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'99 SUS, front diff howl. Will it blow up?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 matt167

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:41 PM

Just recently got my '99 Lego SUS back from the local mechanic. Had him take a professional look at the timing and I had it off a tooth, Runs fine now, except the front diff started to howl on the way back to my house. Not horrible, but about 60 MPH I can hear it... Is this going to blow up if I just change the gear lube and drive it? Not putting any more work into this car beyond what it needs to pass inspection.. Trans is tight and shifts just fine



#2 lmdew

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:41 AM

Drain and check  the fluid for metal.  



#3 grossgary

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:58 AM

check fluid level and like he said drain/check for chunks.

 

this just happened to me this year, i got 5,000 - 10,000 miles on it (i'd have to check odometer, i know when it started) before it got really bad, was making some noises, and now won't go into drive at all.



#4 CNY_Dave

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:04 AM

If it just started to howl, does it have any fluid in it?

 

Mine got noisy over many months, no one trip where you could say it 'started'.



#5 Gloyale

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:34 AM

Check diff fluid for shavings.

 

repairing a front diff runs about $1200 all sadi and done.

 

Can you replace the car with anything better for $1200?  probably not.



#6 matt167

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:27 PM

Check diff fluid for shavings.

 

repairing a front diff runs about $1200 all sadi and done.

 

Can you replace the car with anything better for $1200?  probably not.

 

Except I have a reliable vehicle. This was bought as a second vehicle that could keep the miles off my truck and get better MPG. As it is, I could have bought a lot of gas for the truck with the money spent, but if it needs any more it just makes no sense to go any further, when my truck is in perfect mechanical condition



#7 matt167

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:31 PM

I'll change the gear lube, check for shavings and report back.. It made a little noise when I bought it, but did not know enough about Subaru's then to discern that it could be a major problem.. It might be the way it was when I bought it. Noise is easily covered up by the radio, if I can just drive it and it won't leave me stranded.



#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:51 PM

our 03 automatic had a little whine from new. Changing the front diff to synthetic cut the whine by about 1/2.

#9 matt167

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 02:20 PM

Well, gear lube is changed. It was a tad low, but not bad. no shavings except what looked like bearing grease on the plug. It may have been metallic particles suspended in oil making it thicker but definitely not chunks or shavings.. Still whines but it's a little better. I used approx 50% Lucas oil stabilizer as I figured a bit of cushion wouldn't hurt. The gear lube I used was 80W90 semi synthetic Valvoline.. The CEL is off, so it may pass inspection and not need anything more for the time being, so I'll probably just drive it till it pukes.



#10 CNY_Dave

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 08:17 PM

If your diff dipstick does not fit tightly the fluid slung against it by the pinion may pop it out.

 

I was running the lucas additive, made it just thick enough to sling the dipstick out a bit, made a mess!



#11 matt167

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:23 PM

I'll keep a check on it. Not sure what is supposed to come out with the dipstick, but in my case, the entire dipstick tube came out. Dipstick itself is stuck in the tube ( is it supposed to be? ) and I had to use pliers to remove the tube itself. I marked the tube before I pulled it out so I knew the oil level would be right when I installed the tube to the same depth.. It's TIGHT in there.. I'm actually planning on changing gear oil in another 1k miles or so, and filling up with Amsoil Extreme gear 75W110 with LSD additive as I have heard that is good at quieting noisy gears.



#12 grossgary

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:49 AM

the tube is not to get stuck like that, but it does happen, they can be time-welded on there like crazy.

 

the sludge you mention is metal particulates stuck to the plug but that's normal wear, they all have that even ones that go 300,000 miles without issue.

 

if you got it for a good deal or lot (who got it unknown from an auction) then there are good chances the previous owner dumped the car because of the issue.

 

do follow up and let us know how it goes.  if you dump it with a blown trans, let me know the 99 SUS is one of my fav subarus.



#13 matt167

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:04 AM

I bought it from a friend of mine, but he sold it cheap needing a head gasket but I dropped a good '96 EJ22E in it which I fully resealed and serviced. If I can figure out which transmissions will swap into this, I will probably search out a used transmission but wait till it finally blows to swap it. As of right now, I'm finding the only interchange is a 1999 JEBA trans from an Outback/SUS and I can only find them locally for $700- up. If more years swap, then a few from the '00-'04 years are quite a bit more reasonable. I could also get a U pull transmission from a yard for about $150 if I know what models work.. I'd find a 5spd car and convert it over to 5spd except I will tow my boat with it ( ~1,300 lbs on trailer ) so the auto will be nicer than killing a clutch to get it moving.



#14 grossgary

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:10 PM

it's likely other ones will change - likely they only call it a "one year" because the body style changed the next year.

 

98 and earlier will not - so if there are ones that interchange it'll be the newer Phase II transmissions like 00 - ??

 

a quick google search showed a couple low key comments that said the later ones would...but i didn't see any specific experience, with some digging up or posting "what interchanges with 1999 transmission" threads you might hear from someone that's done it.



#15 matt167

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:39 PM

The way I read things is the JEBA trans switchover in mid '99 up to about 2004, transmissions are interchangable, but I have yet to find any 100% verification.. It's almost worth it to do the 5spd swap. Yard I use is littered with 2.2L 5spd Legacy's but then I'm not sure I'd have enough to pull the boat out.. My truck is a 5spd, but I actually want something I can just put in drive for a change, especially if I'm going to tow a boat



#16 matt167

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 09:30 AM

I got conformation that 1999-2003 will swap.. Will a regular Legacy model trans swap in? I know the differential is 4.11 and not 4.44 but the transmission is so much cheaper to get a pulled trans ( $200 grade A low mile tested vs $600+ for a 'works' trans ) that if I had to spend another $50-100 on a 4.11 rear diff, it would be worth it.



#17 grossgary

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:36 AM

how did you confirm the 99-03 will swap?  that's great.

 

yes - you can simply swap the rear diff to match and you're golden, it should make no difference, i've done it before in 96-99 generation stuff.

 

i seem to recall some speed sensor differences, but i can't recall what those might be....compare pictures on ebay of a 99 to a 02 or check opposed forces for speed sensors?  i feel like one has 2 speed sensors and another has 3 or something like that...it's hazy or completely off base.



#18 matt167

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:31 PM

Found out from Legacygt.com.

It does appear that the speed sensors are the same part number from 1999- 2004 also

 

It appears that a 4.11 trans goes back to 1999 even by Car-part so I should be good that way also, with the 4.11 rear diff






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