Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

89 GL - Transmission or axle?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 ArtemasRex

ArtemasRex

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Nevada City, CA

Posted 13 December 2017 - 02:00 PM

My continued thanks to members of this forum for all the good information so far.

 

I filled my empty transmission with transmission fluid and then discovered that it was in fact my differential fluid I had mistook as transmission fluid, thanks to who I now regard as a less than competent mechanic who hates Subarus. 

 

So I emptied the differential fluid, which came out black. I refilled with 80-90w gear oil. The car indeed seemed to improve. It no longer violently jerks, now it's been reduced to a relatively benign (but still concerning) clank. Here's the story:

 

When cold and driven up to 30 mph it is perfectly fine. After it warms up a bit there is a moderate clanking when acceleration is relieved. At highway speeds the clanking gets worse. You can feel it in the steering wheel and the shifter especially. The funny thing is it only happens when the throttle is nearly completely let off. If I put my foot down just enough to get throttle there is no clanking. I'm actually able to avoid the clanking entirely by applying a gently bit of acceleration as I brake. There is usually no clanking at all below 25 MPH even after a highway trip. It seems to occur at any RPM, speed, or gear. Possibly the first gear doesn't have this problem, I haven't tested that enough to be sure.

 

There is certainly a problem in the left front axle at the joint that's closer to the center. After a trip it is dripping grease onto the exhaust, causing a decent amount of smoke. 

 

Is this a transmission problem? Or am I lucky enough that it all comes down to the axle? When I bought the car I was told the left bearing was about to go, which I have already replaced. Perhaps it was the axle problem and the previous owner was mistaken about it being the bearing? 

 

Thanks!



#2 DaveT

DaveT

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 3,728 posts
  • Colchester

Posted 13 December 2017 - 03:21 PM

Look at the DOJ boot closely. That's the one near the transmission case. If that gets a crack or one of the bands is missing, grease will sling out and get on the exhaust. Clean, re grease and re boot it.

The clanking you describe and the conditions you describe match very well with what happened to my wife's 3AT wagon years ago, when the diff ran dry of oil. And sh drove it unto the symptoms got so bad she couldn't ignore them anymore. The pinion bearings failed, and allowed the pinion to move forward and hit the differential carrier housing whenever the car is moving faster than the engine rpm would have it move. In otherwords, engine brakimg. It had gotten so bad the car shuddered when letting off the gas. I limped it home, always keeping the engine from slowing the car. The oil seals between the atf and the gear lube failed on the way home, and I just had enough atf left in it to get it into the garage.

#3 ArtemasRex

ArtemasRex

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Nevada City, CA

Posted 13 December 2017 - 03:59 PM

Look at the DOJ boot closely. That's the one near the transmission case. If that gets a crack or one of the bands is missing, grease will sling out and get on the exhaust. Clean, re grease and re boot it.

The clanking you describe and the conditions you describe match very well with what happened to my wife's 3AT wagon years ago, when the diff ran dry of oil. And sh drove it unto the symptoms got so bad she couldn't ignore them anymore. The pinion bearings failed, and allowed the pinion to move forward and hit the differential carrier housing whenever the car is moving faster than the engine rpm would have it move. In otherwords, engine brakimg. It had gotten so bad the car shuddered when letting off the gas. I limped it home, always keeping the engine from slowing the car. The oil seals between the atf and the gear lube failed on the way home, and I just had enough atf left in it to get it into the garage.

 

The DOJ boot is definitely bad. You can see the tear just from glancing at it. For some reason the mechanic I saw a week ago took one look at it and said it needed replacing. This is the same mechanic who looked at my empty differential fluid and thought he was looking at the transmission, so...

 

Your wife's situation indeed sounds very similar to mine. I drove about 15 miles last night, testing my ability to prevent the clanking by keeping a bit of throttle on while braking. Engine braking is a great way to describe what is causing the shuddering.  Anyway, having put brand new oil into the differential yesterday and after driving the 15 miles, today the improvements caused by replacing the tiny bit of old oil were gone. I looked at the oil today and it is significantly darker than when I put it in. This could be caused by the black oil that was already in it that didn't get drained, but I don't know... why was the existing oil so black to begin with? 

 

I'm sorry, what is ATF? Also, what did they do at the garage? Did they replace the differential or was it something they managed to repair? Was the problem solved?



#4 DaveT

DaveT

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 3,728 posts
  • Colchester

Posted 13 December 2017 - 04:22 PM

ATF is automatic transmission fluid. The red oil in the transmission


The gear lube that was on the differential while it was being destroyed by seriously low level was being overheated, due to increased friction from lack of lubrication. It got cooked, turning it black. The entire inside of the case is coated with that black stuff, so it would take several changes with running in between to wash out all the black.

The clanking will not be fixed by adding oil. The pinion bearings are shot.

One used car I got had low oil in the diff, it had gotten blackened, buy had not been so low as to ruin the bearings and make clunking noises. That one recovered and continued to run for another 100k miles or more.

Back to my wife's car, I drove it into my garage, not a repair shop. I swapped in a spare transmission. I later dissasembled that ruined one to use it to get familiar with working on them. A fair amount of damage in there.

#5 ArtemasRex

ArtemasRex

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Nevada City, CA

Posted 13 December 2017 - 09:52 PM

Okay, thanks. So I DO need a new transmission. Darn it malarnit!

 

Any suggestions where to look for one? I mean like a website that'll ship it out or something. I know I can Google but maybe there's an inobvious best option. 



#6 DaveT

DaveT

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 3,728 posts
  • Colchester

Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:42 PM

Nothing specific.  I've been watching on here for anyone close by with extra unwanted 3ATs, because they are rare to find around here, and I intend to be running them for much longer, so I need parts.

car-part.com  has lots of used ones to look through.



#7 ArtemasRex

ArtemasRex

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Nevada City, CA

Posted 15 December 2017 - 04:04 AM

Can you offer me advice on sorting through car-parts.com inventory? I will be searching my area for a mechanic who can either fix the transmission himself or procure one, but I'd like to spend some time seeing what's out there on my own. 

 

Car-parts.com doesn't list the GL in its Subaru section. Are GL parts compatible with another make, and what range of years can I search under? 

 

I'm still deciding if I'm going to keep this car or if it's just a sunk cost at this point. Figuring out the availability of parts will have a big impact on that decision. 



#8 DaveT

DaveT

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 3,728 posts
  • Colchester

Posted 15 December 2017 - 09:36 AM

Oh, look for Loyale. 90 through 93 I know are the same.

In GLs, in 86 carb, the final drive ratio was different. I also had an 88 SPFI and that was the same as the loyales.

These are older cars with parts becoming harder to find, and more are no longer available. I run 2 of them so I have backup when one goes down, have loads of spares, and do all my own repairs. Makes them very affordable to run.

Anything this old is going to have a bunch of things that need attention over a period of time, until all those bits are renewed.

#9 idosubaru

idosubaru

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 24,022 posts
  • East Coast

Posted 15 December 2017 - 09:02 PM

Car-part.com

Post in the parts wanted forum here

eBay

#10 ArtemasRex

ArtemasRex

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Nevada City, CA

Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:24 AM

>These are older cars with parts becoming harder to find, and more are no longer available. 

 

Yours looks just like mine. I'll take a picture of mine tomorrow and put it in my profile.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users