2004 sti question about strange sound
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This is a discussion on 2004 sti question about strange sound within the STi Technical Forum forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hello everyone. I wanted to see if anyone had any ideas about a strange scratching sound coming from my front ...

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    2004 sti question about strange sound

    Hello everyone. I wanted to see if anyone had any ideas about a strange scratching sound coming from my front driverside wheel the last few months. I don't have a sound clip of it yet but I'll do my best to describe it. It sounds like a metal on metal scraping which is intermittent at slower speeds turns more solid above 40 and at ~1mph its like a fast clicking sound. It does not change while clutching or in neutral. I originally thought it was the brake pads but i changed all pads 4 months ago and tapped all loose rust off the rotors and it didn't change the sound at all. I also made sure the small dust shield was not touching the rotor. I did alot of searching and playing peoples sound clips of failing w.bearings as well with none matching mine. In addition the noise will almost vanish in wet rainy conditions and is much quieter in reverse as well. There is no noticeable play in steering or the wheel itself when jacked up. 1 final note, ~3 years ago my dad nailed a curb with that same wheel and i had to have the wheel and lower a-arm replaced. I bought new and its at ~99k miles. thanks for reading, any feedback appreciated.

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    Sammich Makin' Pwincess wrxtreme06's Avatar
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    are you sure its coming from the wheel area? noises can be very deceiving. check your heat shield and exhaust hangers just in case

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    you are right I had my friend move the car while i stood in front and the noise is coming from both sides. Whatever it is was enough to feel the vibration in the tires as it was clicking. If it does it while in neutral that rules out the front dif correct? It started raining last night and after driving it for a couple minutes the noise completely vanished. It sounds exactly like something rubbing the side of a gear altho it has not gotten any worse over the last few months. Its got me stumped.
    edit, I forgot to say it also is doing it in reverse even while pushing in neutral it is a fast clicking sound being pushed. It sounds awful and embarrassing now that it's summer and the air is drier. Is there a way to check differential grease without taking the large cover? I only have hand tools and am lightweight about suspension/drivetrain parts. Thanks again for reading
    Last edited by Nitro700; 07-10-2013 at 02:28 PM.

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    Also, I doubt it is related but the CEL light came on 6 days ago on a fairly hot day ~102įF probably 140+ inside with windows up while I was sleeping. after driving 15 mins CEL was on. It was on for 3 days then went off after work on a rainy night and stayed off for 2-3 days. Just came back tonight along with the clicking/scratching sound. Weird thing is after a day of driving in rain the next day will be fine, noise free but it always comes back. I love this car even after daily driving for almost 10 years (minus 10+ suspensions) and take great care of it no abusing it (for the more part) It;s nothing vibrating it's directly related to movement and I'm worried it's front differential. Is it safe to add differential grease to it by me (a lightweight) with handtools or will I have to have dealer do it? Last time it was done was at the dealer's 45k mile check Also I had advance run the OB2 scanner 2 get the CEL code and it said no link even after wiggling the plug and trying 5 times, odd as the port was never used as maine doesn't do emission test and this is my 1st CEL. Thanks again for all who took time to read, I appreciate it, Jared

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Did you check the brakes again? They can make noise if you didn't use the right metal shim.

    CV joints going out?
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    I have not taken the pads out and I just used the shims that were with the stock pads. I know I am noobish in that area but could a brake problem cause the exact same sound on both sides? I did a little searching on cv joints as well it doesn't sound the same but I could be wrong. The noise I'm having doesn't change pitch or loudness under load, around corners, over bumps, in neutral or gearing down its always exactly the same depending on speed of course. Its not a rattling, more like a card stuck in a bike wheel that has 2x more spokes when the car is pushed by hand and turns more to a brake drag sound at 5+mph. Its strange to me that rain makes it go away for about an hour after the rain stops. There are no signs of grease leaking from hub or diff. I don't like leaving my car in anyone else's hands so any feedback is appreciated thanks! and thanks for the replies

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    I did take a quick look at the front brakes/rotors, altho I don't believe that is the problem. rapid clicking sound is making me think its something to do with the front differential, altho there are no other warning signs unless a failing diff. can make scratching (not whining) sounds while coasting. I am running out of ideas of things to check

