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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.

I have a 2005 Subaru Outback with 97k miles on it. I have owned it since new.

It has recently started giving a binding sensation when turning in a tight radius, with the wheel cranked hard.

I initially thought it was a CV joint, as one has slowly been going bad, so I just replaced both front axles. I also replaced the struts with KYB Excel G's, and pressed in new OEM rear bushings on the front control arms, as the original bushings were torn. The repairs all went well, but evidently there is another issue.

I took it to a parking lot yesterday and turned in tight circles slowly. It feels like something is binding somewhere in the drive train. It feels like gears not meshing smothly, maybe. Jumpy, not smooth. This is equal when turning in both directions. If I were to guess, it feels like the issue is in the rear end, but I do not know.


How can I determine what is going on?

Any ideas?


Thank you.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited
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I am not sure if this helps but here goes...


I had a "similar" situation to what you described with my '01 Forester. There was hard binding when turning left. Gentle turns and straight line driving were no issue at all. I ended up having the axle & CV joint replaced. My belief is that the CV joint went bad due to the boot failing. None-the-less, once replaced I never had the issue again.

Do you trust the service department at your dealership to look at it and give you the truth? Looking at some of the posts in this forum about some owners feel about their dealerships, I had to ask...


Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As I said, I replaced both axles with new ones. This includes the CVs. Prior to, I felt the CV going bad, and did the repairs before catastrophe. I used to drive/ work on air cooled Volkswagons, so I knw the feeling of CV's.

This is not CV's. I personally repaired them, and can feel the new one's woring correctly.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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automatic or manual? (automatics "may" have a FWD fuse to jam in to turn it into a front drive car to see if you can isolate the problem).

are the 4 tires the exact same.? (possible torque bind from different tires)

when was the last time in miles the ATF and or Diff lubes were swapped ? and with what? (brands/ types/ viscosity?)
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you.


It is an Automatic.

The tires are the same, but they are nearing the end of their life, and unevenly worn.

Ithink a shop changed the ATF, but cannot confirm when or if.

I just ordered some new Subaru ATF.

Not sure about the diff fluid, either. I recall giving it to the shop and asking them to change all the fluids at 60k. I do not recall what they did.

I am about to go check both of these.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited
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I hear you on that. I had a '72 Super Beetle that I restored. Its CVs weren't responsible for turning though.



Cheers!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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try the fuse as mentioned above.

search on the term "torque bind"
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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This sounds like classic torque bind. Hit up the search feature (or the sticky at the top) for more reading material.

For the CliffNotes, the transfer clutch is not operating as it should. This transfer clutch allows the front and rear differentials to turn at different speeds and apply power to the rear wheels when needed, which avoids the grinding, popping, and shuddering in tight turns.

Usually, new fluid and working the AWD system (quick starts on wet pavement, more tight turns in both directions) will resolve the issue. However, if long-term neglect (such as mismatched tires, towing with 2 wheels down, never changing the fluid) has set-in, the transfer clutch pack may need to be rebuilt. Not a death sentence by any means, but definitely more expensive than a fluid change.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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^^^ what he said

tires must be identical, even different brands the same 'size' may not be close enough to prevent problems.

if not done, your car is overdue for timing belt system service; 105 months or 105K miles w'ever comes first. major $$$$ if it fails. Interference engine.
 

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2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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This does indeed sound like torque bind.

Just to rule it out. Check the driveshaft for any binding.
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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I agree with the torque bind comments above
 

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First pop in the FWD fuse, see if the FWD light comes on, and see if the binding goes away.
That step removes a huge number of faults from the list of possibles.

As an aside I have a 2005 forester that has always had a 'tight' system, it feels tight but doesn't quite bind when turning with the wheels all the way over.
Was that way for well over 100k miles, now up around 215k it seems to be slowly getting tighter.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
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Where is the FWD fuse holder located? And what sort of fuse do I put in?


Thank you.
see your owners manual.

not all have it but yours probably does.

in the fuse box between the shock tower and the battery in a Left hand drive car,...diagram is inside the fuse box cover. insert one of the spares. (10 amp is probably fine)

the FWD light should come up on the gauge cluster when you have one in place.
 

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I think we need to know if the car has the 4-speed or 5-speed AT, as only cars with the 4AT can have the AWD disabled by the fuse.

If it's a 4-speed, I'd suggest trying the fuse first. When it's installed, a warning light should come on in the instrument panel indicating that the AWD is disabled and the car is in front wheel drive mode. This is described on page 9-4 of the Owners Manual.) See if the grinding/binding is still there. If gone, then the cause is in the AWD system. If the problem is still there, then it's more likely to be elsewhere.

One other possibility is the rear differential. I believe most 05's came with viscous-coupled limited slip rear differential. If the special fluid in the coupler has failed, or is gelling prematureley, it can cause binding symptoms when making tight turns.

A bad/stiff joint in the rear propeller (drive) shaft can cause vibration and binding symptoms. However, it should be apparent at all times, i.e., whether moving slowly in a straight line or making tight turns.
 

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Sounds similar to a issue I had with my 97 impreza. I had a bush mechanic drain the fluid and put new fluid in it. He did the trans but not the diff. Ended up burning up the front diff.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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Thank you.

How do I check the driveshaft for binding?
Safely, for one person? That's a good question. It's only (6) bolts total. Take is out and inspect the u-joints and the carrier bearing/bushing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I found the FWD fuse and tried it. There is a good amount of new snow on the ground this morning, so it is difficult to really feel, but I think the binding is gone. I might have felt the tires in the wheel wells at the extreme ends, but without the fuse in, the binding is much worse. The car feels fine with the fuse in.



So...... "What's behind door number 1"? What does this point to?

Does this rule out problems with the driveshaft?

Could new tires fix this? I have a set. Or, if it is this far gone, there is definitely a problem?

Could an ATF change fix this?

Do I begin by studying the center diff and replaceing/ repairing it?

My upcoming 'date' with the car keeps getting bigger by the moment. Yesterday I noticed an oil leak from what looks to be the head gasket. Oil was dripping off of the oil filter, and the entire area was covered in oil.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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you really need to assure this is the case on dry pavement.

the duty c solenoid seems to be working based on what you've written

that 'may' mean the wet clutch pack's 'basket' or 'sleeve' is worn and needs to be replaced. many folks would just swap in a used trans.

new tires won't fix it UNLESS present tires vary in circumference. You have assured us they are identical (same brand/model/size and within 2 or 3 /32 in tread wear) - if so, tires are not the problem.

many people have improved transmission function with 3 drain/fill/drive-a-little/repeat cycles - that gets you over 85% or so new fluid - use of TRans-X on the final fill has helped some folks - it usually just helps delayed engagement problems but, is fairly easy/cheap to try compared to alternatives. Strong recommendation if the fluid is old or the trans has been neglected in the past.
 
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