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starting to hate this car(tranny) Help!!


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48 replies to this topic

#1 patcal

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 08:28 AM

I have had this car a little over a week & nothing but tranny problems. I had the duty solenoid c replaced yesterday. They said my clutch pack was fine & they also replaced two screwed tranny mounts. Drive it home & after it gets warm it starts the torque bind. I do the little turning in tight circles thing the mechanic told me with no changes. I have checked balance on tires(same brand & model), changed the differencial fluids, inflated tires to 35psi all to no avail. Later when I drove the car is poped a code 24 again. What do I have to do to get this car to drive right? HELP!!!

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 09:08 AM

Just to let you know......there is not two tranny mounts, there is only one, and it's located at the rear of the tranny at the rear crossmember.

I don't want to point fingers, but if heard a mechanic say they replaced two tranny mounts, when there's only one.....i'd be a little suspicious of their work. Either they're not competent to know what part is what, or they are trying to screw ya.

Just my two cents.....

#3 intrigueing

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 09:12 AM

Check Tires- Jack up the car and measure the tire circumference with a string. Then get new tires if significantly different, and get $ back for the duty solenoid. Insert FWD fuse if you are gonna drive it with the binding condition to avoid further damage.

#4 dashton

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 10:10 AM

Sounds like you might have a bad connection or short in the wire harness to the solenoid. It’s a fail open version, which means that when it loses power it opens all the way up and ports fluid to the rear transfer clutch, locking it up in 4WD. The only other thing I can think of is that there may be something in the valve body where the solenoid sits that could be blocking the solenoid open. Did the mechanic clean it out good when he replaced it? I haven’t taken the solenoid out and so I don’t know what it looks like in the valve body.

I’m guessing you can check the connection to the solenoid without removing the extension housing again. The trans computer is right under the dash on the driver’s side and the solenoid wire is easy to find and I think it goes directly to the solenoid. You could check and see if you’re getting voltage to the solenoid while you’re driving. From what I understand, you should have 12v when the wheels are all spinning the same speed, and the voltage should drop as one axle starts to spin faster than the other. If you have zero voltage while driving, then you probably have a bad connection to the solenoid. I’ve found the wire and put a switch in it to lock up mine in 4WD, but I can’t remember which wire it is. I can run out and check it at lunch if you want me to. Good luck, sounds like a frustrating problem but don’t give up. Dave

#5 patcal

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 12:15 PM

Dave,

I tool it back to the place that changed the solenoid. They said that the inside of the tranny was very clean. No residual clutch material. They were going to look at it & call me. I will let you know what happens. Thanks. :banghead:

#6 alias20035

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 07:43 PM

Originally posted by Legacy777
Just to let you know......there is not two tranny mounts, there is only one, and it's located at the rear of the tranny at the rear crossmember.

I don't want to point fingers, but if heard a mechanic say they replaced two tranny mounts, when there's only one.....i'd be a little suspicious of their work. Either they're not competent to know what part is what, or they are trying to screw ya.

Just my two cents.....



There are two tranny mounts, the single lower one that you mentioned, and the transom arm (anti-pitching arm) above by the firewall. Both wear out and are generally replaced as a pair.

Verify that both were changed...

#7 Legacy777

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 08:15 PM

it's normally called a pitch mount.....not tranny mount.

#8 patcal

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 09:55 PM

They showed me the brokem mounts but I have not had a chance to get under the car & check. I am going to drive it for a while with the fuse in. Since I have only had it a short time I want to make sure I like the car before I put anymore money into it. It seems to drive & shift fine with the fuse in. I will most likely put in a switch so if I need the AWD I will have it.

#9 Hondasucks

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 05:13 AM

Problems like this make me glad I don't drive automatics. I'm not sure where the computer gets it's signal from that tells it when the axle is slipping and it needs to engage the AWD, perhaps if it gets it from the ABS tone rings one of them could be bad? but I'm not sure. Computers have a way of getting confused sometimes too...

#10 Legacy777

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 08:58 AM

The computer get's its signal from the rear speed sensor on the tail shaft.

I'm assuming they changed the tranny fluid........however I would recommend you double check the tranny fluid level, and color/smell to make sure it's new. you could also ask them if they replaced the fluid, since it's not 100% necessary when you take the rear tail housing off.

#11 patcal

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:17 AM

Although I had changed it last Saturday they replaced 5 quarts. I will recheck it. The mechanic thought that if it was a sticking accumulator that some non-slip additive might help. Any ideas on what to use & how much. Thanks.

