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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Changing Transmission on 91 Legacy 4WD

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66 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 05 September 2001 - 03:19 PM

Has anybody done changing transmission on a 91 Legacy 4WD yet? I'm thinking of buying a use transmission and put it on by myself but I wonder how hard it is to put it on.

From the view above the engine, it looks crampy and hard to dismount the transmission. It also looks like I need to remove many things at the bottom take take out the transmission.

Can it be done?

Thanks in advance for any tips or help.

#2 Guest_PaganQWA_*

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Posted 05 September 2001 - 03:53 PM

If you know your way around the car with a wrench I bet you could do it in a weekend, if you have all the parts in front of you. Figure 8 hours a day.

Youll need to 'drop' it from the bottom, so the exhuast has to come off. Unhook all hoses from tranny to engine and label them. Unplug all wires and label them as well. Remove the shifter boot inside the cabin and undo any shifting linkages from inside. You shouldnt have to undo the shifting linkages from the tranny, they will come out with the whole unit. Also dont forget to drop the drive shaft... unbolt the center carrier bearing or whatever is there (maybe a center diff? i dont know for sure on these thigns :) ) and once that is undone i should come out from the tranny. Then youll need to unbolt the engine from the tranny. The belhousing seperates once all bolts are removed. It will take some 'persuading' with a crowbar I'm sure.

It's best to have 2 people at this stage. One pulling from below and another with a strap around the tranny and up around their sholders so the can 'bounce' it up and down as someone pulls from below. I stand on teh strut towers for a good footing :) Once it's free you can gently lower it with the straps to the ground. I'd have something relativly soft for it to land on incase it does fall.

As for putting it back in I'd use a big floor jack to jack it up the right height and slide it forward. Everything else is the reverse order of removal :) This isnt an exact proceedure but a good'nuf run down of what basicly needs to be done. I'm sure others will fill in :)


Just rememberd a detail... usally you have to line up the shaft from the tranny to the engine properly. I know on manual trannys you use a clutch alignment tool to slip into the clutch, wiggle around untill it slides in all the way and then its preped. Well everyone has told me 'you dont have to line up auto trannys' but my friend just put an auto tranny in his 69 mustang behind a 351windsor engine. He got it running and started driving around... got about a block befor it stopped sending power to the rear wheels. Pulled the tranny, sent it to a shop and the pump had been shoved through all the gears. So obviously something wasnt alligned right :) Maybe a subie tech would know what to do exactly or someone else here can fill in.

#3 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 05 September 2001 - 05:03 PM

PG, thanks alot for your helpful directions/information. I'm sure I will need all that and maybe even more to help me fix it. I figure I will need couple days at least to finish it if not more. I think I will start tonight by getting the tranny out if possible. Tomorrow, I should be able to go and buy the used tranny and get start with it sometime tomorrow night or Friday sometime.

Thanks alot, friend. Wish me luck!

#4 Guest_PaganQWA_*

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Posted 05 September 2001 - 05:19 PM

No problem. My biggest tip is to label EVERYTHING :) I know most gear heads scoff at the idea but I think it's just stupid to leave stuff to memory. Unless you konw every hose, wire, bolt, nut, washer, fitting, ring, bearing, banjo and clamp then leave nothing to memory. It's just not worth it to be sitting there scratching your head going "where in the HELL does this hose go??!!!" :)

#5 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 05 September 2001 - 09:40 PM

PG, before I go any further, let me ask you and see if you can figure if the problem is really the tranny or something else.

I can always start the engine fine. But when I put it in D or R, it almost cannot go. When it's cold and at first, it may go like maybe up to maybe 50 feet or so, but definitely not driveable by any means. It goes in Reverse better than Forward.

After couple of R and D, it would stall and no longer can it move. If I turn off the engine and then restart it, and put it in R or D again, it would go exactly as the first time and not more. Same routine on the third time and so forth.

Now, with that information, can you or are you able to figure out if it is really the tranny? I'm just afraid I might get the wrong part and find out later on that it's not what I thought it was.

I know my way around car a little, but have never changed a tranny before, although I have changed engine once before but I didn't do anything with the tranny except to bolt it back on.

Again, I really do appreciate your help.

