clutch noise

Well, my brand new clutch is making noise.
Recap: Clutch failed at 210k kms and was replaced. 2003 OBS. A few days after I got the car back, I noticed a bearing type of noise
coming from the clutch. This is what it does:
- makes noise when in neutral. (car not moving) - noise goes away when I push the clutch pedal in - noise reappears at some point after moving, because I can hear it go away again when I approach a stop sign and push the clutch pedal in
It's more of a whistle than a grinding noise. It's definitely the sound of something turning.
What is making noise? Could it be a sign of an error during the replacement of the clutch very recently? Is it some sort of unrelated bearing? Should it have been caught by the shop doing the clutch?
Incidentally, I won't be driving this car much anymore since I just bought a 2010 Outback PZEV w/CVT. Sure enough, the noise appeared just in time for the dealer to take a look at my OBS for consideration of a trade-in!
Chicobiker
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Pedal could be adjusted a tad too much. Have to figure a new throw out bearing was used. Clutch fork could have cracked. Thing is very unlikely the noise will correct itself. I'd take it back to whomever installed the clutch.
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It sounds like the two retaining clips that hold the release bearing to the release fork are not doing their job. So the bearing is not pulling back from the pressure plate when the clutch is released. It's been eight years since I had the same symptoms and pulled it apart and disgnosed it. So I don't remember exactly how everything was screwed up, but I do remember that those clips were missing and a relatively new clutch was in my car. I theorize that the previous owners had the clutch done, it sounded horrible, so they sold it to a dealer, who put it on ebay with no mention of the noise, and I unwittingly bought it. I was still happy with the sale though. 2900 bucks for a 7 year old legacy wagon with 157k was a great price. I'm betting it's that those clips aren't installed properly to pull the bearing back, and it is resting against the pressure plate. They look like something that could be made out of paper clips, but cost a few bucks each. I wouldn't suggest using paper clips though.
Bill
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On Tue, 03 Aug 2010 18:53:53 -0700, Chicobiker wrote:

If it makes kind of a growling whine, chances are it's the throw-out bearing. This should have been replaced when the clutch was replaced. If it was, it may be defective.
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This is not likely the throwout bearing. Seems more like the input shaft bearing.(or ???) If you hear it in neutral without depressing the clutch pedal, it can't be the throwout bearing as it only spins with the clutch pedal depressed.
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You're right Carl, unless it was not adjusted right, than this could happen, as it could be hitting all the time.
--
Bob Noble
http://www.sonic.net/bnoble
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Hi Chico!
On Tue, 3 Aug 2010 18:53:53 -0700 (PDT), Chicobiker
Well, the rest of the team has chimed in on this one; here's a different spin.
Hydraulic clutches kinda self adjust as the parts wear/break in, and on these cars, there isn't any mechanical adjustment. I'd guess Bill is on the right track; the throw-out bearing is probably what's making the noise, but I don't think I'd worry about it unless the noise is more of a deep grinding or rumbling sound when you tromp on the clutch pedal. As the clutch wears in, and the hydraulics adjust the clearances, there will be times when the throw-out bearing remains in light contact with the spring fingers of the pressure plate when the clutch is engaged (foot off pedal). I'm guessing that this is what you're hearing, and if it is, it will probably go away over the next 1,000 miles or so.
If you're hearing it out beyond that, I'd take it back to whoever did the clutch for evaluation. Presumably they offer a reasonable warranty on their work, but remember that if something _is_ wrong in there, you're pretty much looking at the equivalent of another clutch job to fix it . . .
My $.02, and undoubtedly worth every penny ;-)
And, Chico, _do_ let us know what you think of the CVT. Work it hard; the ones they put in the Justy's didn't last too long, and if it's gonna be a problem, you want it to happen while the car is under warranty, eh?
ByeBye! S.
Steve Jernigan KG0MB Laboratory Manager Microelectronics Research University of Colorado (719) 262-3101
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as with the others here is my Pennie. My clutch makes noise after replacement too; I used a aftermarket set from a reputable shop. It sounds like a cricket. As it isn't a grinding noise, I keep it as a reminder that all parts are not equal and I should have used OEM. Ill change it someday
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A cricket sound is actually a very good description. I haven't called the shop yet but I will ask them if they put in a Subaru clutch, or something else.
The cricket gets louder when the clutch pedal starts to move in , until the clutch engages, then the noise goes away.
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I just remembered another element to my clutch issue. After replacing the clutch, I figured out that the return spring mounted to the clutch pedal under the dash was broken. This spring performs two functions. It pulls the pedal upwards to ensure that the weight of the arm isn't causing any pressure to be applied to the throwout bearing, and it also helps you push down the pedal once it gets past a certain point in the travel. It's kind of cool how it both resists pushing early in the travel, then helps you push later on. With this broken, my throwout bearing was always in light contact with the pressure plate. M<ight be worth checking that out too.
Bill
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I forgot to put this in my last post...
Are we sure that the clutch is hydraulic? I have no idea if it is or not, but I know on my 95 it was a cable. That's the only data point I have. Mr. Jernigan is pretty knoweldgeable on this, so probably has it straight, but might be assuming based solely on his collection of subarus over the years. This is only relevant in that it was earlier stated that hydraulic systems self adjust.
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Hi Chico, Guys!
On Mon, 9 Aug 2010 06:27:28 -0700 (PDT), weelliott

