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89 Subaru justy Clunking sound at 50-60mph

It’s not really noticable until you get above 50 and let off the gas. It follows the speed of the tires until you slow to about 30mph. Sounds like it’s in the front end. It has a manual transmission with 4 wheel drive. Doesn’t matter if clutch is engaged or not.
I have replaced wheel bearings and CV joints on both sides. I have disconnect the 4x4 driveshaft to rule out the uv joints.
Tires are in good shape and rotating front to back didn’t change the sound at all.
I put it up on jack stands and revved it up in all gears and couldn’t hear it.
I just rebuilt the rack and pinion because I thought maybe a bad bushing was making the noise, but it didn’t help.
New tie rods and ball joints. No play at all in the wheels. The car drives smooth and handles great.
Any ideas what else I could look at before bringing it to a shop? Thanks

Boy are you ever a glutton for punishment ? Of course it is your choice but why you keep messing with this thing is beyond me.

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Lol, that’s pretty much the response I expected. What can I say? I love my crappy old car. :grinning:

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I would suggest maybe the front strut mounts are worn out. If the clunking sounds like a box of 2x4s in the engine bay, that is where I’d look.

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Struts and mounts are only a couple years old, and still look good. I went around the front end and made sure all bolts were tight. I’m afraid the noise might be inside the transmission.

For your sake, I hope that you are wrong because it is likely that nobody–including the vehicle manufacturer–has CVT transmission parts available for your 30 year old car.

I had a highly reviewed mechanic check it out and he said it’s a bearing in the front transfer case which is inside the transmission. I have a used transmission on the way.
I’m curious what would happen if it completely failed. Could it have potentialy caused the front wheels to lock up?

You replaced both front inner CV joints already, right? hmmm… well, something before the CV joints makes sense then. Transmission front differential bearing is wearing out maybe. How many miles on the transmission?

It’s the original transmission as far as I can tell. Odometer only has 5 numbers so no telling how many times it’s turned over in the last 30 years. It ran low on gear oil about 5 years ago so maybe that started it’s decline. Only started hearing the noise a few weeks ago.

So I got a used transmission from a salvage yard, swapped it in, and still have the exact same noise. If I open up the old Tranny, would I be able to confirm whether it has a bad bearing?

Possibly. However since you’ve now replaced the transmissiion (which you mentioned includes the front transfer case), and since you’ve replaced everything between the transmission output and the wheels, I’d be thinking something before the transmission. The pilot bearing where the transmission input shaft goes into the flywheel, clutch parts, another possibility is the engine’s crankshaft has too much fore and aft play; i.e. thrust bearing problem. You’ve bounced on the vehicle, corner by corner and front and rear bumper, one by one, while it is at rest and don’t hear anything weird then, right? What happens to the sound when you go the same speed but in a different gear?