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kennycoulter

1999 JEBA transmission...safe to rebuild it myself?

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I just bought a 1999 Outback Legacy Wagon Limited off of my friend's girlfriend.  (this is my first Subaru)

 

She used to have to fill with trans fluid pretty often.  She (or my friend) had also put lucas trans treatment in.  About a month ago, the car stopped moving its own power.    You can still shift gears, but it free revs in any gear. 

I had thought that I would have been able to get a used transmission already and have it swapped in, in maybe 2-3 days...

I have built countless engines, but only one transmission (from a 1994 GMC Sonoma 4 cyl.)   Are these transmissions simple enough to rebuild with regular hand tools?

I WISH I could swap it to a manual while everything would be down, but I might have too much trouble sourcing all of the parts.

I now have about $263 into the vehicle, but will be ordering other parts.


I am wondering if I am just wasting time and money, or if this seems like something that could still live for a long enough time.

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there can be some odd reasons why it doesn't move. check for a broken axle (maybe spinning inside a cv boot)

 

check fluids - atf needs to be checked while idling of course.

 

front diff  dipstick is on the other side lower and further back. The diff's drain plug is right next to the diff, if it has chunks on the magnet, maybe the front diff is bad?

 

dues to the wet clutchpack in the tail and the diff up front, etc., most folks get a used trans from a wreck - check car-part.com or maybe LKQ

 

trans lines could be corroded and leaking, or maybe the cooler in the rad, check rad level.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan
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Parts add up fairly quick, and there are specialty tools required.

 

Used transmissions are generally fairly easy to come by. As mentioned, Car-part.com is a fantastic tool.

 

 

Or, keep your eye out for a rusted out and/or blown up manual transmission legacy/outback, and you'd have everything you need for a manual swap (and maybe some parts with value to sell off). It's not uncommon to see those for $3-500 up here...plus a clutch kit and maybe a few other little things.

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properly diagnose it first to be sure.  99's are odd vehicles in that they have a delayed engagement into drive issue that's very common and speedometer doesn't work, other than rarely happening a year or so before and after 99,  it's basically a 1999 issue. both are very simple fixes and cost $0-$30 to repair.

 

for the same reason you might even want to avoid 99 transmissions if you can get a year or two away from there and avoid that issue...but 99's are odd transmissions, i think they're Phase II so you might have to get a newer one to swap? 

 

you'll need a 2.5 liter Legacy or Outback 1999 transmission or any 99 forester so it has the same 4.44 final drive.  you should be able to use other years (i think 99+) but let others confirm that.

 

there's no reason you shouldn't find one for relatively cheap and have it running in no time. 

rebuild isn't worth the time, energy, and probably even cost...and if you burnt it up without fluid. 

 

MT is too much work, more cost, for a terrible downgrade anyway.  but the easiest way to do that is to get a parts car off craiglist for cheap, which is easy to do in the rust belt and i think other areas as well. 

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Thank you all for the suggestions.  I found a used transmission (JEBA) for only 250 from the site suggested.

I still ordered the rebuild kit....  I am hoping to do the swap, and rebuild the original while still being able to drive.

I will check into the other suggestions/possible problems tonight.


 

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It could even be low on fluid.

 

If it's leaking it should have been repaired. There's very few leakage pints - TC seal, pan gasket, rear output shaft seal and ATF lines which are common to leak and just need hose and clamps = cheap.

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Thank you.  I will check all of those also.  I can't seem to see where the leak is coming from.  I have finally been able to talk to my mechanic friend who used to work at a transmission shop.  We should be starting things this week.
I checked the fluid.  IT seems currently high, but my friend and his girlfriend might have added more fluid to move it from one parking lot to the next (rolled down hill) to avoid getting towed.    I have not seen more fluid on the ground where I currently have it parked.

