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replacing an auto trans


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8 replies to this topic

#1 bobbyboy

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 01:46 PM

Hey all, Has anyone attempted to replace an AWD auto trans on an 96 legacy/outback? The quotes to just swap out the trans on my outback are crazy......ALSO, Does anyone know what kind of Fluid I need. Does it need Subaru fluid or can I by a good synthetic at autozone or someplace...Thanks Bobby

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 06:02 PM

You may want to look for an independent shop. Swapping it out yourself can be done with the help of a friend and a weekend.

The biggest pain is making sure the torque converter & shaft gets seated properly in the oil pump.

You should use dextron III ATF fluid....any dex III fluid should work.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 09:15 AM

it's not bad.....i had a local shop quote me $200 to install a trans that i had. had a recently seperated shoulder, so i was shopping around, ended up doing it myself anyway. trans comes out easy enough by yourself.

if you don't have an engine lift, drop it on an old sheet or piece of carpet. slide it out from under the car. like he just said, make sure you seat the last 1/4" of the torque converter. it's tricky to get in place, have to keep turning and trying to seat it, just a little patience. it's hard to tell and if you try to bolt it up without seating it all the way you'll break stuff.

with two jacks you can install a new one yourself, i've done it from under the car.

if you have an engine lift you can definitely do it yourself really easy, pull the motor and trans as a unit together. swap trans, reinstall both as a unit.

#4 nipper

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 09:32 AM

ild say 200-300 to R and R the tranny is a good price depending upon location. On an auto tranny, i would stick with the regular tranny fluid. The trany requirs all that gum to hold it together, and synthetic fluid MAY remove all that gum and wipe it out. a Tranny flush does remove gum, but doesnt hurt the clutches. On an engine, worse synthetic may do is make your crank and cam seals leak (which means they were close to leaking anyway), but ild hate to wipe out a tranny thats never seen synthetic before. You dont have the same issues in the tranny as you do in the crancase, so i really dont think its worth the risk.


BEFORE you all jump down my throat (easy i have a bad back) this is just my opinion.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 10:31 AM

i agreed with nipper, i wouldn't even discuss synthetics until you get an aftermarket trans cooler installed with your new trans. much more valuable tool in keeping your trans lasting.

#6 Mike W

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 02:00 PM

I recently swapped auto trans on my Legacy and it wasn't bad. But if someone could do it correctly and not screw things up for a couple hundred bucks, that might be a tempting way to go. But I tend to do things myself because I don't trust most shops.

The auto trans is heavier than it looks. I didn't have anyone to help me so I spent $50 on a Harbor Frieght scissor lift transmission jack and it was well worth it. The jack made lifting and moving the trans easy. It's gets a bit wiggly when the trans is jacked way up high, but that helps weasle it into position to mate with the engine. To drop the trans out the bottom, the car needs to be up kind of high. I used four 6-ton jackstands. When you seperate the trans from the engine, use some wire or something to retain the torque converter to the trans so you don't drop it. Remove the pitch stopper and tilt the engine backward. I guess that's all the tips I can think of for now.
But in answering your question, it's really not hard, just more of a hassle...remove axles, driveline, exhaust, etc. Basically took me half a weekend.

#7 bobbyboy

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:38 AM

Thanks all for the advise. If I could get it done here in phoenix for under $450.00 I would have someone else do it. That was the lowest quote. They were as high as $800.00. I wanted to tell them they were high! Literally. Thanks for the seating tip. I have another car to drive so I am gonna keep looking. Thanks again

#8 grossgary

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:51 AM

i'd stop in and ask a few more places. i already mentioned it, but a local shop said $150-$200 to install a new filter and install a trans that i supplied. 800 is insane. try some more rural shops if you're now checking prices in a large city. i think it would be hard to find that good of a price in DC where i work unless i got really lucky.

#9 nipper

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 09:58 AM

its still sounds high, it should be 4 hrs labor maybe 5 max . Ask a local garage and not a tranny shop, they do it all the time



nipper




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