02 4eat will not engage in any gear - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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02 4eat will not engage in any gear

Howdy folks, I recently picked up an 02 OB wagon with 4eat from a buddy who said he was driving, came to a stop at a traffic light and suddenly the transmission started behaving as though it was in neutral in every gear.

I've checked out the car and can confirm it just revs freely in any gear (R, D, 3, 2, 1) as though it were in Neutral. So far I've checked the following:


1.) Fluid on the drivers side dipstick is clean, pink, non-burnt smelling ATF and filled at the appropriate level.
2.) Fluid on the passengers side dipstick is just gear oil for the front diff as it should be and also filled at the appropriate level.
3.) Laptop with FreeSSM connects to the TCU just fine and shows no transmission error codes
4.) FreeSSM shows that the TCU is registering the correct position of the gear shift lever and also is activating the appropriate solenoids when a different gear is selected
5.) FreeSSM also shows the transmission rotor speed is equal to or near equal to engine RPM


I'm completely stumped here as to why the car doesn't appear to be moving at all. Does anyone have any ideas for additional things to check? I'm completely stumped as it seems like everything is actually working fine and can't find a problem at all yet.


2001 Outback H6 VDC Wagon - 297k mi and counting
Mods: Mainly maintenance plus stainless braided brake lines, Hawk HPS, CAI, HIR high beams, additional trans cooler, 17mm rear sway bar

2002 Outback 2.5 4EAT base model - 174k mi and NOT counting
Mods: Super blown tranny

2003 BMW 540i 6-sp M Sport
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 01:37 PM
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Completely busted CV axle and no AWD?

Delayed pump failure from putting the torque converter back in? (if ever)

Switch on side of trans is moving and indicating different gears but the connection inside the trans has popped loose? (does it roll in P?)

Ran over something and dented the pan, blocking the pickup?

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
Completely busted CV axle and no AWD?

Delayed pump failure from putting the torque converter back in? (if ever)

Switch on side of trans is moving and indicating different gears but the connection inside the trans has popped loose? (does it roll in P?)

Ran over something and dented the pan, blocking the pickup?
Thanks for the reply!

All CV axles are good.

Delayed pump failure....interesting. I don't know if this motor was ever taken out, but if the ATF oil pump failed that could explain the symptoms. Shouldn't it throw a code though if the ATF pump isn't pumping any fluid and there's no line pressure anywhere?

Gearshift appears to be functioning - does not roll in park, does roll in anything but park.

Dented pan - good call, I'll check for that tonight. Nothing is leaking down there, but I'll have to look at that.

2001 Outback H6 VDC Wagon - 297k mi and counting
Mods: Mainly maintenance plus stainless braided brake lines, Hawk HPS, CAI, HIR high beams, additional trans cooler, 17mm rear sway bar

2002 Outback 2.5 4EAT base model - 174k mi and NOT counting
Mods: Super blown tranny

2003 BMW 540i 6-sp M Sport
Mods: Setrab oil cooler, M60 manifold swap, Eibach rear sway bar, 6 piston BBK with 2 piece floating rotors, e60 short shift kit, BC coilovers, resonator delete, elec fan conversion
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 02:48 PM
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Well, this is a weird one. Interested in seeing what it happens to be.

I would think that there would be a flashing AT light if the ATF pump failed but I could be mistaken.

Have you tried using the Google search bar at the top of the forum?

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWDFTW View Post
Well, this is a weird one. Interested in seeing what it happens to be.

I would think that there would be a flashing AT light if the ATF pump failed but I could be mistaken.
If I get some time this weekend I think I'll try to get under it (unfortunately it's parked on the side of a busy street and I have no way to get it in the garage), take the belly pan off, start the car and then pull one of the trans cooler lines from the radiator. If I make a giant mess of myself, I guess the ATF pump works and the mystery continues on, if just a dribble, then it's the ATF pump.

I'll keep yall updated either way!

2001 Outback H6 VDC Wagon - 297k mi and counting
Mods: Mainly maintenance plus stainless braided brake lines, Hawk HPS, CAI, HIR high beams, additional trans cooler, 17mm rear sway bar

2002 Outback 2.5 4EAT base model - 174k mi and NOT counting
Mods: Super blown tranny

2003 BMW 540i 6-sp M Sport
Mods: Setrab oil cooler, M60 manifold swap, Eibach rear sway bar, 6 piston BBK with 2 piece floating rotors, e60 short shift kit, BC coilovers, resonator delete, elec fan conversion
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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AH! I just got home from work and started messing with it and have a new development!

