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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • I thought (I could be wrong) that the 90's manuals were a constant 50/50 front/rear split... to my mind that's an advantage of the MT over the automatics. After driving it for 6 years, I've become accustomed to the feel.

  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    After 1.5 hours of work, I have the timing belt starring me in the face. In the morning when there is more light I will take some pictures and post them.

    The marks are the belt are shifted to the right by one tooth from the marks on the sprockets. I am going to check it again when there is more light. I will mark the belt then align the marks according to the service manual. Then run the engine.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My Forester was fun in those conditions.

    Basically in a turn while on the throttle, you could get the rear end to break loose. But when it did, power shifts to the front axle and it pulls you out of the skid.

    It was amazingly controllable, and repeatable. Just stay in the throttle, smoothly.

    If you get REAL good at it, you can then slide the tail out in the other direction, and catch that skid, too.

    Disclaimer: this was done in an empty parking lot. Make sure it's really empty!
  • I too have a 2000 outback whose retractable cargo cover will no longer retract, and was told by the dealer that all i could do was buy a new one, seems ridiculous. Any ideas for a fix?????!!!!!!
  • Might be too difficult to fix. It's a wound spring that probably either snapped or got weak due to age. New ones are a little over $200. +Curtain%2C+Rear+Privacy&year=2000
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    my Forester is a SOHC if that makes a difference

    Oh, sorry about that. If that is the case, then is it really an interference design? The 2.2L DOHC was non-interference while the 2.5L DOHC was interference. SOHC means the valves cannot possibly interfere with each other. It would surprise me if they made the engine with the piston interfering with the valves a possibility. The 2.5L DOHC's pistons did not interfere with the valves, though the valves (intake and exhaust) would interfere with each other. In fact, the pistons actually had divots in them that matched the angle of the valves. I played around with them when I had the engine out of the car the second time (the one photographed on my web page), and even with the intake or exhaust valves fully open, the pistons did not experience any added resistance.

    Anyway, you posted that you had it opened up and it looks like the timing might be off a tooth, so continue to let us know how it goes.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Well, it appears that the belt was shifted over one tooth on all alignment points. Though I did feel the left cam sprocket was of by one tooth.

    Put everything back together which took a little work. Everytime I put the idler in or the tensioner, the belt would jump it marks. Then I got smart I would put a c-clamp on both cam sprocket and a spring clamp on the crank sprocket just to hold it in place. Once everything was back and no extra parts, I started it up. It ran as before. It seems different but still misses during idle. Next is the compression test and while I am at it replace the plugs, I think they were due anyway.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I thought (I could be wrong) that the 90's manuals were a constant 50/50 front/rear split... to my mind that's an advantage of the MT over the automatics. After driving it for 6 years, I've become accustomed to the feel.

    In normal driving conditions with no slippage you have 50/50 torque split, however it works similar to a limited slip diffy, in that if there is an axle set spinning faster (front or rear) than the other one, it takes power away from that axle and puts it toward the other axle, until it gets to a 50/50 split. This is done via a viscous coupling internal to the transmission. On the ATs its an 80/20 split and uses clutches/electronic sensors in the transmission to move power toward the rear if one axle is slipping more than the other.

    Each system has advantages and disadvantages. MT advantage is that it has more power to the rear than the ATs initially so it is less likely to loose grip. The AT has the advantage that it can shift 80% power to the rear if need be and is slightly quicker than the viscous MTs.

  • Could it be? Could my Outback problems be over?

    It seems that way. Apparently the most recent break down was due to a loose harness that the dealer did not install properly after replacing the ECU. The tightened up the connection and drove the car 200 miles with no issues. I picked it up yesterday and got a call today from Subaru of America. They are going to upgrade the car's warranty to the Gold Standard package with 100,000 mile - 6 year warranty.

    Hopefully the warranty won't be needed but its good to see that they are willing to stand by their car.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Hey, that is great! I truly hope you have no more issues with the car, as there is no worse way to lose confidence in a vehicle than to be stranded on the side of the road over and over again.

    There were 220,000 miles on my 1996 Outback and it broke down exactly one time, at 199,000 miles. The problem was my fault though (forgot to torque down a bolt when performing maintenance 7500 miles earlier) and no harm came of the stranding, so once I had fixed the error and put the car in working order, my family remained confident that the car would get us there and back. Confidence in me, however, may have waned. I am not sure how my wife keeps enough faith in me to let me do anything after 8 years of witnessing my recurring follies! :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good news, hope that's all it was. So simple!
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Yes, a slight modification to the problem. The idle is bad but smoother.

    If I replace the spark plugs, how do I adjust the timing?
    On my previous car, I would turn the distributor ever so slightly.

