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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recent RS 2 addition to the Fleet has some interesting issues.

I should point out the car is the 4th xB in my xB fleet,

with the LEAST mileage, at 205,000 miles, indicated.

It is a 5 speed stick, the only stick in the fleet.

It was in an accident with a hit on the right front.

It peeled the front bumper off and damaged the fender and headlight.

Also the metal "bumper" at the right mount is distorted.

The PO admitted it had "Frame Damage" on the right side.

I was skeptical of the Frame damage because visible damage was not that bad.

Driving the car, it had a Weird feel, but it did not pull to one side or the other.

It turned out to have an intermittent vibration that was hard to pin down.

The vibration became more noticeable as It came up on 60 mph,

...but not all the time!

Also, I should add, the reason the PO thought it had Frame damage was because

the front tires were wearing on the inside.

She said the Alignment shop claimed it could not be aligned because of the frame damage.

At a glance, it looked like it was toed out, maybe.

I could NOT see ANY indications of frame damage or any reason why it would be toed out.

All the wheels were undamaged.

With the Great Road conditions in So Cal (sarcasm), it was difficult to tell how much the bumpy

roads were causing the vibrations.

I finally concluded it was NOT the wheels/tires.

The vibrations would STOP if I lifted off the Throttle.

Also, I should point out the Vibrations shook the Whole car,

not the steering wheel.

At this point, I concluded it likely had something to do the drive axles/CV joints,

even though there were NO noises.

I started looking over the Right side suspension and drive train, with no problems found.

On the left side, with trans in neutral, NO problems found...

Then I put it in gear with the right side tire on the ground.

I started playing with the drive axle movement and strangly, on the inside, the axle would move off center

under load, ONLY in the Drive direction!

BUT it is NOT movement IN the flex joint, but the movement is where the drive housing/shaft

goes INTO the Trans-axle! Hmmmmmm!

More info when I pull the drive-axle out....

116 Posts
Pretty typical of a broken motor mount.

So this vibration happens at 60mph....ok. I'm assuming 60mph in 5th gear.

Try this: Drive 60mph and keep the transmission in 4th gear. If the vibration still happens, this will be an indication that the problem is (more than likely) related to road speed rather than engine speed.

61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, road speed is key.

Also power level is key.

But, maybe vibration is a misleading description.

It's more of a Shake or a low frequency vibration.

The weird feeling driving the car, I concluded,

was the shaking at a lower frequency, while

a significant amount of power is on.

Only above 50 mph the shake turns into more of a vibration.

And then it is HIGHLY dependent on the power applied.

05 silver stick
206 Posts
I had a very similar problem that I chased around for a while
it ended up being the output bearing on the transmission that let loose at 168k
that was the real cause.
before it let loose I replaced the wheel bearing that helped a bunch (because it was getting chewed up by the output shaft.
and the cv axle that also helped a little but the vibration would never completely go away
by the time I replaced the axle (it had slop in it) I sort of knew it was the Transmission output bearing
a few weeks later it let loose down the road from my house and I limped it home.
I found a used transmission with 65k slapped it in with a new flywheel clutch and throwout bearing
and smooth sailing ever since.
so my guess is Transmission output bearing due to my experience.
good luck

61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
A friend turned me on to a Pick-a-Part xB with a Stick, so we went after it.

An hour of effort yielded the Transaxle, the car had an oil change sticker that had 178K miles.

With the Trans out, I noticed an issue with the rear Trans mount, a broken off bolt and damaged bolt hole.

I still bought the trans, it came with both inner axle/flex joint shafts.

I could not feel any excess play in the axle/trans joints, so I think I have enough parts to fix box # 4.

One thing I may do is change the 5th gear set to a .73, in the process

of redoing the trans.
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