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95 Legacy 4sp Auto Question


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11 replies to this topic

#1 john tomasiewicz

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Posted 09 February 2005 - 05:33 PM

Hello everyone! I'm new to Subaru, but just picked up a '95 legacy wagon w/93,000 and I'm wondering if any good or harm is done to the Tranny if I select "3" instead of D when tooling around town at 40mph and under? Would it save some internal componants from locking/unlocking as we drive at a speed where Overdrive 4th would engage? Is the 4th gear ratio an overdrive? In this gear, does the torque converter lock up above a certain speed? Thankyou for responding. John

#2 JT95

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Posted 09 February 2005 - 06:16 PM

I'm new to Subaru too, so I may not know anything. I have a 95 LSi w/ the auto tranny. If you want to drive around in 3, that shouldn't have any effect on the longevity of the tranny. Basically, I assume, you're just losing the overdrive gear ratio. 3 is totally fine to drive around town in--you can even hit the interstate in 3, but check out that RPM....Now, when you go to 2, you're balancing the power transfer to a 50/50 split front and rear, whereas 3 and D will be a 90/10 split of front/rear power.

Wagons rule.

My 95 will be rolling to 160,000 next week and it's still going strong. My suspicion is that the tranny will need some attention within the next 15,000 miles. The 2.2 is a fantastic engine. Subaru should just start building that engine again with the reputation the 2.2 has built. Get that timing belt replaced if it hasn't had it already. 100K is the recommended spot to replace it.

#3 Suzam

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Posted 09 February 2005 - 08:53 PM

Every 60,000 is the interval for a timing belt on the MY95 2.2 engines.

#4 Dr. RX

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 08:03 AM

Boy, this must be the week for 95 Legacy wagons, I just picked up two of them, one on Saturday, and the other on Sunday. I really don't think it would hurt to run around in 3rd, but you will lose that automatic part of an automatic tranny (automatically shifting as needed).

#5 rweddy

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 08:31 AM

Hello everyone! I'm new to Subaru, but just picked up a '95 legacy wagon w/93,000 and I'm wondering if any good or harm is done to the Tranny if I select "3" instead of D when tooling around town at 40mph and under? Would it save some internal componants from locking/unlocking as we drive at a speed where Overdrive 4th would engage? Is the 4th gear ratio an overdrive? In this gear, does the torque converter lock up above a certain speed? Thankyou for responding. John

Doing this would not "hurt" the tranny, but why would you want to do this?
The engine would work harder since it will be running at higher rpm, get worse gas mileage, etc.

#6 friendly_jacek

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 04:56 PM

Hello everyone! I'm new to Subaru, but just picked up a '95 legacy wagon w/93,000 and I'm wondering if any good or harm is done to the Tranny if I select "3" instead of D when tooling around town at 40mph and under? Would it save some internal componants from locking/unlocking as we drive at a speed where Overdrive 4th would engage? Is the 4th gear ratio an overdrive? In this gear, does the torque converter lock up above a certain speed? Thankyou for responding. John


I hear you, in heavy traffic, and low speeds, it helps to save some unnecessary shifts when you take the leg from gas pedal. I do it when I tow in city to save AT wear and tear and to avoid lugging in 4th.
4Th is not an overdrive in subarus.

There is no speed limit for torque convertor locking/unlocking. In my 2000 legacy, I see it sometimes unlocking at 75 MPH when I tow a heavy load on mild grade,. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it, short of using lower gears and lower speeds. Fortunately, significant grade seems to prevent unlocking to prevent overheating.

Reading this board made me aware that some sub owners forget to change ATF every 30000 miles. Do yours ASAP. Tranny cooler is also a good thing to have if you haul heavy loads.

Good luck!

#7 JT95

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 08:27 PM

Okay, I've got almost 160,000 miles on my 95 wagon, but here's what my 4 speed auto does--I checked while hitting the interstate this morning. There is definitely a change in RPM in D. I'm pretty sure I read that my Legacy has overdrive when I bought it, but I might be wrong there. At 70 mph, there is an obvious difference in RPM between 3 and D, but in D the engine drops to 3,250 RPM when it shifts from 3rd gear and then drops another 400 RPM when the apparant overdrive kicks in.


