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OldBlue97

97 Impreza Outback 2.2 manual transmission won't shift

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Have a 97 impreza outback sport 2.2, 218,900 miles, manual transmission.

Beginning of the week all gears shifted as normal with some grinding going into reverse. Clutch also seemed to be grabbing very early. Starting on Wednesday it became increasingly difficult to shift to any gear and while idling in 1st car violently shakes. Got home, tightened the clutch cable, drove to work Thursday no real problems. Clutch pedal was stiff and I could only push it 3/4 of the way in, but I could shift. On the way home again I could no longer shift. Friday morning, still unable to shift and now when I try it makes a low humming noise (almost like a cat purring). Had to rev match to work this morning since I had no other option.

Have a new clutch cable on the way, but not sure that's the whole problem. Clutch was replaced in October 2010. Has anyone had this problem? Is it the clutch cable? Is it more than just the clutch cable or something totally different?

 

Thanks!!!

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Without disassembly, it's impossible to tell, but I suspect that there's an issue with the clutch fork (there's a pivot ball inside the bellhousing which the clutch fork pivots on... the metal actually wears through and the fork can bend... which would explain your temporary reprieve when you tightened the cable.) Could also be the throwout/release bearing, or a faulty pressure plate. You'll probably have to separate the engine and trans and inspect everything carefully. (Or just do a complete clutch kit, fork and cable....)

Good luck

 

Nathan

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Sounds like you need to a clutch (or any associated part mentioned above) and the cable. 

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Doubtful it's the cable.

I would guess the release lever (fork) is cracked and is not pushing the release lever far enough to release the pressure plate.

Or there is damage to the pressure plate or clutch disc.

Either way, engine and trans have to be separated to see what the problem is.

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How far apart will I have to separate the engine and transmission in order to replace the fork? Can it be done without pulling the front axels?

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Possible but hard.  With the long studs, it's possible to pull the drive shaft remove all of the bolts and nuts holding the trans to the engine and frame and then slide it back.  Your are now working in a 2 - 3 inch gap.  If it drops down off the studs, it will hit the cross member of drop all the way to the ground.  

 

Better just to pull the engine or trans I think.

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It can be, just use a ratchet strap or come-a-long to hold the front of the trans up. You'll still need to unhook shift linkage, exhaust hanger, rear driveshaft. You'll be almost to the point of removing the transmission anyway.

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It can be, just use a ratchet strap or come-a-long to hold the front of the trans up. You'll still need to unhook shift linkage, exhaust hanger, rear driveshaft. You'll be almost to the point of removing the transmission anyway.

 

 

I did the clutch in my '99 forester not all that long ago and went the route of pulling the trans, without actually pulling the trans.  That is, I went through all the steps, but instead of actually droping it, I did as Fairtax suggests and suspended it with some tiedowns which helped a lot and made things go back together much easier,

 

IMG_0616.jpg

 

 

Pulling the front axles off is really not that bad since you don't need to pull them out of the hub, just pull off the steering arm and the bolts for the strut and the knuckle will swivel far enough let the axles off the trans.  Subaru suggests marking the position of the top strut bolt as this is the adjustment for the camber of the wheel.  Clean the bolt head and the strut mount with brake cleaner then use  a thin line of nail polish.  Or just match up the oxidation of the knuckle and the strut (you'll see what I'm talking about when you have it apart) and you'll be fine

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Project complete! Thank you everyone for the help. As you can see from the pictures it was absolutely the clutch fork. Everything is back in working order and running great!

post-48277-0-84430000-1371433821_thumb.jpg

post-48277-0-97757000-1371433846_thumb.jpg

post-48277-0-94894700-1371433858_thumb.jpg

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