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Ok, I have a '96 outback wagon with a 2.5 in it. The fender well tag says the the tranny code is for the TZ102ABA transmission. From what I can gather it is a 2.2 trans.
NOW.. my wrench put in a TZ102ABAA trans which is definitely a 2.2 and it would not connect--too short at the bellhousing. So is the TZ102ABA trans too short as well? The tranny we pulled out has a different code. I have a feeling that this is an early '96 so could Subaru have just left the 2.2. code on there?
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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How to seat your torque converter. (torqueconverter)

Ok, I have a '96 outback wagon with a 2.5 in it. The fender well tag says the the tranny code is for the TZ102ABA transmission. From what I can gather it is a 2.2 trans.
NOW.. my wrench put in a TZ102ABAA trans which is definitely a 2.2 and it would not connect--too short at the bellhousing. So is the TZ102ABA trans too short as well? The tranny we pulled out has a different code. I have a feeling that this is an early '96 so could Subaru have just left the 2.2. code on there?
first, both trans numbers you listed are incorrect.
the 96 outback auto trans is a TZ102Z2ABA (you left out a Z2 in the middle.)
the other trans, (probably from a 96 legacy L, hard to tell with out a completer ID number) should be a TZ102ZABAA (you left out a Z.)

but typos aside, the first is from a 96 outback, ej25 engine and it has a 4.44 final drive ratio.
the second is from a 96 lego L, ej22 engine and has a 4.11 final drive ratio.
they are not compatible, the final drives are different. it will not work in your 96 outback UNLESS you also swap in the matching rear diff.

but none of the above is fatal and is just the warm up.

the trans bell housings are EXACTLY the same.
if it seems ''not long enough'' there is a really good chance that the torque converter is not seated properly / completely. if you install it like this you will destroy the trans oil pump and effectively ruin the trans. (or there are alignment pins that are bumping into one another.)


if you do not seat the torque converter correctly you can destroy the trans oil pump, rendering it useless.

how to seat your torqueconverter

torque converter not seated.

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Below is a picture of the first stopping point when sliding the torque converter into the transmission (assuming it had been completely removed). The first stopping point can vary a little bit, so don't be too concerned if yours stops in a slightly different spot.

As this picture shows, the torque converter is not fully seated yet, the flange which is roughly an inch away from the front mounting surface of the transmission:


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From here, I make a "fishhook" with my pointer finger on one hand and suspend the tip of the torque converter in the "hook" to hold it's weight as if it were fully seated. This helps prevent the torque converter from binding when trying to seat it (makes seating easier). Then, I spin the torque converter clockwise a few times and then counter clock wise a few times to see if it will catch to get to the second stopping point (if a few spins don't do it, I do a few more. If it's still a no go, I pull the torque converter back out and put it back in in a different position). Here's a picture of the second stopping point (easliy confused for fully seated) :


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STOP #2
'second stop' pic below, still not fully seated.


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If you think the torque converter is fully seated (above photo) at the second stopping point, it's NOT! It needs to go another 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

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To get the torque converter to fully seat, I spin in the opposite direction that just did that got it to seat in the 2nd stopping point. Then, when fully seated, it will look like this: (notice how close the face of the TC bolt flange is compared to the engine mating face of the trans bell housing.)





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