Ummmm, well, the Legacy cars I have played with over the years have all had hydraulic clutches, all the way back to a '91 Legacy Turbo car that had this wierd-a__ backwards (it pulled on the pressure plate rather than pushed) arrangement. But that was certainly only a handful of samples from a long, long production run, and they were all USDM cars as well; Canadian, European, Asian, Australian markets, who can say.
Chico. if you _do_ have a cable operated clutch, it is real easy to adjust the free play; takes a 10mm, and a 14mm open end wrench, and about 10 minutes
Find the point where the clutch cable terminates under the hood. Should be more or less top dead center at the back of the engine, and you should be able to get to it w/o having to remove any plastic, but the air intake plumbing/air filter box might block your direct line of sight. If nothing else, have someone work the clutch while you watch to see what moves. You will probably find the cable housing secured to a bracket with a clip, while the cable it's self stretches out to engage the top of the clutch release fork. There should be a medium sized spring that pulls the release fork back against the action of the cable, and a cylindrical pivot thingie with a couple nuts where the cable connects to the fork. (This description from the arrangement as found on a GL or Loyale from the late '80s.)
In any event, you can adjust the free play in the cable/release fork by loosening and moving the nuts at the end of the cable. What you want is an inch or two of free play at the clutch pedal before you feel the increased tension of actually pushing on the clutch springs. Release/engage should then happen in mid-throw of the pedal, but fiddle with the setting 'til you find a spot you like. About the only caveat is that you don't want the throw-out bearing resting against the clutch pressure plate when the clutch isn't in use. (We theorize that this is the cricket you are hearing.) To check this, move the top of the release fork by hand; you should be able to feel at least _some_ free play before the fork stops moving (as a result of the throw-out bearing contacting the pressure plate).
Did that make any kind of sense? Let us know what you find, and feel free to email me directly if you need additional info on this; I'll be happy to try and work you thru it.
ByeBye! S. Steve Jernigan KG0MB Laboratory Manager Microelectronics Research University of Colorado (719) 262-3101
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Shop says he'll fix it. He said he'll put a new throw out bearing, but I have to get it to him next week. He said the throwout bearing was new with the rest of the clutch, so it shouldn't make noise. I forgot to ask him if it was a Subaru clutch.
hydraulic or cable? I'm not sure, but somehow I think this is cable clutch. I get a creaking noise coming from the engine which feels like a cable creak when I push the pedal. It just feels like it's connected mechanically.
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On Mon, 09 Aug 2010 19:25:06 -0700, Chicobiker wrote:

It still has mechanical connections. The pedal connects to the master cylinder, and then the tubing connects to a slave cylinder. The best way to tell is to see if there is a cable or a fluid reservior. If it is a cable, and it's creaking it might not be too long before it snaps (and a stretched cable may have been the cause of your problem in the first place...)
However, the pedal can creak all by itself. Lubricant helps that.
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Chicobiker wrote:

We had a new clutch put in after the inevitable EJ25 head gasket problem struck our '99 Liberty (Legacy), and it started squealing at idle about two weeks later. Not really loud, but I wasn't going to wait until after the warrantee period to find the work had been done wrongly or the clutch was faulty. Took it back to the Subie dealer (the HG rebuild was done 200 miles away) and they pulled it down, and claimed that the squealing was because a clip on the throwout bearing hadn't been fitted properly. I believe they may have even claimed to have found the loose clip in the bell housing. Whatever, $700 later (which the repair shop quibbled with but paid most of), the problem seemed to have gone...
until we replaced the clutch several years later, and the new clutch makes the same noise. Reputable, experienced shop, I believe they did good work.
I believe it's a design flaw in the authentic clutch kits, and there was no problem, either the first time nor this. 10,000km later, it's almost stopped squealing, and shows no other signs of imminent failure. I don't believe the story about the clips.
Upshot: I'd leave it alone until something worse starts to happen. Get an agreement with your shop to do this, and that they'll take responsibility (if it's fairly theirs) when it does.
Clifford Heath.
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I personally would buy the story about the clips, because when mine was making the noise, I tore it apart, and there were no clips on it. I could also believe that they were installed incorrectly and came off. Both clips are the same part, but are installed differently on each side of the bearing by flipping one around. It wasn't totally obvious at first, and I could see someone putting one of them on incorrectly and saying something to the effect of, "Hmmm. That doesn't seem like it would work, but I'm not an engineer. I'll just have faith that someone designed this right, and it will work." I almost did that, but then called teh dealer and asked. They straightened me out, then I felt stupid since it wasn't that hard to figure out. But it wouldn't surprise me if it got someone else. Just for the record, when the clutch job was done that resulted in there being no clips on my fork/bearing, the previous owner had the car.
Bill
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Got the car back today. Shop fixed it up. Said it was a "fork" that pushes on the throw-out bearing that just needed a little grease. Sounds good anyway.
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