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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had a slight tranny issue since I bought the car. The tranny is Sube certified reman from 2003 with approx. 170k miles on it. Depending on how much I got into the gas, it would delay the shifts and hard shift when it finally shifted. To be more specific, if I got about 50% throttle or more, it would delay shifting until about 3200-4000 rpms then *bang* into gear, unless I backed off the throttle (at which point the rpms would fall and it would ease into gear). I've also had a bit of a shudder, like its having trouble holding gear and a whine in the front diff.

Upon checking the fluids (in both the tranny and diff), everything looks normal. Tranny fluid is a bit orange, diff fluid shows no signs of contamination with ATF.

Now fast forward to this past weekend: I took the car on a 500 mile round trip, 90% highway driving. For the first half of the trip, I averaged 25 mpg (which seems very low). On Saturday I ran to get gas and went back to the place I was staying. When I went to put the car in park, the shift lever gave a bit of resistance, like it was binding up. Went into park though without much of an issue, and when I shifted back down through the gears it gave the same binding feel again (both ways). Drove the other 250 miles home with multiple stops along the way and didnt happen again, until yesterday.

As of yesterday, I am now having issues with the trans shifting from 2-3 and 3-4. The last 3 trips I have made, right after starting out it will shift to 2. When it goes to shift into 3, it keeps climbing up to 4000 rpm and acts like it wants to shift but won't. If I back off the throttle to try and coax it to shift, it doesn't shift. When I get back on the throttle, it feels like I have no gears at all. If I move the lever from D down to 3 then back, it will finally shift into 3. From there, no problems until the next trip.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what may be causing this? First thing I plan to do is drain and fill the fluids in the tranny and diff, as instructed by a friend of mine from the SVX group. He said it sounds like the valve body could be sticking, does this sound plausible? Would it be a good idea to drop the trans pan and replace the filter at the same time? And has anyone used the Transgo valve body kits on these tranny's? What were your results if you have, good or bad?
 

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2000 outback, 97 impreza
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8 Posts
make sure there is a SUBARU trans filter on the side of the tranny. anything else will screw with it. and it cant just be any old oil filter there is a $40 special trans only filter that needs to be on there.
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
doesnt have an external filter. This is a Phase 1 tranny, not Phase 2. That much I know about this tranny (had the same model tranny swapped into my SVX :p)
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bump. anyone have any ideas? Possibly a solenoid or bad band?
 

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2000 Outback and 2008 Forester
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6 Posts
Dunno. I just came off of a 2000 Outback with a valve job, and while charging the A/C, one of the tranny cooling hoses came off at the radiator and dumped what I thought was at least 3 quarts of tranny fluid, if not more. The lines were solid with fluid when this happened. Now, the lines are mostly air (they are clear if you are wondering) and the tranny will not engage in D or R, nor in any other gear. Tomorrow, I plan to spin on a new filter (if this model sports that feature) and add a quart of K&W Trans-X Slip Stop and Leak Fix additive. Or, remove another quart and add the K&W additive. The car is acting like the tranny pump is stuck in vapor lock, but we had the tranny WAY overfilled, and then removed 2.5 quarts of fluid. Now the level is still a hair high, but no change in the lines, or the movement, which is none. I will report back what happens after the Trans-X is in and if it does the job.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
3 year old thread and likely different issues.

original post is easy first step - the ATF is the wrong color - obviously change the fluid then see what you got.

as to ironbandit - "lines are mostly air" - did you fill the transmission up properly and now it's not moving fluid?

did you pull the engine for the valve job? if the TC wasn't properly seated the ATF oil pump isn't working properly and moving fluid.
check ATF fluid flow.

if the trans pan is dented (from supporting transmission during engine work) - the sump is blocked or solenoids/cracked/damaged.

is the AT light flashing 16 times on start up?
 
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