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Grinding noise in 02 WRX, MT, please advise please

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Grinding noise in 02 WRX, MT, please advise please

Old 04-13-2019, 12:23 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Jose, CA
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Car Info: 02 subaru impreza WRX wagon sedona red
Grinding noise in 02 WRX, MT, please advise please

Hi, I currently have an '02 WRX Wagon running Stage 3+ w approx 176k miles on it, 5 spd MT (this is my 2nd bugeye wagon, 1st one was totaled not on my account)

I've been having some weird grinding noise when i let off the throttle, like getting off a freeway is when I hear it most...the moment I put it in neutral, the noise is gone.

I dropped it off to a local Subaru "specialist". Mechanic said it's prob my center diff bearings. So he changed that, noise persisted. Then the mech looked into the front diff and noticed metal shards after draining the oil. So the front diff bearings got replaced as well. Still same noise. This lead to him checking the rear diff. Same metal shards in the drain plug.

i found a replacement rear diff from a friend who strips down Subarus and parts them out. The diff was from an 02 WRX sedan.

The mechanic ic pulls a donor rear diff from an Impreza RS which has a different ratio...I think 3.54 instead of the WRX 3.9. But the sound goes away and the car drives like butter. I just can't go fast. So we all assume that the rear diff IS the problem.

( a brand new SUBARU OEM rear diff cost around $1500 mind you)

anyhow the replacement diff I get from my friend is inspected and same metal shards are on the drain plug and inside you can see teeth busted off on the gear...my friend gives me another rear diff from an 04 WRX wagon no questions asked except this time, my friend inspects the drain plug and gears and it's good

this rear diff goes in and the damn sound is back... not as bad as my orig one but the sound is there.

My mechanic ic sources a used rear diff from Subaru parts yard in Rancho Cordova that offers a 6 month warranty w the $300 rear diff.

So this diff diff gets installed and the same noise occurs.

This part gets sent back and a repalcemt is sent.

The replacement is installed and the same noise continues.

What are are the chances that every single used rear diff is jacked up?

Or is my mechanic just not qualified? He has worked for Garage1 for around 15 yrs and broke off to start his own business called 5Js Subaru Specialist.

Do I need to plunk down $1500 for a new rear diff or just find a new mechanic that knows how to fix this problem?
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