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niterida
Before we give you some advice on your shifting issues.
Your model is the same as the 2nd gen U.S. spec 2000-2004, correct?
What engine do you have?
Besides the shifting issues, is the rest of the vehicle mechanically/electrically sound?
Yeah its the 2nd generation of Outbacks, but 3rd generation of Liberty so we call it Gen 3. Its a BH model - ran from 1999-2004

Its a 2.5 SOHC NA - engine has been recently rebuilt so is strong and mechanically good. No other major problems. It did exactly the same with the standard box that failed after 330,000kms (200,000miles) - replacement box was from a 1999 Turbo Forester with similar transmission code (not exactly the same but it was just the last couple of numbers and I believe that doesn't matter) and it plugged straight in. So it is something outside the box and I assume it is the TCU - or are there other sensors or anything that could affect the gearshifts.

My sister has a 2001 Outback that is as smooth as - I swapped her TCU in to mine and it was better but still not as good as hers.
 

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... replacement box ... with similar transmission code (not exactly the same but it was just the last couple of numbers and I believe that doesn't matter)
When talking about Japanese parts, 1 digit can mean huge differences, unfortunately. Not unheard of complete redesigns in the motorcycle world "because it is better". I am glad you were lucky enough and it works for Subaru transplants.

... replacement box was from a 1999 Turbo Forester ...
Did you also swap the torque converter? (Different stall speeds for NA and Turbo models).
Even worse, the Turbo model gearbox brakes and clutches and MPT transfer has more transfer plates so the gear engagement will be different - how much different is a factor of many parameters regarding TCU policy and expected pressures and engagement decelerations of the planetary gears upon gear shifts. I would not expect a fully smooth gear change - smooth enough would be my target.
No AWD CELs?
 

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2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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Discussion Starter #243
Hmm an interesting swap.

I doubt there is anything wrong with your TCU.
Could be some incorrect pinouts for the I/O.
Could be as Mi ka pointed out, different control requirements for the drive clutches.
As well as a host of other things.

My 1st suggestion:
Pull up the wiring diagrams/pinouts for the TCU on your 1999 OB and the 1999 Forester.
Look through it very closely and see if they are in fact the same locations for the Inputs/Outputs.

I would also suggest picking up one of the adapters we mention in this thread and the 2 pieces of software.
This will help you immensely with diagnosing what is going on.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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My initial guess is about the same as the others here. It's possible that the valve body is different on the turbo model to allow for harder shifts to prevent excessive wear from the higher torque turbo engine. I'd be surprised if they used an identical transmission for an n/a 2.5 and turbo engine. But the downshift delay is a bit weird since that is completely controlled by the tcu.
 

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The turbo box drives and behaves EXACTLY the same as the old NA box. So I'm pretty sure its not related to the box being slightly different inside.

I had read that the TCU's got improved each year as most thigs do and was thinking that it was just a software issue. The symptoms aren't that bad - well the harsh change from 1st to 2nd is pretty bad - the kickdown and early change up is just the way Subaru designed it but I was hoping to be able to improve it. Which is why I asked the question here about the freessm software - am I able to chnage parameters using this to affect the gearchanges and/or kickdown ?

Anybody have links to the 2 wiring diagrams ?

Thanks for the help so far.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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Only one way to find out. Each model has different parameters available for adjustment in freessm. Just realize that the changes are not permanent. I think they get lost as soon as you turn the car off. I doubt you'd be able to change shift points, but you might be able to reduce pressure to certain clutches during shifts to reduce the bang.
 

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2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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Discussion Starter #247
Yeah give it a shot, see what shows up for you with FreeSSM in Adjustments.

The adjustments you set stay as long as the battery isn't disconnected or you clear any codes.
Actually the last time I cleared a code in the TCM it asked me if I wanted to keep the values I had or revert to defaults.
Or just write down the values you put in for reference.
If you look back to the first page of this thread you can see what I am able to adjust with the TCM.
YMMV depending on model/year ect.

I looked a couple U.S. spec Outback and Forester TCM wiring diagrams.
Was surprised to see that the pinouts at the large transmission connector (B11 I believe) are actually the same.(Haven't looked at the TCM plug yet)
So you might actually be in luck running with a different model tranny.
Granted the Aus Spec probably is a bit different.
It would still be a good idea to pull up your wiring diagrams, I have no idea where to get them for Aus. models.
Anyone?

Still doesn't mean the internals would be the same though.
 

