Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmission?

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Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmission?

Postby Oro » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:27 pm

Besides the 2017 Outback I'm help for my friend, I have another ex-neighbor who needs some service on a 2006 Tribeca (3.0 boxer and 5eat transmission). She's getting divorced with four kids and now checking bags at the local Safeway because of the virus, so I volunteered to help out since I have time.

The car has high miles (220k) and is sluggish with shifting and a pronounced lag only when warm leaving a stop. Going over the car I found the PS fluid to likely be original and black with that nasty burnt smell many of us know too well. I swapped that out and think some plugs and a thorough transmission service is needed, and other bits here and there (diff fluid, clean MAF, check filters, etc). The car otherwise drove, looks, steers, rides remarkably nicely and has new Michelins on it, so should be reliable for her. Someone put slotted/drilled rotors on it in the past and metal pads; I'll also get them resurfaced and some ceramic pads before the rotors are trashed.

I pulled the cover off the engine but did not locate a dipstick for the tranny. I searched internet forums but did not find a step-by-step on fluid swap for the 5eat transmission. I can "wing it" and do it, but was wondering if anyone here had some quick "look here" or other advice before I get into this this weekend. I read it should have a dipstick and I am hoping it does; I want to pull out 2qts and put in some fresh and some chemtool B-12 to drive it a day or two before I swap the fluid; I've found the pre-treatment to do wonders for seal conditioning and improving line pressure on other neglected transmissions.
1998 Acura SLX. OME 929s and front crank, KYB tubes. Retro'd Aisin manual front hubs.
Home rebuilt 4L30E doing great. Aux cooler and temp gauge. Big thanks on the rebuild to Buster28, Jerry (jlemond), CalG, and others.
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby DSUZU » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:03 pm

All of my Subies have had the front diff dip stick located on the right (passenger) side of the front half of the tranny (right behind bell housing). The one had so much funk on the dip stick handle that I didn't know it was there. I don't have any experience with the 3.0 (6 cylinder), but have plenty with the older 4 cylinders (timing belt models). 200K on a Subie is next to nothing.
Support websites are NASIOC , I believe there are Outback specific sites, and Scoobytruck, which is more Baja specific. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby Oro » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:18 pm

Thanks Dennis, that helps - as always with you!

Saturday I plan to pump out 2qts from the top like I said, let her drive it two days with a little bit of clean + B12 in it. Then I will l jack it up and take off the wheels, take the rotors to be machined. While that's in progress I will pump out 8 or 10 more qts and put in some Idemitsu HP and Lubegard Red.

I read the Tribeca did not have a cooler in the rad like most others, but there's a hose loop between the normal input/output ports.I'll find the ouput port and then just run a line from there to a graduated container. I am curious to see how much it improves - I've seen amazing results on other cars.

Are plugs hard to do on boxers? Never tried before.
1998 Acura SLX. OME 929s and front crank, KYB tubes. Retro'd Aisin manual front hubs.
Home rebuilt 4L30E doing great. Aux cooler and temp gauge. Big thanks on the rebuild to Buster28, Jerry (jlemond), CalG, and others.
Factory(US dealer) side steps and roof/ski rack (Yakima).
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby Oro » Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:56 pm

Today I toyed with it a little more.

1)Did a third drain/fill on the PS fluid, that was STILL nasty.
2) Added some ATF to the engine for a few miles of cleaning before oil change. Will do a diesel/kero flush when I do that.
3) Pulled out 2qts of thin brown, easily foaming ATF via the dispstick and my handpump (dipstick on driver's side on this car, but right there pretty accessible). I added back in 2qts of cehvron MDIII and about 5 ozs of Chemtool B-12.

