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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
transmission noise??? hope not-UPDATE

Ok here is the story:

On my way back from watching a rally (watching not in it). Been cruising like 70-80mph for like 2-3 hours. I hear what seems to be a honda w/an exhaust sounds like it is some distance away so i look around-see nothing. Next I think a car around me has a small exhaust leak, so i pull ahead of the crowd and noise is still there. After alittle while I realize the noise is actually MY car.

1 week later the noise seems to have gotten louder, and sounds more like tire tread rubbling on a tire that is low on air. I have checked my tires and none of them are low on air.

1 pair (front) is low on tread, so I swapped front to rear, wondering if the low tread isn't causing the sound. Sound seems to be worse. Not sure if this is b/c the sound is now coming form the rear and more into the cabin? Also feel slight vibration in the pedels did feel this before also.

I fear that at 236K miles my transmission is nearing the end of its life. From my description does it sound like this is what is happening? Could it be a wheel bearing (not sure how they normally die)?

Any advise/suggestions would be great b/c if i need to swap a transmission into this car then I won't bother getting my AC recharged.

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not to sound like a n00b, but how do you check the wheel bearings?

I probably know how....just don't know I know....:confused: .

Ian
 

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I'm sorry I didnt notice that you had put wheel bearing in your original post. Besides taking the wheel off and feeling for play, if the noise you've been hearing is something of a dull wuh wuh, that may well be your answer. Check also though that any plastic trim etc especially in the wheel wells hasnt come undone.
 

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Checking to see if it's the pinion bearing or some other bearing is very simple. any driveline bearing is going to make noise at all times the car is in motion. the pinion bearing is only going to make noise when the bearing is under load. simple test

Accelerate up to speed in 4th or 5th gear (what ever gear the sound is worse in) and apply power -is noise worse there? then put the clutch IN at a point it is making noise. This action will un load the power from the pinion bearing. If the noise stops and you are still at the same speed as you were before, 100% sure it is the pinion bearing... the trans may be headed out very soon.


It it does turn out to be the trans, and if nothing else is broken in the trans and you want to rebuild it, it's a good idea to stop driving the car immediately and get a list of parts you'll need for rebuilding it. generally a good full rebuild takes about $250 in parts. this includes all new seals, 2nd and 3rd gear syncros (those always go) all new roller bearings, needle bearings and of course the pinion bearing. Depending on what kind of power you want to put down with the car, the trans should last a very long time after a rebuild unless you are pushing 250+ lb/ft of torque.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
jetman said:
If the noise you've been hearing is something of a dull wuh wuh, that may well be your answer. Check also though that any plastic trim etc especially in the wheel wells hasnt come undone.
This would describe the noise that I have.

When rotating the wheels I did not notice any plastic pieces that could be causing this noise.

How long do you think I can drive the car like this? What is the failer when it does die?

Well hopefully it is a wheel bearing and not the transmission.

Thanks,
Ian
 

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Wheel bearings are just too cheap and easy to limp along. If you can hear a noise and feel a shudder and you're sure its a WB, the time to change is now. Keep you're speeds down and fix it on the weekend. It wont be a problem.
If you notice the noise is worse when you load the offending side while cornering, you can be quite sure its the WB.

I only mention the plastic and things like that becuase the two worst and most terminal sounds I have had on my cars were the block heater cord banging off the front wing and an alternator bolt digging into the firewall. Before I found the sources of the problem I was imagining all sorts of crazy and expensive repairs!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ya I had figured why u suggested the plastic pieces, i've run into those problems too......don't think it is that easy this time :cry: .


I can't seem to get a sense as to which side (assuming it is a side/bearing) the noise is coming from.....another reason I was questioning the transmission.

HUmmmmm sounds like I might want to sideline my car then........maybe take the minivan or convertable from my dad......

Ian
 

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If it indeed is the wheel bearing, the noise should be worse when you corner opposite of the failing one. When mine went it made a grinding kind of noise, that dissapeared when I turned into the side that failed.

You could jack the car up, and grab the wheel and shake it, pull it out and push it in. If you get any kind of play there, you have either a bad bearing or ball joints.

As recommended, you should take care of it at once. Should it suffer a terminal failure while you're driving, it could be dangerous to you and the car.
I would change both of them at once; as mentioned before, they are cheap and not very difficult to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well my dads friend was visiting tonight.....he is the owner of a little shop (him and 1 other worker) who specialzes on Subaru's. Yes I know i have a saab, but he is a really good mechanic (detected a bearing in my dads minivan during a ride to lunch). He took my car out and before we reached the end of the driveway he was thinking wheel bearing...........after going down the road he didn't think it was anything but the wheel bearing.

So 2 (just in case of an ops) bearings have been ordered (thanks eeuroparts) and friday I will be replacing which ever side it seems to be......no i highly doubt i'll do both unless i do the wrong side.......which my dads friend gave us some hints to fig. out which side it is.

Thanks everyone for your help....and suggestions beyond the bentley for replacment would be great if you have the time.

ian
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In preperation for replacing the bearing I was soaking the bolts/nuts w/pentatraiting oil.............I realized my driver side sway bar bushing had torn.

Good news is i don't work untill 2pm tomorrow so hopefully i can get everything off the car. Then everything back on the car friday (whole day off).

Car probably wont' know what to do with its self......new front brake pads, new wheel bearing, new front tires, and 1 (whole set maybe) sway bar bushing.

Ian
 
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