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2001 Forester, 1997 Legacy wagon, 2.2
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123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Run Forester, and OBW without rear drive shaft?

Which model years can run without the shaft?

Some members said running on Front Wheel Drive indefinitely is OK unless you need AWD for traction.

A member said some 1990's models were originally sold without the rear drive shaft anyway, but with the AWD connectors in place, ready to convert to AWD. Perhaps this was according to market/climate location?

One member said he would install the rear shaft only in snowy weather, and remove it in summer for better gas mileage. How much difference in gas mileage can it really make anyway?

No snow is in forecast for Honolulu so I removed my '96 Impreza's rear drive shaft. No more T-Bind, Hooray!

Thank you, to members here for that solution !

Now I'm looking to buy a used OBW or maybe a Forester. Is it OK to remove the shaft on other Auto Trans models like OBW and Forester ?

Thinking maybe can find a good OBW or Forester with Torque Bind price discount. Maybe save a fair chunk of $ as did with the '96 Impreza.

Recently saw a 1999 OBW for sale, with 107K miles, excellent cond except for Torque Bind.

Maybe another possible advantage is not having to buy four new tires when three of them are in good cond?

Thanks for your help !

P.S.
I think the answer to my question is probably "Yes, OBW and Forester can run without rear shaft"....but I am a rookie so I'd like to hear from others wiser than I....Plus I don't exactly know which model years...Thanks.
 

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Premium Member
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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2,606 Posts
Not going to make much if any difference in gas mileage - the rear wheels, drive shafts, and differential assembly are still being turned, and that still take the same amount of power whether it comes from the engine or from the tractive forces driving the rear wheels.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,951 Posts
no difference in gas mileage, torque bind is fixable.

so all you get is a un-fun front drive car, that is still on the heavy side without the AWD muscle to hump itself out of any sand or mud you run into.

(outbacks / foresters are obviously heavier then impreza,...so a little bit odd sand/mud with only one wheel spinning in it can really suck).
______

FWD fuse in typical run of the mill automatic non VDC/VTD cars prior to 2010:

if you want to drive one with torque bind or a problem that can be fixed by it becoming a front drive, = insert or remove the FWD fuse at the under the hood fuse box. (read owners manual,..."remove" will be earlier cars, "insert" will be cars later then 99 or 2000,...depending upon how the solnoid works in that particular car in that particular year you are looking at.... probably a mix of both around 1998-2000 across the subaru line).
 

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Registered
2001 Forester, 1997 Legacy wagon, 2.2
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123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Appreciate your help eagleeye!

So far so good without Impreza drive shaft.

Driving around town only. I'll try to stay off the beach. ;-)

Honolulu is not a Subaru town like Seattle for example. Took a while to find a transmission guy that knew about the FWD fuse. I had inserted the fuse, but it made no difference. I think that means the solenoid was stuck? His quote was $1500 for new solenoid.

Last year the solenoid job for my 97 OBW was $575. In Down East Maine....Hawaii sometimes has "Paradise tax" ;-)


If I find a decent Forester or OBW for sale with a Torque Bind Discount I will try it out, but keep the shaft in my back pocket in case I change my mind
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,951 Posts
what you want to do is work for a guy, that has a Ferrari, and he never comes around EVER, and you enjoy it in his stead,.
..and a Jeep Grand Wagoneer if things get really tough,...or it rains. (make friends with the guy who drives the audi,...bring dog biscuits everywhere for the Lads).

maybe find a nice girl that looses her memory every day,...drives a VW Thing. (very light there for going where the pavement ends but a decent maintained dirt road remains).
 

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Registered
2001 Forester, 1997 Legacy wagon, 2.2
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123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Funny thing about 96 Impreza owners manual... No mention of the FWD fuse....Not a word anywhere in the manual, as far as I could find.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,951 Posts
Funny thing about 96 Impreza owners manual... No mention of the FWD fuse....Not a word anywhere in the manual, as far as I could find.
might be in the section about using the spare tire, = put the spare on the back so as to not hinder steering, (even if that means taking a good back wheel off to put it on the front).

"insert FWD fuse" so as to not damage the AWD system, and drive less then 50mph,...and don't be a dork driving around with a temp spare for a long long time. ...get 4 tires that match before going back to AWD.
 

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2001 Forester, 1997 Legacy wagon, 2.2
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123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
might be in the section about using the spare tire, = put the spare on the back so as to not hinder steering, (even if that means taking a good back wheel off to put it on the front).

insert FWD fuse so as to not damage the AWD system, and drive less then 50mph,...and don't be a dork driving around with a temp spare for a long long time. ...get 4 tires that match before going back to AWD.
Donuts. Yuk.

I always get me a nice full size rim & tire. Must be a old grouch. Donut goes in garbage.

I re-checked the manual. Nothing in Flat Tire section of 96 Impreza manual about FWD fuse. Nada. Zip. Not in index. Not in towing section.

No mention of FWD in the AWD section, which says: These vehicles are not designed for off road use.

Only mention of FWD fuse I find is in section about AT Warning Light:

"If it blinks after starting engine, it may mean Trans control system is malfunctioning."

Strange my Impreza manual does not mention the fuse. My 97 OBW manual did.

Moot now anyhow.
 
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