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Torque bind on '96 Legacy.


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16 replies to this topic

#1 noeln

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 11:18 PM

I have a 96 Legacy L with 111K. It has been sitting for a couple of years.  I had a misfire problem that I was unable to fix. Recently my mechanic neighbor took an interest in the car and seems to have cleared up the misfire problem (cleaning the injectors). There are belts to replace and a few little things to do but it seemed to be running just great. Then I began getting the AT Oil Temp light blinking 16 times. I also experienced some torque bind.  I put the FWD fuse in place and that cleared up the torque bind.  I drained the ATF 3 times and replaced what came out with new Subaru fluid.  I took out the FWD fuse and for a few test rides, I didn't feel any torque bind and the blinking AT Oil light didn't come on.  Today, the light started blinking and the torque bind came back, not so bad at first but then the bind seemingly got much greater.  I put in the FWD fuse and at first the FWD light didn't come on.  I waited awhile and then started the car.  The AT Oil light blinked but the FWD light came on.  The torque bind was gone.  I suspect that I need to replace the Duty C Solenoid at this point. I have read a lot of posts here on this subject and I wanted to double check as to whether there is anything else I should check before we tear into this. Also if you could direct me to a video or set of pictures detailing the process of replacing the Duty C Solenoid, I would greatly appreciate it.

 



#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 12:56 AM

Might as well pull the code first just to be sure.
If it sat for a long time it's possible there is corrosion in the connector for the control module, or at some other wire harness plug between the module and trans. I would check those before taking the trans apart.

#3 noeln

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:43 AM

Good ideas Fairtax!  I assume you are saying to get the code from the ECU under the dash and not the OBD ll port. I saw a post that contained those codes, I'll go hunting for it.



#4 grossgary

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:08 AM

if the FWD fuse works - the Duty C is probably fine. 

 

It's very possible that if you do some more ATF changes and keep driving it they clutches will free up.  or if you feel you've changed it enough, just keep driving it with and without the FWD fuse. 

 

how many miles have you put on it since changing the fluid the last time?

and what kind of driving - highway or around town?

 

i'd get at least 100 miles on it to see what kind of pattern it has...getting better or worse.

 

TCU codes are annoying to get - you have to do the secret hand shake to get the light to flash the codes, there's no easy way to do it.



#5 noeln

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:42 AM

Thanks for the reply Grossgary.  I've only driven it 40 miles or so since changing the fluid. Mostly I have driven around town, but did take it on a 14 mile freeway run. I can certainly drain and replace the fluid a few more times. This last outbreak of torque bind, I put in the FWD fuse and at first the FWD dashboard light did not come on, then it did, leading me to think that the duty C operation may be intermittent (soon to completely fail?). I suppose I could drive it with the FWD fuse in for the duration (I am still worried that the misfire problem will return and need to get confident that that is fixed) and return to the AWD problem at a later date.  If I am in FWD mode for a long period, should I remove the rear shaft?


Edited by noeln, 22 July 2013 - 11:43 AM.


#6 grossgary

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:57 AM

You can run them indefinitely in FWD with no issues.  The 4WD components - Duty and clutches are fairly straightforward and simple - they're robust and keep your tires matching, fluid changes and they'll treat you right.  The FWD fuse or controlling the circuit yourself with a switch (which some of us due for better offroad/snow performance) is no big deal to run like that indefinitely.

 

Oh and to your cylinder misfire or running issue - Subaru EJ engines (yours is an EJ22) aren't very forgiving of ignition components - so spark plugs should be original NGK and in good shape and wires should be Subaru or at least high quality.  Other plugs and brand new wires can cause misfires on these engines...usually it's the really cheap wires, but nonetheless like I said they aren't forgiving.  I generally consider new plugs and wires routine for your engine as soon as I hear cylinder misfire.



#7 noeln

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 12:10 PM

Thanks, the wires, and plugs and the coil were changed to no effect at a pretty good independent Subaru shop.  The misfire hasn't returned (yet) and the engine is running fine, although the idle is rough when the car is in gear (as at a stoplight) but otherwise it is butter smooth.



#8 grossgary

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 12:48 PM

a Legacy L has a non-interference EJ22 - those motors are awesome and if you don't run them out of oil or overheat them they easily make 250,000+ miles.  one of Subar'us finest engines in terms of cheap reliability and inexpensive high mileage ownership. easy to work on too with no major issues.

 

granted it's creeping up on 20 years old so that doesn't do it any favors but if you get timing gear, tune up stuff, fluids up to snuff they're reliable machines and easily maintained.

