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Subaru Legacy/Outback Transmission Problems



  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Sounds like the fluid level may be low, requiring a "charging" phase in order to build up proper pressure. Have you checked the fluid level since the change to verify it is at the proper level?
  • sparker3sparker3 Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 Legacy outback 2.5L DOHC. Recently needed to replace the transmission and bought a used one, supposedly from Japan, from the supplier my mechanic recommended. The part number off the new transmission is TZ1A2ZAEAA-WX. It doesn't work after installation, and my mechanic says it acts like it is not able to communicate with the computer, suggesting maybe it is the wrong transmission. Original transmission number ended with JEBA. Supplier says it is the right transmission - numbers are different in Japan. I'm thinking of small claims court, assuming that it could be documented that it is not the right transmission for my car. Can anyone point me to a source where I can find out what it really fits? Help much appreciated, since I'm out a whole lot of money.
  • jbjjc9jbjjc9 Posts: 3
    I have a 98 Subaru Legacy with 100,000 miles and the rear wheels are binding in turns. Through research, I found this to be the clutch packs and solenoid. I would like to know how to repair it myself or disengage the rear wheels. The FWD fuse under the hood does not disengage it. The AT oil temp light blinks on start-up indicating an electrical failure, the last time the car was run. Any help someone could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    The clutch packs are located in the housing for the transaxle (combination of the transmission, front differential, and center differential), so it is a laborious and complicated task to repair.

    To "disengage" the rear wheels, if the fuse is not doing the trick, you could disengage the hard link. That would simply involve removing the driveshaft linking the rear differential to the center differential and is a simple, quick job.
  • jbjjc9jbjjc9 Posts: 3
    thanks xwesx, I thought about that but if I pull the yoke out of the tranny the fliud will leak out, at least thats what would happen in an older car. I'm thinking about trying to change clutch packs and duty soleniod "c". it don't look to tough just drop the drive shaft, unbolt rear part of tranny case but I have to make some calls to find where to but the mpt clutch and solenoid. thanks for your help.
  • pupparentpupparent Posts: 3
    My transmission is leaking really, really bad. I have had it towed to two different transmission repair shops.
    1ST shop told me they would need to drop the trans. in order to make a diagnosis.
    They also told me that my car would not go into first gear.
    When the guy told me this my response was " you didn't drive it without transmission fluid in it did you, remember that is why I had it TOWED, because it is leaking really, really bad?"
    His reply was a pause.
    I got scared and told him to hold off and I would call him back in a few minutes.
    So the next day I called the 2ND shop to try to compare prices using the info from shop #1.
    Shop #2 made me feel more confident in them so I had car towed from shop 1 to shop 2.
    Shop 2 told me well no wonder shop 1 said it wouldn't go into 1ST gear, it was four quarts low in fluid. Shop 2 put fluid in and it shifts fine.
    my transmission would not leak for shop 2.
    They tried but couldn't get it to leak, so I picked it up and drove it home and there was no leak.
    Now about 100 miles later it is leaking like it was before.
    It appears to only be leaking when it is turned on.
    A constant drip.
    The trail going down the road into my driveway has the drops spaced about 3/4 of an inch apart.
    The filter and pan gasket had been replaced but that didn't change anything.
    Any help/suggestions/ideas/comments are appreciated.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Can you tell from what area of the housing the leak is coming? That might tell us something. If the transmission is otherwise working fine, then it is likely a housing seal or gasket that has given out. The problem is that there are several of them....
  • pupparentpupparent Posts: 3
    The drips are dripping off of the two bolts at the lower rear area of the differential where the differential and trans. meet together. Right in the front center of the trans. oil pan.
    The two bolts are tight so I think the leak is coming from somewhere up above them.
    I'm not sure what is up there that would leak and my Haynes manual doesn't show any pics.
    I don't think that the gasket between the diff. and the trans. is leaking unless it is doing so from the top where I can't see it.
    If it is this gasket, appx. how much is too much to pay to have it replaced?
    Is this kind of gasket replacement something that can be done at home or is it best left to a trans. repair shop?
    I mentioned before that it appears to only leak when the vehicle is running, I just want to add to this that it starts dripping as soon as the car starts. It doesn't need any time to warm up or anything. :confuse: :sick:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    edited June 2010
    I just want to add to this that it starts dripping as soon as the car starts. It doesn't need any time to warm up or anything.

