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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at buying a 1998 Legacy Outback 5-speed. Supposedly it has bad CV's. The guy who owns it says there is no power to any of the wheels. My concern is that the transmission or something else is out. Would 2 axles in the front being out cause no power to go to the rears?
 

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2012 Legacy 2.5GT-L
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A worn-out CV joint isn't going to prevent power going to the wheels - it will click when turning and possibly cause some vibration during acceleration, but it's not going to disconnect the wheel from the transmission. If it's not supplying power to anything, there's an issue with the transmission. (it could still have bad cv joints, too, but that's not why there's no power to any of the wheels)
 

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2000 Outback Limited, Dual Range 5 Speed
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If the fronts are completely removed then there will be no power going to the wheels at the front so the front diff will be spinning with no load on it, our cars are essentially 100% front wheel drive with various amounts of torque going to the rear as needed.

So the fronts with no load will require the viscous coupling to be 100% ingauged to turn the rear wheels, something which it cannot do. I'm pretty sure.

All that attempting to drive it like that will do is trash the viscous coupling, if it's not trashed already.
 

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With the manual transmission and its viscous-coupled center differential, it is possible for some power to be sent to the rear wheels if a front axle (CV joint) is broken. The viscous coupler should provide at least some transfer. The car won't accelerate from a stop very fast, and the engine rpm might be unusually high, but it should move. (There was a similar case here some time ago.)

However, if, in addition, the viscous coupler is defective, then the "no power to any wheels" could well be the case.

Then again, with a manual transmission, the main engine-to-transmission clutch could be totally worn out or defective such that no power is going to the transmission.

And, if one front and one rear axle has a bad CV or DOJ joint, then the car won't move as well. (Although this would seem far less likely.)
 

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2012 Legacy 2.5GT-L
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So he's saying the CV joints are completely broken? so the splines are sheared off or all 3 legs of one or more joints are broken? seems unlikely... if you aren't getting any power to any of the wheels, it's almost certainly the transmission (clutch could be completely fried, pinion shaft or something like that in the transmission could be broken, front differential could be broken, etc.)
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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very unlikely, we will need some more information for such a bizarre claim on a car we can't see, touch or drive.

no power to any wheels is strange.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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will the owner allow access to the car? Lifting the rear should at least put you in a situation to see if turning the driveshaft will turn a rear wheel. Then, have a buddy hold the turning wheel and see if the other side will turn. If so, the issue is with the clutch or transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the answers. I just bought it for $450. It has 4 new tires on it, so that basically just reimbursed him for those. I did get it jacked up, and the driver's side cv is fine (it turns as it should) The passenger side CV is completely shredded where it meets the wheel assembly.

Here's the thing: his story changed when I was over there today. Now he says that the car was barely moving when he got it home (he towed it to his house because it was so starved for power). This is a change from "no power at all". He also mentioned the RPM's were unusually high when it was moving at a reduced rate.

So I guess either way, I think I got a good deal. It has a new timing belt, head gaskets, clutch, (unless he burned that out), and tires.

Given this new information, does anyone think it's possible that replacing one or both CV axles would do the trick? Or could it be a more serious issue? If I have to replace/rebuild the transmission/differential/whatever that's fine, but it would be really nice if the problem was just the front axles.
 

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you may not be able to diagnose it without known working axles so, either confirm the present ones aren't stripped out or re-build/replace them. Then, continue checking out the car. Split boots does not necessarily mean a bad joints - but you need to make certain. And, if that axle was spinning, the center diff should have gotten him home, so, yeah, there is likely another problem than a single axle possibly being bad.

many opinions on axles, do a search. main thing, avoid typical rebuilts from car parts houses like O'Reilly, Autozone, etc. they get the most complaints.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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High engine revs and low output on these cars is generally a slipping clutch. As Lucky stated, if the boot is just busted and slinging grease, it shouldn't be an issue with torque transfer. If the left front is moving, you have contact with the gears in the transmission so you are most likely looking at a new clutch kit and a reboot of the leaking axle, unless the joint is worn, in which case get it replaced. Its not like an auto where you have slip in the clutch packs controlling gear selection. In a manual, its direct contact with the gears based on selection. The slipping is in the main clutch.

Also check the hydraulics of the clutch to insure the clutch fork is releasing all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The clutch was replaced a couple months ago. And the passenger side axle is disconnected, not just the boot, the wheel spins without moving the able.
 

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The clutch was replaced a couple months ago. And the passenger side axle is disconnected, not just the boot, the wheel spins without moving the able.
Make certain the axle stub is inserted completely into the front differential.

In theory, the slipping front axle should cause the center diff to lock-up (or, come very close to a locked condition) which should transfer torque to the non-slipping rear axle. If there is another problem that prevented the car from moving 'fairly well' then it lies with the center differential or, less likely, the driveshaft or rear diff/rear axles. Many things are possible with an older, possibly abused, vehicle. The center diff may just be too worn to work well. Or, there was so much noise/vibration, the owner decided to have the car towed and isn't accurately recalling how much power the car still had.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks again replying. He said he drove it a while with the broken axle, and then it stopped moving almost completely. Sounds like it's going to be a new center diff as well. Where would you recommend looking for one? I've tried the usual spots online but can't find anything.
 

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2000 Outback Limited, Dual Range 5 Speed
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Should be able to get one new from the dealer, expensive though, could buy a used gearbox to solve your problem, as most dismantles won't seperate to centre diff from a good used box.
 

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2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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BTW,

Subaru still offers reman axles through Subaru. You can't find them on any websites, you have to ask your dealer. I found this out just today when I went to my go-to parts guys at Mike Shaw Subaru.

Dealers only list new axles on their websites. Dealers only replace axles under warranty with new OEM axles. But, if customers come in with a dealer repair out of warranty, they use OEM remans. We have all been under the impression these no longer exist.

They do, I assure you. I ahve 2 on order. Unfortunately there is currently a very long wait time. One month to 6 weeks currently in the Denver market. But this is good news for the community. I get wholesale pricing from Mike Shaw. That means $178 with a $40 core charge. But this "mystic unicorn" does indeed still exist. No More Cardone new/reman or BS aftermarket sh*tty new, for those who want it. These are genuine OEM reamns. You just have to ask your local dealer parts guys.

Sometimes the inside track pays off, I am sharing the love.

:love:
 
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