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    Are all 4 tires the same make, model and size?
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    Is this Mikies car?? lol jk

    really not sure, if youve looked at the brakes and everywhere you can and nothings broken/leaking/rubbing. Id take it into a dealer instead of playing hide and seek with a noise.
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    thanks for the advice everyone. I was planning to go to the dealer but I like to go there with a general idea of what's wrong to reduce the chance of being taken advantage of. I've been asking every DIY friend and no one has even heard of a vehicle making rapid clicking under 1-2mph from both wheels that vanishes completely in rain. When it goes away in rain is it more likely there's some metal on metal contact getting temporarily lubricated by road water? Also when I push the car by turning 1 of the front wheels by hand I can feel the ......I can't imagine a hole or seal broken to make that much of a difference, and like you said RUH ROH there is no grease or fluid leaking anywhere. I've been a DIY on all my vehicles, modding, customizing 2 87 chev SS's, 96 grandam, 90 chev 1500 doing bolt-ons and most repairs that didn't need specialty tools or lift. Other then to buy the sti I've been to the dealer only 1 time for 60kmile check done at 45k (skipped 30k). Will I need an appointment and a chunk of money just to have 1 of their mechanics take a peak or at least a listen to give me some kind of idea? Not including a CEL diagnostic fee ~ how much will I be looking at for them to take a peak at it and possibly put on a lift or quick diagnosis drive? $150 range? Sorry for these noob ?'s but will they bill me or hold my car until I pay for the diagnosis? Norm $ not an issue but just built a gaming pc and ordered a few parts for the 87 Monte to get road ready 4 summer and paid rent.
    06wrx4me : the tires are all the same stock size 245-45s. 1 is a different brand and not from the matching set, when my dad curbed it driving back from impound. I replaced it with a used tire that was roughly the same tread depth (I know different brands have different circumference even when they're the same size) that is why I was worried about the differential, if it makes a difference the diff model tire is on the rear and hasn't been on long, less then 2k miles. I only drive 7-10 miles a day mostly highway 4 or 5 days/wk on top of multiple lic suspensions. Also as I said in a previous post the clicking/scratching happens while coasting and in gear. My 1st AWD vehicle, I read a problematic differential makes whining noise in any gear unless that's wrong, and the noise hasn't changed since it started 5-6months ago (except in rain, bad weather of course) Sorry for the long post but I figure its better to be thorough. The dealer I bought from is closed but I will make a trip to the newer one in South Portland in 6 days my next day off (2nd shifter). Thanks again for reading and if anyone has ideas I should take a look at it in the meantime it would give me some peace of mind, I don't mind getting dirty or working by flashlight. I appreciate all and any future replies and I'll keep posting when I find the cause of this mysterious sound defying explanation. I'll try posting a couple sound clips as well

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    2004 sti odd clicking sound DSCF2934 - YouTube (video 1 me pushing car)
    clicking/scratching sound from both front wheels of 2004 sti DSCF2936 edit - YouTube (video 2, 1st with cam on pass floor, then holding cam out driver window

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    ok after hours of youtubing I found a video of someone's 99 g20t with a similar sound here 1999 G20T Front Wheel Grinding Noise - YouTube according to comments he said it wound up being a faulty axle, Does anyone here willing to watch both this vid and mine posted above agree this is likely my noisy culprit?

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    OK watched all 3 videos. Definitely sounds like either wheel bearings or axles. You'll have to get it apart to find out which.

    FWIW the only axles to buy on a Subi are the OEM ones as most overseas made aftermarket have issues. There is a guy in Colorado? I think who rebuilds them if yours happen to be shot. He usually does a core swap.

    To give you an idea, factory axles are around $350ish each. While you are there you want to change the axle seals at $12 each. Also a good time to do the ball joints.

    You'd be looking at close to $1000 to change both axles at the dealer.

    Wheel bearings on the 04 STi seem to be a PITA, with Subaru charging 3 hours per corner to a tune of around $1100 to change both. Yeesh!

    Axle's for the most part are a bolt on item that can be tackled by your accomplished home mechanic.

    Wheel bearings on the 04 are harder and require a press.

    Are there any rips in the axle boots?
    Last edited by 06wrx4me; 07-17-2013 at 06:42 AM.
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    i jacked up both sides to check wheel play and both wheels seem tight vertical and horizontally and the noise doesn't sound like other people's failing bearings in addition to sounding exactly the same on both front wheels so i'm leaning towards axles as well. I lifted and pulled a wheel to get a closer look at driver axle, I imagine theres no external signs of failure but should there be any play between diff and wheel? it moves about a mm or so back n forth between wheel and diff. no horizontal play. Prob tuff to say since thats the wheel jacked up or is that small amt of play normal? thanks for reading and replying

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