#12 dashton

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 03:56 PM

Pat,

Here’s some info to help you if you decide to put in a switch. The TCU is located right under the driver’s side dash. It has three connectors in the bottom. The wire you’re looking for is white with a black stripe and is in the connector closest to the firewall. Here are some links to Legacy777’s website where you can see the pinouts. I think it’s connector B33 terminal number 3. I found it using my neighbors Chilton manual.

http://www.main.expe...U_I-O_page1.jpg
http://www.main.expe...U_I-O_page2.jpg

My idea for a switch has worked pretty good so far. When I bought my car it had the air suspension option, with a switch to change the height of the car on the right side of the steering wheel. I’ve removed the air suspension and so the switch wasn’t being used anymore. The suspension switch isn’t the right type for switching the AWD, so I went to the junkyard and bought another rear defroster switch which snaps right into the spot where the suspension switch was (I think you will have just a blank cover there). I then cut the white/black wire and ran new wires up to the new switch and put it in-line. I had to do some testing on it to see which wires actually switched, but it wasn’t too hard. So now I have two defroster switches – I put a label over the new one that says “AWD”. When it’s depressed the car is in AWD mode (solenoid connected), when it’s released the car is in 4WD mode (solenoid disconnected). I did this on my car because I can’t get the regular AWD to work, so now I can just push the button and it locks it up – and does it ever go when it’s locked up!

Your case is a little different. It seems the computer isn’t putting any voltage to the solenoid, so you need to be able to switch the voltage on. When you put the fuse in under the hood it does this for you, but I’m not sure I’d drive it all the time with the fuse in.

So you’ve got three options:

1. Run a 15amp fused line from the FWD switch under the hood (the little fuse box) and switch it at the dash. I’m not sure I’d recommend doing this, I don’t know what the consequences are of always running with the fuse in. I think all it does is send 12v to the solenoid all the time, but I’m not positive.

2. Run a 15amp fused ACC switched line (12v when the key is turned on) to the new switch and then to the wire going directly to the solenoid. This cuts the TCU completely out of the line, but you’d have 12v at the solenoid to keep it in front wheel drive. Again, this is a not a real good permanent solution.

3. Fix the problem – best option

Quite frankly I’m surprised the fuse works. From your previous posts it sounded like you were getting solenoid errors from the computer when it was torque binding. It sounded as though you had a bad connection in the line going to the solenoid. So I’m surprised putting a fuse in fixes it. You’d think if there was a bad connection that even the fuse wouldn’t fix it (since it’s trying to send voltage down the same wire?). Maybe I don’t know exactly how the fuse works. It describes it somewhat in the links above.

Here’s what I would try first: locate the wire coming from the TCU. Hook up a voltmeter to it so you can see what the computer’s sending to the solenoid and then go drive it around without the fuse, with the fuse, etc. I would also look to see if there’s voltage from the TCU to ground, and voltage to the solenoid. If there’s a bad connection you would see voltage going to ground, but not to the solenoid.

Hope this helps and isn’t too confusing. Good luck. Dave

#13 patcal

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 06:17 PM

Well, it helps most of the time. This afternoon it started binding up with the fuse in. Not as bad but still it was noticable. Seems to be worse warm then when the car is cold.

#14 dashton

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 06:20 PM

If it binds with the fuse in I would definately check the voltage as I described above. It sounds like as it gets warm you lose the connection to the solenoid. You might want to just try and follow the wiring harness from the TCU down to the trans and check all the connections and wiring. Good luck.

#15 alias20035

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 08:46 PM

Originally posted by patcal
Well, it helps most of the time. This afternoon it started binding up with the fuse in. Not as bad but still it was noticable. Seems to be worse warm then when the car is cold.


If its worse warm than cold, then the seals have probably failed. The aluminum case expands with heat, and thus any leaking seal gets worse. You need the redesigned tailshaft to correct this problem. Failing torque transder seals is a universal problem that occurs at about 120,000 to 150,000 miles. In 1998 a redesigned tailshaft with a steel sleeve was introduced, and I have not seen this problem in great frequency on these newer models. The older model had a steel to aluminum wear surface which is not good because aluminum is soft and is guaranteed to wear out. The fix-it kit has a steel sleeve to eliminate any wear to the aluminum case.