After a few days of short trips, I'll pump out and swap in 8/9 qts of proper Idemitsu HP (Got it at Napa on sale! Their 20% off "bucket" sale is going on now). I used the Dex III since I'm going to take most of it out in two or three days, and it was free vs $8/qt for the Idemitsu. ;)

From adding Techron a week ago in the fuel, and just swapping 2qts of ATF, it was driving MUCH better already. We'll see how it is after another bottle, fuller ATF swap + Lubegard. I didn't check the plugs or MAF today but will soon. I am impressed with how nicely this is still together after 220k miles and 14 years. I am used to working on Lexus and Toyota of that vintage, newer GM, some other things. I am actually curious to get it on jack stands and go look at the suspension and test joints, bearings, etc. as it feels nice. I want to see if they are original or someone did some work before she got it.

My prior Subaru experience was exclusively with pre-2000 models and I was never overly impressed. They made some big leaps between the late 90s and mid-2000s. it does seem to be burning some oil, but hey, it can't be burning as much as my Trooper!
1998 Acura SLX. OME 929s and front crank, KYB tubes. Retro'd Aisin manual front hubs.
Home rebuilt 4L30E doing great. Aux cooler and temp gauge. Big thanks on the rebuild to Buster28, Jerry (jlemond), CalG, and others.
Factory(US dealer) side steps and roof/ski rack (Yakima).
Oro
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby Oro » Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:30 pm

Well I spent several hours with it yesterday.

1) It runs fantastic now - I had no idea how far "off" it really was.
2) This is a very well built car; I hadn't realized Subaru had upped their quality this much by 2006.

I pumped 8 qts of ATF out via the cooler return line (very easy to connect to inside the DS wheel well). I used a sophisticated graduated laundry container from Costco to make it very precise. ;) Refilled with Idemitsu HP and a bottle of Lubegard red.

I did this while the rotors were being turned, and also checked diff fluid and changed engine oil. I did a 20 minute flush with a quart of diesel, put on a Napa Platinum filter and used Napa 10w-30 Full Synthetic, 5 ounces of Lubegard Biotech/"Blue."

Once the rotors were on I went out to bed the pads in and I was stunned - the car was lively, the transmission adapted perfectly to agressive acceleration (holding the shift point up to ~200rpm below the redline), and the engine was lively. A whole new car. The engine was a little uneven at idle before and now it hums perfectly, quietly.

I did find that the big bushings in the lower control arms was partially torn on each side. :( Looks like I will have to do that for her soon. I also didn't pull a plug to see what was up; I'll do that soon, too.

The oil filter was dripping a little (factory one - who knows how long it was on there). I strangely didn't have any oil filter wrenches with me, so I used my emergency Craftsman one. ;)
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1998 Acura SLX. OME 929s and front crank, KYB tubes. Retro'd Aisin manual front hubs.
Home rebuilt 4L30E doing great. Aux cooler and temp gauge. Big thanks on the rebuild to Buster28, Jerry (jlemond), CalG, and others.
Factory(US dealer) side steps and roof/ski rack (Yakima).
Oro
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby RickP » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:48 pm

I don't know if I would touch a transmission that hasn't been serviced in 220k miles. Usually bad things happen. I hope it works well in your case.
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby Oro » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:55 pm

RickP wrote:I don't know if I would touch a transmission that hasn't been serviced in 220k miles. Usually bad things happen. I hope it works well in your case.


There's a lot of bad information out there along those lines and sadly it's often followed.

Letting a still good transmission just die instead of servicing it is often done, but it doesn't have to go that route. I've revivied quite a few with a simple but "tactical" service like this. I have a friend with a Lexus with an Aisin U151e transmission - never touched and getting weak at 220k. Six years later and it's running like new at 325k.

