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2010 Outback 3.6R Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
My 2010 Outback 3.6R has the 5AT transmission, which works extremely well with that engine. I also like the fact that this AWD system has a 45 / 55 front / rear torque bias.

Recently, I had to have front suspension links replaced at a specialist independent Subaru workshop. A senior mechanic told me they were seeing at least one CVT per month needing major work, some with as little as 60k km on them. He advised me to "hang on to the 5AT as long as possible", as they are much more robust.

Now, if at some future time I end up with a post-2015 Outback 3.6, would it be feasible to replace the CVT with a 5AT transmission? Given Subaru's reputation for being able to interchange parts, I assume the actual mechanical swap part would be OK, but I guess there'd be some issues with transmission software?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,151 Posts
No.

Covet your 5EAT. I do, the (2) I have.

The mechanical can be made to wrk, I suppose. However, it's more than a little programming. It's engine and body wiring harnesses, just to start with.
 

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Lets look at it from a different side. A cvt contains roughly half the parts found in a old 6spd AT. They also are nearing the point that they out number traditional ATs. My last Subaru was a 5spd MT because the ATs were horrible slugs. My first AT car ever is a 2010 first gen CVT OB which also tows trailers. To be perfectly honest after my Nissan cvt experience prior to buying our Subaru I wanted nothing to do with cvts.

After100,000 miles and lots of towing I wont buy another car thats not a cvt AT. They are simply light yrs better than fixed gear ATs when it comes to Non performance cars.

The old 5 eat is a dinosaur and wasn’t especially great or spectacular either. Do I worry about the cvt? Not too much I do fluid services on it. The torque converter used in 2010 was crap but ours has been fine.

The newer gen cvts are far better.

I trust my cvt more than the 7spd in our SLK.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, I was just curious whether it had ever been done. I did think there'd be a few problems!

Thanks for the responses, guys. My own experience of CVTs is absolute zero, but as a retired mech engineer I can't help thinking they would have a harder time coping with real engine torque, compared to a planetary gear set. The clamping forces on the variable pulley faces need to be pretty high.

Nevertheless, it's good to hear real world experiences.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Subaru's interchange reputation is largely a held-over perception from the 1990s. Those cars were wildly interchangeable. Modern Subarus, much less so. Lots of things still physically fit and line up, but the stuff you can't see (software and data comm) is all over the map and would require quite a lot of custom work to intermesh.

Not an impossible project, but nobody is going to save money doing this.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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subaru Australia probably has a existing listing similar to this,.
...and people are getting warranty work on whole CVT tran local fixes, factory remans from japan, or torque converters.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums.../429481-cvt-warranty-extension-2010-15-a.html


putting a 5EAT where a CVT was seems hard electronically,
(as these are not offered in the same cars, with the same engine, in the same year,...its either one or the other).

_____

the value of manuals:

putting a manual trans there, with a matching ECU, and gauge cluster maybe possible,
but you would need 2 whole cars that are all the same except the CVT and the manual trans.

like a dead CVT in a EJ253 outback that is well out of warranty on miles/kms,

and a front smashed EJ253 outback manual, that crushed the timing belt cover and destroyed the engine.

and you start transferring parts one at a time until you get one good running car.

I have not read of anyone doing that with a couple 2011 types,...but maybe something to do in the near future. when more mechanically dead CVT ones just pop up that are too expensive to fix.

(and it will make the people that love rare manuals very happy).
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium (The Superoo), Graphite Gray Metallic, CVT, Yoko Geolandar G015 AT 225/65R-17
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A senior mechanic told me they were seeing at least one CVT per month needing major work, some with as little as 60k km on them.
Well of course he is. In the past couple of years Subaru has all but dropped every other kind of transmission in their cars.

It's kind of like a cell phone repair shop saying to hold on to your flip phone because they see at least a couple iPhones come in a month needing major repairs.

If I had to guess, that mechanic is only going to see a higher percentage of CVTs come in as the years go by but only because any other type will be from a car that's borderline vintage.

I really don't think Subaru would put CVTs as standard equipment in their entire lineup of cars (okay maybe not the BRZ) if they weren't the better choice. A car maker that markets themselves with their high longevity and safety wouldn't make that gamble if they weren't pretty sure about it.
 
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