#6 Guest_Huckster_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 05:10 AM

Sounds like a fried clutch pack to me.
A couple more points to remember while removing the tranny,
(1) you need a 3/16" dowel pin punch to remove the front axles.
(2) the shifter does not need to come out on a Subie, 2 bolts on a bracket on the pass side of the tranny and a clip to remove the shifter cable( on a manual 2 bolts removes the shifter rods)
(3) drain all tranny fluids before you do anything else(tranny fluid and front diff)
(4) the torque converter bolts come out one at a time on the top pass side of the bell housing(little black rubber covered hole)
Its not to bad(other than those AWD autos are one heavy bugger) just take your time, pretty much the wiring will only hook up one way, so labeling, while not a bad ideal, isn't a have to thing.
Oh, yeah, disconnect the battery first.
Hope this helps,

#7 Guest_PaganQWA_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 10:10 AM

Sounds to me like a typical thing that happens... you replace the engine and mate it to the old tranny... well the tranny is old and worn, and used to an old warn engine. Now you got a fresh engine shoving top torque to a worn tranny. Typicly the tranny goes in a few months :(

As long as the engine runs fine and you only get these symtoms of stalling and poor running when the transmission is enguaged I think your on the right track.

Huckster sounds like he's done a few :) Great tips! Good luck man, post some pics of the removal/instalation!

#8 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 03:36 PM

More info: This is NOT a new engine. I just purchased the car knowing that I need to change the tranny. It is an auto 4WD, so I bet the tranny will be heavier. If only the torque converter needs to be replaced, do I still have to take out the whole tranny?

So, according to my information posted earlier, does that sound like it's definitely the tranny? or something? Perhaps just the torque converter? If it is the tranny, would it make any noticeable noise that I can tell? Grinding? Or any other noises?


#9 Guest_PaganQWA_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 03:57 PM

If the torque converter is shot, youll at least need to slide the tranny back enough to drop the converter out. I dont know how to tell if its just the converter or something internal to the tranny :(

#10 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 04:04 PM

I've seen and checked with a wrecking yard and he can sell me the whole engine (although it has several broken parts and it may not work anymore) plus the tranny and transfer case for rough $500 bucks. Is this a good price by any stretch?

#11 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 04:08 PM

Is clutch applicable to Auto tranny, too? I've always thought that clutch is only for manual tranny. So, what's the truth here. Was I always been wrong about it? Thanks...

#12 Guest_PaganQWA_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 04:15 PM

Manuals use a clutch; auto trannies use 'clutch packs' and hydrolic power to do everything automaticly.

Sounds like the guy you were talking to was off his rocker. Subaru's dont have transfer cases and why would you need a broken engine? :) Ask him how much for just the tranny and the invisible transfer case :)

#13 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 04:27 PM

PG, thanks again. Hhehehhe....I guess I just didn't know the different between clutch and clutch packs. So, mine will definitely need the clutch packs, huh? Dang, I just don't know if the clutch is just bad or the whole tranny. I wish I have a good friend close here so I can have him take a look at it.

The guy that owned it before I do told me he took it to the dealer and had it checked out. The tech there told him it may also be the seal between the torque converter and the tranny.

I think I'm getting somewhere here with all your help and others, but I still need to find out if it is really tranny or just the clutch pack.

So, if the clutch pack is bad, what kind of symptoms can it give me? Or if it's the tranny, how different are the symptoms between the two?

I'm narrowing it closer now, I believe. I hope it's just the clutch pack and not the tranny. That will really save me hundreds of dollars for sure.


#14 Guest_PaganQWA_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 05:49 PM

Well there are several clutch packs and they are all internal to the transmission. Either way the darn thing is coming out :) If you want to split her open and attempt to rebuild it or if you want to just replace the whole unit; that's upto you. I think if you look at a nice cross section diagram of the transmission youll quickly opt for just replacing it :lol: The average modern day automatic transmission has over a thosunad moving parts... and we wonder why they fail faster then standards???

Where abouts do you live? If your in the twincities area I'd be happy to swing by and help you go over her.

#15 Guest_vaunghc_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 07:10 PM

Oops...no comments...

#16 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 07:15 PM

PG, thanks for being so helpful. Unfortunately, I live in Sacramento, CA. But thanks for offering to help. I guess I will just go and buy the used tranny I was telling you earlier. I don't think I will know how to rebuild this sucker anyway since it has hundreds of pieces inside it.

I will keep you posted and if possible, I will take couple pictures to show you later on.

Keep in touch and thanks so much!

#17 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 10:35 PM

I took my first crack at it tonight and boy, it is hard. I can't even find a way to unbolt those suckers, especially the bottom bolts. No room to work with. There are two pieces to this whole tranny thing. I wonder if I could just unbolt the rear part (like half of it). But according to the book I bought, it says I have to take it out as a whole. Whew!!!! I will have my hands full for the next several weeks if not sooner.

Anybody knows a better or easier way to unbolt those suckers? I can't find any room no matter which way I turn.

Thanks all!

