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Discussion Starter #1
I've sat on the fence for over a year now with the transmission shudder. Really gets bad during warm weather. Even though my 2008 Tribeca is showing her age, I'm not ready to purchase a new vehicle and want to get a few more years out of her. Dealership (in Canada) wanted $1200 Cad for a new torque converter. Various online subaru parts providers had it for around $520 - $550 US...still expensive in my books. Ended up ordering from the U.S. a re-manufactured torque converter for $300 (all in with $75 back if I ever return the old core). Might take a while to arrive.which will give me time to plan.

Picking up a transmission jack, reviewing the manual, and getting ready to tackle a job bigger than I've done before. (my preference is to drop the tranny instead of pulling the engine...I think that will be an easier route for someone of my limited skills. Of course nervous about a few items (rusted bolts, rusted exhaust parts, bad flanges, wish I could just buy all new exhaust components, but there is a reason I'm trying to save money. Also with the whole Covid situation, might not be able to get a second pair of hands to work with.

So yes, there is a risk if I screw up, I have a stranded vehicle on my one car driveway. There is also the danger that it's not the torque converter......it's the whole transmission...which I'll only find out after the fact....but c'est la vie.

I plan on taking my time, doing this safely, and having plenty of back up new bolts purchased in advance. Will be PB blasting like mad the day before. Already have a decent wrench, torque, ratchet collection....might need to go and buy a few more extension bits. The real tricky parts I"m worried about:
  1. reseating the TC...seen they can tricky and take multiple tries to get reseated back
  2. That little spring clip which can be tricky and easily damaged (might have 3 as back up)
  3. re-aligning the transmission back with the engine (never done that on my own)
  4. dealing with a negative nelly of a wife (who always brings up the time I tried fixing the washing machine on my own :)
  5. did I mention rusted, broken bolts....
So, I'm hoping this turn out. Still researching and planning on having this all meticulously thought out before proceeding.So having said that, any advice you can provide would be helpful.

Thank you in advance.
 

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Good luck! It's totally worth doing it yourself. But make sure that you take your time. Might try to just pull transmission back far enough to be able to get to the TC rather than drop the whole transmission. I haven't done that myself, but it is common when replacing a clutch on the Legacy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ha...have not started yet.
It's been a busy schedule and I'm hesitant to potentially "lose" the truck for a couple of days if I run into technical issues (which I most likely will).
I don't exactly have alot of support from the family who (rightly so) fear my lack of experience. I need to buy some bigger jacks (currently have two 3T and two 2T) and get a transmission jack (or adapter). I also need to order replacement bolts for the transmission.

Most likely putting up with the torque shudder until school starts for the son, and then start the project on an early Thursday morning (work through a weekend and ensure I have access to a dealership for any necessary replacement parts.
 

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Harbor freight has a pretty reasonable transmission jack that I am considering when I need to change my legacy GT's clutch.

I understand, it's a big job for a pretty minor issue that you can keep driving with. Personally I would probably never do it given the effort (large) and the payoff (minor).

The biggest issue people have is when reseating the transmission, then don't get the spine in right and push it in to the transmission and break the pump in the transmission. There are a few threads over on legacygt.com about this I believe. Usually happens because people are replacing engine, since the TC issue is pretty rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I bought a transmission jack adapter

I consider you lucky Tdelker, because if I wasn't responding to you, I would never have seen the adapter went recently on sale (and I will get some money back).

Believe me when I say I struggle to start this project. In researching this, I'm definitely aware of the troubles that others have experienced in terms of realigning the transmission. My other big worry is dealing with all the rusted bolts from the exhaust parts (all still original), and other potential bolts (transmission, torque converter, exhaust manifold), in which penetrating oil won't be enough to do the job. I've bought split flanges, a new midpipe, resonator, exhaust gaskets, so in some cases, removing exhaust is easier when you're just trashing part of it, but I am worried about damaging the front part of the exhuast.

My other issue is that I have a small single car driveway...garage is too small to do this project. If I had a bigger property to start and work this out, I would not be so hesitant. My neighbours might get to watch a fail video in the making.

