Possible front differential problems
Results 1 to 8 of 8

This is a discussion on Possible front differential problems within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I bought my first Subaru on Thursday- 2003 WRX Sedan 5-speed. The car had an axle go out Friday, and ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    36

    Possible front differential problems

    I bought my first Subaru on Thursday- 2003 WRX Sedan 5-speed. The car had an axle go out Friday, and I replaced it last night along with the rotor on that side. After driving the car, and the issues with the front drive getting worse, I think the differential is gone as well.
    Here are the symptoms-
    It has a hard time getting going and it makes some terrible noises when letting out the clutch and applying power. When it get's going, the noises keep coming and it starts jumping power between the two front wheels. The rear wheels seem to be behaving normally. I asked my manager who's been in the automotive business for almost thirty years, and he drove it and agreed with me.
    Do I need to start looking for a used diff to replace the stock one, and how hard is it to do? Or are we totally off base with our troubleshooting...

  2. Remove Advertisements
    ClubWRX.net
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by Etown_wrx View Post
    I bought my first Subaru on Thursday- 2003 WRX Sedan 5-speed. The car had an axle go out Friday, and I replaced it last night along with the rotor on that side. After driving the car, and the issues with the front drive getting worse, I think the differential is gone as well.
    Here are the symptoms-
    It has a hard time getting going and it makes some terrible noises when letting out the clutch and applying power. When it get's going, the noises keep coming and it starts jumping power between the two front wheels. The rear wheels seem to be behaving normally. I asked my manager who's been in the automotive business for almost thirty years, and he drove it and agreed with me.
    Do I need to start looking for a used diff to replace the stock one, and how hard is it to do? Or are we totally off base with our troubleshooting...
    Define jumping power between the two front wheels? are you sure you installed the axe properly with the spring pin fully installed and the splines lined up correctly? If indeed it does need a front diff, you have to pull the trans, split the case halves, pull out the front diff, make a number of measurements such as pinion depth, preload etc etc.. with Subaru specific tools/ measuring devices, than reseal the case halves, and reinstall the trans...in short lets hope its not a front diff problem....Do you have any kind of warranty?

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    36
    It was doing the same thing before I installed the front axle- the power was only being applied to one wheel when under throttle. Now, it will grind through the first 4-5000 RPM before it feels like it's getting any power down, then it spins one or the other front wheel. I installed the front axle correctly, there was no issue with spline alignment, the spring pin went in easily, and it slipped into the hub without issue. My first impression was that the other axle was bad until it started the issue with loud grinding and almost no power under 5000. I had to limp the car to work and I left it there instead of taking it home or to my shop.

  5. #4
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,839
    From what you have mentioned thus far, yes I would suspect a front diff problem... It may be more cost/time efficent to purchase a used unit and just drop and swap them... Is power being transferred to the rear wheels ok?

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    36
    From what I can tell, the rear acts normally. I'm thinking I'll just purchase a complete used transmission and front diff assembly, and swap them. The lot I bought the car from said he would help me with parts or labor. I think I'll ask if he'll foot the bill on the trans assembly (700-800 from what I've seen) and I'll do the drop and swap myself....bad idea?

  7. #6
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by Etown_wrx View Post
    From what I can tell, the rear acts normally. I'm thinking I'll just purchase a complete used transmission and front diff assembly, and swap them. The lot I bought the car from said he would help me with parts or labor. I think I'll ask if he'll foot the bill on the trans assembly (700-800 from what I've seen) and I'll do the drop and swap myself....bad idea?
    Not bad of an idea, its not that common that I see front diff problems on WRX's, however make sure the used trans you are purchasing comes with a warranty... ( I purchased my used trans for my WRX with 70k miles on it for $500 )...Do you work in a shop? I dropped and swapped my trans in my wrx in around 4 hours, with a lift and air tools of course...

  8. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    36
    I don't work in a shop, but I have access to one. Has everything but a lift. My Dad and uncle own a construction company, and we have a 12000 sq ft warehouse. They used to be into drag racing (Quick 8s, etc. Have a dragster that does 6.30s), so we have plenty of tools and things of that nature.

  9. #8
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by Etown_wrx View Post
    I don't work in a shop, but I have access to one. Has everything but a lift. My Dad and uncle own a construction company, and we have a 12000 sq ft warehouse. They used to be into drag racing (Quick 8s, etc. Have a dragster that does 6.30s), so we have plenty of tools and things of that nature.

    Good deal man.. 6.3 is FAST Dropping and swapping these trannies are pretty straight forward, I would read a few threads on clutch replacements and such, also dont forget the plug on the D/S of the trans to remove the rod for the clutch fork...otherwise you will be struggling for hours...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •