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Bobbleton 10-26-2012 09:11 AM

possible u-joint?
Hey everyone.

I'm driving a 2005 outback i with some vibration issues. The problem was initially being masked by a bad wheel bearing, which once replaced, only relieved half the symptoms.

Currently I feel a vibration under stress or lag when in gear, and a general vibration that resonates more at different speeds, but always vibrates while moving (coasting in neutral). The vibration seems centered beneath the center arm rest/console.

I'm thinking this is going to be a bad universal joint. Any other ideas or indications? Also if it is the u-joint, these are non-repairable, right? Any good way to get this done on the cheap?



Max Capacity 10-26-2012 09:22 AM

I'd replace the other rear wheel bearing first.

Have someone drive the car while you ride in the back seat.

You can tell alot from back there.

Bobbleton 10-26-2012 10:51 AM

already did. there is zero noise/vibration coming from the other bearing. all vibration is centered and no noise.

Max Capacity 10-26-2012 11:16 AM

Then that could be the issue, Check with the vendors on here. They offer good dealers on OEM parts. Fred Beans subaru, is who most of us use.

I think there may be a DIY on here to cover the replacement too. I know your not the first to need one replaced.

I've had my driveshaft out. It is simple. Only issue may be snapping one of the heat shield bolts. I left the heat shield out 15 month's ago.

Bobbleton 10-26-2012 12:03 PM

any ideas on how to reach a definitive diagnosis? I'm a bit paranoid about diving into the wrong project.

slowGT 10-26-2012 12:24 PM

If you feel as though it is your driveshaft then I would say to just pull the driveshaft and rotate the joints by hand. That is what I did when I was doing my clutch. It is a very simple job to remove. Both of mine were shot at 120,000 miles. I found a driveshaft shop that can machine out the yokes, replace the joint with a greasable version, and then spin balance the assembly. They are located in Shrewsbury MA. Mitchells driveshaft service.

Are you sure the tires are balanced good? A weight didn't come unstuck from the inside of the rim?

Max Capacity 10-26-2012 12:30 PM

If a rear wheel weight came off or the rear tries are our of balance, you feel that in the drivers seat at about 68mph.

If the steering wheel shimy's at 68mph it the front tire balance.

A rear wheel bearing will make it sound like the manual tranny has a bad bearing. You need to listen very closely taking flyovers on the highway for the whine to move around the car to verify it's a rear wheel bearing.

A bad front wheel bearing will feel like the front tires are out of balance on different highways. When my fronts went bad, I would get the shimy at highway speeds on rt84 but not on rt91 here in CT. I now know what caused that. Took me a while to learn that lesson.

Refuge 11-06-2012 12:59 AM

Any news?

Bobbleton 11-06-2012 07:59 AM

not yet. the hurricane / poorness / hurricane-related poorness has prevented any work. I can say that it hasn't progressed at all.

Bobbleton 12-06-2012 02:54 PM

my instincts were right - it was the u-joint. fun!

xt2005bonbon 12-07-2012 06:36 PM


Originally Posted by Bobbleton (Post 4189940)
my instincts were right - it was the u-joint. fun!

How did you confirm that?

xt2005bonbon 12-17-2012 09:24 PM


Originally Posted by xt2005bonbon (Post 4191782)
How did you confirm that?

bump. Did you go and feel it by hand and noticed that it was real stiff?

slowGT 12-20-2012 09:50 AM

Unbolt the driveshaft flange and carrier bearing. Then remove shaft. Rotate the joints by hand. Should be easy to tell, mine were.

Bobbleton 12-21-2012 02:43 PM

I never confirmed the u-joint myself it was done at a friend's shop.

So to sum things up:

Hub bearing
Throw out bearing

Super fun and easy to diagnose when they all happen at about the same time.

xt2005bonbon 12-21-2012 02:53 PM

How does the car feel now? And how many miles do you have now?

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