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2000 Lancaster 2.5L
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I'm going to be changing the transmission fluid pan gasket on my 2000 2.5L outback, automatic. Also going to be changing the internal filter and external one too whilst I'm down there. The gasket has started to leak and the gear change become a bit jerky.

I've read the sticky info about atf change but was wondering if anyone can offer further advice about what to expect when the pan is off, how easy the internal filter change is, wether a genuine subaru spin on filter is absolutely necessary, if its definately a gasket rather than sealant or any other tips so I don't mess it up.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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514 Posts
I used a Wix spin-on filter, made for the transmission, it says AT on it. Also, the rubber filter seal is an O-ring as opposed to a square-cut style seal ring.

I did not remove my pan when I changed the fluid, but from what I read, I believe there is just a quality sealant instead of an actual gasket, I could be wrong on that.

On my '05, the automatic transmission filter is not on the transmission itself but is on the cooling lines running to and from the front, putting the filter base inside the left fender, just barely visible adjacent to the battery. The battery has to be removed to gain access to that filter.

I believe on the older models, the filter is on the side of the transmission. I think they moved it as it seems some people were accidentally removing the AT filter when they went to do a regular engine oil change! Suddenly they find themselves dealing with red transmission fluid as opposed to engine oil!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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the spin on is 'supposedly' a lifetime deal.

HOWEVER, if I ever dropped the pan, I would def. install a new filter. Supposedly Subaru designed it in to catch particles from immediately after assembly. I didn't know wix had one for the trans, but from other posts I learned the OEM one is definitely built differently than an oil filter and , in the past, folks were encouraged to get one from a dealer.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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The guy at the local automotive store said that he could sell me an oil filter (for less than $10), but he said "I prefer to sell you the transmission filter" which was about $18. It does say AT stamped in white on the end and as I said, instead of a square gasket there is an O-ring. Also, the filter was factory-sealed in plastic within the box, I suppose so you know no one tampered with it. I have some really expensive DOW Corning 111 Valve Lubricant & Sealant Silicone Grease (made for water softener, plug valves, vacuum & pressure systems, rubber & plastic O-rings, gaskets and seals), I ended up using that on the O-ring, wiping it on the entire O-ring like I would if I were lubricating any other O-ring.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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the internal "filters" are not actually filters, they are just mesh screens and there is no point in replacing them. if the screen was clogged at all that would mean you have a transmission that's junk so replacing the filter would be pointless anyway. but as is the case those screens ("filters") are never clogged, they're always perfectly clean even at 200,000 miles. as one mentioned, they basically just make sure nothing big gets sucked into the trans, kind of like your window screens in your home - they exist to keep bugs out - so they are a filter to an extent, but not the kind that ever need replaced.

but if you're already in there for some other reason you could entertain the idea. the value you get in replacing them is that you get to install a new oring where it slides into the trans.
 

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2014 OBW 3.6R Limited, 1997 OBW 2.5L Auto (sold, but not forgotten), and 1991 Ford F150
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1,525 Posts
if its definately a gasket rather than sealant or any other tips so I don't mess it up.
From the factory, expect sealant around the pan ... kind of a PITA to clean off. For those last little bits of sealant that want to be stubborn, I used a very fine steel wool with denatured alcohol and that worked well.

I feel for a first-timer that re-installing with a gasket is easier and safer. On mine, I put a very thin layer of RTV (Permatex Ultra-Grey) as a dressing on both sides of the gasket ... no leaks!

Be very careful tightening the pan bolts as they will snap off if overtightened. Unfortunately, I know this for a fact. LOL. On my 97, the torque spec for the pan bolts is only 3.6 ft-lbs ... practically nothing. The breaking point is low, probably around 10-12 ft-lbs.
 

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I used a Wix spin-on filter, made for the transmission, it says AT on it. Also, the rubber filter seal is an O-ring as opposed to a square-cut style seal ring.
Perhaps WIX has come out with a filter that matches the genuine Subaru one, but that would be news to me.

I've looked inside a number of aftermarket filters that were listed as AT filters for use with Subaru transmissions, but none were designed with the same physical characteristics. The most telling difference is the appearance of a bypass valve in the aftermarket units, whereas the Subaru filter has a tubular mesh screen.

For a look inside the genuine Subaru item, see http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...762-subaru-transmission-filter-different.html

I believe on the older models, the filter is on the side of the transmission. I think they moved it as it seems some people were accidentally removing the AT filter when they went to do a regular engine oil change! Suddenly they find themselves dealing with red transmission fluid as opposed to engine oil!
As far as I know, it was on the side of the 4EAT from about 1999 (introduction of the 4EAT Phase II) and MY2008 (during which it was phased out).

I have a 2007, and it has the filter on the side, so it's not just "older models". I remain puzzled by the location on your 2005, 2.5 with 4-speed AT. My service manuals for that one show it on the side of the transmission, whereas the 5-speed transmission has it in the left front fender.
 

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2000 Lancaster 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys, will try to get a genuine transmission filter then,

From the factory, expect sealant around the pan ...
There is definitely a gasket there, I can see it protruding from next to the bolts. Should I assume that its been taken off previously?

Be very careful tightening the pan bolts as they will snap off if overtightened.
That has me worried, I don't have a torque wrench! I'm thinking a mechanic might be the best bet!
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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4-Speed......

I have the original side window new-car paper here, showing what we purchased new in 2005.

Under Optional Equipment (on the right half of the page), the first item is:
"4-Speed Auto Transmission W/SPORTSHIFT $1,000
(whatever that means)

Does that mean my trans is a 4EAT?
 

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I have the original side window new-car paper here, showing what we purchased new in 2005.

Under Optional Equipment (on the right half of the page), the first item is:
"4-Speed Auto Transmission W/SPORTSHIFT $1,000
(whatever that means)

Does that mean my trans is a 4EAT?
I would think so -- I doubt the sheet would be wrong. I'll have to stand corrected on this. There must have been 4 cylinder non-turbo Outbacks with 4-speed automatics with the filter in the fender in 2005.

I wonder what the left side of your transmission looks like. http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...86-2009-2-5-ob-auto-trans-oil.html#post379666 has pics of the transmission with and without the filter. This post deals with the transition.
 
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