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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After many years of Land rover projects, I have joined the Subaru world and just purchased my first project.
2003 Outback LL Bean with 3.0.

Engine is in great shape but trans has issues. I am looking to replace and the trans for the 3.0 is hard to find locally and they are very expensive when found on Car-Part.

I did , however, find an old discussion from 2009 while searching the forum and hoping someone could elaborate further:

https://www.subaruoutback.org/threads/2003-outback-h6-at-non-vdc-transmission-slipping.166089/

Specifically this post from Idosubaru:

If you wanted to change the gear ratio you could get an easier to find and cheaper regular 4 cylinder outback trans with 4.44 and:

1. have the mechanic swap your 4.11 front diff onto it.
or
2. swap the trans and a matching 4.44 rear diff.

The car came with an extra transmission from a 2.5 outback in good working order. Is it possible to just get the 4.44 rear diff as noted above? Would be great if it was that simple. Would solve a problem of getting a new trans.

Thanks for the help!
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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18,222 Posts
as long as the components match final drive ratios and the trans control module in the H6 plays nice with the 2.5 trans - it'll work.

can you elaborate on the problems the original trans is displaying?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Trans goes in all gears and moves but doesn’t like it. Hesitation and slow to engage. Was able to load on trailer. Previous owner was told trans needed to be replaced.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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12,186 Posts
The 4EAT in the H6 and turbo models is beefed up.

I think it will play nice. Might have to swap the TCU might not. But it's possible the extra power from the H6 will lead to a shorter life on the standard 2.5 equipped 4EAT.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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fluid level checked WHILE IDLING right?

also, some folks have used Trans-X after 2-3 drain-fill cycles of new fluid and get better/faster gear engagement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just moved off trailer. No reverse and makes a popping sound when moving forward. Probably best to replace at this point. I will check all the fluids first just to make sure that nothing obvious is going on.

Thoughts?
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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broken axle

axle 'uplugged' from diff

if everything happens at low speed, try to get someone to move the car and a second person to get eyes and ears on which end/corner of the car is making the noise. If you find unobstructed safe area, you could try forwrd/reverse with the hood up even.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Definitely low speed. May get it lifted on stands on all four corners. I guess that no reverse part may seal the deal.

Thanks for everyone's help to the newbie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Upon further look, the front diff is completely dry, ( hence the popping noise I'm sure) and the trans is low and very black.

Will do a complete change of all fluids front and back and see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have it in garage and AT trans temp light blinks immediately at cold startup. changing fluids this weekend.

Hard to believe I have a temp problem when it hasn't started in 2 days.
 
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