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Torque bind


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6 replies to this topic

#1 djpalaia

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 10:19 PM

I have a 96 Outback 2.5 automatic that is beginning to show signs of torque bind. I have noticed it recently when turning at low speeds while parking, pulling out at stop signs, etc. Whenever the turning radius would be considered tight and at low speeds. I purposely found a loose gravely area and spun the front wheels, forcing the rear wheels to take more of the output. That seemed to have fixed the problem for a short time but the binding sensation has now returned.
After reading some of the posts and a little research, I put the fuse into the FWD fuse holder and the problem has gone away. The FWD light on the dash is illuminated and the transmission light does not flash when starting the car. It lights up when key initially turned and then goes out.
Am I fortunate enough to have this possibly be a fluid change solution or is it possibly more involved. Car has just over 150k. And does changing the differential fluid help resolve the problem? I don't have a factory manual and the Chilton's is useless. Other people I've talked to with AWD systems indicate a differential fluid change is more effective than a tranny fluid change. Any thoughts? Also, what about some of these limited slip additives? And lastly, will I hurt anything just leaving it in FWD? I'm wondering if the MPG might get better. Thanks / dp

#2 grossgary

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:20 AM

all of these questions are already answered on this site. there's a search function that would really help you a ton on this.
first - are all your tires matching in type, size, tread wear and pressure? need to make sure all that is in check first.

Am I fortunate enough to have this possibly be a fluid change solution or is it possibly more involved.

there's a chance that a fluid change could help, yes. and yes it could be more involved. fluid changes are cheap and easy, so you start there (after checking all tire stuff above).

And does changing the differential fluid help resolve the problem?

No, they're wrong. torque bind has everything to do with the rear transfer clutches on your vehicle and nothing to do with the front and rear differentials.

I'm wondering if the MPG might get better. Thanks / dp

no, it won't. the driveshaft, rear differential, axles, hubs, etc are all still there and rotating. it's not the equivalent of a FWD vehicle. aaaand, even more importantly i've done it before (because it had to be done) and noticed no difference even with the driveshaft removed (FWD and less rotating mass).

i'd check out the search button and read through some torque bind stuff. sounds like you got it pegged but certainly make sure that's what it is.

#3 WoodsWagon

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:30 AM

Change the AT fluid at least 3 times in quick succesion. If the binding goes away with the FWD fuse in, it's a really good chance the fluid changes will fix it. This is something you can do in your driveway with a funnel, drainpan, and 17mm wrench.

The Limited slip additive is a last ditch attempt. The less friction modifiers you add into a tranny beyond the additive package the ATF has the better.

This rumor of rear diff fluid changes fixing the cornering binding probably comes from Honda CRV owners. CRV's have a bad problem with the rear diffs chattering if the fluid isn't changed on schedule. Speaking of which, your transmission should have had 5 fluid drains and refills by now if you followed the maint' schedule's recomended 30k mile intervals. I bet it's running on the origional fluid.

#4 djpalaia

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:08 PM

Change the AT fluid at least 3 times in quick succesion. If the binding goes away with the FWD fuse in, it's a really good chance the fluid changes will fix it. This is something you can do in your driveway with a funnel, drainpan, and 17mm wrench.

The Limited slip additive is a last ditch attempt. The less friction modifiers you add into a tranny beyond the additive package the ATF has the better.

This rumor of rear diff fluid changes fixing the cornering binding probably comes from Honda CRV owners. CRV's have a bad problem with the rear diffs chattering if the fluid isn't changed on schedule. Speaking of which, your transmission should have had 5 fluid drains and refills by now if you followed the maint' schedule's recomended 30k mile intervals. I bet it's running on the origional fluid.



Thanks for the inputs. Tires are all the same size. I bought car with 120k on it from the orig owner. Records provided so I'll have to go through them and check them out. I noticed it getting progressively worse. I will give the fluid a try and see what happens. And I guess so much for the gas mileage.

#5 porcupine73

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 07:19 PM

You should measure the tire circumference. They should all match within 1/4". Visually you will never notice 1/4" circumference difference.
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#6 djpalaia

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 07:48 PM

Thanks for the inputs. Tires are all the same size. I bought car with 120k on it from the orig owner. Records provided so I'll have to go through them and check them out. I noticed it getting progressively worse. I will give the fluid a try and see what happens. And I guess so much for the gas mileage.


Just an update for anyone interested. I did a transmission fluid change and the problem was immediately solved. Guess I am one of the lucky ones based on other posts. Thanks again for the help. / dp

#7 grossgary

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 11:21 AM

Just an update for anyone interested. I did a transmission fluid change and the problem was immediately solved. Guess I am one of the lucky ones based on other posts. Thanks again for the help. / dp


sweet! if you did a full "flush" and got it all out then consider it done. if on the other hand you just did a drail and refill you would be best to consider doing a few more as that only gets part of the fluid out. there is still fluid all through the torque converter, ATF lines, ATF cooler, valve bodies, rear extension housing..etc, that does not come out with a normal drain. it's not like engine oil that all drains down to the pan.




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