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Driveline Issue with 98 Impreza Outback Sport


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18 replies to this topic

#1 cyclewacko

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 07:12 PM

Hello, everyone! This is my first post to this forum, and I'm looking for some advice. I have a 1998 Impreza Outback Sport with 174,000 miles on it, and something in the driveline is slowly failing. It is a 2.2L with a 5-speed manual tranny.

My problems started about 10K miles ago with a low rumbling or growling noise that only happens when moving, with the car in gear with a load on the driveline (accelerating or decelerating). Then, it started popping out of 4th gear when cresting hills and letting off the accelerator.

In the last couple weeks, it has been hard to shift occasionally, and a new noise has appeared - an occasional metallic screach when accelerating from a stop, after the clutch pedal is fully released. Also, I noticed today on my drive home from work, that the gear shift lever moves fore/aft significantly if I accel and then decel repeatedly. I also noticed that the car surges with the screaching, but the tach and speedo seem to be in sync, so I don't think the clutch is slipping. I've also noticed that the clutch "feel" is not consistent. Sometimes it's harder to depress than other times, and sometimes it feels like something "gives" in the middle of the pedal stroke.

I should note that I put a new clutch and TO bearing in about 35K miles ago. Also, I towed about 2000 pounds from MN to TX in April, and I had to stay in 4th gear the entire way because it wouldn't pull 5th up the hills.

My first thought was that the tranny was going due to the noise and the 4th gear pop-out, but I changed the lube this weekend, and there was not an abnormal amount of metal on the magnet. Also, the clutch-dependent symptoms that showed up today point me to the clutch. Is it possible that the TO bearing or something else in the clutch could be the source of all my woes? Do I have both a tranny and clutch problem? I sure hope not, because if so, I'll have to "send the horse to the glue factory" if that's the case.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
CW

#2 WAWalker

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 07:33 PM

Poping out of gear is not a clutch problem.

Sounds like you have a bad bearing or two in the transmission, alowing the main shaft to move back and forth. Possibly a worn main shaft plate.

#3 cyclewacko

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 07:40 PM

I didn't think a clutch problem could cause it to pop out of gear, but latest symptoms seemed to be clutch related. Thanks for your quick reply! I guess I'll be spending my New Year's Day off under my Subaru!

CW

#4 grossgary

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 08:58 AM

rumbling/grumbling is often wheel bearings or ujoints in the driveshaft.

#5 cyclewacko

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 10:02 AM

rumbling/grumbling is often wheel bearings or ujoints in the driveshaft.


I don't think it's either of those because in neutral or with the clutch depressed, the rumbling stops (plus, the front wheel bearings and driveshafts were all replaced in the last 10K miles). In fact, the rumbling also stops when there is no load on the driveline. For instance, if I let up on the throttle and hold it in precisely the right spot, so that the car is freewheeling, the rumble will stop for a short period of time.

I didn't really want to do it, but I guess I'm going to have to pull the tranny this weekend...

Thanks!
CW

#6 grossgary

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 08:10 PM

did you replace the pilot bearing as well, i only see throw out bearing listed? i've seen those in very bad shape...very rough and no grease in them, even on late 90's, low mileage Subarus.

#7 cyclewacko

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 09:26 PM

To be honest, I don't recall whether or not I changed it, but I do know that I took a look at it - either it was OK or I replaced it. I'll certainly have another look at it when I pull the tranny this weekend.

CW

#8 nipper

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Posted 01 January 2008 - 10:22 PM

Start with the simple things first, like a really angry transmission motor mount. The car is old enough to need one.

nipper

#9 cyclewacko

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 08:19 AM

Start with the simple things first, like a really angry transmission motor mount. The car is old enough to need one.


Could that cause popping out of gear, rumbling noises, and screaching noises? I can see how it could cause the shifter to move under accel/decel, but I'm not sure it would cause popouts and noise??

CW

#10 grossgary

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 08:41 AM

i have a new suspicion - where did you get those driveshafts and did the vibration start or get worse after you replaced those? i think one of those could be your problems. and yes they will vibrate under load and make noises, it will be the inner joint (by the transmission) that's causing this. if you got anything but Subaru or MWE axles then this is my guess.

if so you need to fix it now or else they'll blow apart your speedometer gear inside the transmission, it's only plastic and is very close to the front cv axle stubs. all that vibration will break it.

if bushings/mounts are bad enough to cause really bad play they can cause metal to metal contact. i have seen seized ujoints on the driveshaft that would cause severe vibrations under load but then get much lighter when off throttle or coasting (this was an automatic).

#11 nipper

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 10:35 AM

Could that cause popping out of gear, rumbling noises, and screaching noises? I can see how it could cause the shifter to move under accel/decel, but I'm not sure it would cause popouts and noise??

