Differential ON FIRE today.... - Page 2
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This is a discussion on Differential ON FIRE today.... within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Originally Posted by phoebe It doesn't make sense that it was a problem with the fluid. Like I said, I've ...

  1. #16
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Da boonies,Va
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebe View Post
    It doesn't make sense that it was a problem with the fluid. Like I said, I've taken this car in for all the recommended maintenance. And it's too much of a coincidence to think that the fluid problem peaked precisely when I got a flat. No, the donut was the problem. The insurance assessor and repair shop guys agreed on that. The interesting point is raised by T.J. He hasn't had the problem after several flats. Maybe that has something to do with the size of our tires compared to the size of our donuts. I do have large tires. Maybe the donuts are all the same size. Or maybe it had something to do with the country roads I drove on. Hard question.
    The donut should be sized to the stock tires. If you have a different size than stock a problem would/could occur. Should explain this in the manual I believe.

    Last edited by Donkey; 02-05-2010 at 08:32 AM.
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  3. #17
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    Aug 2010

    Doughnut cooked differential '04 WRX 5MT

    Add my name to the list of folks who drove less than 30 miles and cooked the diff. No fire in my case, though.

    * Car has 98K mi. Stock wheels & tires, suspension, chassis, engine, everything. All maintenance done by Subaru.
    * Always changed four tires at once. I keep the pressure up, but I run 'em till the edges wear out.
    -- Don't reply telling me about underinflation. I tend to drive it hard.

    * Got the flat in Lancaster, NH at about 8:45 PM, put the doughnut on. No problem, I've done this a million times.
    * Drove into Whitefield at << 50 MPH (15 through town, 45 the rest of the way).
    * Stopped for gas in Whitefield, NH (~9 mi). No issues. Drove <<50 MPH through Carroll & Twin Mtn into Franconia.
    * First noticed some wierdness in Franconia. Slight pull, slight vibration, faint smell.
    * Pulled off at the first exit on the Parkway. Car didn't want to start up again from the stop sign.
    * Made a right turn off the ramp (car made a creak), drove it about 25 ft to get it clear. Total distance driven: ~27 mi.
    * Jumped out, jacked up the car, checked the doughnut. Looked OK.
    * De-torqued the lugs anyways, shook the tire around & re-torqued them. Doughnuts' on fine now, but it was before too.
    * Got back on the Parkway, immediately noticed no improvement. Pulled off at the next exit (~800 ft).
    * Thought about it for a few minutes.
    * Checked the doughnut's sidewall. Says it needs >60 lbs. And ya know, I've got a compressor handy.
    * Hooked up the compressor. Doughnut's got ~30 lbs. Swore.
    * Repressurized the doughnut in ~5 mins. Waited ~25 more for the diff to cool down.
    * Drove the car the rest of the way to Merrimack (~90 miles) with no issues, besides a faint hum. Arrived ~12:30 AM.
    * Got 4 new tires in South Nashua that afternoon.
    * Drove back to Lancaster (~130 mi) that evening. No issues.
    * Drove back to VA (~668 mi) the next day. No issues.
    * Got the car checked out at Stohlmann Subaru in Herndon. Estimate is $2700 for a driveshaft & cooked diff.
    * Paid 'em for their investigation time but drove away unfixed. Can't swing the repair.
    * It's been two weeks and I can still smell that thing if the car's been parked awhile on a hot (>95F) afternoon.

    WARNING: If you're not sure about the pressure, DON'T INSTALL THE DOUGHNUT ON THE REAR AXLE!!!

    I don't know what I'm going to do with the car, partly cuz the 2011's are pretty awesome-- but I'll most likely repair the ol' girl at some point and soldier on, especially with Baby #2 on the way. One thing for sure from now on... Full Sized Spare, and check the freakin' pressure before you put the freakin' spare on.
    Last edited by swcwrx; 08-18-2010 at 07:45 PM.

  4. #18
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Nor Cal
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    R160's are cheap used. Buy one from a junk yard or off the forums for a $100-$200 and put it in yourself.

    Are you sure the driveline is cooked? If it is, that is the more expensive piece as it is non serviceable IIRC.

    Personally I carry a plug kit and an air compressor. From my off roading days, I know you can fix almost anything with a plug kit, and If you can't its probably best to tow it anyways.
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>


  5. #19
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    Aug 2010
    Hey 06... good on the plug kit & compressor. This one wasn't pluggable (about an inch-long tear on the inside sidewall) but I didn't even have a second thought about the doughnut anyways. Just throw it on like normal, every car the last 20 years no prob with the doughnut, even this car the first couple times no prob. For me I think the full-size spare is mandatory, the way I get flats. I still have a blast, though.

    The key is the sophistication of the drivetrain. LSD's are awesome but you gotta take care of 'em.

    Car still drives fine so I'll fix it as I can... no worries. No more doughnut, though- through with that.

    Hey where can I find a driveshaft & differential for less than $2100? That was the dealer quote for the parts by themselves.
    Last edited by swcwrx; 08-19-2010 at 06:31 PM.

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