Is this rod knock / worn bearings? Everyone tells me it's fine!
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This is a discussion on Is this rod knock / worn bearings? Everyone tells me it's fine! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Car has been making this strange noise for several months now without any other symptoms. I've taken to the dealership ...

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    Unhappy Is this rod knock / worn bearings? Everyone tells me it's fine!

    Car has been making this strange noise for several months now without any other symptoms. I've taken to the dealership and a pro tuning shop and neither seemed concerned, but there's clearly something wrong with it. I'm freaking out and contemplating reverting to stock and trading it in to the dealership while they still want it, (and they do want it really bad).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpehxuiEE9c
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfT3nKY6E7w

    I'm just completely confused because my logs are clean, it's boosting fine, has tons of power, it's not burning oil, I'm not hearing that classic loud rod/bearing knock, there are no heat-shields left to rattle, the mounts are fine, but it just doesn't sound healthy and I cringe every time I give it a high rev and check... and it's been doing this since the beginning of May at the latest!

    Background:
    2012 WRX
    27k miles
    Rotella T6 5W-40
    First tuned in May of 2013.
    Always warmed up before boost.
    Not burning more than 1/2 qt / 3k miles.
    No heatshields left, except for catback shield.
    Datalogs are clean, with no FBKC or FLKC.
    Hitting 19psi consistently and easily.
    No apparent lose in power, pulls harder than ever, it seems.
    Clutch will occasionally slip if you go WOT on a cold night, up a hill, etc. Otherwise, it holds fine.

    Performance Mods:
    Torqued Performance Stage III tune + Header
    Perrin ELH & Uppipe
    DSS Carbon Fiber Driveshaft
    Denso Iridium One Step Colder Plugs
    AEM CAI
    Process West TMIC
    Forge BPV
    Grimmspeed EBCS
    Invidia Catted DP
    PTP Lava Turbo Blanket
    DW65c Fuel Pump
    Group N Engine Mounts
    Kartboy Short Throw Shifter & Bushings
    Kartboy Pitch Stop Motor Mount

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  3. #2
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    I hear nothing abnormal.

    If your concerned, get a UOA asap.
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    Village Idiot McBill's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me, can't tell anything is wrong from the video. If it's any consolation, My valves in my 2011 wrx are sort of loud. At least louder than I would expect for most cars but I've had it into a dealership for an inspection and they said everything looked and sounded fine. And they also said its one of the best conditioned 2011's that they have seen with that kind of mileage on it.
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    Asharus found the source of my "rod knock" in chat (He knew it immediately when I said "I can feel it through the pedals too")







    Gosh I feel stupid. How did I miss this?! phew!

    This is explains everything though, like why it got worse over time, why it started a few months ago (fixed an intercooler leak), why my steering wheel vibrates a little, why the stock pitch stop made it worse, why I could only really hear it from inside and while the windows were rolled up, why it didn't really do it much under load, etc.

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    now you can sleep at night again

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    I spoke too soon...

    The pedal vibrations are gone, which is a HUGE deal for me, still endless thanks for pointing out that fix, but the other sound is still very much there.

    At this point, I think the only thing I can do is get a UOA next oil change, and cut open the filter. Something, somewhere, is still buzzing around inside of something and making a racket.

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    welp, the car is still alive and kicking, pulling harder than ever, over-powering the clutch and everything... and the evil rod-knock noise persists.

    Still haven't had a chance to do a UOA, but soon... So sick of worrying about this thing.

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    UOA was rather inclusive... To forge ahead and buy a new header to fix my leaky woes, or revert to stock?


  10. #9
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I don't hear anything in your videos.

    Look up other Subaru UOAs and see if they show Ag in the wear metals. However I am having trouble visualizing how Ag alone could be present whereas all other metals are just fine. It seems to be that if this were genuinely bearing wear, more than one metal would be elevated. In your data only Ag is present -- not elevated I suppose, but just present.

    I wonder though, does the noise that you do hear go away when the engine is warm? If so that'd be piston slap, not likely rod knock, and would also not be considered abnormal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I don't hear anything in your videos.

    Look up other Subaru UOAs and see if they show Ag in the wear metals. However I am having trouble visualizing how Ag alone could be present whereas all other metals are just fine. It seems to be that if this were genuinely bearing wear, more than one metal would be elevated. In your data only Ag is present -- not elevated I suppose, but just present.

    I wonder though, does the noise that you do hear go away when the engine is warm? If so that'd be piston slap, not likely rod knock, and would also not be considered abnormal.
    I was thinking the same thing; there aren't bearing made of PURE silver, so it would have to be wearing with another substance.

    Some people say turbo bearings are silver, and you'll see a drastic spike in silver when your turbo is about to fail, but I don't know about that being the case here.

    The noise is very hard to hear in the videos, but it's very clear inside the car in person, to the point where I'm worried a technician would reject the car in a trade-in scenario. I'm so skeptical that it's just the exhaust leak though because it sounds like such a deep, dense metal-on-metal buzzing that just shows up out of no where at 2.5k rpm. It seems linked to vibration, but I've looked everywhere for contact points and I don't see anything.

    It doesn't go away when the engine is warm.

    I still wonder if something with the clutch assembly could be messed up, linked to the occasionally slippage?

    I want the sound to go away, obviously, but I don't want to spend a fortune chasing it with parts & service that might not fix it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2AjAwFFG8c
    Last edited by vanbt7; 10-03-2014 at 06:33 PM.

  12. #11
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanbt7 View Post
    I was thinking the same thing; there aren't bearing made of PURE silver, so it would have to be wearing with another substance.

    Some people say turbo bearings are silver, and you'll see a drastic spike in silver when your turbo is about to fail, but I don't know about that being the case here.

    The noise is very hard to hear in the videos, but it's very clear inside the car in person, to the point where I'm worried a technician would reject the car in a trade-in scenario. I'm so skeptical that it's just the exhaust leak though because it sounds like such a deep, dense metal-on-metal buzzing that just shows up out of no where at 2.5k rpm. It seems linked to vibration, but I've looked everywhere for contact points and I don't see anything.

    It doesn't go away when the engine is warm.

    I still wonder if something with the clutch assembly could be messed up, linked to the occasionally slippage?

    I want the sound to go away, obviously, but I don't want to spend a fortune chasing it with parts & service that might not fix it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2AjAwFFG8c
    Wait, your clutch slips?
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  13. #12
    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    The sound isn't going away and it isn't a problem. Subaru motors are about the roughest sounding I have ever driven. You should hear our 98 Outback on a cold morning lol.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Wait, your clutch slips?
    Only on really hard pulls, like 2nd gear WOT up a hill. It hasn't slipped in forever since I've been going easy on the car until I get this issue sorted.

    It's been slipping like that since May as well, but hasn't gotten any worse. I don't think it can hold the increased torque. Car put down 313wtq before the header install & retune, so it's got to be seeing 330wtq now. If I keep the car, I'm into an upgraded clutch and a brand new header to fix 2 known problems/ceilings... It's that bearing wear / rod knock sound that makes me hesitate though.

    And I know that the subaru engines are loud, but this is a new sound, and it's been getting worse.

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    Update! It was loose shifter linkage. The noise goes away if you put enough pressure on the shifter. The rest is exhaust leak for sure.

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanbt7 View Post
    Update! It was loose shifter linkage. The noise goes away if you put enough pressure on the shifter. The rest is exhaust leak for sure.
    Making me wanna double check my linkage now haha
    Glad it's alright though
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