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so discouraged that im thinking bout giving up. have had my 99 for 9 years. it has bout 275k miles. beautiful silver car, new tires and it runs like a top. ( head gaskets, water pump, clutch, timing belt done 90k ago ) new timing belt recently done.

 

5 speed going out 3 months ago . my shop has been looking  for a good replacement but cant find one. this mechanic is real good and honest.  he's afraid to put one in and have it go out in 3-6-12 months. then we would be at square one. ( at around 1300 bucks total )

 

he suggested a real good transmission rebuild shop. the mechanic there said it sounds like it may be a retain clip on the final drive that is broken making things move and binding up. I can drive it a little but it binds up every quarter mile or so and just bucks. I only drove it about 10 miles and now it's parked.

 

this rebuilder told me that if it is a "simple" fix it will be a 1000 dollars. otherwise it will be 1700-1800 or more. he cant say until he tears it apart.

 

I can't give this guy a blank check on a car that is only worth about 2500 if everything is ok.  I don't want to go the junkyard route now. tranny shops have been giving me quotes of around 2400 for a rebuilt swap.

 

if I had any mechanical ability I'd do it myself or get a good running 99 and keep this one for parts.

 

its a real shame but I think im gonna give up. without the tranny issue it is an excellent vehicle that has given me 9 years of service.  just wanted to let off some steam.

 

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I can drive it a little but it binds up every quarter mile or so and

just bucks. I only drove it about 10 miles and now it's parked.

 

 

this sounds like the front and rear diff final drive ratios do not match.

and as the front and rear wheels turn at different rates of speed,

the center viscous coupling binds up making the car immovable until it cools down.

 

was there any recent work done to the front or rear diffs?

or the trans?

or the center viscous coupling?

or even the axles or half shafts?

any recent service of any kind?

 

however the description of the ''fix'' and the price sounds more like the center viscous coupling is bad.

but that usually only causes binding in turns, not going straight.

UNLESS the front and rear tires are not the same size.

are the front and rear tires all the same,

size?

brand?

model?

tread pattern?

air pressure?

and tread wear?

 

mismatched tires will cause binding,

long term this will cause wear on the viscous coupling.

Edited by johnceggleston

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I'd think you could find a compatible tranny with 1/3 the miles or less. check car-part.com

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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in regards to fix or fold,

one of the things you have to weigh,

is the cost of the repair vs the cost of replacement.

 

lets say it is a $1300 repair.

and lets say you could sell the cars as is for $700.

that means your replacement budget is $2000.

 

so here is the question,

would you have more confidence in this car repaired,

or a different $2000 car that you know very little about.

 

i know i have loaded this question to lean towards repair,

but it is usually cheaper to repair than to replace.

 

prior to this binding issue,

did you have any doubts about your car?

were you thinking about replacing it?

 

if your tires are all the same,

i think a replacement trans will put you back on the road.

even if it costs $1300,

if you drive it 13,000 miles you will come out ok.

if you drive 20k , better.

but what if you drive 26k? best. that = 5 cents a mile.

that is cheap .

 

but you may only need the center viscous coupling.

Edited by johnceggleston
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thanks. I understand your math. I run this car 20k a year on the highway. it gets 32-33 mpg consistently. prior to this issue, I would of been confident enough to drive it cross country.

 

the major headgasket repair cost 2500 and I have gone 90k without a problem and probably have many more miles to go on this motor so that is only what?..... 3 cents a mile?  so I do understand your math.

 

I'm gonna explore more options. I might attempt the removal or motor and tranny together as a unit if I can find some videos on it. I don't understand manuals very well. if I watch a video, I can usually do it. I pulled a motor out of a 73 Toyota years ago but that was a simpler job without all the computers and wiring harnesses.

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Sounds like you just need a new center diff unit. You don't even have to remove the trans from the car to put that in.

Just pull the tail housing off and the center diff comes out with the transfer gears.

Center diffs for that year can be had for around $50-100. Post in the parts wanted section here and I'm sure somebody will have one.

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www.car-part.com or find a self server yard where you can pull one for under $200.  

 

Nice thing about a yard, you can practice on their car :>)

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Have the professional rebuild it.  If it costs $1700....it's worth it.....probably be less.

 

Or get a junkyard tranny.

 

Either way works.

 

You area overthinking it.  Just fix your car.......You like it......Fix it.......getting anything else would cost more and youd have no idea when that would break.

  • Like 1

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This may bean idiotic question but: have you tried to run the car in 2WD mode (with the fuse)? Or maybe disconnect the driveshaft (if the differential is so bad it doesn't disengage even with the fuse)? If I understand correctly, if running the car in 2WD mode eliminates the problem then you'll be sure all you need is the center differential

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he mentioned a clutch so, I assumed 5sp.

 

what tranny doe you have roadsubiedog? 4EAT indeed has a clutch pack in the rear section as said.

