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Discussion Starter #1
I've tried unsuccessfully to search the threads for a similar issue, but to no avail.:1zhelp:


I'm looking at a 1997 Outback and trying to determine if worth dealing with issues. Car has 80K on odo. Motor runs nicely, but 2nd gear is non-existent. I took the car for a test drive yesterday and car drives otherwise ok (except for the spewing oil leak under the front main accessory drive).
I was told there was an issue about a year ago changing with the transmission fluid being drained and the car driven with either: a) no tranny fluid, or b) the wrong fluid.... which is around the time the problem began.

Anyway, the car will start off correctly in first and shift essentially from 1st to 3rd after revving and releasing the gas pedal. I've tried manually shifting into 2nd with no luck. If I select 2nd from a stand-still, it starts in first (normal I'd think) and stays in first. If I select third, it starts in first and will eventually find third.

So.....:

  1. Tranny troubleshooting suggestions? Will removing the negative and holding brake pedal reset TCU?
  2. Regarding the front main (as I understand it to be) leak, what kind of time (and $$ if professionally serviced) is required to fix this gasket leak? Is is considerably less if already removing/replacing the transmission?
  3. Does the 1997 Legacy Outback wagon need to be replaced with a transmission from the same year? I've heard this, but no idea if is true. If I do purchase a new or used unit, what should I realistically pay for either and what kind of labor hours are involved in a tranny swap?
Thanks to all for any thoughts or advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Anyone...
Anyone...
Mr. Buehler?


Just a bump. Biggest concern is why tranny has no 2nd gear, it completely acts like it's non existent.

Thanks.:29:
 

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For the transmission (Phase I 4-speed):

When the ignition switch is turned to ON but the engine is not started, do all the instrument panel warning lights, and especially the Check Engine and AT Oil Temp lights, come on? Do they go out and stay out when the engine is started? Does the Check Engine or AT Oil Temp warning light flash at any time?

Not sure if disconnecting the battery will reset the TCU, but it's something that could be tried. Disconnect for about 5 minutes. It will also reset the ECU, and erase any presets, such as radio stations.

Have you tried changing the ATF a few times with some short driving in between? (http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/5843-changing-automatic-transmission-fluid-easy.html). This might help free up solenoids/valves/clutches that could be binding.

Some have also had success with various transmission problems by using products such as "Trans-X", added to last (of several) ATF changes. However, this has not always been a permanent solution.

Driving the car without second gear for a year probably didn't do any good and might have made things worse, but these are some relatively simple things that can be tried.

When replacing the transmission, the most important consideration is the final (front differential) gear ratio. It MUST match the final ratio of the rear differential (presuming your 97 is AWD. I don't have data on what your particular year/model/engine etc came with, but there are probably information sources on the internet. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to physically check the final ratio of the front differential, so finding a transmission from an identical car is probably easiest, or, as others have occasionally done, swap both the transmission and the matching rear differential from another car.

Perhaps others will add to what I've said and provide some idea of costs for tranny and engine work.
 
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