#18 Guest_Huckster_*

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 05:03 AM

There are only 4 bolt in the bell housing, 1 of them is is one of the starter bolts, remove the starter first(after dissconnecting the battery) then the other top bolt, remove the rubber plug to access the Torque canverter bolts(you'll have to use a socket on the front crank bolt to turn the engine till 1 of the 4 converter bolts is in the area covered by the rubber plug, after removing 1, turn some more for the second bolt and so on)
Unplug the 2 or 3 wiring connections , and remove the rear mount bolt.
then put the car up on jack stands, remove the exaust pipes (3 bolts on each head, and 2 bolts behind the Cat. converter and 2 hanger bolts(dont forget to unplug the o2 sensor ($100)before droping them down)
Then remove both front axles
Then you can get to the bottom 2 bell housing bolts, remove them, then remove the driveshaft to the rear end(must remove heat shield first)
then unhook the shifter cable and take its bracket loose.
Now take a floor jack and put under the tranny pan(nearer the front) and the (while the jack supports the tranny) remove the cross member under the rear of the tranny(3 bolts each side and 2 at the tranny mount)
Now it should be ready to let the jack down some and use a pry bar to get the tranny loose from the motor, get it back some them drop it down some, move it back some more then it should drop on out.
That was the easy part, now you gotta put the new one back up in there!
Hope this helps as my fingers are about to fall off.

#19 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 09:11 AM

Huckster, thanks for the directions. I will start working on it again later this afternoon when I get off work today. Damn it, it's hunting season but I have work on it, which means I'll have no fun this weekend.

It seems like the engine has no support bolts on either side. Does that mean it is supported wholely by the two axles (with all the bolts, etc), the two front wheel housings and the tranny? If this is the case, after removing the two axles, the two front wheel housings and the tranny, won't it just drop to the bottom?

Maybe it's easier to sink the engine, assuming if the vehicle is high enough to pop it out at the bottom. It's going to be some hard work for sure, especially for a beginner. This wouldn't be possible without everyone of you guys' directions and information.

I'll let you guys know as I progress.


#20 Guest_kennedydennis_*

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 12:50 PM

Check the mileage of the used tranny you are buying. If it's got much more than 100,000 miles, you may have to do this job over again soon. My '90 Legacy AWD has 137k and the tranny is definitely a soft shifter. I'm very interested to see how this turns out for you, as I'm thinking of doing the same thing. Has anyone bought one of the low mileage used engines or transmissions shipped over from Japan?

'90 Legacy wagon AWD auto

#21 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 01:33 PM

I believe the person that will sell me this used tranny told me there is only 45K miles on this engine. Could it be possible that a 91 Legacy still has only 45K miles on it? He also mentioned it is stored or something. I will check with him to make sure his claim is true and not a fabricated statement to make me buy it.

#22 Guest_Huckster_*

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 02:08 PM

The motor has 2 mounts inboard of each head, the motor won't go anywhere when you remove the tranny.
don't forget to change the tranny filter in the used tranny after you get it in, and installing an aftermarket tranny cooler will prolong the life of the new tranny(about $40 at Advanced Auto Ect.)
Good luck, sorry you're hunting season will be delayed,

#23 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 02:21 PM

Is Advanced Auto Etc a local auto parts store by your area or is it an internet mail order company?

#24 Guest_jcniest5_*

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Posted 08 September 2001 - 02:34 AM

I couldn't sleep, so I got online to tell you how far I have gone with my special mission.

I started working on it again last night, got the exhaust pipe off. Was about to start getting the two axles off as well, but found that I may need to take off the two wheels/tires for this purpose, so I rested for the night.

I wonder how hard it is to take off the two axles. What's the easiest way to take off the two front drive axles?

Is it hard to get out the bolts for the driveplate-to-converter? I believe getting them out isn't hard, but putting them back on is going to be hard. Any special trick that you can share on this specific task?

For the purpose of lowering or lifting the tranny, I went to Costco and bought an ATV/Motorcycle/All-purpose jack. It has more like an H lifter, which I believe the tranny will fit and really help me with either lowering or lifting the tranny.

Has anybody seen this jack before and how effective it is when it comes to this kind of job?

Haven't got the used tranny yet. Was waiting for a pickup or van to pick up the tranny. Will do that this afternoon.


#25 Guest_Huckster_*

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Posted 08 September 2001 - 12:33 PM

Yeah, you have to remove the wheels to remove the axles,
After removing the wheels, pry the dust cap off the center of the hub, the you have to take a punch(or screwdriver ect) to pry the locked part of the big nut out of the groove, then have somebody hold the brake while you loosen the big nut.
After the nut is off(and the pins are out{on the tranny end of the axles})mark the position of the 2 bolts on each strut, (so you can put them back without having to get it realigned), then remove them, this will let the hub come loose on the top, hence allowing the axle to slide out(I think there is 1 bolt to a brake line bracket that helps to be taken loose also).

The Bike jack sounds like a good ideal, and me owning bikes for years should have thought of that myself! Let me know how it works for you.

I think Deer season(bow) started here this weekend, hope you get it back on the road soon.

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