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Red Knuckles

1990 Legacy no rear wheel drive AND broken speedometer shaft

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Hello Great Subaru Gurus, my hand-me-down 1990 Legacy AWD with 215K++ miles runs fine. Long story made short: Back when my mother had it (she bought it used, drove it forever, gave it to my sister, she drove it forever,....) the local tire shop put one wrong sized tire on, and after replacing the rear-end twice, my brother-in-law and I figured that out.


Car was towed twice during this, and I'm thinking I read someplace where this can wear out some bands ? in the tranny or transfer. Anyhow, no rear wheel power now, although I did have AWD for a while after I replaced the purge control solenoid valve (I think that was what it was called, been awhile). The car was in "limp in" mode for at least 2 years before I did that. At 7000' elevation.


But 2wd was ok, so I drove it, but today, in an attempt to replace the speedometer shaft seal, I broke something; the shaft or something else "down there".




1. How do you change that seal? I swore at Japanese folks I don't even know today.

2. What do you suppose I broke?

3. At this point, with no AWD and no speedo, should I:

A: take it to a tranny shop for repair

B: try to locate and replace it with a salvage unit.



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The speedo shaft has a nylon gear on it that strips. There is another gear on the passenger side output shaft. You can pull just the pax side and change the gear/gears. It's a pain. I don't know if its worth it to fix the trans. You can change to a manual trans, but its considerable work also.


Have you had a shop give you an estimate? That would be a good first step.


Good Luck!

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Thanks, I apprecitate the advice. I think I'll call around for some estimates. Is that speedo shaft seal installed from the inside of the case?


Also, after I did get it out of its limpin' mode, the rear drive worked for a while (6-8 month?) and then quit. I wonder if we put in the incorrect gear ratio rear-end. Seems like I read where this might toast the trans. ? I hate wrenching, hence the moniker, but if I decide to pull the trans & rear-end, which year subarus will interchange?


And today, its back in the limp in mode, I suppose due to the speedo problem. My Chiltons book for some reason does not list the codes for the 1990 legacy, and I've missplaced a website that had them....any suggestions on where to look? Thanks!

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