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2002 Forester S
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm taking my 2002 Forest in on Monday to have them look at what I think is a bad CV joint. Here's my history:

~85k, front right CV joint went bad (heard clicking when turning)
~90k, front left CV joint went bad (heard clicking when turning)
~145k, front right CV joint went bad (no clicking, but a kind of clunking/growling sound when coasting, went away when braking or acclerating, went away after axle replacement)
~157k, front left CV joint potentially bad (same clunking/growling sound, doesn't seem like bearing noise)

All services done by a dealer (two different dealers, though). The ones that were replaced at 85k and 90k were replaced with new, not remanufactured, Subaru axles (under extended warranty). I don't know if the joints that failed were the inside or outside joints. There were no torn boots on any of them.

I asked the service manager last time if there could be anything that's causing these problems, and he said no. But having 4 new Subaru CV joints fail without torn boots seems awfully suspicious.

So, does anyone have any ideas about what could be causing this?

The only theory I could come up with is that maybe my lock to lock range for my steering is to much, and this causes the CV joints to bend more than they should. The only reason I think this is that it seems that when I'm at full lock, my wheels seem to be not position quite correctly, and if I do much of a circle, it kind of seems to 'hop'. Hopefully that description makes sense (and I understand that this theory may not make any sense, it's the only thing I could come up with). I couldn't find any adjustment of steering range in the service manual, but I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for.

Thanks!

Scott
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
So you installed a diff lock?

I would have to agree that the hopping is not good for the joints, when locked you really shouldn't be turning sharply.
 

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2002 Forester S
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, no diff lock. By lock to lock range I meant when going turning from one lock to the other (at least I think that's what it's called), just meaning that maybe my steering rack (or something else) allows the wheels to turn too sharply.
Scott
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
Sorry, no diff lock. By lock to lock range I meant when going turning from one lock to the other (at least I think that's what it's called), just meaning that maybe my steering rack (or something else) allows the wheels to turn too sharply.
Scott
Ah, you changed the range of the turning. In that case your cv failure might be suspension related in some way. There are rarely issues with OEM new and rebuilt axles.
 

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2002 Forester S
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I haven't changed or adjusted anything. Everything is stock. My theory is that maybe it wasn't adjusted right from the factory?

Scott
 

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2002 Forester S
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, the alignment has been pretty good.

So, what adjustment would be made to change the steering travel? Any ideas?

Scott
 

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07 XT
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70 Posts
Interesting problems you are having... Even more interesting that the boots where not thorn.

Did you get any feedback from the mechanics as to what was wrong with the CVs? Even if the boots were intact, you can still loose lubrication underneath the clamps, did this happen?

I didn't get if your problems were on the outboard joint or inboard, I'm assuming it's the outboard if you're concerned about the turning angles. If you are taking the joints over their max angles, the outer race will touch the shaft which can create the hopping. Do that enough times and the CVs will give in.

In any case, it doesn't seem the CVs are causing the problem - it rather feels like they are "paying the price". I would check the steering rack and watch the wheel alignment lock-to-lock turning angle against spec.

Just a note: CVs don't normally make any noises when driving straight ahead high speed on a highway, even when busted. They usually click when turning at low carpark speeds.

Hope you find out what's wrong...
 

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2002 Forester S
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
So, umm, apparently I'm just a moron. Found last night that my lug nuts were loose. Snapped one off with very little effort, so that's being replaced today (probably replace all of them on that hub).

When I had the last one replaced, they did mention that the lug nuts were loose. I had had the tires rotated a few weeks before that, so figured that's what it was. Now I'm wondering if maybe the last one that I thought was bad wasn't really bad, and it was really loose lug nuts, too.

I guess it's time to get serious about checking these things monthly.

Thanks, guys, for your thoughts.

Scott
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
So, umm, apparently I'm just a moron. Found last night that my lug nuts were loose. Snapped one off with very little effort, so that's being replaced today (probably replace all of them on that hub).