Now, I could just have a screwed up tranny. I don't have much experience with auto transmissions--at least working on them or having problems with them--but I don't know about a single gear having two different RPMs. On a few really cold mornings this winter, I noticed that when I first took off my car was not shifting into what I assumed was overdrive. (My car is not garage kept, so it gets as cold as everything else outside.) RPM in D at 70mph was higher than normal, but lower than the RPM if I clicked the shifter down to 3. After driving a few miles down the road the engine finally shifted down to the normal 2850 RPM at that speed. Mine is an LSi--did they have an overdrive tranny the other Subes didn't?

#8 Tiny Clark

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 02:21 AM

I shift mine into third while going DOWN into the small towns here in hilly Germany. Otherwise, it'd take riding the breaks all the way in.


I also feel no reason to allow the car to shift into and out of overdrive (4th) unnecessarily when I'm driving under 40 or so.

#9 Spazz698

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 02:52 AM

4th gear isnt overdrive. In a way you can consider it that since OD is just that, one more gear. The reason you only get 1-3 on the shifter is so you can downshift for hillclimbing- no way to downshift into 4th. Generally cars that have OD will have something to engage/disengage it or have 2 drive gears (IE D3 and D4) in which my car at least doesnt have that, but it is a 4spd auto. My legacy (93) has a manual shift option but as far as I can tell it just locks the tranny in gear til I shift it as opposed to when the manual isnt on, it'll downshift automatically but not go past that gear.

#10 friendly_jacek

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 05:24 AM

Okay, I've got almost 160,000 miles on my 95 wagon, but here's what my 4 speed auto does--I checked while hitting the interstate this morning. There is definitely a change in RPM in D. I'm pretty sure I read that my Legacy has overdrive when I bought it, but I might be wrong there. At 70 mph, there is an obvious difference in RPM between 3 and D, but in D the engine drops to 3,250 RPM when it shifts from 3rd gear and then drops another 400 RPM when the apparant overdrive kicks in.


Now, I could just have a screwed up tranny. I don't have much experience with auto transmissions--at least working on them or having problems with them--but I don't know about a single gear having two different RPMs. On a few really cold mornings this winter, I noticed that when I first took off my car was not shifting into what I assumed was overdrive. (My car is not garage kept, so it gets as cold as everything else outside.) RPM in D at 70mph was higher than normal, but lower than the RPM if I clicked the shifter down to 3. After driving a few miles down the road the engine finally shifted down to the normal 2850 RPM at that speed. Mine is an LSi--did they have an overdrive tranny the other Subes didn't?


That 400 rpm difference you refer to sounds like torque converter locking up.
As for driving in cold temp, the tranny is supposed to use up to 3rd gear with cold ATF. 4th gear kicks in with warmer ATF. Do not know if that applies to torque converter. Living in south US, I don't know what cold is anymore :-)

#11 Tiny Clark

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 09:07 AM

4th gear isnt overdrive. In a way you can consider it that since OD is just that, one more gear. The reason you only get 1-3 on the shifter is so you can downshift for hillclimbing- no way to downshift into 4th. Generally cars that have OD will have something to engage/disengage it or have 2 drive gears (IE D3 and D4) in which my car at least doesnt have that, but it is a 4spd auto. My legacy (93) has a manual shift option but as far as I can tell it just locks the tranny in gear til I shift it as opposed to when the manual isnt on, it'll downshift automatically but not go past that gear.


Sorry, but I consider it overdrive with less than a 1:1 ratio. The fact that it doesn't have a button for O/D like my son's Camry is irrelevant, IMO.

#12 friendly_jacek

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 12:25 PM

Sorry, but I consider it overdrive with less than a 1:1 ratio. The fact that it doesn't have a button for O/D like my son's Camry is irrelevant, IMO.


This is a quote from Subaru's publication entitled "Subaru 4EAT Transmissions". It can be downloaded from: http://endwrench.com....php&&RECID=247

"The 4EAT Transmission is a 4 speed, microprocessor-controlled transmission
that was first introduced in 1987.5 Subaru models. It is not a 3 speed transmission
with overdrive."

Would that be enough to clarify that 4EAT does not have an overdrive?




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