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1997 Outback Transmission Transplant


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7 replies to this topic

#1 vcarter911

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 04:27 PM

Ok - Where to start. About 2 months ago I hit a curb at a slow speed and that is where the trouble began. I blew the right tire off the rim, and ended up driving down to the tire shop with a donut on. They replaced both front tires (the backs were still at 75%) and I drove the car home. Later on I notice a considerable amount of shaking and a whining noise, so I took it back to the tire shop to have them rebalanced. They told me that the tires were fine and I ended up spending 80 bucks to have them tell me the wheel bearings and the right side stearing knuckle were shot. I didn't buy it and took it to the dealer, who told me that the transfer clutches were shot, along with a long list of things that brought the repair total up to almost 5k. I quckly grabed the keys from the service rep and took my car home, thinking it was the end of the line for the Suby. I put it up on jack stands and ran it in drive. I noticed the the left drive axle was poping in and out of the transaxle and causing the shaking. Based on the fact the dealer told me the transfer clutches were gone, and fluid was mixing between the dif and the tranny, I decided to go for the transmission replacement on my own. I got the used tranny from Dan's Transmissions in CT. I think I chewed off more that I could swallow, but I managed to do it. For thoes who have not ever done this before - the only thing you leave in th car is a couple of belts and pullys. It took about 4 weeks of a few hours here and there, but I managed. After it was in, I put in new ATF and dif fluid. I started it up, and the check engine light came on instantly. When I started driving it, it felt really sluggish and didn't shift. After a few min I realized that it was stuck in 3rd gear. I've spend a boat load of money on parts, and really want this thing to work, but have lost energy and too much time to keep going.

Can anyone think of a reason this could be happening? Everything technically should be working, but it's just not. I don't want to drive it for fear of burning out the transfer clutches again. Help!

#2 Free Range

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 04:59 PM

Borrow a ODB II scan tool and pull codes for the trans and motor, see what comes up. Did you fill the torque converter before re-installing trans?


If all else fails install a manual trans, see write up on legacy 777's website.

good luck

#3 vcarter911

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 06:31 PM

No - I didn't fill the torque converter. I followed the Hanes manaul, and it said nothing about doing that. I used the same one that came with then used trans.

Would that make a difference in how the trans shifts?

#4 Skip

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 10:29 AM

V,
The tranny (4EAT) is totally electronic in reference to the shift patterns.

It sounds to me like the TCU (Transmission Control Unit)
is not happy with the 4EAT Dan sold you.

I could be a wiring interface issue.

Do you see the "POWER" light flashing upon start up?

The TCU will give you error codes if ask to do so.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 09:32 PM

check easy stuff - make sure trans harnesses are all plugged in tight and good. sometimes the pins won't seat properly and the plugs can be difficult to plug in all the way on those larger harnesses. is the trans definitely for your model vehicle? any chance it's a different year/model and isn't directly compatible (might need some tweaking or different sensor??)?

the TCU has a "limp home mode" or something if it's not working right and i believe that is 3rd gear on most 4EAT's.

did you pull the motor too or just the transmission when you installed the new one?

your tires need to match for AWD trans.

did you properly seat the torque converter? it slides in nice and easy...but it stops and is very difficult to get to seat in the last 1/4". a terrible design for the do-it-yourself crowd because they often break if you're not familiar with that last bit of seating of the torque converter. bolt it up and tigthen the bolts on the bellhousing and you'll force that last 1/4" or so and break the oil pump. doubt the car would run at all, but maybe it's possible it shoved into the oil pump enough to run but not perform well.

i would check your line pressure out of your transmission lines if you can. i have pulled them before to make sure there's a constant flow of fluid with no bubbles/gurgling.

the transmission pan isn't dented is it? the sump (bottom of the filter) can sit quite low in some 4EAT's and any dent will restrict flow.

and what he said on pulling the transmission codes. it's a convoluted process but others have done it and the process should be on here somewhere. if the POWER light flashes on start up that means the computer has trouble codes awaiting.