 

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I agree with much of what was said above, but I was able to freshen up a 4eat without too much drama. It had lost reverse. There are a few points that are tricky and it was time consuming. For specialty tools I did order a compressor tool for about $30. I left the backlash alone on the pinion/diff. Been driving on it for 2-3 years. The kit was relatively cheap, @$200. As long as you don't have hard part failure you may be able to go this route. I have the luxury of a number of vehicles to fall back on though while fiddling with something like this. Good luck with the used one, maybe you won't have to worry about it.

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I had to take a vacation day, but I got the old trans out, and the new one in place.  I still have to secure everything and check everything over.   I messaged my friend again, about rebuilding the original.  I haven't heard back, so I am assuming that I will definitely be doing the rebuild on my own.

I found a ground plug from the passenger side head that isn't connected to anything else.
I had trouble finding an O2 sensor, as some exhaust was missing....I think I am missing the rear but the plug was there at the back of the transmission.

I need to replace the bolts for the ball joints.  I hope that I can find them.

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Is there a way to know what timing belt tensioner I have without removing anything yet?   I want to order my parts kit, but the options are for either a steel or aluminum tensioner.

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I've never heard it referred to as steel or aluminum...

 

But '99 is a split year for which tensioner style it might have. And even looking it up by VIN isn't completely reliable, as it's relatively easy to convert from one style to the other. I think if you take the LH end timing cover off (which you should be able to do without taking anything else apart) you might be able to see the tensioner....

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1999's originally came with this tensioner:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-NTN-Engine-Timing-Belt-Tensioner-ATU106J1-13033AA040-for-Saab-Subaru-/281938886091

(just the first one i found for illustration purposes only)

 

unless the engine or tensioner and tensioner bracket were swapped, that's the tensioner it will have.

 

But '99 is a split year for which tensioner style it might have. ..

97 is the split.

OP - there are two style tensioners and before 1997 is the old style and after is the new style.

 

I'm with him though - i've never heard it referred to as aluminum or otherwise either.

Edited by idosubaru
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The kit differences are in the "Contitech" brand full kit from Rockauto, but I am seeing people recommending mitsuboshi and aisen w/p...... and I am seeing them for even cheaper....

I will try to check under the left cover. 

Thank you guys.

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According to the picture, both of those Contitech kits are for the old style tensioner.

 

 

Here's the last few lines of the application list for the old style tensioner. They were seen until mid-1999 on the 2.5. 

post-1988-0-60662500-1502907814_thumb.jpg

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I have all of my parts IN or ordered.   I will be waiting to see how the transmission acts before putting any of the new parts on.

I had some trouble getting the shift cable over the rubber grommet that stayed on both the new used trans and my old original trans.  The rubber bushing got tore up pretty bad.  I hope I can find a replacement.

I now have everything ready to go and ready to try to start and drive after filling the fluids and throwing the exhaust back on (a long process for this job as I only have a literal few hours a week to work on anything)

I can't seem to see a fill level plug for the "transfer case".

I forget what else I wanted to ask about....

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well, the wet clutch pack lives in the tail area of the trans. It swims in ATF.

 

the front diff does have its own drain plug but fluid level filled and checked with the dipstick tube.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan
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Transfer clutches share ATF with the transmission.

 

ATF dip stick is on the driver's side

 

Front diff gear oil dip stick is on the passenger's side.

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Yep, ATF stick is on a tube that stands out away from the transmission a bit. Front diff stick goes right into the side of the transmission.

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Where did you buy that?
I found one that has a corrugated extendable/moldable hose design that I fear would never empty and also would pick up contaminants like crazy.

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amazon I think.  made by Hopkins ??? it's kinda nice also that it has a plug on the end. It might be 3 inches longer than necessary but I haven't cut any off yet.

 

when you're doing gear oil, pour very slowly.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan
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I got a quote today from a transmission shop for a bench top rebuild, me providing the parts: expected as a minimum of $1200.

That same shop quoted $2,000 for removal/rebuild/install.

The same shop quoted $600 for just a removal/install with me providing a known good transmission.

Edited by kennycoulter

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