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About halfway into 2000 Outback 4EAT swap, got a few questions.


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30 replies to this topic

#1 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:21 PM

I'm removing the 4EAT (auto) out of a 2000 Legacy Outback. Replacing it with a 2003 4EAT also from an outback. Been reading up via search for the last hour. Still not sure of a few things.

The axle pins are out, I think I have all the bell housing bolts off. Starter, drive shaft and exhaust system have been removed. Trans is drained. Electrical, disconnected.

What size bolt am I looking at to remove the forward drivers side hose? It's larger than 19mm and I'm going to have to buy a socket specifically for it.

How do I best remove the flex plate/torque converter bolts for a 2000 and newer? Every write up that I've found describing this process is for earlier model Subes. This is the larger problem I've run into and is halting my progress. I can see one of the bolts from underneath behind the oil pan but don't see how I can get a wrench in there.

How many bolts connect the engine and trans? I have 6 bolts out and 2 nuts removed but the 2003 trans has 10 holes for mounting bolts. (pretty sure I factored the two pins into this.)

Any help would be much appreciated on this. Ready for this thing to be out of the car.

#2 ShawnW

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:48 PM

ITs 6 bolts and 2 nuts as you counted.

The torque converter bolts are accessed from the top on the passenger side of the bellhousing. Probably is/was a rubber plug hiding them for the access hole. I use a wobble head 12MM wrench. Clearance is definately an issue but its doable. Easy after a few engine R+R's. Same job as any of the older Subaru's.

"What size bolt am I looking at to remove the forward drivers side hose? It's larger than 19mm and I'm going to have to buy a socket specifically for it"

I am not sure what you are talking about on this one.

#3 johnceggleston

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:57 PM

the hoses for the ATF cooler, in the radiator, leave the trans as metal lines and then go to rubber hose. disconnect the hose from the metal line.

#4 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:59 PM

"What size bolt am I looking at to remove the forward drivers side hose? It's larger than 19mm and I'm going to have to buy a socket specifically for it"

I am not sure what you are talking about on this one.


There are two metal hoses coming off the drivers side of the trans. I could disconnect the rubber hoses where they mate up above the driver side axle, but the hoses on the replacement trans are both bent backwards and are unusable, so I'm having to swap the metal hoses over to the new trans. One bolt is 19mm on the top rear. The other that is just above the front of the trans pan is larger than 19mm. I'm assuming it's 21mm but don't have anything larger in metric to know for sure.

#5 porcupine73

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:31 PM

I know which bolt you are talking about, that is the banjo bolt for the fluid supply or return. I have an '00obw that is up on stands in the garage...so when I get home tonight, I can try to see what size that is. Could be 22mm, that would make it the same as the crank pulley bolt.

#6 ShawnW

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:14 PM

Its 21. Use a crescent wrench its not a lot of foot pounds.

#7 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:45 PM

Thanks for the advice. Got the Torque Converter bolts off. Now just rigging a come along to lower it and a ratcheting strap to hold the back end to lower it smoothly. (Here's hoping anyway.)

Any better ways to lower/raise the tranny without an actual transmission jack?

#8 Caboobaroo

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:19 PM

I've used a regular floor jack and a piece of 2x4 lumber, usually about 6-8" long.

I currently have a '00 4EAT disassembled on my bench at work and can get pics of anything you'd like.


Oh and I've seen those hardlines bent on junkyard transmissions before:rolleyes:

#9 porcupine73

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:08 PM

Glad you got the banjo bolt size. I tried to measure it but it's not really easy to access those with the transmission in the normal position.

#10 jarl

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:12 PM

I currently have a '00 4EAT disassembled on my bench at work and can get pics of anything you'd like.


By all means, feed us some pictures! :popcorn:

#11 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:12 PM

Thanks for the help. The trans is out and sitting beside the new (ish) one. My 03 tranny did not come with a torque converter so I'm swapping the 2000 over to the new trans. Just in case, is there a way to visually inspect the torque converter to be sure it's still good? High miles on the original trans but I don't hear of these going bad often.

P.S. read plenty on seating it so hopefully that will go smooth. mnwolftrack should get a Christmas card from any of us who swap an automatic trans.

#12 Caboobaroo

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:27 PM

By all means, feed us some pictures! :popcorn:


What do you need? I'm not into the internals of the transmission, just replacing the front ring and pinion and the carrier bearings.

#13 johnceggleston

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:02 AM

since you ask, i would like a couple of close ups of the TC fully seated showing the distance between the bell housing and the edge of the TC.

i think something has changed with the phase 2 trans, maybe the TC and the starter ''teeth'', i'm not sure. but a comparison pic would be nice.

no rush, it can wait if it is in pieces.

#14 Gloyale

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:50 AM

since you ask, i would like a couple of close ups of the TC fully seated showing the distance between the bell housing and the edge of the TC.

i think something has changed with the phase 2 trans, maybe the TC and the starter ''teeth'', i'm not sure. but a comparison pic would be nice.

no rush, it can wait if it is in pieces.