#6 vcarter911

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:00 AM

Gary

I spent the money and took it to the dealer to have it diagnosed. They came back with: A. My tranny pan was dented (from my useless little jack) and should be replaced, and B. the shift solenoid is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced. Dealer recommendation - Replace transmission for 3300 dollars. Once again I quickly grabed my keys.

Back to your inquiry on correct model/year. The trans shop told me it was a 97, but there was a minor difference between the 2. The wire harness that goes into the transmission by the gear selector has a male/female connector on the same wire before going into the transmission, where on my old one, it just went straight into the trans. where it actually hooks upto the car it was the same, so I didn't question it. After doing some searching on the internet, I've noticed that these connections are only on the 98 models, but I can't find any pics of any 97's. That could be something.

I did catch that torque converter issue before damaging anything. That was just a luck thing when comparing the new to the old, I noticed that once was further out than the other, and figured out how to slid it in.

I will need to replace the rear tires (the dealer told me that was recommended), but would that make the trans shid incorrectly?

Does anyone know A. if replacing the pan would solve my problems, or how hard is it to replace the shift solenoid (I believe it is located inside the trans).

Any help would be great. Thanks

-Carter


check easy stuff - make sure trans harnesses are all plugged in tight and good. sometimes the pins won't seat properly and the plugs can be difficult to plug in all the way on those larger harnesses. is the trans definitely for your model vehicle? any chance it's a different year/model and isn't directly compatible (might need some tweaking or different sensor??)?

the TCU has a "limp home mode" or something if it's not working right and i believe that is 3rd gear on most 4EAT's.

did you pull the motor too or just the transmission when you installed the new one?

your tires need to match for AWD trans.

did you properly seat the torque converter? it slides in nice and easy...but it stops and is very difficult to get to seat in the last 1/4". a terrible design for the do-it-yourself crowd because they often break if you're not familiar with that last bit of seating of the torque converter. bolt it up and tigthen the bolts on the bellhousing and you'll force that last 1/4" or so and break the oil pump. doubt the car would run at all, but maybe it's possible it shoved into the oil pump enough to run but not perform well.

i would check your line pressure out of your transmission lines if you can. i have pulled them before to make sure there's a constant flow of fluid with no bubbles/gurgling.

the transmission pan isn't dented is it? the sump (bottom of the filter) can sit quite low in some 4EAT's and any dent will restrict flow.

and what he said on pulling the transmission codes. it's a convoluted process but others have done it and the process should be on here somewhere. if the POWER light flashes on start up that means the computer has trouble codes awaiting.



#7 grossgary

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 01:36 PM

the transmission pan isn't dented is it? the sump (bottom of the filter) can sit quite low in some 4EAT's and any dent will restrict flow.


well i mentioned that earlier because it's important, check the transmission pan because that is definitely cause for alarm. the transmission pan can definitely cause issue, i don't know the exact nauture of the issues it will cause but the bottom of the oil sump is really close to the bottom of the pan, close that gap and fluid availability is restricted. replace soon. you can probably even just have it removed and bang it back out. they should just charge like an hour of labor to do that, dealer probably won't do it, but anyone else will. don't buy a new pan if you're not sure the trans is good. the dented pan may have even damaged the trans, not enough oil to the internals. but it's all speculation. i'd do it myself, but my recommendation is pay no more than $100 (someone should do it for $50) to remove the pan, bang out the dent and reinstall it. if that fixes all your issues, then source a new or used pan in good condition to replace the old one. finding a perfectly good used pan for a few dollars should be easy enough, trashed auto trans arent' impossible to find.

i would start there, everythign is speculation beyond that.

mismatched tires will make an auto trans act funny. one time mine started to lock/unlock the transfer clutches one time for no reason and i got new tires and that went away. it may manifest itself in different ways on the newer 4EAT's though, that was on an older model (1989).

#8 grossgary

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 08:44 AM

Replace transmission for 3300 dollars. Once again I quickly grabed my keys.


i have an extra auto trans. try banging out the dent in the pan first.




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