Mechanics

92 LEGACY AWD HOWLING

1992 Subaru Other

Have 92 subaru AWD legacy wagon with 130k. Howling started while in AWD. Replaced rear diff and then transfer case at back of tranny after suggestions as they were what was causeing this problem. Car does NOT howl in FWD so eliminated wheel bearings as cause. When in AWD it wants to howl a little only at about 38mph and can feel a little drag when it does. Does not howl at other speeds. Then after about 10 or so miles of driving at about 55 it starts to howl loudly. Checked rear diff and it feels hot when it is howling loudly. Nearest subaru dealer is 90 miles away. We are at out wits end (and just about out of $$)trying to fix this problem. Do you have any ideas what it could be?
Any input would be appreciated. Really love this car but my hubby is just about ready to push it over a cliff! Can't find anyone or postings that address this problem.
HELP!
Thanks in advance for any suggestions that you may have. Really don't want to keep driving it in FWD as we have a 4 wheel drive driveway to get up in the winter and someone told us it is not good to keep driving it in FWD.
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Tloneman
January 8, 2007.




Does the noise change when you turn the car side to side? IE saw the wheel back and forth. Might even be a wheel bearing.

Tiny
Jack42
Jan 9, 2007.
No, turning wheel side to side doesn't change howling, neither does putting it in neutral. Howl decreases in intensity when slowing down and increases when speeding up. Doesn't start howling continously until after driving it for at least 5 to 10 miles, but does want to have the small howl sound and drag around 35 to 40 miles an hour all the time when in AWD with all the rear diffs we had in. Putting in a used transfer case? (Think I'm calling that the correct name) that attatches to rear of auto tranny did not change results. No howl in FWD mode, so we think we have eliminated wheel bearings and tranny as a cause. Have tried to rebuild original rear diff and also replaced it two times with no change in results. Wheels seem to turn freely when up on jack stands with no play in any of them. Am finding it hard to believe that original, rebuilt original and two different used rear diffs could all have the same problem. All got hot to touch when it was howling continously. Am wondering if we are looking at the wrong thing?
Any other ideas? Car only has 130k on it and well taken care of. Is this a common problem with this year and model?
Thanks

Tiny
Tloneman
Jan 9, 2007.
As long as th erear wheel bearings arent the problem then look at the brakes. Is th ee-barake or caliper not releasing? Ive seen the big GM rear shoes do it if they are adjusted too tight.
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Tiny
Jack42
Jan 11, 2007.
E-brake stuck doesn't take into account the " no howl in FWD mode" though.

I've had that happen to me before - and not only does the car drag - there's a LOT of smoke when you stop finally, pretty easy to diagnose IMO.

OK - so under the assumtions: 1) NOT a rear wheel bearing
2) NOT an e-brake sticking
3) NOT the rear dif.

Could it be something to do with the rear drive-shaft? Where it couples to the axle? Perhaps there's a breakdown of fluid there, so once the fluid warms up (you said 5-10 k into the drive?) It starts to get termpermental?

That's what I'd look at after the dif. But to be 100% honest with you, I've never had my Subaru (93 legacy) up on a lift, or been far enough under it to really get a good look at the working components. It's mostly an " intirim" car for me.

Tiny
BrendonR
Jan 11, 2007.
Havent been under too many Subarus myself, just trying to eliminate some things.I suppose if there is a viscous coupler it could create the noise. Have you checked any Subaru sites to see if anyone else has encountered this?

Tiny
Jack42
Jan 12, 2007.

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