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has anybody done research on this? I would like to stick with an automatic transmission because my knee sometimes prohibits me from using a clutch, i would like to swap to a semi-automatic(like the sport shift in later models) but I dont believe my model year was offered with one? I gave heard wonderful things about the 5EAT with the semi automatic. i was curious if the transmission will operate properly with a full TCU and transmission swap.

I searched and didnt come up with anything i was looking for.
 

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way too much effort trying to switch to CAN BUS or whatever its is called, basically to make it somewhat easier you'll need an engine and ECU from newer car as well. Otherwise your tranny will be looking for inputs that ECU doesnt have
 

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Japanese Legacys from 2001-2003 with the turbo had a 4-speed "sport-shift" transmission. Those would be the best candidates for transplants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subaru_Legacy_(third_generation)

We have both the USA 2003 and 2005 Outback. The 2005 with 5-speed sport-shift is a tremendous upgrade, however I agree with other posters that its not worth the effort to do the switchover. You would be better off trading in for the 2005+ model to get that feature.


In the meantime, to improve the performance of your 4EAT, start draining and filling the transmission fluid every other engine oil change. This process replaces about 3-4 quarts of transmission fluid and keeps the fluid working really well. Its a lot better than doing a "flush" or full fluid replacement every 30,000 miles. Also, look into replacing the transmission/engine mounts if they are getting soft/worn. Replacing those can really improve performance and responsiveness of the whole drivetrain.
 
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