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This may bean idiotic question but: have you tried to run the car in 2WD mode (with the fuse)? Or maybe disconnect the driveshaft (if the differential is so bad it doesn't disengage even with the fuse)? If I understand correctly, if running the car in 2WD mode eliminates the problem then you'll be sure all you need is the center differential

 

You cannot run a 5spd in 2wd.  Mechanical diff.....no electronics.

 

The auto has a FWD mode.......but it controls clutch packs.......there is no center differential in the autos..........Front is full powered always, ......hydraulic clutch locks to engage back but not a differential.  cannot send all power to rear.

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*this may have a free fix, keep reading.

 

1.  You need to make sure this isn't simple torque bind - search and find the symptoms.  If it is, that's easily repairable without removing the trans - a rather routine repair done all the time and it shouldn't be expensive.  The VLSD unit needs replaced, not a big deal.

 

that's common, anything else would be an outlier.

 

2.  If it is currently binding and fully locked - you can remove the rear half of the drive shaft.  In this picture, the top piece is the rear half of the driveshaft - remove those 8 12mm bolts (4 on each end), pull the driveshaft out and the car will now be FWD.  it'll be "locked" in 4WD but since the rear shaft is removed it's simply FWD.

 

you can run it indefinitely like that if it has the typical torque bind.  that's at least a free fix that leaves the car reliable and drivable as you decide what to do.

 

repair requires repairing the center diff - replacing the VLSD unit. as said - common issue.

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pull the driveshaft out and the car will now be FWD.

gary, i have been told repeatedly that this is not the case.

i'm not clear on why,

something about the viscous coupling being part of a ''center diff'',

and as a result if you remove the drive shaft you will get ''no wheel drive''.

 

this seems really odd to me, i do not understand,

it seems to suggest that if you bust an axle in a manual trans subaru with open diffs front and rear you will be stranded,

but this is what they keep telling me.

 

i would love to be wrong.

 

i do not think this is rocket science,

but when it was explained to me in writing,

my eyes started to glaze over and i gave up.

mostly because unless someone gives me a manual trans suabru,

i'm probably not going to own one.

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as long as the failure mode of the center diff is always 'locked' (like a welded diff) then it will work as he described. The stub will still turn, but being free from any load, there will be no binding.

 

if the center diff failed OPEN, then ONLY the disconnected stub would turn and no power would get to the front wheels.

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You cannot run a 5spd in 2wd.  Mechanical diff.....no electronics.

 

 

John, go back and review that thread. Gloyale is reminding people that a 5spd has no FWD fuse under the hood. Nothing to do with handling a failure of the center diff. Just some confusion by 2-3 respondents as to which transmission was being discussed.

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gary

 

sorry for my ignorance but what is vlsd?  btw it is not locked. I can drive it and as long as I don't push it , it goes pretty good and occasionally bucks. it does this while turning or going straight. I parked it after going only 10 miles like this. ( driving it to and back from shop at only 30 mph.

 

I took it in parking lot and did some real slow turns both ways and it definitely binds. ( feels like I braked ) the mechanic thought it was the passenger front axle and replaced that. the owner took it for a test drive and said it was the front diff.

 

however, I am willing and able to try anything to discount the bad tranny. nobody ever mentioned a vlsd unit or that this kind of bind is common.

 

I guess its like going to the barber and asking him if you need a haircut. of course they are gonna say yes. its the same with tranny shops.

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Um..I have a 97 Imp OBS with a 5spd and it has the fwd fuse holder under the hood. If you cant go into fwd mode with a manual then why is it there?

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gary, i have been told repeatedly that this is not the case.

i'm not clear on why

 

i would love to be wrong.

.

 

what you quoted from me is out of context.  what you heard in the past isn't applicable here or is incomplete or assumes some things.

what i actually said:

 

2.  If it is currently binding and fully locked - you can remove the rear half of the drive shaft.

 

***IF*** it is a failed center diff - they fail to "locked" and cause torque bind.  in that case it's "locked" in 4WD and can be run in FWD or RWD, seen it done and driven with my own eyes and hands. 

 

 

You cannot run a 5spd in 2wd.  Mechanical diff.....no electronics.

 

Or, more accurate to this discussion, "You cannot run a normally operating (non-failed) 5spd in 2wd."

If it's a failed center diff (they always fail to locked), then Gloyales quoted statement is not true.

Edited by grossgary

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Um..I have a 97 Imp OBS with a 5spd and it has the fwd fuse holder under the hood. If you cant go into fwd mode with a manual then why is it there?

 

 

Does your owner's manual mention using the fuse when you install a skinny spare or different sized tire?

 

Has your car had a tranny swap done ?

 

I have no idea why it would be there. The 5spd manual tranny has a completely mechanical/fluid-coupled viscous locking center diff. with zero electronic control.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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