    That is not too surprising, given that an automatic transmission works through hydraulic pressure. As soon as the engine is running, the system pressurizes. I would have to be more familiar with the way that housing is put together to be of any more use to you. If it is coming from the gasket area, that means the center/front differential is a sealed unit with the transmission housing attaching to the back of i, with automatic transmission fluid being in direct contact with the gasket area. If it is a single gasket, replacing it would involve fully separating the two units, probably after removing the entire transaxle from the car.

    The leak may be varying in its intensity as result of small debris in the lubricant partially blocking it from time to time. Again, I am only speculating.

    A member with the handle "girlcarbuilder" may be able to provide you with good advice on this one.
  • pj43pj43 Posts: 9
    Re: I have a 97 and the light blinks 16 times, and binds in reverse @ a full turn.
    its not affected in forward. A mechanic told me its the sellanoids, there is 3 in the valve body, electrical problem, not uncommon. Can fix by pulling the pan down.
    Your input is greatly appreciated.
  • jbjjc9jbjjc9 Posts: 3
    Hi, I found the binding is the clutch packs located in the extension housing at the rear of the tranny and the blinking light is telling you an electrical fault occurred the last time you ran the car. That is probably the duty C solenoid which operates the clutch pack and is located in the extension housing as well, not at the tranny pan. I just had mine replaced 2 days ago for $550 and the car works fine. Check out these photos and you will see the clutch pack lying down and the solenoid mounted just to the right with wires coming out. I hope this helps.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Very nice. Thanks for sharing; those photos are excellent. It looks like you did much more than just the center differential clutch pack and solenoid. Would you mind elaborating on the work for our benefit? Also, it looks like a few of the replacement parts (such as what looks like an internal drive shaft between the front and center differentials) are not the same between original and new. Did the new ones still work?
  • cosmic007cosmic007 Posts: 1
    it is leaking out of the breather in the front diff it is a 1994 legacy can someone help me asap
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    What kind of fluid is it leaking? Gear oil or automatic transmission fluid? If it is ATF, there is a good chance that the internal driveshaft seal to the front differential blew.
  • pupparentpupparent Posts: 3
    1992 Subaru Legacy , FWD, Automatic Trans.,
    I have a leak from the Gasket that goes in between the Transmission and the Differential.
    Appx. what kind of price should I be expecting a transmission shop to charge to have this gasket replaced?
    Could there be a reason why this gasket would have started leaking, besides it probably being the same age as the car?
    Any info. provided is appreciated, I really need my car fixed but I don't want to get taken advantage of or be screwed over.
    Thank You Everybody and Anybody!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    I am not really sure, but the transaxle does have to be pulled from the car. Based on that, I would estimate somewhere between 6-8 hours of labor. I would guess shop rates in your area are at least $100 (since they seem to be everywhere!), so probably between $700 and $1000.

    Of course, the seal itself is probably a $20 part.... :sick:
  • pj43pj43 Posts: 9
    I want to thank you very much for your link with trans.back end removed.
    I finally had my 97 fixed, my mechanic went by your inst. the car works like a charm. No more blinking, no more biding in rev. no lunging forward when shutting off the engine. works great. pj43
  • I see this is an old post, however, I'm currently experiencing the same exact problem with my 2000 lgt wagon...I had to wait about 15 minutes before the transmission engaged tonight after work. The fluid is full and does not smell burnt or appear discolored. The transmission holds strong when in gear, just has technical difficulties engaging.

    Just wondering if you or anyone else have been able to find some kind of solution to this problem. I'm not all that familiar with the operations of a transmission, but a coworker suggested that their may be some sort of hydraulic hose clogged or pinched that engages the transmission?? Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!
  • My 2001 Subaru has been having a lot of issues as of late. Every time I try to accelerate while in reverse or making a turn with the car the rpms go through the roof. It then lurches thereafter making it quite dangerous to be driving out on the road.

    I took it to a transmission place after a mechanic recommended I take it there since they couldn't figure it out. The guy at Aamco said after testing my car the transmission was slipping and that the fluid in the transmission had a burnt smell and was not the color it should be. He said that it would cost around $600 just to look at it and then another $1000 for the soft parts and labor to get it fixed; however he said he doesn't know exactly what in the transmission is the problem.

    Being that the cost of the fixing is around 1/3 of the value of the subaru, is there anything else it could be or another solution to the issue so that I don't have to fork over that huge some of money? Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
  • After reading other posts it sounds like it could be a torque converter issue. Anyway this is just a little more info on the car. It has 78000 miles on it, and the car is jerking up until 30 mph. When going faster the car sounds and feels fine.
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