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Guest Message by DevFuse

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98 Outback Front wheel drive option

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3 replies to this topic

#1 Needcoin


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Posted 15 January 2006 - 09:28 AM

Has anyone ever attempted to simplify the front wheel drive option accessibility to an Outback? I am one of the old-timers who has lived and loved the "push button" FWD to 4WD option an my previous and now deceased Loyale and got a gerat deal on a 98 Outback limited with only 45000 certified miles.

After driving the car consistently my greatest decpetion on the outback is the fact that it is a "permanent"all wheel drive, guess Subaru wanted to make the process idiotproof and not offer a manual control which must be activated by the driver...After looking through the instruction manual I found the Front wheel drive option which required to add a fuse under the hood next to the wiper motors.

I would assume that the system operates similarly with the older systems however I wonder if this option could be used on a regular basis and also has anyone looked into the possiblity of installing a FWD push button in the console under the instrument cluster by intercepting the feed wire that activates and deactivates the all-wheel drive system?

I did not check with a Subaru dealer to ask if they have already done this for clients so this may already exist but I am only starting to inquire in hopes that this can be done, will help me save a lot of fuel for summer driving if so...

Best Regards,


#2 wallaceg


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Posted 15 January 2006 - 09:45 AM

Yes, it can be done on the auto transmission (NOT the manual, though), although it requires a little rewiring. There is a solenoid in the transmission referred to as "Duty C" which controls the AWD system. If the solenoid is energized (i.e. has electricity running through it), then you're in FWD. If the solenoid is not energized, then you're in locked-up 4x4 mode. Normally the computer switches between FWD and 4x4 a few times a second, thus giving the effect of AWD. You can rig it yourself by using a single pole triple throw switch which will feed 0v (4x4), the standard time-varying signal (AWD), or 12v (FWD) to the solenoid. There's a very good writeup of how to do a AWD/4x4 switch (very similar to what you want to do) here: http://www.ultimates...4eat 4x4 duty c

#3 Needcoin


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Posted 15 January 2006 - 10:01 AM

Many thanks! This message board has a lot more and better advice than the dealers!

Have a nice week end.


#4 Suzam


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Posted 15 January 2006 - 11:14 AM


if you do this, please keep records of your experience for us and report back. There have been several discussions started on the idea of better gas mileage by using FWD, however some members think that with the fact that Subaru AWD has a 90% front to 10% rear distribution of torque during normal driving that the weight of the system, not mechanical drag, has a greater impact on the MPG.

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