97 Subaru Outback Drivetrain Problem - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 08-24-2010, 11:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 97 Subaru Outback Drivetrain Problem

I have a 1997 Subaru Outback (or Legacy Limited Outback, Sydney Blue), however you want to call it. It has around 236400 miles on it and has been well taken care of. In the past year, I have got new tires, brakes, front axles, etc. Lately however, I have been having a problem that has been progressively getting worse.

When starting to move from a standstill, accelerating in first, There is a considerable shuddering from the drivetrain (feels like its right under me, maybe a little bit behind). The faster or harder I Try to accelerate, the harder the shuddering is (no not trying to make it worse), and almost shakes the entire car now. The only way I can smoothly accelerate from a standstill is to do it VERY slowly. This used to be just a slight problem only with hard acceleration, but now is becoming disturbingly worse and really concerns me. It ONLY happens when starting acceleration from a standstill....highway driving, it runs smooth as can be.

I would have had it taken care of right away, but kinda been playing financial catch up.

I'm guessing its something with getting power through the drivetrain to the back wheels, but not quite certain which part would be causing it. From the symptoms described, does it sound like something big is getting ready to quit, or is it just a moderate repair?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 08-25-2010, 03:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Auto or Manual ?
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Manual, it primarily happens between 1400-1700 rpm.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So, this shuddering occurs after the clutch is released ?

Or is it while you are letting out the clutch ?

Sounds like the clutch is worn out and slipping on initial engagement. That's when you will feel it the most as that's when the most torque is being applied to the clutch ... once you get it going, the inertia of the vehicle reduces the needed torque when shifting through the higher gears.

That's a guess of course since I can't feel what you're feeling. You don't mention any vibration once you're going and don''t mention any issues with other shifts [1-2, 3-4] so, I'm guessing it's not a trans mount problem though, that's something to consider.

If it's a worn clutch .. it will get progressively worse until it just won't hold anymore. The cost depends one who does it and if you have the flywheel surfaced or replaced. At a shop I'd say $800-1200 depending on what parts they use.

OEM clutch is about $350 ,OEM Flywheel about $250. Aftermarket is cheaper.

If you feel it isn't the clutch, post back.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How old is the clutch? Inspect the vibration damper and make sure it is in one peice.

Sounds like clutch shudder otherwsie, time for a clutch.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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now that you mention it, I was paying pretty close attention to it today and could quite possibly be the clutch. It doesnt slip at all like a worn clutch, there is just that shuddering that happens. Getting it taken care of this weekend, thanks for the advice!
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not yet, it will.

Clutch Test:

Put the bumper of the car up against something immovable (HUGE tree, building, mother-in-law). Set the parking break. Start the car, Put the car in 5th and ley the clutch out. Do everything in your power to keep the car running. If the car doesnt immediatly stall, the clutch is on its way out. Clutch shudder is caused by a failing pressure plate, a glazed disc, or oil in the clutch disc.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have the same chatter problem but I just got my clutch replaced with a heavy duty aftermarket clutch. It works great cold but shakes the whole car once warm. However, even if warm it doesn't always chatter. It's worse when starting on an up-hill.

Anyone have this issue with a new clutch or know how to fix it?
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well the problem ended up being, my center drivetrain. That along with some other minor things....a hefty overall pricetag. Oh well, just glad its runnin smooth again.
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