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I have a 99 OBS and I love it except that it's not a manual.  it has 270,000 miles but I just replaced a lot of parts and the only thing wrong is a slight exhaust leak and play in the rack and pinion. My friend is selling a 98 legacy outback with 210,000 miles and who knows what maintenance history but it is a manual.  I'm tempted to buy his and sell mine (yes a manual means that much to me) but I'd rather swap my finicky AT for a 5 speed.  Is this even a viable choice, or a ridiculous undertaking that cost a lot of money?  Any advice or links would be greatly appreciated as I really don't know what would be a smarter choice.

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It's been done, but it is a lot of work. To swap you would need trans, cross members maybe, flywheel, clutch, pedal assembly, clutch cable and probably TCU.

 

Best to have a parts car so depending on the price, it may be viable.

 

More often than not, it's better to just buy a 5 speed. The ATs are pretty solid so unless yours is on it's way out, I'd just put up with it. The AT has some definite benefits over the manual for off road and traffic. But I'm also one who prefers the feel and control of a manual.

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and dont forget the interior parts that go along with swapping from auto to manual....center console trim, shifter boot, etc...

 

you would be further ahead to just purchase the 98 with the factory installed manual - a lot fewer headaches, and everything is going to work like it should.

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Swap isn't worth it. But it can be done - swap trans, pedal cluster, cruise control computer (if you want to retain CC), interior center console, instrument cluster, rear driveshaft, rear differential, wire in the reverse lights...

 

Much easier to get a MT vehicle and sell yours.

 

A mitigating approach may be to get off the TV, video games, and get a hobby/interest so that moving a plastic handle 4 inches doesn't seem so thrilling. LOL

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I've done the auto to manual swap. For my market area the $400 bucks and 3 days I spent doing it was well worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. But that's mainly because manual 2nd gen legacys don't exist here without rust. My car has no rust at all, so it would have been plain stupid to sell it and buy a rusty quartered car for more money than I could get selling mine plus the cost of the swap.

 

Since swapping my car I have gone from the average mpg of 25 town 27 highway to 30 town 33 highway.

 

I am very meticulous about my oil changes and tune ups. I know what my car has been through, so why sell it and take a chance on someone else's second hand problems.

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yeah, mine is supposed to get decent mileage but it only get 19 city/ 24 hiway. They didnt happen to make a manual obs did they?  And grossgary,  I do more outdoors than I do indoors, I despise video games, and i like to be in control of what I drive, not some computer.  My car is great but the way the transmission shifts annoys me to no end

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Well thanks a lot guys.  I kinda figured I knew the answer but I was hoping that I was wrong lol.  

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They did make manual obs's, some of my nephew's impreza manual swap parts came out of one.

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