 

if you want high mileage reliability at some point you'd want a complete timing belt kit off ebay:  they're only like $100 or less and include timing belt, and all new pulleys.  it can be done in an hour or two.

 

i generally due a complete timing belt job on every one i do while the timing belt is off and everything is easily accessible - reseal oil pump, crank seal, cam seals, cam orings, water pump.  timing belt has to be removed to replace all of those so good for longevity to replace them all at once.  those parts are all cheap too, single digit items except the pump.  but if you're paying someone else to do it sometimes that changes things.



#9 noeln

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 01:55 PM

Thanks for the info Gary, I am slowly gaining some mechanical skills so maybe I could do all that at some point with some help from this board. I am hoping that the misfire doesn't return, and that I can eventually get the AWD working well. I'll change the ATF again soon and hopefully the Duty C Solenoid gods will smile upon me. I have a Volvo 240 with around 200K that I look after, and a Prius that I don't understand at all. 



#10 noeln

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:29 PM

I see that there are ebay kits that include the water pump, pulleys and everything for $126!  I need to replace the other belts on the vehicle soon,  but I will put the timing belt and all that related stuff on the calendar.



#11 grossgary

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:34 PM

yep, very reasonable. a 96 should be the old style (horizontal with two bolts) tensioner, those are extremely reliable and rarely fail.  the newer style (introduce around 97) are less reliable and should be replaced every time.

 

the brown material seals - like SUbaru oem seals - are generally far better quality than the black ones.  theimportexperts is a good ebay supplier and the PCI component kits are good.

 

good luck and an easy 200,000 here you come hopefully.



#12 Fairtax4me

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:04 AM

The fuse does not do anything directly with the Duty C solenoid, nor the FED light. The fuse merely grounds a pin for the auto trans control module, which then commands the duty C to the fully open (or closed, I forget exactly which) position which prevents line pressure from reaching the transfer clutch packs.

If the light did not come on right away that could be a poor connection at the bulb or poor connection elsewhere between the TCU and cluster, but is in now way an indicator of Duty C solenoid operation. And since the torque bind goes away with the fuse installed, that would show that the duty C solenoid IS working, or at least enough to unlock the clutch packs when told to.

Trans codes can not be read via the OBD2 diagnostic port, you have to do the secret handshake and count blinks of the AT temp light to get TCU codes.

#13 noeln

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 08:51 AM

Thanks for you help, Fairtax. I agree with your take on the FWD light situation. At this point I think I will continue to drive the car in FWD and do periodic drain and refills of the ATF and pull the fuse to see if there has been any improvement with the AWD. There are other things I can focus on in the short run, finding the reason for the rough idle while in gear, (i'm thinking vacumn leak?) and replacing belts, etc. I'll figure out the secret handshake and see what the TCU tells me.



#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 12:31 AM

Vibration in gear is often caused by low quality aftermarket replacement front axles. Sounds weird, but there is documented proof here and on other boards that OE axles stop the vibration.
Obviously, checking over all the hoses and making sure it has good plugs and wires, fresh filters, etc, should be done first. But when all else fails, if the cups on the front axles aren't green, they're probably the problem.

#15 ocei77

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 08:12 AM

Check the
TCU codes - if the AT Temp light flashes 16 times on startup then you have
stored TCU codes. There is a 6 pin black connector above the gas pedal and two
grounding wires wrapped into the harness directly above that. Insert one
grounding pin into the center pin on the black connector (blue with yellow
trace typically), then follow this process:

1: Turn ignition on, apply brake, and place gear selector in 1. Turn ignition off.

2: Turn ignition on.

3: Move selector to 2.

4: Move selector to 3.

5: Move selector to D.

6: Depress accelerator pedal slightly.

7: Read morse codes flashes on the AT Temp light. 24 will indicate a bad
duty-c. These are "stored" history codes from previous drive cycles.


8: Turn ignition off, then back on.

9: Move selector to 3.

10: Move selector to 2.

11: Move selector to 1.

12: Depress accelerator pedal slightly.

13: Read codes again. Codes given here are current faults active in the TCU on the current drive cycle.

GD


Handshake method for reading TCU codes. From post by General Disorder.

 

first section of pulses is the tens digit  second is the units.ie two pulses , pasue then 3, is 23.

 

O.


Edited by ocei77, 25 July 2013 - 08:14 AM.


#16 noeln

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:31 AM

Thanks for the secret handshake! Is there someplace to find the meanings of the codes from the TCU?

#17 grossgary

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:14 PM

google it, they should be easily found online.






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