Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've searched the forum for transmission swap threads and all I was able to find was manual-to-auto and auto-to-manual conversions.

I just bought a '02 OBW with a manual transmission that will lock up after 3-5 miles of driving. As in, all four wheels lock and the car stops in it's tracks and is unmovable in any gear until some later time. The previous owner, a mechanic, couldn't find a transmission for it at a cost he was willing to pay. He said he'd put it on a hoist and none of the wheels will turn when this happens. Fluid levels were fine. No burnt fluids.

I bought the car sight unseen. When I got to the garage where the car was supposed to be at I found out that the car was emptied of all fluids, wheels removed, and was 30 seconds away from being backed onto a weigh scale at a scrap yard. The only way to get the car was to buy the car, then they'd bring it back to me, put the wheels back on it, give me the exhaust system they chopped off, and they'd drop it in my yard.

I wasn't originally planing to put this car on the road. I've got an 03 Forester that's got bad head gaskets for family car, and a 95 OBW that has a rusty/leaking water pipe. Originally was planning on using the alloys on my 03 Forester, replace the head gaskets on the engine from the 02 OB then stick that in the Forester, and use the water pipe on the 95 OBW. Be a shame though because the body on the 02 is in good shape. Get the 02 on the road again and I'd sell my 95 wagon.

Documentation I have says that the manual on this 02 OBW has a final drive of 3.9. I have access to two transmissions, one with a matching rear diff off of a 99 Impreza L and another transmission-only off a 99 Legacy L. Both of these also have a FD of 3.9. I believe this should be a straight bolt-on job. My question is, will the wiring have to be modified or should I be able to connect any harnesses as is?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,304 Posts
wow - that is a bizarre issue.

Yep - those transmissions will bolt right up, wiring is a non-issue, plug and play.

I just gave a friend a 2003 earlier this year and he swapped the trans into his 1997.

At some point there is an EJ transmission that's a different length but I can't recall when/where that's an issue....been awhile since I've done any EJ trans stuff. I don't think that matters in this case...i just have a fuzzy memory about that...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
the 00 - 04 outback manual trans should / does have a 4.11 final drive ratio, not a 3.9. this is true for 96 - 04 outbacks, GTs and foresters.

the legacy manual trans on the other hand does have a 3.9 final drive ratio, 95 - 04. (low end imprezas also.)

it sounds like your front diff does not match your rear diff. with a few minutes of driving the viscous center coupling heats up and lock up the wheels. once it cools you can drive it again.

does it make any noise when it locks up? or does it just slow down and not go?
has the trans or rear diff ever been replaced?

check the trans ID # on the bell housing at the starter and compare it to the ID tag on the driver side strut tower. if the numbers do not match you have found your problem. post the numbers.

you may be able to test the for the mis match by lifting the car off the ground and turning the rear wheel by hand with the trans in gear. mark both the front and rear tires with chalk or tape in the same position and rotate one wheel several times, 2 - 3 times. the tape on the wheels for the front and rear should end up in the same place.

i'm not sure this will work, i do not know how well the center VC grabs when cold. it is a viscous coupling like a Vlsd diff. you probably need all wheels in the air since the outback has a VLSD rear diff. you may be able to improve the test by warming up the VC. turning the front wheel by hand with the emergency brake on may help. or if the car is on jack stands, just run the engine with the hand brake on. the VC will heat up pretty quick.

also if the problem is mis-matched diffs, you should be able to run it with all 4 whaeels in the air forever. no binding. this may be easier. lift the car, put it in gear and start the engine. if it binds and locks up, it is not mis-matched diffs..

auto parts Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market put in your zip and sort by distance.

you can use any outback or forester trans 00 - 04. GTs will work but the speedo will be off a little.

you can also check the diff ratio at http://opposedforces.com/parts the ring and pinion in the rear diff, ''individual'' diff, will list the ratio. you can find the diffs in the ''TRAIN'' section of the parts listing (as in drive train.).

item # 15 in the link below: (car info is listed at the top of the page.body code B12 equals 00 - 04.)

http://opposedforces.com/parts/legacy/us_b12/type_20/train/differential_individual/illustration_2/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
i'm not sure this will work, i do not know how well the center VC grabs when cold. it is a viscous coupling like a Vlsd diff. you probably need all wheels in the air since the outback has a VLSD rear diff.
you may be able to improve the test by warming up the VC. turning the front wheel by hand with the emergency brake on may help. or if the car is on jack stands, just run the engine with the hand brake on. the VC will heat up pretty quick.

also if the problem is mis-matched diffs, you should be able to run it with all 4 whaeels in the air forever. no binding. this may be easier. lift the car, put it in gear and start the engine. if it binds and locks up, it is not mis-matched diffs..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It'll be a bit to get it to that point. Previous owner took all the fuses out before selling the car. The windows are all down and I went to put them up and couldn't.

