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Good day everyone, I have a completely stock 2010 WRX STI aside from an aftermarket exhaust on it when I bought it. I Rallycross it and also daily it. Please note: the problem didn't develop after a rallycross, COVID-19 cancelled the majority of them and the last event I went to was 2 months before the problem appeared.

Lately I started hearing a popping/knocking sound coming from what sounds like underneath the center console but slightly to the left so not the transmission but very close to it. Sometimes I feel it on my feet too. I don't hear it coming from the engine or exhaust itself so I don't think it would be anything inside... The popping sound is caused when accelerating or decelerating. Typically I hear three consecutive pops when I accelerate and then random pops here and there from when I press the gas and let go and also when braking hard. I replaced sway bar links and a transmission mount that was damaged from rallycross there was more popping before so this helped a bit, also checked the CV joints on both connecting to wheel and to the transmission and they look fine and have grease. I saw a video that was saying it could be a heatshield hitting the transmission when the transmission was under load and that made sense since thats almost exactly where I hear the sound but I bent it away and still am hearing it. I am not sure what to do now. Hopefully someone has input!
 
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