    My mileage is still sitting around 25mpg with the problem.
  • Good info, thank you. I'll try to remember about keeping some power on during a skid
    (where's a driving course when you need one? ;-) )

    The sales rep (then me) did a demo where left side of outback was on asphalt, right side on gravel, and floored it. Car took off in straight line w/ no weaving. When he slammed on brakes, all wheels on the road, the car simply slowed down without wheels chattering __or__ ABS sounding like it was trying to pound itself thru the firewall.

    I wonder how good those Bridgestone 92A's really are (Tire Rack ratings weren't very good), and if I should ditch them for something "better" a few months later...
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I tried doing donuts with my 2000 Forester a few years ago. The AWD just would not let me. Also, during some bad weather I had to come to a sudden stop before I plowed into a vehicle ahead of me. It stopped with room to spare and no skidding.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Take is certainly good news, and SoA extending the warranty to 100k/6Yrs is icing on the cake.

    Wishing you happy motorings from here on :)

  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    The Emergency Brake Light has come on even though the brake is not engaged. This seems to have happened when the weather is cold. Though the light is on I do not think the brake is engaged though I am not sure. A couple of times it was on then it went off. My questions are- What could be causing this to happen? Is it damaging my vehicle? What can be done to rectify the situation and how much could it cost? Finally if it is only a malfunctioning light; can I just disregard it all together and keep on driving? I was on the New Jersey Turnpike today with it on and it did not seem affect the vehicle. Any insights are appreciated.
  • Your brake fluid is probably low. Check and top off if necessary.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Your brake fluid is probably low. Check and top off if necessary

    Your brake fluid is low, but you SHOULD NOT TOP OFF. It generally means that your pads are low (and thus more fluid is being pushed into the calipers) and you should have your brake pads replaced, and at the very least checked. We specialize in brakes at my shop, racing and otherwise, and 99% of the time, when we see the brake light on it's time for pads.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    The timing is fully computer-controlled using the crank, cam, and knock sensors. There is no adjusting it, as far as I know.
  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    Thanks. What is a ballpark cost estimate to replace the brake pads? My car has always been serviced at a Subaru dealership service department, Would there be substantial savings if I go elsewhere?
  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    My car has about 94k on it and I last had the brake pads replaced at 66 and 68k in 2004. Would this be considered the normal wear cycle?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That's actually very good wear. Generally subarus go for pads every 30-40k miles on the WRX and Legacy GTs Slightly more than that for the non-turbo cars.

    A dealer will charge probably $500-600 for pads all around.
    An indy shop will probably charge $350-400 for pads all around.
    If you buy the parts yourself it will likely cost around $75 if you do it yourself.

    Also you may want to get new front rotors as most subies need them around 90k in the front.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508

    Holding tongue.... Significant amounts of stop-&-go driving can wear pads out pretty quick.

    If you were up for an hour of fun, you could easily replace the pads yourself. You might also have your tires rotated and the pad levels checked to find out if they really need it. If they do not, where did your fluid go?
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Well Folks,

    I took compression readings and here are the numbers. For cylinders 1-4: 165, 190+, 120(did not hold), and 210. It seems the number 3 has a bad valve and I do not know what to make of number 1. Any thoughts on the readings?

    It me two hours at 38 degrees F with winds at 30 mph to take the readings in put in new plugs. So much fun this time of year doing the work in my driveway. But with that said, I look forward to taking the head off and getting the valve replaced. And then it will run like it did from the factory {smile}.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    I feel for you. I spent nearly 8 hours in my driveway (on the February pack ice, with a nice bone-chilling wind) when I had to fix the crank pulley. Happily, the dollar cost was only $36.01! :D

    2 and 4 are on the same side, as are 1 and 3. If there is a problem with the compression on 1, it should be addressed while the head is off. The compression on my car netted anywhere from (I think it was) 156 to 205 PSI, but I could not tell you which was which at this point. I never did another compression test after replacing the head gaskets.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181

    Holding tongue.... Significant amounts of stop-&-go driving can wear pads out pretty quick.

    Yes some folks on here like you :) take 100k to burn up pads, or like me who go through em in 10-12k miles :) I think we fall outside the bell curve though.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Yeah, I think so too, which I why I defaulted to agreeing with you on this one! :D
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Since the problem is with 1 and 3, it looks a lot easier to repair. All I have to do is remove the curbside/passenger-side head assembly. That side of the engine is quite roomy.

    Now, I am toying with the idea of trying to find a U-Pull-It yard and getting a head assembly there. That way I can pop the bad one off and put the replacement in without waiting for a shop to rework it. I might not have to do anything with it. What do you guys think?

    Oh, by the way, I'm not much for cold weather even though I live in the northeast. But you are in Alaska, I take my hat off to you.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe it's the gasket, and not the valves, since that would affect both cylinders.

    Hope so, that would certainly be cheaper to fix.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    A head gasket would would make my day cost wise. And that side of the engine would be easy.

    But it would be some coincidence that the gasket went at the sametime as the pulley.
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