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jasonnay13

awd dead. know how it happened, don't know what to replace

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Hi, I'm new to the site. I have a 2008 outback 2.5i with 175,000 MI. 4spd auto

So here's how it happened: I live 3 mi from my work and on my way home I noticed something wasn't right within a mile and was unable to make it home because my car stopped moving, gradually losing power very quickly. I told it the rest of the way home and found the front right axle pulled out of the differential or transmission? 

The teeth on the axle were chewed up pretty good but the teeth inside where it goes looked okay so I ordered a new axle put it in and it works but now the all-wheel drive does not function. I'm not sure if I need to add the fluid or what other parts I have worn and that is why I'm here. I've probably driven around 50 mi like it is now.

I've also noticed a whining noise as I'm driving.

 

is there any saving it? Or should I just drive it until it's completely dead? Or should I try to sell it and get what I can for it? The head gasket has been bad for probably about 20,000 miles now and it's developed some rod knock as well. would be a shame to scrap it as the body is in decent condition and all the suspension is new.

Edited by jasonnay13
extta detail

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Transfer clutches in the back of the transmission. These wear out under normal use, so I'm sure they're cooked. Pretty well documented how to replace them, can be done in the car.

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Would I do more damage by driving it as it is now, aside from the rod knock and head gasket if I don't care about the awd not working? The section there the shaft goes in uses the same transmission fluid as the transmission or is it separate?

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Assuming it's just the clutches that are burnt up, no, it won't hurt anything. If it cooked the bearings back there, it's possible to have an issue.

Yes, the driveshaft output and center "diff" housing uses the same ATF as the transmission. Front differential/front axle outputs has it's own gear oil.

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The front differential where the axles snap in uses gear oil - the whining you are hearing is because the front diff is low on gear oil. Don't drive it till you top it off. 

If it has a rod knock, a head gasket failure, whining from the front diff and no AWD.... send that pile to the crusher. Especially in PA - it's probably a cancerous tumor of a car by now. 

GD

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Actually, I bought the car from boardman subaru. Only 3 years ago for $6000 and I've had to replace so many parts. And the cat plugged up after only 1-2k miles. Had issues with the egr valve a few times and front right wheel bearing 5 times. I've got about $4000 on top of purchase so far keeping it going.

Though the wheel bearing was done by a shop 3 times and one lasted literally 400 miles. That's why I no longer have shops do anything. And the dealership is incapable of fixing my cross-camber in the front for some reason. But the last time I had them try they made it worse :/

 

are all Subarus a money pit or did I get a lemon or did I get a money pit lemon?

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many cars are money pits. Subarus have one or 2 design 'features' that can make them more expensive to maintain.

Maybe someone could direct you to a different shop near Hermitage, with subaru-friendly mechanics. have them diagnose/'triage' the car; what must be done now, what you should save-up for, what you can live with(drips?, burned out dash lights? squeaks?)

but yeah, maybe the car was abused by a previous owner and now those chickens are coming home to roost

 

many people trying to keep older Subarus going fight; axles (rebooted used OEM are best value), headgaskets (worse on certain years, worse !f engine ever overheated), AWD issues, wheel bearings (easy for substandard parts to be used, easy for installation to be poor)

did a previous owner run mismatched tires? very bad for the AWD, did they get confused about what fluid goes where? easy to get an abused Subaru, the more owners it's had, the more likely it was improperly maintained.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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Thanks for all the help.

I'm used to driving an old S10 that's rusted out so bad the cab mounts have fallen off I can fit my hand in the frame the bed is gone entirely the gas tank rusted out rear brakes don't work doors are finicky to open and close. Doesn't start easy when it's very humid or rained a lot. Four-wheel drive and AC still work though.was driving that until the gas tank no longer held gas. planning on getting it running again by putting any tank and cutting the fuel pump into it

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Sounds to me like you got yourself an abused money pit lemon. Yeah, it does happen. As bad as that one sounds, I am with GD - time to find something else in better shape, and send that one off to the crusher.

In the meantime, tho.. front diff uses gear oil - dipstick for that is on the passenger side, kinda low & probably hidden by air-box stuff & wiring. If you have owners manual, check it for recommended grade.

Tranny fluid dipstick is on the drivers side, towards firewall.. needs to be fully warmed up (driven a bit is best, but not always possible, i know) and parked on level ground to properly check fluid level. Again, check owners manual for recommendations, but any Dexron III compatible should work here.

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1 hour ago, heartless said:

Tranny fluid dipstick is on the drivers side, towards firewall.. needs to be fully warmed up (driven a bit is best, but not always possible, i know) and parked on level ground to properly check fluid level. Again, check owners manual for recommendations, but any Dexron III compatible should work here.

AND level checked with the engine running as I recall?

Edited by brus brother

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2 hours ago, brus brother said:

AND level checked with the engine running as I recall?

Correct. Only Honda (and maybe not all of them) that I'm aware of has the trans fluid checked with engine off.

GD

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I’d be more worried about the rod knock... 

Seems this vehicle needs a fair bit of work on top of what you’ve already dropped into it. 

Are Subarus money pits? No, not usually for “normal use”. If you’re into modifying and going faster they certainly can be. 

This one will obviously need a new engine at some point in time, so factor in that cost. 