At around 4000-5000 RPM pressure builds and the transmission will suddenly engage real hard! I figure it can't be the ATF oil pump or else it would work all the time or not at all.

I once had this happen when doing a transmission filter on my 2004 Touareg - it ended up being the O ring on the filter (a real flat filter inside the pan with circular inlets and outlets) wasn't allowing the pump to suck in straight fluid.

In this case, I know the subaru has a screw on filter so it can't be that. Anyone else have any ideas on what this could be? For the split second it engaged at 4000-5000RPM it engaged REAL hard so I know it has the capability to do so still.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 08:52 PM
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I would try a used valve body , swapping as a whole unit with all the solenoids
they are cheap at the yards and any ones from 2000 to 2003 H4 or H6 will works

2001 Canadian Outback H6, kinda like a H4 limited with a better drivetrain, now riding with a JDM Lancaster engine and VTD transmission, soon with a WRX VTD controller

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 10:26 PM
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actually low oil level WHEN the engine is running could do that
forget my last message about the valve assembly

on my first Dodge Avenger atx I had an external oil cooler radiator installed in front of the radiator
the car was loosing gears and in the end it wouldn't engage at all unless I was revving the engine really hard
oil level was fine when checked

however when I was thinking that the transmission was toasted I found a small leak in the oil cooler radiator
when the engine was off the vacuum in the oil lines was lost and the oil would go back in the pan making the oil level on the gauge to appear higher than it really was
once the engine was running about 2 liter of oil would fill the hoses and radiator and oil level in the pan was now way under and the transmission would engage

the H6 has an external filter in the driver side fender I would suspect that

technically if there's enought oil pressure inside you should get third and reverse even if the transmission is completely disconnect from the main harness

2001 Canadian Outback H6, kinda like a H4 limited with a better drivetrain, now riding with a JDM Lancaster engine and VTD transmission, soon with a WRX VTD controller

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlainB View Post
actually low oil level WHEN the engine is running could do that
forget my last message about the valve assembly

on my first Dodge Avenger atx I had an external oil cooler radiator installed in front of the radiator
the car was loosing gears and in the end it wouldn't engage at all unless I was revving the engine really hard
oil level was fine when checked

however when I was thinking that the transmission was toasted I found a small leak in the oil cooler radiator
when the engine was off the vacuum in the oil lines was lost and the oil would go back in the pan making the oil level on the gauge to appear higher than it really was
once the engine was running about 2 liter of oil would fill the hoses and radiator and oil level in the pan was now way under and the transmission would engage

the H6 has an external filter in the driver side fender I would suspect that

technically if there's enought oil pressure inside you should get third and reverse even if the transmission is completely disconnect from the main harness

That's what I thought too! I added about 1/2 - 3/4 qt after that, and now it is slightly over the "hot full" mark on the dipstick, still no movement in any gear. I tried revving it up like I did before and this time, I was able to really lightly zing it to 5500 and back to idle with nothing.

Odd that it did it once though. I looked under and noticed the tranny pan has been really grossly RTV siliconed back on - recently. I wonder if the shop this guy had taken it to did something under there to reinforce their position of selling him on a $3000 transmission job.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modenaf1 View Post
Howdy folks, I recently picked up an 02 OB wagon with 4eat from a buddy who said he was driving, came to a stop at a traffic light and suddenly the transmission started behaving as though it was in neutral in every gear.

I've checked out the car and can confirm it just revs freely in any gear (R, D, 3, 2, 1) as though it were in Neutral. So far I've checked the following:


1.) Fluid on the drivers side dipstick is clean, pink, non-burnt smelling ATF and filled at the appropriate level.
2.) Fluid on the passengers side dipstick is just gear oil for the front diff as it should be and also filled at the appropriate level.
3.) Laptop with FreeSSM connects to the TCU just fine and shows no transmission error codes
4.) FreeSSM shows that the TCU is registering the correct position of the gear shift lever and also is activating the appropriate solenoids when a different gear is selected
5.) FreeSSM also shows the transmission rotor speed is equal to or near equal to engine RPM


I'm completely stumped here as to why the car doesn't appear to be moving at all. Does anyone have any ideas for additional things to check? I'm completely stumped as it seems like everything is actually working fine and can't find a problem at all yet.
Confirm you are checking the fluid level with the engine running, in park?


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