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Have a 97 Legacy Outback Wagon. Problem is when turning very slow, such as in parking lots or when pulling into or out of the garage. It feels "clunky" for lack of a better term, like something is pulling a bit, and feels as though its coming from the rear. No problems when turning at normal speeds, only when going slow. Ideas as to what this might be?

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A quick check of the powersteering fluid might be in order. On my '98 OBW I have a leak from the reservoir, I've been told it's an o ring repair job that I will pick up when back in the states for turkey day, and have the same issue at slow speed. A $2 bottle of transmission fluid does the trip for about a month or so.

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Have you had your differential fluid changed recently? Sounds like you don't have the limited slip additive (I think it's called GL5 or something). If you have a manual tranny then it too should have the LS additive. Usually you should put in 80-90W with the additive in it already but you can also buy just the additive and add it to the oil in there.

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I had kind of the same problem. The steering was very "notchy" or clunky. After much searching, I realized it was the top u-joint in the steering column,(in the engine compartment, not far from the firewall).

I gave it a bath in WD-40 and Presto !!! Everything's fine !!

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These cars don't have LSD.

 

If it is an automatic, it is probably torque bind. With this year of Outback, the center differential clutch pack usually goes somewhere around 120k miles or so. Expect about $1000. Put the FWD fuse in and see if it goes away. If it does, it is most likely the clutch pack.

 

I just recently did mine, but I'm around 250k miles now.

Commuter

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These cars don't have LSD.

 

If it is an automatic, it is probably torque bind. With this year of Outback, the center differential clutch pack usually goes somewhere around 120k miles or so. Expect about $1000. Put the FWD fuse in and see if it goes away. If it does, it is most likely the clutch pack.

 

I just recently did mine, but I'm around 250k miles now.

Commuter

Glad I read all the posts and advice on torque bind. Was originally told I would need to have the clutch pack replaced. First, I had the tires rotated, balanced, and measured which is often the cause of the binding if they are off- didn't help. Then I drove it in tight circles over and over which helped a ton. Had the differential and transmission fluids changed and it's completely gone. Transmission fluid was old and gunky. Looks like the clutch pack will go out at some point, but I figure it will be a couple of years. Thanks for all the great posts.

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