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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! Upon creating this account, I realized this is an Outback website so I do apologize for that, but I am hoping maybe this problem is common amongst other Subaru models and I can be pointed in the right direction.
About two months ago, I purchased a 1991 Subaru Legacy non-turbo with automatic transmission and 156k miles on it. Everything so far has been pretty normal except about after owning it for a month, I did notice that when I am driving at low speeds while turning either direction, the car shudders/shakes/vibrates. Just an all around concerning noise/feel. You cannot feel any of the shaking within steering wheel. It feels like it’s between the driver and passenger seat. I flushed the power steering fluid hoping it might fix it (worked for someone in another forum I read) and the problem has not ceased. I put a fuse in the FWD fusebox, but it did not fix the problem either. The FWD light did come on my dash though. I also have not gotten the A/T temp light 16 times so I’m guessing the duty C solenoid is alright. From what I’ve read so far, seems like I may need a new clutch pack in the transmission? I’m still learning a lot and would really appreciate any help/advice anyone can offer.
If I do need a new clutch pack, how intensive of a job is that? How expensive roughly? Would it just be worth it to take to a shop to have it fixed there? I just want my baby to run without sounding terrible while turning, lol.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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You are describing a torque bind situation. If you've discounted the CV axles then the center diff clutch could be locked all the time. If you get all 4 wheels off the ground and insert the FWD fuse so the duty solenoid is taken out of the equation and put it in gear and accelerate, if the rear wheels turn with the front at the same spee, that's the problem.

Unless the duty solenoid has failed and fluid is being applied to the clutch all the time, then it would be a solenoid issue.

You can drop the pan, replace the solenoid and test after. If it still does it, the center diff needs a rebuild. Downside is that since the trans fluid applies the clutch and the fluid circulates back through the entire system, any loose debris and metal is also in the remainder of the trans or the trans pan.

Regardless of the outcome that resolves the issue, a full flush is recommended.

You want parts for a Phase 1 4EAT.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are describing a torque bind situation. If you've discounted the CV axles then the center diff clutch could be locked all the time. If you get all 4 wheels off the ground and insert the FWD fuse so the duty solenoid is taken out of the equation and put it in gear and accelerate, if the rear wheels turn with the front at the same spee, that's the problem.

Unless the duty solenoid has failed and fluid is being applied to the clutch all the time, then it would be a solenoid issue.

You can drop the pan, replace the solenoid and test after. If it still does it, the center diff needs a rebuild. Downside is that since the trans fluid applies the clutch and the fluid circulates back through the entire system, any loose debris and metal is also in the remainder of the trans or the trans pan.

Regardless of the outcome that resolves the issue, a full flush is recommended.

You want parts for a Phase 1 4EAT.
Sorry, just want to clarify. If I get all four wheels off the ground and accelerate and all four are going the same speed, what would be the issue specifically? The solenoid?

I still have yet to flush the transmission. I’ve heard that flushing it can be kind of sketchy especially on high mileage vehicles. I’m not sure if or how often it had been changed/flushed before.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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These cars are FWD and phase in the rear wheels as speed increases or if a front wheel spins fast enough in a slip situation. When you get a torque bind, and it's caught early, replacing the duty solenoid corrects the issue.

The FWD fuse keeps the TCM from engaging the center diff to send torque to the rear wheels. So with all 4 wheels off the ground, have the car on jack stands, and the fuse in the FWD slot, there should not be any torque transfer to the rear wheels. You would have some kenetic transfer that would have the rear spinning slow, but if you accelerate the rear wheels should not be spinning at the same rate as the front. The fuse insertion makes the car front wheel drive, unless the solenoid is screwed which would make the car AWD all the time and in turns the wheels will be fighting the opposing wheels. Shaking, noise, jerking.

Changing the trans fluid would benefit the trans, not harm it. It will lot create a problem. Changing the fluid is a 50/50 on correcting your issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
These cars are FWD and phase in the rear wheels as speed increases or if a front wheel spins fast enough in a slip situation. When you get a torque bind, and it's caught early, replacing the duty solenoid corrects the issue.

The FWD fuse keeps the TCM from engaging the center diff to send torque to the rear wheels. So with all 4 wheels off the ground, have the car on jack stands, and the fuse in the FWD slot, there should not be any torque transfer to the rear wheels. You would have some kenetic transfer that would have the rear spinning slow, but if you accelerate the rear wheels should not be spinning at the same rate as the front. The fuse insertion makes the car front wheel drive, unless the solenoid is screwed which would make the car AWD all the time and in turns the wheels will be fighting the opposing wheels. Shaking, noise, jerking.

Changing the trans fluid would benefit the trans, not harm it. It will lot create a problem. Changing the fluid is a 50/50 on correcting your issue.
Thank you for the input, I will change the fluid this weekend and see if it helps my issue, fingers crossed. Once I get another pair of jack stands, I will check the speed of the wheels to see if it might be the solenoid. Really hoping it isn’t anything too major of a fix!
 

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The FWD light did come on my dash though. I also have not gotten the A/T temp light 16 times so I’m guessing the duty C solenoid is alright
When the ignition switch is turned to ON (engine not started), do the CEL, and A/T Oil Temp warning lights come on? Wondering if one or more warning light bulbs might be burned out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When the ignition switch is turned to ON (engine not started), do the CEL, and A/T Oil Temp warning lights come on? Wondering if one or more warning light bulbs might be burned out.
I have not seen the CEL or A/T Oil Temp warning lights come in with or without the FWD fuse installed.
 

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If the CEL and A/T Oil Temp warning lights don't come on when the ignition switch is at ON (engine not started), then those warning bulbs (and perhaps others) are probably not working. That could mean there's detected faults that are being missed.

The FWD light did come on my dash though.
I had missed this earlier. This usually indicates that there isn't a detected fault in the AWD control wiring (i.e., open or short circuit). It doesn't necessarily mean the mechanical aspects of the AWD system, i.e., solenoid, control valve, clutch pack, are working properly. See what cardoc's suggestions provide . . .
 
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