If you want to keep this vehicle it could be a good time to learn how to DIY the work needed to be done. 

Cheers 

Bennie

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I've got the service manual, and am capable myself, though that is a whole lot of work and expense that I would've likely never come even close to the $15,000 if I'd just bought something in the 10k not this car range. But I'm not sure I can buy another subaru because it'll have a bad head gasket and the muffler will fall off and the suspension will be shot and who knows what else can go wrong with a subaru. Yes, I'm salty about this car. But the question then becomes: do I get an import engine with 30k mi for $2,500 or a junkyard motor in unknown condition for $250 or should I just bolt a predator engine up from HF

  • Haha 1

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22 hours ago, jasonnay13 said:

 

are all Subarus a money pit or did I get a lemon or did I get a money pit lemon?

No - your mechanics and choices are money pits.  I’m not going to line item analyze that history but there’s clearly poor shops and decisions being made.   Change your mechanic, personal involvement or get a car with a factory warranty will mitigate poor mechanics. 

  • Like 2

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4 hours ago, jasonnay13 said:

I've got the service manual, and am capable myself, though that is a whole lot of work and expense that I would've likely never come even close to the $15,000 if I'd just bought something in the 10k not this car range. But I'm not sure I can buy another subaru because it'll have a bad head gasket and the muffler will fall off and the suspension will be shot and who knows what else can go wrong with a subaru. Yes, I'm salty about this car. But the question then becomes: do I get an import engine with 30k mi for $2,500 or a junkyard motor in unknown condition for $250 or should I just bolt a predator engine up from HF

HF engine...now THAT is funny! I have some 20% off and other coupons if you need.

At least then you'd get a free flashlight with purchase at HF to use to inspect the other car issues.

  • Like 1

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Before the axle pulled out that was my plan when the engine finally died. But then this happened and I'm kinda done with it.

Headed to Florida to buy a car that hasn't been rusted out by the salt. Looking for something that won't cost a lot to keep running and has good gas mileage. Any suggestions?

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Are you sure it's rod knock?  Piston slap and other benign, or lesser, things have caused people to think an engine has rod knock when it does not. With the trans trashed I'm not sure it really matters. 

95-96 with 2.2 engine is the bullet proof vehicle.  do a complete timing job and you'll have a really boring repair list over 100,000 miles. 

00-04 Outback is a nice robust, predictable platform.  they still have some headgasket issues but if properly addressed they're good for 100k and are otherwise the most robust 2000+ Subaru. 

If you need newer, get the newest Subaru with 4EAT transmission  (I'm not sure when they quit being offered or in what models) or a 2017+. 

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From the sound of it and from what I've read at other places the rpm range and description fits. It's not really quiet either, goes away under 2500rpm and dependant on load.

Since it isn't going to be my daily driver anymore I could find the time to tear it down and replace the pistons rods and head gasket and any other worn parts and then I should have an outback in good condition fit for daily driving. But that is a lot of time with a wrench. Would I be better off dropping that $2500 japan import motor? How much would the parts be? I'll bet my labor would be right around 40-60 hours to do it.

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you really don't want to get into splitting Subaru blocks, there's a significant chance of it not going well.  if you did it's pointless to replace pistons and rods in an NA Subaru engine. 

i'd get another engine or consider moving on.  if there's any rust this is probably a great chance to move on.  the time (DIY) or expense (pay a shop) on a job that big doesn't warrant limping a rusted vehicle along. 

JDM Subaru engines are usually more around the $1k mark, not $2,500.   I didn't look hard so I don't know if this fits your vehicle but it's close:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/00-05-SUBARU-FORESTER-2-5L-SOHC-4-CYLINDER-ENGINE-JDM-EJ253/362608213577?epid=570730528&hash=item546d223e49:g:7Z0AAOSw9r1WAFlI

you can find wrecked subaru's for sale locally - craigslist, facebook market place, etc, very reasonably priced sometimes - and have a good engine/trans to swap in.  you can even pull the engine and trans still bolted together.  i've done it a few times - it's great.  pull the whole lump out, install the new one.  

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That's pretty much what I figured when I saw the head gasket, and expected it to be the last thing I replace and my only thoughts was to either replace it with a new one or a HF predator. I do wonder how well that would work and how I would fit it to the torque converter. Not a lot of power but should be able to make it back and forth to work on such a small engine.

 

My old rusted out s10 engine is still good but it would have no chance of fitting into a subaru unless I completely rebuild the front end. Anyone here do a rat rod with subaru parts?

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15 minutes ago, jasonnay13 said:

That's pretty much what I figured when I saw the head gasket, and expected it to be the last thing I replace and my only thoughts was to either replace it with a new one or a HF predator. I do wonder how well that would work and how I would fit it to the torque converter. Not a lot of power but should be able to make it back and forth to work on such a small engine.

 

My old rusted out s10 engine is still good but it would have no chance of fitting into a subaru unless I completely rebuild the front end. Anyone here do a rat rod with subaru parts?

You can't swap the engine without disabling most of the rest of the functionality of the vehicle.  2005+ Subaru's are CANBUS and you'll loose most controllers on the network...basically any major controller in the vehicle.  if you're okay loosing all of that - then have at it, I've been tempted to try....

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