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I need to replace the entire ignition lock assembly on our 2000 Legacy Outback due to a problem making electrical contact to start the vehicle.

 

All of the Subaru specific videos I saw on YouTube only address replacing the cylinder.

 

Does anyone know if there is any good tutorial out there and any specific tools I might need over the ordinary tool-box tools?

 

Thank-You for your time and consideration!!!

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The ignition is installed with bolts that the hea shears off of when installed. So you have to drill them out to remove the ignition.

 

Would it be easier to swap the entire steering column, haha, if you skmt want to drill?

 

I have a 2003 outback im scrapping if the ignitions/keys are hard to come by.

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Oh joy. Well, at least I know what I'm in for...

 

You'd think they could be more creative than that. With the power of cordless drills, what they did is simply an annoyance.

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Are you sure it's the ignition lock assembly that's bad?  What happens when you turn the key?

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After anything from one to 7 turns the starter engages and starts the car. We have tried shifting to neutral and no difference was found. Though not positive, I so far think it's a good bet-

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Do you hear the solenoid click each time you turn the key to start?  It's most likely burned & pitted copper contacts inside the solenoid. they  provide the heavy current to the starter motor.  Relatively easy DIY fix and new contacts should be less than $20.

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After anything from one to 7 turns the starter engages and starts the car.-

replace the starter contacts. They’re cheap and easy. This isn’t likely to be a key ignition issue, those don’t commonly have issues.

 

Best to avoid aftermarket starters, contacta are cheaper, easy, and end result is more reliable.

Edited by idosubaru

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Thank-you!

 

There is absolutely no sound from the engine on each failed start attempt. I already have the ignition switch assembly on it's way, but with any failure with that fixing the problem I now know what to go after next!

 

Any good YouTubes on doing the contacts, or do I have to rely on the Haynes manual? I've done my share of complete starters in my time, but never just the contacts-

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Well, forester2002s, that's a good question.

 

I used to know exactly what went on, and since the problem seemed to go away, after a few weeks I let one of my daughters in Omaha, Nebraska (We are in Colorado Springs, Colorado), have the car to use since she hated the Rodeo she was using . I am driving up to retrieve her in a couple of weeks and will know again now that she is saying it takes up to 7 turns of the key. Kind of "helping" her get acquainted with the real world... :)

 

Just chatted with her; she says that the dash lights come on and thinks the fan also starts blowing. Now, this is what she says, and sometimes there is a difference between our universe and hers, but I would say it is likely-

Edited by brucemc777

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My guess is that the ignition-key is not the problem.

More likely a starter problem.

A sharp tap on the starter with a small hammer will sometimes help. But this needs 2 people: one to hold the ignition key on 'START', and the other person with the hammer.

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I wouldn't waste my time replacing the ignition.

Remove starter and disassemble and swap out contacts. If you can remove the starter, getting the contacts swapped will be cake.

It's super easy but could probably google it.

 

if you're intimidated by it you could get a used starter for chump change and swap it and then play with the old starter/contacts at your leisure.

www.car-part.com

 

Get an FSM for that car, they're far superior to the haynes manuals. Not sure they detail the starter disassembly but seems like it should and they're a fantastic resource anyway. They're free online if you go looking for them.

Edited by idosubaru

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I'm no great fan of Haynes either!

 

You are kind of scaring me in the way you state "If you can remove the starter, getting the contacts swapped will be cake."... Kind of wondering what I am in for-

 

I downloaded the manuals that I could some time ago, I honestly can not recall if it was here or one other forum I looked to for help. I just found an exploded view of the starter on the second page of the electrical manual with extraction on a latter page; it appears that getting at the starter is relatively easy (in reality is it?), so now I just have to figure out two things:

 

  1. Where are the contacts y'all are telling me to replace, and
  2. Where do I get new contacts (i.e., is it an Autozone/Advance/O'Rielly item)?

 

btw, VERY MUCH GREAT THANKS to all you folks for helping me. There once was a time I could just take a vehicle in and say "Please fix it" and not much worry about the cost, but those days are long gone-

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Try a search here on USMB or Google for "Subaru Starter Contacts."  Lots of info out there, even some Youtube videos.  Then if you're still stuck come back on this thread and ask for help!  (I'll try to remember the steps!)   

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Hmmmmm. Guess I was a little too specific by including the year and model. Once I went a little more generic I came up with everything and was a bit embarrassed over how simple everything is. Thank-You!

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there are like two different styles/kits - I don't know if it's manual trans verses automatic or maybe autos can vary 

 

this one worked in my 2002 but it's a 6 cylinder Outback, though I think they're the same.   you should verify but i think this would have the parts you need:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Victory-Lap-ND-34SOL-Solenoid-Repair/dp/B0031HMS7C/ref=sr_1_5?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1512400326&sr=1-5&keywords=starter+kit

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Could also need the relay fix.  Best thing to check is voltage to the small wire at the starter (pull the connector off and measure voltage from that pin to ground when someone cranks the engine).  The relay fix directs 12V directly from the battery to the solenoid.

 

The above is assuming the starter contacts don't fix the issue.

 

I changed the ignition switch on my 99 Outback and that didn't fix my issue so I wouldn't start with that.

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Funny you should write that; when I was younger it was almost always the dang starter relay; a little box that sat near the battery and had a real obvious cable to the positive terminal. That was back when I could pretty much get in the engine compartment along with the engine - back when we used an archaic thing called a carburetor and before pollution controls and such...

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I go up and get the car (and my daughter) on the 14th, come back on the 16th. Looking forward to making progress!

 

Though I will give first attention to the starter (I have a kit coming. I should have noted that the item was being shipped from our friends in China, so whenever the banana boat gets here...), it occurred to me that even if it is the ignition switch, I would be a fool to replace the entire switch assembly (which I received, shipped from the east coast (of the USA)) as all that would need be replaced is the electrical module that connects onto the back end; unless I had a real bad desire to get everything re-keyed...

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OK, so yesterday I replaced the contacts and now will just have to see over the next week or so if she has any problems! Was relieved when I packaged everything back up and it started - I usually miss something, especially when I am dealing with several electrical connections...

 

That nut that holds the starter to the bottom stud was a PITA!!!

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I replaced the contacts and now will just have to see over the next week or so if she has any problems!

You won’t. You’re done with that issue. Very common wear item. You could probably see how badly the old one was arced or warn?

 

That nut that holds the starter to the bottom stud was a PITA!!!

“Ha ha those poor donkeys won’t be able to see this fastener....” ...assembly line jokes.....

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Just dropping in to thank everyone!

 

So far, not one problem. Of course now is the real test as I have written that I have not had a problem, but all seems good-

 

THANK-YOU and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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