If the transmission is actually working - even if shifting poorly, you can service it and get it in shape. Do NOT believe those "it's held together by the dirt - don't flush it" internet myths. ;)
1998 Acura SLX. OME 929s and front crank, KYB tubes. Retro'd Aisin manual front hubs.
Home rebuilt 4L30E doing great. Aux cooler and temp gauge. Big thanks on the rebuild to Buster28, Jerry (jlemond), CalG, and others.
Factory(US dealer) side steps and roof/ski rack (Yakima).
Oro
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby Enemigo » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:35 am

I always heard that as well, to the point that I took my Amigo in once and they changed the transmission fluid and I was mad. They didn't understand why. Is that something you would trust the average shop to do, or would you prefer more of a specialist transmission shop? Heck, now that you've rebuilt an auto trans, you probably wouldn't even go to a shop.
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby RickP » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:00 pm

Years ago, I had an 84 Ford Van that I bought used and it shifted great. It was 10 years old and had less than 200k on it. I decided to change all of the fluids, including the transmission. Well, trans started slipping right away and I had to send it to the junkyard since it wasn't worth putting a rebuilt transmission in it
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby Oro » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:04 pm

Is that something you would trust the average shop to do, or would you prefer more of a specialist transmission shop? Heck, now that you've rebuilt an auto trans, you probably wouldn't even go to a shop.


Exactly. Now that I know what I know after a lot of study, I'd be terrified of transmission shops as most of them know much, much less than I and many other people on this forum. Too many friends have had transmissions rebuilt that fail, service that ends badly. Competent mechanics I know, myself, my dad (talented machinist/mechanic with many decades of experience) - never had these issues.

Like Rick P's story above, who knows what they did? Did they even use the right fluid? Some shops fill every vehicle from one 55 gallon drum, type be d*&ned.
1998 Acura SLX. OME 929s and front crank, KYB tubes. Retro'd Aisin manual front hubs.
Home rebuilt 4L30E doing great. Aux cooler and temp gauge. Big thanks on the rebuild to Buster28, Jerry (jlemond), CalG, and others.
Factory(US dealer) side steps and roof/ski rack (Yakima).
Oro
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby RickP » Fri May 01, 2020 7:16 pm

Oro wrote:
Like Rick P's story above, who knows what they did? Did they even use the right fluid? Some shops fill every vehicle from one 55 gallon drum, type be d*&ned.


I did it myself like I do with all of my vehicles. It was 25 years ago so I don't remember the exact fluid I used, but it would be the one recommended by Ford.
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Re: Anyone here have a Subaru boxer and 5eat auto transmissi

Postby DSUZU » Sat May 02, 2020 8:12 am

On the 06 Forester we had, I bought it with around 190 thousand miles. Suspected bad head gasket (correct) and "it needs a C-V shaft". The car was real clean, and i got it for 1100.00 so...
It had a strange popping when cornering. Especially when backing out of the driveway. I checked all the shafts and one felt like it had a little play, so I replaced it. Still popped. Did a little research and found out about the "coupler" mechanism between the FWD and the RWD. One type is used on autos, and a different type is used on manuals. On the autos, the coupler works just like an auto trans clutch pack or like a motorcycle clutch. There is even a fuse under the hood you can remove and it disconnects the FWD from the RWD. Pulling the fuse solved the problem - temporarily.
I bought a tranny tail shaft gasket, a spin on tranny filter, TRIED to get a pan gasket - but NOBODY makes one for this model, so I got the expensive red RTV, and I don't remember how many quarts of Valvoline ATF (really good stuff - use it in all my auto Subiies now). I had already gone to a boneyard and pulled the pack from the newest Subie I could find. Puled everything down and followed the internet directions for cleaning the inter axle solenoid. When I pulled the clutch pack, everything was fine. Cleaned everything, put it back together, AND added a small bottle of FORD FRICTION MODIFIER - just like SUBARU recommends. Worked flawlessly (up until the wreck that totalled the car. Oh, I did have the heads redone at Clearwater Cylinder Head - the same ones that make 2.3 and 2.6 heads. Said all of that to add to the "there's no problem with servicing a high mileage auto tranny". Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

https://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060
City of St Petersburg (Fl) Fleet Maintenance 8/23/83 - 12/4/2018 (Retired). Started new job 6/4/2019. Was retired, now just tired.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

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Forget the "free education". Why waste time. Just give me the "FREE INCOME".
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