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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

My 2000 Outback M/T had the unfortunate issue with 5th gear popping out while cruising on the highway. After much research I determined it was the main-shaft assembly nut and followed the procedure in this link. *EDIT* Can't post a link because this is my first post.

If you'd like to see the link please google: Gearbox in your Legacy/Impreza/Forester popping out of 5th gear? Read this

Sure enough, when my dad and I got to it you could spin the nut off with your fingers. We put on a new nut and tightened it down.

While getting to the nut, we discovered that the c-clip on the center differential had popped out as well but I must have gotten lucky because everything within the case looked fine! I purchased a new one for $400.

There's a step in the above guide #18 and I quote:

"Time to install the transfer case, I found this the trickiest part out of the whole job. If you can get an extra set of hands to help you it will make a huge difference! Make sure all the shift fork rods are in the neutral position and lined up. Inside the transfer case you will see that the shift arm moves quite freely. Pull it out a bit so that you can hang the arm in the 3-4 fork rod.

Once you get the shift arm in the cutouts between all the shifter rods and in the 3rd/4th gear rod, pull the 3-4 rod (the one in the middle) backwards until it clicks. You have just put the car in 4th gear.

This is extremely important as this make it a lot easier to get the shift arm to stay put when you slide the transfer case back together. If you don’t do this the shift arm will slide into the gap under the 5th-Reverse shifter rod and when you bolt the case up and try to select a gear the shifter will not move! Then you have to remove the transfer case and do it all again. I did this…it sucked."

We did this. But can't seem to get the car into first or third gear after piecing the shift linkage back together, climbing into the car, and trying to shift through all of the gears.

The other odd thing is that it's EXTREMELY difficult to turn the drive shaft by hand. If I rotate a tire, it also does not turn the drive shaft. When looking into the transfer case, the gears are rotating but for whatever reason, there isn't enough "power" for lack of a better word, to spin the center differential innards.

As of now, we are at a loss as what the problem could be... as we've had the tail shaft removed 4 times now.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
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