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Well the gearbox has been in and running for 6 months and there are no error codes or unwanted lights on the dashboard so I'm going to assume the wiring and TCU are all compatible :). Apparently it is the first few characters of the gearbox codes that separates major differences and the last characters are minor differences so if the first characters are the same then gearboxes are interchangeable.

Not sure if it is my imagination (I don't think it is) but the gearchanges are much smoother after having the later model TCU plugged in for a quick drive and then replugging the original TCU back in - maybe this did a reset on the TCU ?
 

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Just got back from a longer drive and it is shifting perfectly now and kicking down immediately. Pulling the plugs out must have reset the TCU or cleared old error codes or something ?
 

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The TCU has "intelligent" learning control: It compares various rotating parts speeds when shifting and self adjusts over time to have jerk-free and less wear part engagements.
Maybe some reset is what was needed but hasn't the car been without the battery for more than, say, 15 minutes in its life? It usually takes a few minutes without power to accomplish a TCU/ECU reset.
 

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The TCU has "intelligent" learning control: It compares various rotating parts speeds when shifting and self adjusts over time to have jerk-free and less wear part engagements.
Maybe some reset is what was needed but hasn't the car been without the battery for more than, say, 15 minutes in its life? It usually takes a few minutes without power to accomplish a TCU/ECU reset.
No the battery hasn't been disconnected or flat since I've had it. The box that was in it was totally stuffed - very very noisy front diff and occassionally wouldn't select gears until it finlly died completely and wouldn't get drive in any gear - hence the replacement.

Its definitely all good now though :)
 

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2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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Discussion Starter #253
Well that was uneventful. :D

Glad to hear its behaving again.
 

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Discussion Starter #254
Plain I had planned on reporting back with some data from a highway cruise.
Was having trouble recording with romraider, just figured out why.

Not sure why I didn't notice this before but:
If you have 2 PID's that are exactly the same, don't select both.
In my case there were 2 Throttle Sensor V, when both are selected it jams up the communications.
Nothing gets recorded and the data viewed is also messed up.
The TCU/ECM doesn't like sending data for a double request of the same parameter.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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No the battery hasn't been disconnected or flat since I've had it. The box that was in it was totally stuffed - very very noisy front diff and occassionally wouldn't select gears until it finlly died completely and wouldn't get drive in any gear - hence the replacement.

Its definitely all good now though :)
AFAIK, the learned behaviors in the transmission have to be reset manually. Disconnecting the battery is not enough. At least this is true for the 5eat. It can be reset with freessm. But the problem will probably get re-learned at some point.
 

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Plain I had planned on reporting back with some data from a highway cruise.
Was having trouble recording with romraider, just figured out why.

Not sure why I didn't notice this before but:
If you have 2 PID's that are exactly the same, don't select both.
In my case there were 2 Throttle Sensor V, when both are selected it jams up the communications.
Nothing gets recorded and the data viewed is also messed up.
The TCU/ECM doesn't like sending data for a double request of the same parameter.
I had noticed the dual listing in your screen shots but thought it was just a glitch in the way the computer was displaying, not an actual program issue. I did check my lists and as far as I could tell, there no repeat listings.

Will you be reinstalling the program to see if it corrects the anomaly, or just selecting only one?

Hope this won't prevent you from checking for those jagged shifts in the data . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #257
Luckily I did some troubleshooting first with the program before attempting a reinstall.
One thing I noted was most of the data coming in was null or incorrect.
I went through the PID list and deselected each one independently to see if it was causing any issues.
Found that either Throttle V can be selected and everything is fine, but when both are selected it causes the issues.

I did take a log on the freeway, I will post it up soon.
It looks the same, 32rpm shifts between recorded values for the TC.
 

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'07 Outback 2.5, Auto - '98 Tacoma 4X4, 5SPD Manual. 3.4L
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:gasp: Wow! this is a thread and 1/2! Obviously you guys are way out my league in automotive knowledge. But is interesting to read and I'm always willing to learn.
I would be interested in the FreeSSM program with a Windows Vista laptop but probably strictly as a diagnostic tool - just to see if everything is working right. There is no way I would even attempt to change anything.
Is this program for me ? I'm curious as to what you guys think/recommend.
So far with the '07 Outback I've driven 2500 Km (97000 km) and here are a few of my observations:

  • Highway handling ( road stability) seems "rockier" than '01 Legacy.
  • Fuel consumption is slightly more ( I get about 560km out of a "full" tank compared to apprx. 610 km from Legacy). Could be 'cause of the bigger wheels/vehicle weight.
  • Slight hesitation on cold/humid day startup.
  • With the heater selected at part feet/part defroster ( second last position ) , air temp. is hotter on the feet than windshield defroster - while my feet overheat , I can feel the cooler air from defroster blowing on my bald head:p. Played with temp selector but without much success.