TC, when fully seated, should only protrude about 3mm out past the lip of the bellhousing. Same as Phase I.

BUT.......if you don't have the TC for the new trans, you need to make sure you get the extension tube out of your old one to install with the TC in the new one.

Disconnect those metal hoses at the rubber line....then swap them over AFTER the trans is out.

Make sure to remove the dipstick tube too before removing trans......otherwise it will get bent.

#15 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

BUT.......if you don't have the TC for the new trans, you need to make sure you get the extension tube out of your old one to install with the TC in the new one.

Disconnect those metal hoses at the rubber line....then swap them over AFTER the trans is out.

Make sure to remove the dipstick tube too before removing trans......otherwise it will get bent.


check and check for the hoses and dipstick. Is the extension tube the large silver one that clips onto the rear of the torque converter? If so, it was still in the 03 trans and has been connected. Just want to double check before this trans goes in.

#16 Caboobaroo

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:12 PM

since you ask, i would like a couple of close ups of the TC fully seated showing the distance between the bell housing and the edge of the TC.

i think something has changed with the phase 2 trans, maybe the TC and the starter ''teeth'', i'm not sure. but a comparison pic would be nice.

no rush, it can wait if it is in pieces.


I can get a few pics tomorrow when I get the diff housing back together. I also have the transfer case housing off as well.

#17 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:52 PM

Trans is in and working. Had to fab a little rubber ring for the shift selector cable end. Ended up cutting a piece from an old valve stem. Seems to work jst fine.

Had quite the scare at first. I filled the fluid until it read Full. Started the car and it just creeped in reverse. Forward barely moved either. There had been a few little crunchy noises as the bell housing was tightened. I thought at first that maybe the torque converter had slid out. (or been bad all along.) I figured I'd at least double check fluid and added two more quarts. (This time through the other tube.) Tried again and it shifts and drives fine now.

What's up with the trans fluid levels? Whats the most reliable way to check levels. I want it full, but not overfilled.

#18 jarl

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:17 PM

Uhm... the "other tube"? o.O

#19 johnceggleston

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:22 PM

added two more quarts. (This time through the other tube.)


what other tube? you didn't put ATF in the short dip stick tube did you???

check the fluid with the engine off and cold on flat ground. there are ''cold'' marking on the dip stick. this should put you in the ball park. then check it with the engine running and hot. the fluid expands when hot. (maybe a pint or less, i hear.)

pull the dip stick out and WAIT. wait for the fluid on the stick that coated the inside of the tube when you pulled it out to run back down into the trans. more time is better. then wipe it and re-insert it and pull it right back out. read both sides of the dip stick the lowest reading is the correct one.

i have read, but never tried, dip the stick in ice water before you re-insert it. wipe the water off the stick and then re-insert it. don't leave it in so long that the stick warms up. something about the temp difference makes it easier to read. i'm not sure.

one note, the difference between 'L' and 'H' is NOT a quart, more like a pint.

#20 porcupine73

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:18 PM

Other tube????? Oh oh....

Ok you may have put ATF in the differential, that isn't too bad, you can just drain it out and put gear oil in there.

Hopefully you didn't put gear oil in the transmission....the sulfur in it can destroy the friction materials.

#21 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:48 PM

Other tube????? Oh oh....

Ok you may have put ATF in the differential, that isn't too bad, you can just drain it out and put gear oil in there.

Hopefully you didn't put gear oil in the transmission....the sulfur in it can destroy the friction materials.


Sounds like that's what I did.:banghead::banghead: It's the smaller dipstick on the passenger side of the bellhousing right? Thats where I shouldn't have added ATF?

What sort of gear oil do i put in there? And where do I drain the existing stuff from.

Boy I feel dumb. Not much for automatic trannys. I've only ever had a few automatics and this is my first auto swap in a subie. Sometimes I guess I come up behind the curve. Did my first tranny swap before I knew how to change wiper blades.

#22 johnceggleston

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:13 PM

there is a drain plug in front of the trans oil pan. it takes a large allen type wrench. drain the front diff and let it drip for a long time to empty. then fill with the correct amount of gear oil.

now, don 't forget the ATF. check it and fill correctly.

do not drive the car until both are correct.

#23 Caboobaroo

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:14 PM

Drain the front diff, should be either a 21mm OR a Torx T70. No issues with doing that, just don't drive it very long.

The reason why it takes so much fluid is because a fully drained transmissions can take 8 quarts or so to get it full. Checking the fluid should be in neutral, engine running at idle and warm.

Just add fluid to the transmission a bit at a time until it get to the full level.

#24 jarl

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:14 PM

Je je... you are not the first person to make that mistake :D
The SHORT tube on the PASSENGER side is for the front differential fluid. The LONG dipstick on the DRIVER'S side is for the transmission. Search the forum for front differential fluid replacement, and/or look for the FSM

#25 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:11 AM

Thanks guys. This forum is invaluable for such things. Otherwise I'd be running ATF in my diff and freaking out when this trans died.




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