crap out in a year, give or take, in many cases they get a return on them. Ruturns are alarmingly high there. They to their credit do make relatively useful instructional videos, however.
This is good to know. The strut assembly works fine for 150k mile vehicle, but isn't smooth by any means. The hub I ordered from them wasn't even machined right and the axle didn't fit. I spent an entire day trying to figure out why the axle wouldn't fit all the way through (AFTER pressing the bearing and hub into the knuckle) - had to pull the hub and bearing and buy a new one from O'Reilly's.

I was going to contact them about returning it, but had already installed it, ripped it out, and got grease all over the box.
 

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2007 Subaru Forester X
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does the speed of the thumping sound increase with road speed?

Did you adjust the the handbrake, when new rotors went in? I assume you bled the brake lines, and serviced the callipers etc.

Did you check the clearance gap for the rear wheel speed sensor?
Checking the clearance gap is a great idea, I should probably check the ABS sensor/ring gap to make sure the hub is all the way in.

I didn't adjust the handbrake at all when the new rotors went in. I didn't bleed the brakes, but did a year ago - I changed them because a tech at the oil change shop said my pads were dangerously low... Forgot I did my entire brakes last year. Practically replaced new brakes with new brakes and they've worked great.

Today I noticed a bunch of goo (mounting lube?) appeared all around my rims and tires and my tire pressures isn't consistent (32/30 in rear 35/31 in front). The tires were clean when I left the shop. Now I'm wondering how naive I'm being thinking the tire shop actually did their job right and balanced the wheels/tires correctly. I default to blaming myself before the 'pros'.
 

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2012 SH Manual Diesel
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738 Posts
if theres no dtc for wheel speed sensor, thats a good sign.

whilst slowly rolling, you could try a very light application of the handbrake (keeping button pressed in so it doest lock on). see if it has an effect on the sound.

maybe check diff fluid and CV grease, to confirm they're in serviceable quantity and quality.

check diff mount bushings and swaybar mounts (if applicable), exhaust hangers, look for any debris around brake calliper and rotor (between pads, brake hardware, and dust shield), hunt around for any witness marks (indicates rubbing or contact).

Also have a look, at what the wheel alignment report says. What was the before and after alignment figures. Maybe measure the toe in on the rear, to see if it would agree, with the shop alignment figures (or get another shop to check it). A wheel alignment can only be as good as the calibration of the unit.
 

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2007 Subaru Forester X
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
if theres no dtc for wheel speed sensor, thats a good sign.

whilst slowly rolling, you could try a very light application of the handbrake (keeping button pressed in so it doest lock on). see if it has an effect on the sound.

maybe check diff fluid and CV grease, to confirm they're in serviceable quantity and quality.

check diff mount bushings and swaybar mounts (if applicable), exhaust hangers, look for any debris around brake calliper and rotor (between pads, brake hardware, and dust shield), hunt around for any witness marks (indicates rubbing or contact).

Also have a look, at what the wheel alignment report says. What was the before and after alignment figures. Maybe measure the toe in on the rear, to see if it would agree, with the shop alignment figures (or get another shop to check it). A wheel alignment can only be as good as the calibration of the unit.
This is a great help, I’m going to check a couple of these today as well as rotate the tires to see if that changes anything. Sounds like I’m in for quite the hunt. This weekend I’ll dive deeper.

Not getting any dtc codes at all and no ABS light or other warnings.

The CV boots aren’t damaged, but they’re definitely old - part of me was hoping that would be the culprit since it’s a relatively easy swap.

Will keep this updated, from searching forums these thump type sounds seem to be a needle in a hay stack. Thanks again!
 

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2007 Subaru Forester X
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tentatively resolved after checking a few things. I checked the lug nut torque and it was under spec. I think spec is 68-72 ft-lb. and it had headroom with the wrench first set to 60 ft-lb. I always assumed shops over torque these. It drove better, but @Dogs was onto something with the emergency brake. I slightly pulled it up and released it, and that definitely made a difference. I never would have thought of that, but makes sense since the thump would randomly get better or worse each time I drove it. Stopped at the gas station brought the tire pressure up a bit and evened them out. It's driving much better!

I need to figure out what's wrong with my e-brake, it's definitely not working properly (possibly not at all), but that's a different problem primed for new YouTube and forum searches.

Seems like it was a mix of the shop under torquing the lugs, using the wrong tire pressure, and me screwing something up with the emergency brake. I'll post an update in a few days before marking this as resolved, but I'm no longer scared my wheel might fly off from a bad bearing/hub job.
 
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