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90 Legacy Wagon- How can I test if AWD is working?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 subaruVWnut

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 10:05 PM

Just acquired a 90 Legacy Wagon (automatic tranny) and I'm not sure that the AWD is working.

I noticed some wheel spin in the front when trying to drive it up on some ramps....

I was told to test gunn it from stop on a gravel road,.....which I tried.... A bit of spin the first time.....hard to tell on the other two tries.????? Inconclusive !

In the Yahoo Group...someone said something about "open differentials"..and "no way for the AWD to not work"......which I'm not sure I understand......but I know what a limited slip diff is.

Is there a difinitive test for proper function of the AWD?

Warren C.

#2 nipper

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 10:43 PM

Sometimes it takes a second (sometimes less) for the AWD system to sort things out and figure out what it has to do.
Also do realize what you have. you have to drive axles receiving power. Unless you have a limited slip differntial, the wheel with the least resistanceis going to spin, so its still possible to get stuck. I found out that a very LIGHT application of the brake pedal would add enough resistance to the spinning wheels, to transfer power to the wheels that arent spinning.
I think the only problem i have ever seen here is the dreaded torque bind as a failure mode for the AWD. Either it works as designed, or doesnt fully "disengage" when its supposed to.
Remeber its not called a silent system for nothing.
hehehe want to see it work, wait for a rainy day and floor it :)

nipper

#3 fj401968

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 04:15 PM

Over time the AWD got sloppier and sloppier on my 90' Legacy with automatic transmission. If the front wheels started to spin on snow/ice, it would take quite a few spins before the rear axle would decide to kick in... at that point the front tires would spin less because they were getting some help and with that, the rear axle would stop prividing torque so the front wheels would spin some more... very annoying. Eventually it got to the point it is now, where the car is 100% front wheel drive only. The AWD system on the automatics is more complex and can be more finicky than the system used with the maual transmission. 90 Legacy's had crappy automatics as well. My '90 Legacy has taught me to never purchase the first year of a new model.

Tracy

Just acquired a 90 Legacy Wagon (automatic tranny) and I'm not sure that the AWD is working.

I noticed some wheel spin in the front when trying to drive it up on some ramps....

I was told to test gunn it from stop on a gravel road,.....which I tried.... A bit of spin the first time.....hard to tell on the other two tries.????? Inconclusive !

In the Yahoo Group...someone said something about "open differentials"..and "no way for the AWD to not work"......which I'm not sure I understand......but I know what a limited slip diff is.

Is there a difinitive test for proper function of the AWD?

Warren C.



#4 jimscat

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 04:25 PM

I to wondered if my awd worked after a got my 93. during the first winter I found out that it did work. I had to spin the fronts for maybe 15 secs and then I heard a clunk and would drive off. After figureing out that athe clunk was the rear locking up, I would just ease the gas and wait till I felt it, then drive off. After reading fj401968 post, I agree, just like any other thing that has gears that it will get a little sloppy (maybe my clink)

#5 Spazz698

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 05:23 PM

If you know what you're looking for, the handling in awd is different than fwd. I noticed a huge difference when I had the fwd fuse in (in my 93 wagon) even going in a straight line. So my suggestion would be put the fuse in and see if you can feel a diff, or you could do a couple donuts on dry pavement and see which tires leave marks ;) Not recommended really, but I drive like a bat outta hell so I know all my tires leave marks, the fronts more than the rear from the power difference.

or you could simply lift the car completely off the wheels (some shops might let you use a lift which is the safest way to go, or use jack stands, I just dont see using jacks and just jacks being smart in this case at all) and have someone put it in gear- it should cause all 4 tires to move just idling with no load on the wheels. I havent tried this method but to me it makes sense.

#6 nipper

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 05:46 PM

One thing i noticed in mine, its real easy to light up the front wheels on dry ground with the fuse in, as opposed to when the fuse is not installed.
hehe makes for a fun test.

nipper

#7 Al_SemC

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 11:32 AM

Well, yeah. You're FWD with that fuse in and are thus putting copious numbers of ponies onto the ground through two and then quickly one wheel.

#8 nipper

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:37 PM

hehehe i know that .... just passing on how to test the awd :)


nipper




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