  • Seems radio antenna reception is not as strong as Legacy.
My wife would like a remote starter; from what I read, the '07 is wired ready. Is the price for the OEM from Subaru worth it or would a cheaper after market be just as efficient/easy to install?

BTW, I got 4 Michelin Alpin PA3 225/55R17 with steel wheels for winter - not cheap , close to 1500$ with tax @ Canadian tire, " on sale"!

To Plain OM : I can see you have the original repair manual - did you download it from the Sub site? I did that for the '01 Legacy, but had to download one file at a time, took me almost 4 days ( you are limited to 50 files/day) and 2 "3 days subscriptions". I'm wondering if the download process is the same.

And last but not least ... the headlamp (only the right one) condensation problem. Seems to me there might be a small leak coming from the front lens on a rainy day; you can actually see the droplets forming inside, to the point of having some water staining the chromed bottom part of the ass.
Is the lens detachable from the ass., after removal so I can seal it somehow? Or is it a one piece disposable unit? I suspect that at some time it was either subjected to some tampering/incident and improperly re-assembled.
 

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To Plain OM : I can see you have the original repair manual - did you download it from the Sub site? I did that for the '01 Legacy, but had to download one file at a time, took me almost 4 days ( you are limited to 50 files/day) and 2 "3 days subscriptions". I'm wondering if the download process is the same.
Yes, I did download the complete manual, in fact several times (due to it being reorganized and reissued in a later version back in 2007) plus a lot of other information. I download everything within in the three days (72 hours), but that's when I can dedicate time over a three day period. (About 800 files, 50/hour, 16 hours). On average it seems to take about 20 minutes or less with a DSL connection to download the 50 limit, then I do other things for the remainder of the hour, or spend the time putting titles on the files and organizing them in folders and volumes.

Is the lens detachable from the ass., after removal so I can seal it somehow?
Not as far as I know. It looks as if there's two original parts that are heat welded together, but I'm not sure. But if you suspect an external leak/hole, I guess it should be possible to examine the outside closely, and seal whatever looks suspicious from the outside once the assembly is removed from the car fender and you're sure the inside is dry.

Is this program for me ? I'm curious as to what you guys think/recommend.
The two programs are a bit different. Keeping in mind your intended use (same as mine), FreeSSM does read out and clear trouble codes for the engine and transmission, whereas RomRaider does not. FreeSSM also is able to run individual relay and solenoid tests, again, which RR does not. However, FreeSSM doesn't have any capability (yet) to record data, and that means reading the parameter (PID) data "on the fly", whereas RRLogger can record data (as we've been posting) and that allows for a more detailed look at what's happening -- especially useful when a problem is difficult to isolate. I'm glad I have both, and will use each depending on the need.

Don't know about the remote starter, but from what I've read here, aftermarket installs seem to occasionally be sources of problems whereas the Subaru system, I presume, works "first time every time".
 

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. . .
I did take a log on the freeway, I will post it up soon.
It looks the same, 32rpm shifts between recorded values for the TC.
I was looking at my engine data and came across another series where the data seems to jump in short spikes. This is in the current (ma) to one of the variable valve lift solenoids.

The first chart below shows the current to the left and right solenoids. Note how the left is steady (as is the duty cycle, not shown) whereas the right has spikes. (It appears that the norm at the left side is ~865 ma, but the right side is spiking up to ~895 ma. Or perhaps the norm is 895, and the reading of the left side is constantly low due to sampling . . . )

When the right chart is stretched, it looks the same as we saw in the turbine speed chart (second attachment below).

I wonder if this too is the same sampling issue (but why one and not the other?) or possibly indicative of an anomaly at that solenoid.

The VVL was introduced with MY 2006, I believe, so probably won't show on your 2004, but I'd be interested in seeing which parameters in your data show these same strange shifts.

I wonder if Seabass has done any engine logging and perhaps can provide a 2008 perspective . . .

EDIT: Just looked at another short highway engine log taken during the same trip but ten minutes earlier and found the opposite (attachment III below) -- the right is steady at about 860, while the left seems to "jitter" between 860 and 830.

I have to get a handle on this -- is it normal and just data collection anomalies due to sampling, or is it saying something real? (Yes, it'll keep me up at night!)
 

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