When I had the last one replaced, they did mention that the lug nuts were loose. I had had the tires rotated a few weeks before that, so figured that's what it was. Now I'm wondering if maybe the last one that I thought was bad wasn't really bad, and it was really loose lug nuts, too.

I guess it's time to get serious about checking these things monthly.

Thanks, guys, for your thoughts.

Scott
Eeek, scary one. But yeah if your lugs were bad,I;m surprised it didn't wear other things like your wheel bearings. Definitely do a full check over!

Good luck.
 

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Premium Member
04 XT 6spd
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946 Posts
i have something similiar, i have alot of noise coming from the front right wheel.
on highway speeds it sounds like a humming noise, i'm guessing bearing. but on low sppeds, it sounds horrible. almost like crushed bearings rolling around in a can. i've looked at the boots. seems ok.

i'm going to check my lugs now that this was mentioned. any other suggestions?
if i lift the front end, if i have play, would that be bearing? i've heard even without play it could be bearings.

i've been searching the forum for front bearing problems. seems pretty rare.
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
i have something similiar, i have alot of noise coming from the front right wheel.
on highway speeds it sounds like a humming noise, i'm guessing bearing. but on low sppeds, it sounds horrible. almost like crushed bearings rolling around in a can. i've looked at the boots. seems ok.

i'm going to check my lugs now that this was mentioned. any other suggestions?
if i lift the front end, if i have play, would that be bearing? i've heard even without play it could be bearings.

i've been searching the forum for front bearing problems. seems pretty rare.
That will most likely be your wheel bearings from your description. Sadly a common wear and tear part, be ready to drop at least 300$+. Try turning the wheel when you have it up, there should be little to no play and no grinding.
 

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04 XT 6spd
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946 Posts
$300 plus? wow thats insane. i need to replace a rear bearing as well. am i better off replacing the hub?
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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$300 plus? wow thats insane. i need to replace a rear bearing as well. am i better off replacing the hub?
You might be, the teller would be to go get multiple quotes, shop around as it really varies.
 

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$300 plus? wow thats insane. i need to replace a rear bearing as well. am i better off replacing the hub?
Its easier to replace the knuckle with another that already has the bearing and hub installed, but then you have to know the condition of the bearing.

Its usually around 100-150 for parts and 200-300 for labor to get it done on the car. If the hub is scored or damaged in anyway, i'd definitely replace it, as it can cause the bearing to fail prematurely.
 

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04 XT 6spd
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946 Posts
thanks for the info, and what about the rear? i've been driving with a bad rear bearing since last year. in this case should i change the knuckle in the rear as well?
 

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thanks for the info, and what about the rear? i've been driving with a bad rear bearing since last year. in this case should i change the knuckle in the rear as well?
The knuckle is usually fine, but the hub is probably scored. I had a dealership do the rear (they do it on the car with a hubshark type tool, instead of taking the knuckle off and pressing the bearing in with a shop press), and it was about 450 total including a new hub. For the front without getting a new hub they quoted 380. My bad front bearing ended up failing VERY badly (it started out not that bad but allowed the hub to bump around in the bearing and destroyed the hub), took it to AZP in NJ and they just pulled the knuckle and did the bearing+new hub in a press.

If the bearings are pretty bad, and you can find a whole assembled knuckle, I'd probably go that route as its something you can most likely DIY as it doesn't really require any special tools that you need if just replacing a bearing (with just replacing the bearing/hub you need either a shop press or a hubshark type tool). If you're bringing it to a shop, it doesn't really matter one way or the other.
 

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04 XT 6spd
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946 Posts
Thanks for the info funkymonkey. looks like i will do just that. swap out the front knuckle to keep it simple, swap out the rear hub and call it a day. anything else to keep an eye out for?
 

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2001 SOLD!
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1,413 Posts
How are the engine/tranny mounts? If the engine twists under load it can wear the cv joints pre-maturely. Check that out.
 
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