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Guest Message by DevFuse

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2000 Outback Automatic Trans Interchange?

4EAT Transmission slip

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4 replies to this topic

#1 RacerX



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Posted 05 July 2014 - 05:06 PM

I've recently purchased a 2000 Outback Limited with "transmission problems".  It has the typical hesitation going into Drive from any other position.  Sometimes, I'll need to get the revs up in order to get it to engage, but even then, it's sketchy.  However, once it slams into Drive, it shifts well, with no other issues (until the next time I need to put it into Drive, again.)
Scouring the forums, I've found this to be a very common issue with 99-01 Outbacks.  Apparently, the new "phase II" trans was manufactured with bad seals that cause this issue.  

I tried the Trans-X suggestion first.  It worked like a charm!  ... for about 4 days.  Then the issue returned.
A 30-year veteran at a respectable trans shop in town tells me that Trans-X (like brake fluid) swells the seals and will work, temporarily, but isn't advisable, since it doesn't discriminate and swells ALL seals in the trans. It also makes it more difficult to rebuild, due to swollen seals being more difficult to remove.  Still worth a shot IMHO.  ($8 bottle vs $1k for a rebuild.)
My question is:  what years and models will interchange with mine (TZ1A4ZCABA-WL on bellhousing.)??
I have found a salvage yard with a '00 Forester Auto (TZ1A3ZC2AA-P8) and an '02 Forester Auto (TZ1A3ZC3AA-PM).  The '00 has fewer miles, but I'm cautious due to being the same year model as mine, might have similar issues.  

The harness plugs appear to be the same and all have the spin-on external trans filter on the side.
Any help would be appreciated.

I apologize for being verbose, but I'm trying to give as much pertinent info as I can.  Thanks!

Edited by RacerX, 05 July 2014 - 05:07 PM.

#2 Rooster2


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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:33 PM

I wrote the original Trans-X topic 6 years ago, and my 99 with delayed auto shift engagement is still going strong. I need to replace the Trans-X about once a year to renew its properties to keep my tranny running great.


I am surprised that Trans-X only lasted about 3 days in your car. Did you drain and fill the tranny 3 times, with short drives between fills,  before adding Trans-X? Did you also replace the external tranny fluid filter? If not, then it is understandable that Trans-X has not worked well for you.


As far as problems with swollen seals using Trans-X, I have read several reports of no problems in rebuilding the tranny, and no evidence of anything abnormal caused by Trans-X. Swollen seals don't seem to exist.


Most advise on this forum is to not rebuild an old tranny, but to install a used one from a wrecking yard. Cost is low, success of transplant is good. I hope others can tell you if a Forester tranny will work. If so, you still may need to match up differential gear ratios. No big deal, just install the rear diff from a Forester for a correct match up.

#3 RacerX



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Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:53 PM

Thanks, Rooster!  Yes, I read quite a few old posts regarding the Trans-X and neglected to put all my details in.  I changed the external filter and "3x flushed" the tranny, then added the Trans-X, again on the last fill.  It worked fairly well and I thought that had done the trick with just a little consistent hesitation, but it lasted about a week, this time.  Then the long hesitation returned.  That's the missing data between my initial Trans-X attempt and my search for a transplant.  

Both of the donor Foresters in the salvage yard are casualties of front-end collisions, so I've got a pretty solid chance that they were working well, when they met their fate.  Haha!  They both have their rear diff available, as well.  
I've had no luck finding any way to decode the trans I.D. numbers to know the difference in mine and the two Foresters'.  Everything that I've found, so far seems consistent that the "first 7" of the trans I.D. and the harness plugs should match for a direct swap.  However, my bad trans has a "4" in the 5th spot, where the Foresters' have a "3".  Other than that, they appear identical, on visual inspection and appear to be a direct bolt-in swap.

Anyone know what this 5th spot on the trans I.D. indicates?  

Any knowledge or experience with this issue is welcome.

Thanks, again!

#4 johnceggleston


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Posted 06 July 2014 - 08:10 AM

My question is:  what years and models will interchange with mine (TZ1A4ZCABA-WL on bellhousing.)??

I have found a salvage yard with a '00 Forester Auto (TZ1A3ZC2AA-P8) and an '02 Forester Auto (TZ1A3ZC3AA-PM).

both of these trans will plug and play.

the same final drive ratio the same electronics.


i don't know why the 5th position is different.

but i know the trans will run fine.


in the 90s the trans id was TZ102Zxxxx

then they went to TZ1A2Zxxx in 99 outback / GT.

for some reason the forester got the TZ1A3Zxxxx.

and finally the lego line went to TZ1A4xxxx.


but the electronics are the same and will run fine.


if you want to take the time to look up the individual clutch / gear part numbers, (opposedforces.com/parts)

you may find what the difference is.

but i would not bother, they are all phase 2 auto trans.

do the swap.


are any of the trans-x stories in rooster's thread about a forester?

maybe the TZ1A3Zxxxx got a different seal,

or was manufactured by a differ company or plant location?

Edited by johnceggleston, 06 July 2014 - 08:14 AM.

#5 RacerX



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Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:32 AM

Thanks, John!

That's a relief.  I appreciate your knowledge.  I'm going to pick up the tranny and pumpkin today and I'll update y'all when the swap is complete.

Y'all ROCK!

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 4EAT, Transmission slip

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