Keep in mind that the 4EAT requires hydraulic pressure to release the clutch pack, when the seals are gone, there is insufficient hydraulic pressure to prevent torque bind. Even with the 4WD fuse in the torque bind may not be eliminated, it may only be reduced, it depends on how bad the seal is.

Sometimes a failed duty solenoid is the cause, but if car has the first generation 4EAT and you have high mileage the seals are definitely gone as well.

#16 dashton

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 09:47 AM

Originally posted by alias20035
Keep in mind that the 4EAT requires hydraulic pressure to release the clutch pack, when the seals are gone, there is insufficient hydraulic pressure to prevent torque bind. Even with the 4WD fuse in the torque bind may not be eliminated, it may only be reduced, it depends on how bad the seal is.



Sorry, I disagree with the last post. I've personally disassembled the clutch pack in the extension housing and there's no way the clutch is released by hydraulic pressure. That would mean the clutch is always squished together until you start up the car. When you take apart the clutch the discs and steels are all floating around loose. Fluid is ported to the clutch to squish all the plates together to lock it all up. My car had a bad seal in the extension housing and I replaced it when I had it all apart. From what I understand when the seal goes bad it slips and shudders when you're driving it on a slippery road, it doesn't have any effect in a tight turn.

#17 pray4wind

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 02:42 PM

patcal,
If you run out of options and need alternate professional help, I can recommend and independent subaru-only shop in the area (Oregon City). Check'em out: www.mttechsuba.com

#18 patcal

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 02:50 PM

Thanks. I have heard of Mountain Tech. before. Never been there but hear they are very good.

#19 patcal

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 01:31 PM

Ok, here is what I have done. I wired my volt meter positive to #3 (duty soenoid 3) at the TCU & negative to #10 (ground) at the TCU. Here is what I have found. With the fuse out, I start the car & the voltage is about 6volts. By time I get to the corner, the voltage has dropped to .003volts. Essentially 0V. I am getting a lot of torque bind while all this is going on. If I put the fuse in, I get about 11-12volts at startup & it settles doen to 11.6volts as I drive. At this point I get no torque bind. All of a sudden shile I am driving the volts will just drop to .003v. When that happens the bad torque bind comes back. What is going on? Thanks.

#20 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 10:39 PM

Bad ECU, or bad info (speed sensor opening up when hot or after vibration?) to the ECU.

just guessing

#21 patcal

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Posted 17 November 2003 - 08:06 AM

How do I check these? I have this info & really don't know where to go from here. I beleive I have two problems.
1. the AWD binding with the fuse out.
2. the sudden voltage drop & then AWD binding.

I'm stuck.

#22 Legacy777

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Posted 17 November 2003 - 08:57 AM

I replied to your thread on nasioc....but you didn't seem to respond yet....so here's what I post

So even with the fuse in you still get those spontaneous torque bind issues?

It sounds like you have a wiring issue some where. Possibly a loose connection or a frayed wire.....that's exactly what it sounds like.

I'd make sure all the wiring is good. Other thing you should do, if you have wiring diagrams is see where the +12v is coming from that is powering the duty c solenoid. That could help diagnose the issue.

#23 patcal

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Posted 17 November 2003 - 09:15 AM

Josh,

Only when the voltage drops to 0V. Example this morning all the way to work, 11.65V with no torque bind. Yesterday I was just driving my wife to church & the voltage dropped. As I pulled over I got the torque bind. I shut off & re-started the car & again, 11.6V & no torque bind the rest of the day.

I have parts of the wire diagram. The thing that bugs me is that I still have a code 24. Whatever is the problem, would not this most likely be in the duty solenoid c circuit?

#24 Legacy777

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Posted 17 November 2003 - 09:52 AM

You've still most likely got a short or some intermittant problem in the duty-c solenoid circuit. Without tracing every wiring & or testing it.....You really can't elminate the possibility that the wiring is faulty/shorting out.

If all wiring is good, and you know solenoid is good....then I'd start looking at the TCU or ECU.

#25 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 17 November 2003 - 12:14 PM

ok - I don't know your tolerance for or ability to do some troubleshooting of your own, but one test that comes to mind, based on Josh's reply, would be to construct your own parallel wiring circuit for the 'c' solenoid. Complete from the cpu to the tranny, bypassing as much Soob stuff as possible AND making your own good clean ground if required.. If you don't get the voltage drops or binding you know it's the wiring (or a ground). If you do then go for the comtroller or a solenoid I guess?

thanx for reporting btw.




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