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97 AT Outback torque bind


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#1 RodA2003

RodA2003

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 07:17 PM

I know this topic has appeared many times but I didn't see a clear explanation of my OBW symtoms: Car has 210,000 miles, and there is moderate torque bind on turning. I checked the tire circumferences and the back were about 3/4 inch more that the front. It this enough to trigger a problem? I also jacked up one side of the car, started the engine and put it in drive. Both front and rear wheels turned at about the same speed. By putting the hand brake on fairly hard I could stop the rear wheel turning, though I didn't notice the front speeding up in response. I then tried putting a fuse in the FWD socket. This time just the front turned, but noticably faster than in AWD. Is there any harm in driving the car in FWD mode? Seems to be differing opinions on this.

There was also a claim that wear on the clutch pack could cause torque binding, but I would have expected the opposite. Are the symtoms indicative of a failing duty solenoid (the FWD test seem to invalid this), or a worn disc pack?

Rod

#2 Commuter

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 07:40 PM

I don't have all the answers for you, but I have the exact same year and model of Outback with 240,000 miles.

Do deal with the tire variance. It is 3 times Subaru's spec. You could use frag's parking lot technique (to measure) and temporarily equalize the circumferences by letting some air out of the back tires. See how it is then doing slow figure 8 turns.

I too am getting some torque bind symptoms. My understanding is that it is most likely the clutch pack. I can't really comment about the solenoid. I've heard of people running all summer with the fuse in to save a bit of gas. I'm told the circuit is such that the solenoid is energized to keep it from "activating" the clutch pack. Constant energization would not seem to be a good thing. (However, a solenoid failure would lead to activation of the clutch pack which does not strike me as fail safe mode...?) I do know that our year had some issue with a bushing wearing out somewhere in the clutch pack area.

I don't expect to be dealing with mine for a few months. (I've got struts to deal with right now.) Keep us updated.

Commuter




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