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2000 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, this is what I get for going on and on to my wife about how manuals are more reliable and less costly than autos... we have a 2000 Outback 5sp.

In the morning the car drove fine. Mid afternoon drove 10 miles to the dog park. 30 minutes at the park, we go to leave, and the car won't go into 1st or reverse without grinding. When you depress the clutch pedal it just sinks to the floor and doesn't really return to the normal position. I wasn't driving when this happened and didn't get to "feel" the problem develop. After leaving the car at the park for 8 hours, I started it, was able to put it in gear and limp a few miles to home, mostly without coming to a complete stop.

I thought it was the linkage or the master cylinder, then I researched it on here. Now I have no idea what it could be, syncro, throwout bearing, ect. I really need to fix this myself for $ reasons. Help?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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The clutch is hydraulic. The clutch cylinder on the firewall and the slave cylinder on the transmission.

If the pedal is going to the floor, that means there is no pressure on the clutch release fork. Acts the same as a failed MC.

Have someone in the car to operate the clutch pedal and see if the slave is moving the full stroke. If not, new clutch cylinder and slave. Its better to do both. If one fails, the other isn't far behind. If the slave is moving, then it would be in the clutch pack. I haven't seen a release fork break and you would hear it if the bearing broke.

Clutch fluid needs to be flushed the same as brake fluid for future reference.

Anther tip: If you can't get it into gear with the engine running and you have room to maneuver the car, put it in gear first then push the clutch and start the car. The car will move when it starts and you can "float" the gears from there using the engine rpm to slide into the next gear. It takes practice, but it works if you are in a bind.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tip about getting going. Had to use that a bit. I brought the car to my inlaws, heated garage. Will do some further diagnostics this morning. When we started off the pedal was about the same, but would work with pumping the clutch. By the time we got there, nothing. The clutch pedal was completely useless.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Still need more help. Here are some pictures of what I'm looking at. The boot around the "plate" that goes into the top of the transmission is shot. When the clutch pedal is depressed, the shaft moves but doesn't really move the plate. The plate cannot be moved by physical force alone. Any suggestions?


 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm wondering if I can use brake line to replace the clutch line, I think there is a leak in the hose. Will this work?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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The boots help to keep dirt and debris out of the clutch. You can get replacements at Subaru.

Yes, brake line will do perfect. It's brake line running between the cylinders anyway. Bleed the system with DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid.

And it's normal to be unable to move the clutch by hand. That's why it uses hydraulic pressure and force.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Alright, ive got everything bolted back up tight, but the clutch pedal is sticking right to the floor when depressed. I've bled the heck out of the system, it just doesn't seem to be getting any back pressure against the system. I can manually press the clutch fork and press the slave cylinder back in. When I do press the pedal with the car running I get a nice grinding and nothing really happens... Any ideas, I'm stumped.
 

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03 Outback H6 base
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252 Posts
You mentioned that you thought the line might be leaking but was it wet? Can you see evidence of leakage? What was the fluid level in the clutch master cyl. before you started bleeding. Low or empty?

Bleeding a clutch is quite different than the master cyl for the brakes; certainly not easy. Link: Here's some info for you.

The slave cyl on the trans looks dry (not leaking).

Best of luck to you!

.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I tried started the car up, figured a quick drive around the neighborhood would give me a better idea. No luck, there is no pressure from the clutch fork onto the slave cylinder. I spoke with a gentleman locally and he suggested that in my "fixing" things, I've pulled the clutch fork out of position. What does everybody think? Any traction with that theory? I checked out the clutch fork and there is A LOT of slop in it. I can freely move it with my hand. Thoughts?
 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #11
Whelp, I've decided to replace the clutch fork myself. I've done a bit of research, but wondering if anyone has any suggestions. Any recommended service manuals? Or a DIY? I understand its a huge undertaking, but I figure anyone thats done it before, has done it for the first time once. Thanks in advance!
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Unless you have jack stands and a transmission jack, pull the engine. Its quicker and easier. Then you can work the front of the transmission while its in the car.