Oh well...might be gunning for this starting this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Operation Torque Converter has begun!
Day 1....removed exhaust, removed drive shaft, removed starter.
Stuck on alot of the electronic connectors....don't want to pull wires in the wrong way. Still alot to go and no going back now. Wish me luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Few things I learned...the damn starter was much more tricky for me to take off due to position and small size of nuts.
For the life of me could not figure out why the drive shaft would not spin for me to access the top bolt....then realized I had the back wheels on ramps (as my secondary precaution for safety in addition to my 6 ton jacks)

Question.....how much fluid will come out of any of the cooler lines? Should I count on coolant, engine oil, front differential oil to come out and need full refills?

Is there anything to be careful of with the front differential and pulling out the cv when the transmission drops?

My other issue is that the truck has alot of rusted exhaust parts. Will be dealing with those after the transmission is back up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now it's raining. Yay fun.

So question is now I have the engine dust cover off and need to take off the torque converter from the drive plate.
2 questions.....are the torque converter bolts to the engine facing top down?
Crank turning the engine to get each of the torque converter bolts....Any guides on doing this? Please tell me I don't have to remove the radiator to get access?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All right...you can see my regret kicking in as I'm getting my ass kicked.
I'm trying to figure out when the tranny drops, do the drive shafts going out to the front tires need to be removed? There is no mention of this in the guide, but I can't see how it can happen without this taking place. Any guidance would be certainly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
More from the blog of hilarity.
Whenever undertaking these projects....make sure:
1) you have a backup plan for transportion if you need it
2) you have plenty of beer for the friends and family you will be begging to help you
3) try to avoid rainy days if possible (no luck here).
4) don't count on manuals to give you all the details

Finally got the torque converter bolts out. Was a long process to get there for a noob like me.
Tomorrow will get to the transmission bolts...see if I need that Subaru special tool to hold the TC in place...need to get more coolant. Discovered a weeping coolant hose normally hidden by the front exhast.

Still trying to figure out whether the front wheels need to come out.....(or if the front drive shafts come out on their own once the transmission gets lowered.

Took the shifter off (with the car in park)....and then realized to crank the engine, need to put in neutral....my friend accidently moved the shifter lever (not sure what's its called).....need to figure out way to determine correct positon.

tomorrow is another day to make progress or make it worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So yes, the front drive shaft needs to comes out, which means removing the ball joints, front stabilizer, me screwing up alignment, draining rear differential.....I want to laugh and cry at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Sun is shining at least!
Think of these posts as a running state of my mind.
At the end of the end, making progress, and it doesn't seem too hard to remove ball joints (probably one of the few easier things to do on a subaru). I will definitely be getting the stink eye from my wife as she will come home from work after and find more car parts off the car instead of back on.
 

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Yes, axles need to come out. I also do the ball joint, although many in the rust belt prefer to remove the strut after marking the alignment bolt. I agree, that also works. I always find removing the endlinks the hardest part of that job.

Good luck! It's a big undertaking!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #18
tdelker, I might be bugging you more if you have the time to respond.
Was just at local Subaru and they don't rent out any special tools. How critical is it to have:

1) Torque Converter Stopper Set (assume to hold converter in place
2) Engine Support Bracket and Engine Support Tool
3) Differential Side Oil Seal Installer

Was also when just at Subaru and they let me speak to mechanic for five minutes, he also mentioned axles need to come out, but no need to replace ball joints. He warned me it might be tricky for either the pulling out or pushing back in the drive shaft into the differential....the instructions here are vague on this subject....any advice on this?

Thank you in advance
 

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I don't think you need any of those special tools, but I could be wrong. I haven't done the job myself, but those are all pretty normal things to deal with.

Agreed, no need to replace ball joints for sure. If you can't pry them off after loosening the pinch bolt, switch to the strut bolts. Don't try silly things like prying the pinch apart - you will just break it. I just use a large crowbar to push the lower control arm down.

It's easy to get drive shaft in or out. Out: Pry between the axle and the transmission but be careful about the seals. You might need to replace them if you damage the seal (Service manual says to just replace the seal, but if you don't pull the small spring out that keeps it sealed it doesn't need to be replaced. I'm about 50/50 for getting it out without having to replace the seal. Pushing back in, just give it a firm shove. This all will seem easy compared to the rest of what you are doing...

Good luck!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Today not a great day. Sheared off a bolt that sits below the ball joint and the pickle fork and ball joint separator I got were too small.
C'est la vie.
 
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