So, I have to weld the exhaust back on so I can hear myself think, put in all fluids (brake, coolant, diffs, and of course - gasoline) then drive it up a big hill and back down to my buddy's garage and get it up on the hoist. That, or drag it. Oh yea, and I need about a dozen lug nuts. The guy only put on a couple on each wheel for me after. Gotta love a project car.

Those are some interesting ideas to try first.

I've got a chart of Subaru tranny part numbers and their ratios from hxxp://xxx.northursalia.com/techdocs/trannychart/trannychart.pdf. It shows that a MY01-02 Outback uses TY754VCBCA with a final drive of 3.9. Is this inaccurate?

Where I can get a matched pair transmission(TY754VA1AA)/rear diff that's a 3.9 FD would that work? The other tranny I have access to is a TY754VAAAA.

Edit: a quick little Google search find this same issue, some say MY02 is 3.9, and others 4.111. And a few minutes at car-part.com digs up a modest number of transmissions at my favorite Sube junk yard that are 4.111. I'm still going to look into those suggestions to debug this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,304 Posts
if it's mismatched gear ratios then the possibilities exists that the transmission is fine?

rotating the rear wheels you can count the driveshaft revolutions and calculate the rear diff gear ratio. the front is a bit harder....you can remove the diff drain plug (maybe the gear oil is already out by your description?) - then use a grease pin to mark the gear tooth and count revolutions that way....not sure if there's a simpler way.

I guess once the VC locks up you could lift the entire car and will rotating the front wheel also rotate the rear...count revolutions and see if they match.


i've driven extended highway miles on 3 out of 5 lugs up front and rear if that helps you move around. I'd have no issues running 2 lugs for a short and controlled duration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I wouldn't be surprised at mismatched gear ratios. If docs out there on the net say 3.9 and 4.111, I can see somebody figuring the wrong one will work without realizing it.

The owner previous to the mechanic that I bought it from had a big stack of receipts in the dash for work done. It might be equally as fast to look through those first to see if any drivetrain work was done before the car was sold to the mechanic last May.

I did neglect to mention that this problem showed up after a month or so of owning it. But, he also told me the mileage was 168,000km and it was 258k on the title as of last May so his memory may have been fuzzy from wanting to sell it. Mileage doesn't frighten me. My 95 OB has 315k and still runs great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
I've got a chart of Subaru tranny part numbers and their ratios from hxxp://xxx.northursalia.com/techdocs/trannychart/trannychart.pdf. It shows that a MY01-02 Outback uses TY754VCBCA with a final drive of 3.9. Is this inaccurate?
as nice as that list is, it has been wrong on a few instances. i would not trust it.
but i would trust opposedforces.com .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well, this has all been mooted.

The previous owner, who swore to me that everything on the car was intact turns out to be full of drill holes. So, I got myself some alloys, heated seat elements, and fog lights for my Forester. I got a water pipe for my 95 OB. I know someone that wants the right front strut/spring.

On the tranny front, I met up with somebody today that knows that the car had another tranny installed in it last spring and that's when the problem started. I was also told that the mechanic I bought it from is/was desperate for money. A shady guy (which I already know now) he likely stuck any tranny he could find on it so he could get paid by his customer. Just lovely.

Looking on the bright side of things, I constantly watch the insurance auctions for smashed specials so all I need to do is watch for an 00-04 since I've got everything.

Thanks for the input on this. I appreciate it and even though I can't use your input today there will come a time I can or can pass it on to someone else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
you can find a rear diff probably cheaper than a trans.

the 3.9 ratio rear diff was used in 95 - 04 manual trans legacys and low end imprezas. NOT outbacks, GTs Foresters or probably WRX.

you should be able to find one for $75 or less. your speedo will be off, you will be driving faster than the speedo says. but buying smaller tires when you need them will lessen the error.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Hey there,
I have a 2003 Ouback base model manual with a smoked trans. There's a "good" looking trans at the local PickNPull and I wanted to know if it matched up?
The donor car is a 1999 Legacy Wagon.
Are there any bench tests I can do when I get it out to see if it's in decent shape?
Thanks!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
About this Discussion
10 Replies
4 Participants
NoCalNick
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top