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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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  • Hello,

    I am looking at a few used Subaru wagons.

    OPTION 1 is single local owner 2002 Subaru Outback with just under 110,000 miles. It is being sold through a local dealership. What I've found using the VIN looks good. Asking just over $10k. From the standpoint of price it sounds good yet will this car last? What issues are known about this model?

    OPTION 2 is a 2004 Subaru Outback listed as a "Certified Pre-Owned" with 68,000 miles yet it is $5k more than option 1 above. Is it worth the extra money for the "Certified" warranty? I'm a Grad student so keeping my monthly as low as possible is priority one.

    Thanks.

    ecycled
    Salt Lake City, UT
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Are you pulling the engine + trans together? Or just the engine?

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Engine only, so I don't have to mess with the half-shafts.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Have you split the trans from the engine yet? That is usually the hardest part.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • I believe that's the step I'm at now. Is there a special tool I need? BFH? ;)

    TB
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well first thing make sure all the nuts and bolts are undone around the whole thing. That's the first key, the other thing is you need to wiggle and pull toward the front. Have you removed the radiator? You may try some small screw driverst to pry it away. It's just a lot of pulling and wiggling with a few friends.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • you're spending $5k to save 42,000 miles of wear & tear ... IOW, you'll pay $0.12 per mile extra for each mile saved on the '04.

    Since it's almost impossible IMO/IME to run a modern car for $0.12 per mile, I'd say the lower mileage car is a better deal (as long as any major service that would be needed around 60-70k is already done).

    Jon
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,279
    Is this an auto transmission? I forget that from your original post.

    In addition to the transaxle bolts and the two engine mounts, you need to remove the five nuts that attach the torque converter to the flex plate. There is a small rubber access cover on the upper, left (if looking at it) side of the engine block. Pop that off and rotate the engine one bolt at a time. Once that is done, just make sure the diagonal support that links the top of the transaxle to the car's firewall is removed, support the transaxle with a floor jack, and remove the engine. Like Mike said, wiggle the studs on the engine loose from the transaxle (they are about 3/8" long) as you are slowly lifting. Once the engine mount studs pop free from the cross member, it will be out.

    Yes, make sure that radiator is out of there. I also needed to remove the carbon filter on mine, which was located on the inside of the frame rail, right next to the radiator. It did not look like it would be in the way, but sure enough it was.

    Actually, I see you posted on 1/20.... I should be asking how it went! :blush:
  • xwesx, It hasn't gone anywhere yet! Freezing temps over the weekend, and I'm working in an open carport. :( Then I went out of town for a couple days, so no progress.

    Yes it's automatic. Torque converter bolts are out and TC spins freely with engine rotation. Firewall brace is removed.

    I removed the 5 engine to transaxle bolts. I've only gotten 1 of the 2 nuts on the bottom removed. They're between the engine and the half-shafts. Very little access space, let alone maneuvering room for a ratchet.

    And to top it off, the place I "bought" my used engine from has not communicated at all other than to let me know they received my payment. Supposed to be a 48K motor, but now I'm worried about what I'll actually get and when. Arrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!

    Thanks for the suggestions. Hopefully more progress tonight.

    TB
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,279
    Ah, the nuts. Yes, you MUST take those off (even though there is, like you know, very little room), as the "bolts" are studs mounted in the engine block. They will not cause you any grief upon removing the engine. Once you get the engine mount studs to clear the cross member, the engine will slide easily forward and up so the studs can slip free of the transaxle. Those studs are about... 4"(?) long, so just be aware.

    Sorry, I forgot that detail. :blush:

    Good luck with it. I hope you are not going it alone, as that certainly makes the pull and install phases much more difficult.

    Wacky weather this week. We had 12" of snow at the end of last week and over the weekend, with temps an amazingly warm 20-30 ABOVE zero! Then, bone-chilling winds as the temp dropped. Now it is -20F, but thankfully no wind.

    All the best to you,

    -Wes-
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    When I did my first AT I wrecked the trans cause I didn't undo the torque converter bolts when we were removing the engine.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,279
    Ouch... that was an expensive lesson. :cry:

    Totally off topic now, but despite the cramped quarters in the Subaru engine bay, pulling the 2.5L from it is a cake walk compared to wrestling the engine out of my '69 Econoline van. That one has to come out through the passenger side door.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I believe on the assembly line they install that in from the front, before the front end it welded in place.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,279
    Well, if one had a hydraulic, mechanized puller (not cherry picker) that could latch on directly and pull it out the front without having to lift it up with a chain, it could be pulled that way by only removing the grill and radiator. With a cherry picker, the grill and radiator still have to come out, but then so does the passenger seat and the engine is then pulled forward, rocked back, up over the transmission, and out through the door. Sounds simple, but aligning it is a real pain and you have to work on a very smooth, clean floor in order to roll the picker back, forth, and around to get everything just right. I did it three times: once with my father, once with my father and a friend, and once solo.

    The second time was the easiest. ;)

    The two times I pulled the Outback's 2.5L, I made sure to schedule a friend's help just for the extraction and insertion. The rest of the work was easy enough for one to do.
  • lexortlexort Posts: 1
    Hello. New here, and I have a question. I just bought a used 2004 Outback wagon from a dealer who provides a 60-day warranty. The only thing I'm considering is a couple of backlights. One is on the "Cruise" button on the left side of the dash, and the other is the driver side seat heater switch on the center console. Since the dealer is 40 miles away I'm not convinced it's worth driving there for just those two things, but at the same time I figure if they'll fix them, why not let them. Are those something that can easily be changed by a hack like me or is it better to let a dealer do it?

    thanks,

    joe.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, I've replaced some of the trim with wood pieces on a 2002 Legacy, it wasn't too bad. I don't think that would be too difficult.

    40 miles is not that far, though.
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    Hey,

    I am about to change to synthetic gear lube (Schaeffer Supreme 293 gear lube) in my car. Did the rear diff easy; 1/2 inch drive to remove both drain and fill plugs. The transmission drain, though, is a plug on the bottom of the gear case with what appears to be a huge Torx (6-spline) drive. Anyone know what size Torx this is, and why Subaru chose to use that rather than a conventional square drive? I don't want to go buy the tool and then find I messed with something Subaru didn't want me to touch.

    Thanks in advance.

    Stanton
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    They don't want folks to mess with it if they don't know what they are doing... I think that's the idea behind it. I have to buy one myself yet.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • jbbwvjbbwv Posts: 11
    TORX T-70 (1/2 in dr) is what you need. Try a search here: toolsource. Good prices to.

    JB
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    Thanks! I guessed that they wanted something that could be tightened to a higher torque than a standard 1/2 in square drive (Torx has 6 corners instead of 4). I noticed that the rear diff plugs were very tight ( no torque wrench on them, but it took an 18-inch breaker bar to move them).

    I'll look for a T-70.

    THanks again.
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