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97 Outback MT - Stick got stuck in 5th position


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7 replies to this topic

#1 BlueSoob

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:39 AM

Greetings from barren Wyoming.
Why these things happen when I'm not near a shop is beyond me.
Life is nuts right now and I could use a little help / few ideas
So I'm stuck in Wyoming for a week.
After 300 miles of blowing snow and ice, I pull off i-80 and get to the end of the ramp and I can't get the stick to come out of 5th gear. Clutch in/ Clutch out/ car running/ turned off. I had this happen a couple times last month but turning it off and letting pressure off the clutch for a bit seemed to work.
I've not owned a standard car with this many miles on it (not sure when the clutch was replaced) - 240,000 now. Would this be a symptom of a worn clutch? Maybe the springs are getting a bit weak?
I don't notice the trouble shifting into other gears quite as often - though (could be coincidence) when on a cold morning, it is a bit tricky to get it to shift into 1st and 2nd.
I need ideas - if it's going to be expensive and drawn out, I'm at a place where I could borrow a family member's car.
If it's something that a non-subaru mechanic could handle in a relatively reasonable amount of time, I could do that too (as I work at a non-subaru automotive place) I just need to know if I should/ can limp it 400 miles back?

#2 Idasho

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:42 AM

so it doesnt shift even with the car not running?

If that is the case, it is NOT clutch related. Id look to either shifter linkage problems, or trans problems. Checked the gear oil level recently?

#3 ivans imports

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

the nut one the rear of main shaft come loose ? or mainshaft berring have had luck parking it backwards up a hill and working the gears this gets any dbries to work there way to front of trans so magnet can colect them. any tiny peices in the shift rods will jam them

#4 ivans imports

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

a'm doing that exact job tomorrow on a 97 outback that trany growls in neutral and noise dissapears when clutch is put in will tell you how long it takes me to change the mainshaft end berring

#5 BlueSoob

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

yah.. stick wouldn't even pop out with car not running... had someone take a 2 min look - checked the fluid- his first guess was that i may be out/ have a leak - would make sense. - gonna check master cylinder.
Went back out to start the car this morning (7 degrees out) and car started, stick would move but would not catch - even into reverse. Just grinding. Same with first. We're gonna push it into my parent's garage tonight...
I'm just praying I don't get get stuck here with my mum here alone! heh

#6 grossgary

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:18 PM

i had an XT6 (80's Subaru) get stuck in first, would not come out at all. shop installed a new clutch and it was fine for years later. that car was i perfectly good condition otherwise though. at least...the shop said that's what they did and i had no reason to think otherwise then. that was before i worked on cars myself at all.

#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:16 AM

yah.. stick wouldn't even pop out with car not running... had someone take a 2 min look - checked the fluid- his first guess was that i may be out/ have a leak - would make sense. - gonna check master cylinder.
Went back out to start the car this morning (7 degrees out) and car started, stick would move but would not catch - even into reverse. Just grinding. Same with first. We're gonna push it into my parent's garage tonight...
I'm just praying I don't get get stuck here with my mum here alone! heh


Could be quite a few things mechanical in nature but the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder, not one of them. You need to check the transmission oil level. It's the dipstick on the passenger side of the transmission. Has a yellow handle, but might be covered in dirt and hard to see.

No engagement in any gear could be clutch related, but I would bet one of the bolts has fallen out of the shift linkage, or the stay rod bushing has fallen apart. Pretty simple to check, just crawl under and take a look at the shift linkage where it meets the transmission. If you can move any of it up/down by hand or see any loose bolts, one specifically sticking out towards the driveshaft.

Edit: not to make it seem as if the master cylinder fluid level isn't important. If there is a leak that's a problem, but this will not cause problems moving the shifter in or out of gear when the engine is off.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 13 November 2012 - 12:44 AM.


#8 ivans imports

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

The one i did yesterday had blown the rear support berring for awd and front support berring for awd when it whent large pices of the berring cage whent into the shift forks and the fifth gear and damaged the awd. Was able to repair it took about 4 hours and some pateince.1rst step drain oil and inspect the magnet for peices and berring materail i bet it has blown berring and bitts are jaming it up if so the plug magnet will be loaded




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