Here's the run down:

Disconnect and remove the battery
Drain the coolant
Remove the radiator and fans as one assembly; disconnect hoses, unplug fans, remove upper radiator supports and pull up
Pull the intake tube and filter assembly from the engine
Remove the belts
Disconnect the P/S pump from the engine without disconnecting the hoses and move to the side where the air tube sat
Disconnect the AC compressor and move it to where the battery was; or you can evacuate the AC and disconnect the lines from the compressor and leave the compressor bolted to the engine, with its belt.
Disconnect the fuel lines at the fuel rail
Unplug all connections from the engine mounted harnes. You do not need to disconnect all the sensors. just the plugs coming off the main harness that plug to the engine harness. Plugs are at the alt, AC, and large plugs on the passenger side of the rear of the engine. The engine harnes comes out with the engine. Just unplug everything that leads away from the engine.
Remove the starter
Remove the Trans to Engine bolts you can reach from the top
Remove the transmission torque strut/bar from the top of the transmission; that the "dogbone" that bolts to the top of the trans to the firewall
Jack up the car and put it on stands to support it.
Remove the bolts from the Trans you couldn't get from up top and the two lower nuts that are on the studs at the very bottom; one each side.
Separate the front crossover pipe from the center pipe, then remove the manifold nuts, 3 each side, and remove the front pipe
Remove the two motor mount nuts and washers
Let the car down
Attach the engine hoist to the block and lift it up just enough to clear the crossmember
Place the floor jack under the transmission and support the transmission taught so it doesn't drop down when the engine seperates
Pull the engine away from the transmission keeping the engine on the same line as the transmission

While its out, you may want to consider a new clutch kit (stage 1 last a long time), resealing the valve covers, spark plugs, t-belt kit with front seals, water pump/thermostat, oil pan reseal if needed, rear crankshaft seal, etc..... It will be easier.

Also while its out, it will be a good time to clean the engine bay and all the ground lugs on the body of the car in the engine bay.

May as well get a lot done while its easy and accessible.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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And you will need a metric wrench and socket set.

10, 12 and 14 mm wrenches and sockets with ratchet, a good pair of channel lock pliers, small pliers, phillips and flat head screwdrivers. Maybe a prybar.

1 can of PB Blaster. By the photos, looks like a lot of rust. Spray the exhaust bolts heavily a day or two before you start as well as the motor mount nuts and the radiator hold down brackets. May as well just spray every bolt just to eat up the rust.

You don't have to remove the hood, just prop it up as far as it will go. I swapped my H6 with the hood on.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the info! I do have a borrowed transmission jack, I have jack stands, and a decent assortment of the needed tools. Would it still be better to remove the engine? I thought that would be a lot more work than pulling the transmission?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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If you pull the transmission, the car has to be 3' off the ground minimum to get the transmission out.

Pulling a transmission without a lift and then going back in is a PITA. It can be done. Its just more unecessary work.

The engine is gravy and the other maintenance I listed, although a little more cost for parts, is worth it while the engine is out.

If you do the other work, some things that should come straight from Subaru:

cam and crank seals, valve cover gaskets and tube seals, thermostat

All else can be acquired aftermarket. Gates timing belt kit comes with a tensioner in most cases, NGK plugs available everywhere, Wires - OE Packard or NGK, Water pump, and a large tube of 3M Ultra Bond for the pan seal.
 

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okay so im having a similar problem i just replaced the master and slave cylinder and bled it till there wasnt any air comming out of the bleeder and there is a good bit of pedal but will not go into first while idiling? when I start the car in gear i can go through all the gears fine but cant shift down, im thinking that maby the clutch fork is bent and not engaging the clutch all the way, any ideas?? it is my daily driver and need it for work please help
 

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okay so im having a similar problem, i chaged the master and slave cylinder but it still wont go in first while idiling, if i start the car in first gear i can go through the gears fine but canot down shift. its my daily driver and need it for work any ideas?
 

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2000 Outback Limited, Dual Range 5 Speed
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904 Posts
Seen a few threads on here about broken clutch forks in this gen lately. This is getting scary maybe I should have replaced mine while I had the engine out a year ago.
 

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thanks everyone.. of course after i replace everything elese it could be, i look down the clutch frork and could see a nice big crack right down it so thats the problem. thanks for the input.
 
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