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AT Swap, then shaft n shift issues...

766 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  gypsy
Replaced the toasted stock AT from a 96 OB 2.5 (225K miles, 4.44 final) with an AT out of a 98 OB 2.5 (165K miles, also 4.44 final).
The original trans had been destroyed by some kind of off-road enthusiasm: the exhaust was snapped in two, the heat shield mauled, and the trans output shaft snapped-off in the rear driveshaft yoke. Sounded like a fun adventure. Wasn't there... sour grapes.
So, in goes a " told good " AT out of a non-GT 98 OB.
Wow. In order to get it on, I had to grind-down the Outside Diameter of the yoke on the rear driveshaft that slides over the trans output shaft. Many grey hairs isolating that fact.
THE PROBLEM IS, now the trans only shifts from neutral-first; no reverse or park. Please tell me that there's something simple that I'm missing! Where do I sprinkle fairy dust and wave a magic wand to get the trans to physically shift into reverse and park?
I have the car up on 4 stands, have tried disconnecting the linkage and shifting manually, still no movement beyond the neutral position.
What has me pet-ree-fied is that the old, beat AT sittin' off-vehicle will manually shift through all the gear positions quite easily. This allows me to compare the relative armature positions for various gears, and confirms that the installed '98 isn't shifting backwards from neutral to R or Park. ****!
I also substituted the original known-good trans gear position switch and simply plugged-in from above in the engine compartment in order to be able to have easy access for manually flipping the switch through the gears. With all wheels up, this simplified fooling the starter cut-off switch into letting me start the engine in any gear which was very helpful to confirm what shifter position equalled precisely which actual gear.
I'm really, really, hoping that there's a simple way of reminding this trans that it has a Park and Reverse. M'Aidez... errr, Mayday!:gasp:
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· Registered
01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
1,390 Posts
these are 2 very unusual problems. are you sure you got a 98 obw auto trans ?
does it have the trans ID# TZ102Z2DBA on the bell housing near the starter?
(the 96 obw should be TZ102Z2ABA)

if not well you have a different trans.

if yes, then i'm not really sure. but it sounds like the salvage yard owes you a good working trans.

· Registered
'96 Outback 2.2/F350
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Although I swear that I could not get the trans armature to find Park and Reverse with the linkage line completely removed from the trans armature, new day and fresh eyes and hands and Viola! the armature easily but confidently found all gears.
The problem was probably that the simple, stupid 2-12mm bolt linkage bracket was backwards. This is the one that actually mounts the linkage cable onto the trans housing. the "longer" bend goes down, orienting the linkage further back from the trans armature and allowing the linkage throw to permit the full Park-1st range of motion.
However, the driveshaft was toast. Whatever object that took-out the exhaust and old output shaft scarred the O.D. (outside diameter) of the shaft-to-trans yoke. Ground that damage down enough to fit the shaft over the new trans spline. The trade-off is major ATF blow-by at the output shaft seal due to smaller yoke O.D.
Road test confirmed excellent trans response (8qts fresh ATF to fill trans to level- obviously "yard-drained"); very smooth shifts for Gen I AT w/165K! But as speed climbs above 45mph warped driveshaft increases hellish rumble and roar.
BE CAREFUL WHEN REMOVING AT LINKAGE! Always remove the two mounting brackets before removing both ends of the control cable. Keep the shifter in the 'ParK' position and that way as you disconnect the shifter-end of the control cable, you will be able to manually shift the trans armature into first gear and then remove the cable without forcing any extreme angles and preventing any cable damage. If not, you can damage the cable sleeves at the end by forcing an acute angle. The dust boots are NOT easily removable and therefore you will not have visual access to re-seating the sleeve-guides.
Remember that the one-piece driveshaft (Legacy line through...early '97?) is NOT compatible with the '97-'99 two-piece center-bearing shafts.
You may find it easier to pull the exhaust off. It definitely eases shift linkage R&R.
More Grey Hairs. Aloha.
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