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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I'm a new guy to this site, and new to working on Subaru so bare with me for a bit. My girlfriend bought a 2001 Outback wagon 2.5 about 9 months or so ago. It has developed a transmission leak, which in turn it is leaking onto the exhaust causing lots of smoke and smell. I've gotten under there to check it out and it looks as though the tranny pan gasket is the culprit. So I went to NAPA to get a gasket for it and the guy there told me that originally they don't come with a gasket. Seems odd? But anyways, I got one that looks to be the shape of the pan. It is rubber. It looks like now all the pan has for a seal is RTV silicone. I plan to drain the fluid, pull the pan, put the new gasket on there, replace the filter and put fresh fluid in there. Is it that simple? Or can I expect a road block or problem if I take the pan off? Do I need to apply any RTV silicone when putting it back on? Lastly, what is the torque specs for those tranny pan bolts? Thanks everyone for your patience and knowledge and tips!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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stop - first try going to a car wash and thoroughly cleaning all under/around the tranny.

the leak could be from a sensor with a bad o-ring.

also, make sure it hasn't been overfilled - check while idling.

Check the front diff too. It's stick is on the other side.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hmmm never thought of a sensor. What and where would this sensor be? An O-ring seems more likely to blow out than the pan gasket. I've only been under the car once so its very unfamiliar to me. It wasn't overfilled, as when I checked it today, it barely registered on the dipstick while warm and idling. I put more in, drove around to get it warm it up more and then checked it while idling in neutral. It's up to the safe zone now. I checked the front diff fluid and it's fine.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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that's from opposedforces.com ,you might dig around and locate the lines from/to the tranny cooler in the radiator as possible leak sources too.
 

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02 Outback H4 auto..."Ruby"
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Dont waste time or money replacing screw on filter, they are $20 at parts store and $50 at dealer , they only need to be replaced in the event of an internal failure in the trans. Also, only use the HP trans fluid from Subaru, its available at the dealer or online.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well heres the kicker. everything that i can see above the pan appears to be dry. The wetness doesn't really appear until the pan gasket and below, maybe a hair above that line. So thats why I am really pushing to do the pan gasket, it was cheap too. The filter if you say doesn't need changed, then I won't. I just want to get it fixed because it's leaking really good and causing it too smoke like a pack of Camels on the exhaust. Yesterday before I filled and checked it, it was almost dry. There was some slippage occurring too when driving, but after I filled it, it drove like a champ.
 

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2001 H6 OBW LL Bean
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I dropped a tranny pan on a bronco and about 12 qts of type f came out! be prepared to catch it all
 

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well heres the kicker. everything that i can see above the pan appears to be dry. The wetness doesn't really appear until the pan gasket and below, maybe a hair above that line. So thats why I am really pushing to do the pan gasket, it was cheap too. The filter if you say doesn't need changed, then I won't. I just want to get it fixed because it's leaking really good and causing it too smoke like a pack of Camels on the exhaust. Yesterday before I filled and checked it, it was almost dry. There was some slippage occurring too when driving, but after I filled it, it drove like a champ.
When you drop the pan, get a pic of the inside of the pan and post it. Debris inside the pan gives you a good idea of wear. The pan seal is actually what Subaru calls "Fuji Bond". It is a bit different from RTV. You can use Permatex Ultra Grey for Japanese cars. I use it where ever there is liquid sealant and no gasket. Nissan and Subaru both use it a lot because it last longer and cuts production cost of gaskets. If the bond is on the pan presently, be prepared to cut through it, don't pry on the pan.

As far as the filter. Change it. The transmission fluid tends to congeal with moisture and fatigue and over time can effect flow through the filter and the transmission. Not changing a trans filter is like not changing your oil filter.

.
 

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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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I dropped a tranny pan on a bronco and about 12 qts of type f came out! be prepared to catch it all
Yeah, well, a lot of the old ford trucks don't have drain plugs in the trans pan like our Subies do. Unlike the Subies, my 91 F150 with E4OD trans does have a drain plug in the torque converter, though. Go figure. But dropping a trans pan still full of fluid is an interesting job.

I've dropped the pan and changed the ATF on both the OBW and the F150 ... the OBW is a much easier and cleaner job.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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when I dropped pans LONG ago that didn't have drain plugs, I 'tried' to limit the mess by leaving a couple of bolts at opposite corners screwed in about 3 threads so I could tilt the pan and try to encourage the fluid out one corner. still a mess though.
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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Dont waste time or money replacing screw on filter, they are $20 at parts store and $50 at dealer , they only need to be replaced in the event of an internal failure in the trans. Also, only use the HP trans fluid from Subaru, its available at the dealer or online.
This mentality will eventually lead to transmission failure. :headshake

Be glad Subarus have user replaceable transmission filters, and a HUGE bonus for the screw-on type! My Saturn Vue with the Honda 3.5L V6 & 5-speed auto does NOT have a serviceable filter of any type for the trans. Why Honda would do that is anyone's guess.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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This mentality will eventually lead to transmission failure. :headshake

Be glad Subarus have user replaceable transmission filters, and a HUGE bonus for the screw-on type! My Saturn Vue with the Honda 3.5L V6 & 5-speed auto does NOT have a serviceable filter of any type for the trans. Why Honda would do that is anyone's guess.
There is no mention of the spin-on filter being serviced in the maintenance schedule. I personally would definitely change it if I ever had the pan off - but, it isn't intended as a regularly serviced item. I might consider changing it at 150-200K miles, or if it was rusted, or I had some weird issue with the fluid getting excessively dirty or thick as mentioned, etc. But it's not a critical item for a well maintained car.

And many aftermarket filters might physically fit, but internally, it is quite different from an engine oil filter. There 'may' be a true replacement for it from Wix now, but if you change it, make sure you get true OEM style construction.
 

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There is no mention of the spin-on filter being serviced in the maintenance schedule. I personally would definitely change it if I ever had the pan off - but, it isn't intended as a regularly serviced item. I might consider changing it at 150-200K miles, or if it was rusted, or I had some weird issue with the fluid getting excessively dirty or thick as mentioned, etc. But it's not a critical item for a well maintained car.

And many aftermarket filters might physically fit, but internally, it is quite different from an engine oil filter. There 'may' be a true replacement for it from Wix now, but if you change it, make sure you get true OEM style construction.
There is. Subaru doesn't consider it normal maintenance, but there is a screw-on filter in a front wheel well. The dealer does have them. If they try to talk you out of it, insist on it. After all, it's YOUR car, not theirs. The filter is there for a reason. Change it. :29:

 

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Discussion Starter #14
ok back to a new filter! its not expensive so why not. So without picking up a haynes manual, since I'm not doing other work on it for now, what are the torque specs for those pan bolts? The drain plug is darn near at the bottom of the pan so whatever comes out of the plug will be what all comes out. Just need torque specs please! thanks everyone who has posted their advice!
 

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Pan bolt torque specs: 3.6 +/- .4 ft-lbs ... yes, that's all ... and the bolts will snap if you over-tighten by very much. If you don't have an inch-lb torque wrench and don't want to buy one, the bolt heads are both hex and slotted for a phillips-head screwdriver ... you should be able to get them tight enough screwing them in with a hand-held driver without worrying about breaking them off as you would with a wrench.

Trans pan drain plug torque spec: 18.1 +/- 1.4 ft lbs.
 

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Yeah I found out what over-tightening those bolts does....but i only snapped two I believe so it holds. I would used the same gasket they use at Subaru it works nicely. When I dropped the pan more fluid than I expected came out, when I filled the transmission it took about 6.5-7 quarts.
 
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