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AWD Slipping? 1997 Outback


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19 replies to this topic

#1 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:31 AM

On the 1997 Outback my grandpa bought, it feels like the AWD is slipping.  We went into our field where we have nice loose dirt and slick wet grass, and when i try to hit the gas and spin the wheels, the front ones spin fine but the rear ones just kinda spin, stop, spin, stop.  like watching ABS in slow motion.  What could be wrong?  the AWD systems in these cars is like, the number one thing i lack knowledge in.



#2 torxxx

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:58 AM

Sounds like you have an automatic.   Your rear clutch pack for the rear wheel drive part of AWD could be slipping.  That or you have a misfunctioning Duty C Solenoid.  Does the Power light on the bottom of the dash flash 16 times at start up?

 

The automatic adjusts wheelspin for better traction, starts @ 90/10 Front/rear and should split to more to the rear when it senses front wheel slippage,  where the 5 speed, once you get the coupler spun up it goes 50/50 front to rear.  



#3 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:06 PM

Yeah, its an auto. No trouble codes/flashing light.  clutches wore out?

 

Oh, and the people before us ran the car a year with the FWD fuse in.


Edited by soobie_newbie67, 17 March 2013 - 12:06 PM.


#4 torxxx

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:18 PM

running with that fuse in shouldnt technically hurt it because all it does is apply 12 volts to the Duty C, keeping it closed so no line pressure makes it to the clutch pack.  Before you tear into anything, I would check the rear CV axles, make sure ones not busted and spinning internally.   Open diffs will act weird with very worn axle.  Look at the rear diff where the axles snap in, make sure the axles are all the way in.  The cup should be touching the scraper seal on the diff

 

 

Question is, why were the previous owners driving with the fuse in?  Possible problem and they needed a car to drive so putting the fuse in stopped the AWD issue?



#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

what happens if you manually shift it to 1 and then drive it in the field? front wheels spin?



#6 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:25 PM

yeah. that was how I tested it.

#7 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:37 AM

bumping.  looking for more input...



#8 nipper

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:35 PM

Huge clue is the FWD fuse in.  AFter the car is warm go to a paced parking lot  and make a tight figure 8 with no throttle or very little. Does the car lurch or fight you at all?

 

Do all the tires match?

 

What condition is the tranny fluid in?



#9 johnceggleston

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:54 PM

there are several things that will cause the transfer clutch to NOT send power to the rear.

 

bad front speed sensor

bad warn out dlutch discs in the transfer clutch

possibly, wear grooves in the clutch drums (dicsc hang up)

possibly dirty / plugged/ gummed up valve body ?

or the TCU.

 

it sounds like it may be intermittent. i'm not sure what this means or points to.



#10 nipper

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:00 PM

the very first thing to do would be the cheapest, flush the fluid, but I am going to lean towards a tired clutch pack. 



#11 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:55 PM

Fluid was flushed the day before i made this post.  We changed the rear CV axles to eliminate that as a possibility to no success.  When i do the Figure 8 thing like Nipper said too i dont notice anything wrong at all.  Its only when making really tight turns with moderate throttle.  Plus, it really is sorta intermittent.  Even when your being light to normal throttle, it will do it sometimes, but not everytime.


Edited by soobie_newbie67, 18 March 2013 - 10:57 PM.


#12 nipper

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:58 PM

What do you feel when making tight turns with moderate throttle?

 

How many miles are on this car? it is sounding like the clutches may be tired.



#13 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:47 PM

192000 miles.

 

its kinda difficult to explain.  its pretty much like it said before.  more or less, it grabs, then slips, grabs, slips.  its like its letting on the 4 wheel drive too much for a split second.  On my legacy, i can slightly feel the AWD kicking on hitting a turn hard from a dead stop, but when you do it in the outback, its kinda like its periodically grabbing then letting go really fast.  Its not a shutter either.  Ugh, if only someone on here could just drive it and tell me whats wrong -.-



#14 nipper

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:53 PM

Yup sounds like you have a tired AWD unit. No need to have someone drive it. You are feeling a working Duty C solenoid with a clutch pack that is on its last legs.



#15 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:56 PM

how hard is that to fix???



#16 msmithmmx

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:39 AM

When you put it in park does it jump forward or make a thump sound.  Your issue sounds like mine but I am getting a flashing light on my dash.  I have a old tired duty c solenoid and probably a warn clutch pack to go with it.



#17 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:57 AM

no. it doesn't do any jumping. the car shifts perfect and drives great in a straight line. you only notice that slipping on turns

#18 torxxx

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:54 PM

easy job to do if you have any mechanical exp.  just gotta pull the tail shaft extension housing off, unplug the duty C and then from there its basically just restacking the new clutches.  Steel/Fiber/Steel/Fiber etc.  I add an extra Fiber clutch on mine if I Can still get the snap ring back in.  

 

took 4 hours first time I did one in someones garage without air tools.  If you are small enough you can almost get away with doing the job just with the front tires on ramps.  I've gotten fatter so I have to get the car up on truck jackstands



#19 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:50 PM

cool.  So what do i tell the dealer i'm looking for/ what are the parts called?  i called the dealer saying i'm looking for the AWD clutches.  He told me his computer doesnt break it down that way, so he didnt quite know what i was talking about.  he said his computer show transfer clutches or something like that.



#20 86BRATMAN

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:10 PM

If you had talked to a competent parts man he would have known that awd clutches and transfer clutches are the same thing. 

 

I'm a little harsh on other parts people who don't know common language for different parts of a car.  Being a parts guy myself makes it that much worse lol.






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