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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm sourcing a used tranny to swap into my 2008 LL Bean Outback (3L auto). After a lot of asking around this seems like my best option vs. a rebuild, which would run me $3,500 + CAD and supposedly is really hard to pull off (according to a veteran Subaru transmission pro).

Does the mileage matter much on a used tranny? Looking at one for $1,600 CAD w/ 140k miles or $2,000 CAD w/ 80k miles, and wondering if it's worth paying more for a "younger" one. Nothing cheaper in the US, sadly.

A couple Subaru mechanics have told me the Gen 3 transmissions basically don't fail, so they either run forever, or infrequently break-down completely like mine (tranny coolant line sheared off the rad without me knowing and it ran dry). I'm around 140k miles myself, so figure the tranny with 140k is just as good as the 80k one, yeah?

cheers,
Dave
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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Comes down to use with either transmission. How often was the fluid changed, what type of fluid was used, what's the fluid condition like in it currently. Does the vehicle have a tow bar, indicating they may have towed with it. I would personally take a higher mileage unit if it was serviced more then a lower mileage one. But talk to the sellers, see if they will negotiate, especially if it's ebay. 60k miles is a big difference in this case, and if you plan on keeping the vehicle for a long time, you may find it worth it to spend an extra $400~ for that piece of mind. I currently have almost 200k miles on my car. I purchased with 120k, to my knowledge it's the original transmission. No signs of issues yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks! Both (all) options are coming from wrecking yards, so unfortunately I can't ask any of these questions! I've found zilch online (a few JDMs, which is a messy puzzle I don't have the knowledge or interest in managing!).

Your questions are the right ones, of course.

You think a minor front-end collision (on the 80k one, shown below) is any cause for concern? Pretty minor... but minor rear-ender (while I was in park) could be what threw my tranny into its grave!
Automotive parking light Car Automotive side marker light Wheel Land vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
...the other option (140k) had a side collision LOL
no huge winners, here.
But both look decent, in terms of the interior being treated well. That said, the guy I bought my '08 from didn't do anything but oil changes after his warranty ran out at 60k ...smh... !!

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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80k one shouldn't be a issue, unless the radiator cracked around the tranny cooler area and they idled it for a long time. But that's what warranty is for. The 80k one looks like it has aftermarket wheels with snow tires? So the owner may have taken more care of it, considering they would invest in another set of wheels and tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
80k one shouldn't be a issue, unless the radiator cracked around the tranny cooler area and they idled it for a long time. But that's what warranty is for. The 80k one looks like it has aftermarket wheels with snow tires? So the owner may have taken more care of it, considering they would invest in another set of wheels and tires.
Good catch! I like your optimism :)
Granted, the cars are from Northern BC and Quebec, so, a second set of tires is non optional, but they're usually on crappy steel rims so there ya go!
 

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2005 H6 3.0L LLBean Road Warrior
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Newbie to transmission issues here…. but I’d go younger, cuz people just.don’t.know.

At 229,000 miles on my 2005LLBean3.0L, I just learned my ATF was drained/refilled (invoice says flushed but also charges for only 4.5Qts and only 100$US total so me thinks not truly flushed) for FIRST TIME at 170,000 miles.

I confess this because I have meticulous records of every service, a spreadsheet summarizing the details with date and mileage… and I took it religiously to the same mechanic for like 11 years, never said no to anything he recommended doing, and looks on paper here like I totally neglected my transmission!! Until 170,000 when he decided to do a drain/flush/refill on all fluids.

I am throwing P0700 andP068 codes now and smh’ing myself.

I guess you can’t get a look at the fluid in each one? That would tell you a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess you can’t get a look at the fluid in each one? That would tell you a lot.
Given that they're both pulled and on the wreckers "shelf" i dont' think there's any fluid to look at!
That said, the higher mileage one (139k miles) has a 6 month warranty. The 80k miles one has a 4 month warranty and is $500 more all together... I'll get both on the phone and go with the best impression / guarantee they can offer me!

Yes, transmissions are often neglected, so hard to tell. MAYBE one of them checked the colour and metal contents if any of the fluids when they were pulled and can vouch for it. fingers crossed when I call them Monday to order!

Dave
 

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2005 H6 3.0L LLBean Road Warrior
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@dbroy More I learn about my 5EAT from this forum, more I think 139,000 miles is nothing. You definitely will get a feel from the conversation; I’m a total newbie to DIY and starting to easily sort the bs from the reputable. Good luck! Wish I had your skills, hoping to find a mechanic in San Francisco Bay Area to double check my battery grounding/conductivity and replace a single solenoid in the 5EAT valve body vs quoting full replacement of AT or Valve Body at $$$$.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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You think a minor front-end collision (on the 80k one, shown below) is any cause for concern? Pretty minor... but minor rear-ender (while I was in park) could be what threw my tranny into its grave!
Since you stated that the transmission coolant line sheared off the radiator, I presume from this rear-end accident, I would be leery of putting a lot into this repair prior to having a body shop look at the situation - there may have been some movement of drive train components that will come and haunt you later.

I realize it probably is not at a body shop at this point and might have to be towed; also getting it on their frame rack might be an issue; perhaps you could talk someone into dropping by the mechanics shop and give it a quick go / no go assessment on whether it's worth it? I would hate to see a new transmission put in, only to find out there are frame issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would be leery of putting a lot into this repair prior to having a body shop look at the situation - there may have been some movement of drive train components that will come and haunt you later.
hey thanks for this! so, 2 separate issues: coolant line sheared off in Nov. 2021, I thought the tranny was toast, but my mechanic flushed and refilled it w new filters (After a new rad, obviously) and it was driving quite well for a few months. A little jumpy from 1st to 2nd, but the problem went away over time. Then in Feb. I had a minor rear-ender (i was in park, they were a dump trunk). There's a half-tennis ball sized dent in the rear bumper from that so not a huge impact... the body shop doing my insurance claim didn't look beyond the bumper based on how small the damage was... however, right after that I noticed shifting out of park was VERY clunky / load / concerning, and since then shifting gears has been sluggish and progressively getting worse. It "feels" like the collision exacerbated the previous issues, and I'm trying to get insurance to get on board with that fingers crossed (of course if I disclose the previous issue to them I'm sure they won't touch it, so I'm torn, but it was very clearly worse after the collision).

The tranny shop that inspected it didn't suggest any issues beyond the transmission, but I'll see if we can get it hoisted and looked at before I drop $1,500 to $2,000 ordering one in. The issue is they might have to pull the tranny to do a full inspection, and then it's sitting there dead for 7–10+ days while the used tranny ships in. Not ideal but maybe the safer way to go. And it's good cycling weather now ;)
 

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(1. 2002 Subaru Outback H6 Sedan. 255,800 miles. Auto Trans. (2) 2008 Outback Wagon 2.5i, 170,000mil
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Given that they're both pulled and on the wreckers "shelf" i dont' think there's any fluid to look at!
That said, the higher mileage one (139k miles) has a 6 month warranty. The 80k miles one has a 4 month warranty and is $500 more all together... I'll get both on the phone and go with the best impression / guarantee they can offer me!

Yes, transmissions are often neglected, so hard to tell. MAYBE one of them checked the colour and metal contents if any of the fluids when they were pulled and can vouch for it. fingers crossed when I call them Monday to order!

Dave
My 2002 H6 has 265,000 miles on the original Auto trans; no issues yet - (fingers crossed).
 
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