CW


There is no reason in the world to start off with the most expensive possability.

Bad mount can cause things to pop out of gear, it can cause noise if there is now metal against metal contact. If things move out of alignment it can cause vibration.

Next ix check the condition o fht transsmission lubricant, when was the last time it was changed. If it was never, it may be too late.

You look at the tranny mount and enigne mounts, shif linkage, gear oil condition, then decided if it is any or all of these, before you condem the tranny.

And yes it is possible its the synchro going too.

nipper

#12 cyclewacko

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 11:10 AM

i have a new suspicion - where did you get those driveshafts and did the vibration start or get worse after you replaced those? i think one of those could be your problems.


The noise was there long before the driveshafts were replaced. I replaced the driveshafts because one of the boots was torn badly. I used a cheap aftermarket part (I can't justify OEM parts on this beater car). The noise was unaffected by the driveshaft replacement. I'm 100% confident that I don't have a driveshaft problem.

I'm definitely going to inspect the mounts before pulling the tranny, though. I didn't think mounts could cause all the symptoms I'm seeing, so thanks for pointing that out. Hopefully that will be the problem!

CW

#13 cyclewacko

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 11:16 AM

There is no reason in the world to start off with the most expensive possability.


I guess I'm just a pessimist!

Next ix check the condition o fht transsmission lubricant, when was the last time it was changed. If it was never, it may be too late.


I did change the lube last week. The old lube seemed okay. There was the usual clump of fine metallic particles mixed with oil sludge stuck to the magnet, but no large particles, and the lube looked "normal" for used lube.

You look at the tranny mount and enigne mounts, shif linkage, gear oil condition, then decided if it is any or all of these, before you condem the tranny.


I'll be taking a close look at all the mounts this weekend. I'm hoping that it's that simple!

CW

#14 cyclewacko

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 05:26 PM

Here's an update. I inspected the engine and transmission mounts this morning. They definitely look like 174K parts, but I'm not sure if I need to replace them. I pulled the tranny anyway, and the main shaft moves 10mm fore/aft and radially, so the tranny was the source of my noise and definitely needs to be rebuilt/replaced.

I'm debating whether or not to replace the engine and tranny mounts. They all have the thinnest rubber piece separated from the steel. Below is a pic of the tranny mount (the engine mounts have a similar problem). Look at the air gap between the lower steel bracket and the thin rubber piece in the lower left of the pic:

Posted Image

I think that gap is not supposed to be there (the rubber should be bonded to both the top piece of steel and the bottom piece of steel?). I'm think that without that bond, the engine and tranny can move fore/aft more easily than they should, which I assume puts stress on many parts.

Here are my next questions:

1. Should I have the tranny rebuilt, or look for a used one? I called a few salvage yards, but nobody answered because it's the weekend. Anybody have an idea what a used tranny costs? I called a few tranny shops, and the concensus is that it will be $800-$1500 or more to rebuild it.

2. Should I replace the engine and tranny mounts? The cost to replace is over $250. This car is my beater car, so I don't want to put any more money into it than I have to in order to get it running. If I use the mounts as-is, will I be repairing the tranny prematurely in the future?

Thanks again for all the advice!

CW

#15 WAWalker

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 05:49 PM

The gap in the mount that you are refering to is normal. Only the large square block of rubber is suposed to be bonded. As long as the rubber in the mount is not oil soaked a mushy, or rock hard, I don't see any reason to replace.
I have had to replace a lot of auto trans. mounts due to seperation of the rubber from the steel, but have not seen it with maunal trans. mounts.

I would recommend sorceing a used transmission.

Subaru transmissions are expensive to rebuild right. The only sorce for parts is SUBARU. No after market support that I have found.

#16 cyclewacko

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 09:10 PM

WAWalker:

Thanks very much for the feedback. I really appreciate it!

CW

#17 grossgary

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:47 AM

definitely what he said - get a used unit. subaru trans, particularly manuals, very rarely fail, doesn't justify the cost of new or rebuilt. you area probably is light on subaru parts. the OBS listed in junk yards look to be kind of expensive for subaru transmissions, looks like there aren't many to be had - $300 - $700.

these guys have one in Fort Worth for $500 1-888-535-0063, texas is probably going to suck for subaru parts.

#18 cyclewacko

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:14 AM

these guys have one in Fort Worth for $500 1-888-535-0063, texas is probably going to suck for subaru parts.


Thanks for the heads-up! I called those guys, and I'm picking it up tomorrow.

CW

#19 WAWalker

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:17 PM

Gary,
Thats cool that you take the time to help locate parts for other people.:clap:




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