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Old 11-29-2009, 10:10 PM   #1
Pursuit
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: San Antonio TX
Default Longterm reports on BajaT's with 4eat?

Hey Baja people, sold my BajaT MT a few years ago and am thinking of picking up a used (05) BajaT but this one with the AT to serve my older, lazier years.

So I'm wondering how people's BajaT's with the AT are holding up, any issues etc. I had a FXT with the AT that had a weird 2nd -> 3rd clang and a false neutral sometimes going 3rd -> 2nd that I've heard is a common issue but that's about the extent of it.

Any personal insights or stories?
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:38 PM   #2
moonzie
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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2004 Baja Turbo
Red/Silver

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I can say from personal experience, my `04 4EAT sportshifter has those issues. If anyone here remembers Wrenchwoman she had the same issue on her `04 4eat turbo and ended up selling hers because of that issue. I've just learned to deal with it.

From what I've learned it seems it only occurs in some (perhaps earlier) versions of the 2004 Baja turbo and Forester turbo. I've also been told by a subaru tech that 2004 was a year that they switched to a revised transmission that relied more heavily solenoids rather than the valve body on the Forester and Baja turbos.

I know I found a place on the web a year or two ago where somebody documented a specific TCU update code that if you very nicely asked/begged the dealer to flash your TCU it would fix it for the Baja. If you can convince them - the update I think was specific to the Forester only. But alas! I have lost that link and have never found it back despite extensive re-searching.


I don't think I've heard of anyone with an `05 auto turbo having this issue.

I'd definitly go with an `05 or an `06.
Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:14 PM   #3
casteater
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I have an '05 turbo with 4EAT and i love, i do hear a lot of people complaining aboutthe 4EAT being slow and undecisive, but i do not feel that way. the 4EAT is by far one of the best transmissions i have driven, i also have a slightly modded engine and it takes the extra horsepower just fine. compared to a '09 jetta auto tranny and an '07 350z tranny, the 4EAT is a much better transmission, in almost every way. that is just my opinion though
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:27 PM   #4
moonzie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casteater View Post
I have an '05 turbo with 4EAT and i love, i do hear a lot of people complaining aboutthe 4EAT being slow and undecisive, but i do not feel that way. the 4EAT is by far one of the best transmissions i have driven, i also have a slightly modded engine and it takes the extra horsepower just fine. compared to a '09 jetta auto tranny and an '07 350z tranny, the 4EAT is a much better transmission, in almost every way. that is just my opinion though
Aside from the issues specific to my tranny I think the 4EAT is kinda dumb. For isntance if I'm going up a moderate hill sometimes instead of unlocking the torque converter, it will directly downshift to 3rd gear when it's completely unnecessary to do so - the accelerator isn't asking for that much more power to necesisitate a downshift. So then I go into sport mode and force it back into 4th. I crest the hill and start going downhill. I let off the accelerator and switch back into normal mode - instead of re-evaluating op conditions - no, the thing downshifts! Stupid tranny.

Some say it's slow to downshift when passing. Bah.. not my issue. I go to pass I throw it into sport mode. If I really want to go, kick it down to 3rd.

All annoyances aside, the our turbo'd 4eats with VTD 55/65 split are top-notch AWD transmissions. Too bad for all y`all NA guys - you're stuck with the older Active AWD.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:05 PM   #5
speedymatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonzie View Post
Too bad for all y`all NA guys - you're stuck with the older Active AWD.
AWD is AWD Active or vtd doesn't really matter when you need it, they both work when things get slick.

but yeah i guess it is too bad i'm stuck with a transmission that i dont have to pop in and out of sport mode to do what i want it to do.

check your math.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:18 PM   #6
Buck Rogers
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Brilliant Silver

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^ I second that, MT over "slap-a-matic" any day
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:07 PM   #7
moonzie
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It was a hard choice between the auto and manual! And although while I enjoy the convenience of the auto, there's a part of me that almost wishes I would have gone with the manual. If I had to choose again, I'd probably still have a hard time deciding. Meanwhile, my GF's `93 Legacy is a 5 speed awd and we swap just for fun sometimes. I miss the 5 speed, she likes the turbo kick.

VTD pre-empts the slippage whereas the Active reacts to it. The difference is Active's 90/10 F/R split vs. VTDs 45/55. Manuals use the Viscous coupler for a contiuous 50/50 split.

And what's wrong with my math??
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:15 PM   #8
speedymatt
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Silver/Silver/& uh Silver

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55/65 split.......55+65= 120%
VTD's have a 45/55 split
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
moonzie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedymatt View Post
55/65 split.......55+65= 120%
VTD's have a 45/55 split
Oh dear god. I knew there was a reason why I had to take calculus twice!
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:54 PM   #10
bulwnkl
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(Black Turbo Baja)

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I have an '05 turbo with 107,000+ on it. I bought it used with something in the 70k range on it. It had clearly NEVER had a transmission service done, and in fact nothing about the whole truck's condition indicated decent maintenance ever before.

Mine is great! I did run an Auto-RX treatment in the engine, A/T, and even power steering (that last just because the fluid was nasty and I had some left in a bottle). Before that, there appeared to be a leak in the seal the separates the front diff from the A/T. Afterwards, there's been no hint of any fluid leakage nor mixing.

In any event, I have no tranny-related issues, and I've used this trucklet to tow tall and heavy stuff at high speed up and down the freeway, into and over the mountains, and wherever. I'll take the VTD A/T any day over Subaru's other current transmission alternatives (including the M/T). It'll also take more power than the M/Ts.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:18 AM   #11
su-be3
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Location: Waterford, NY
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2004 BAJA Turbo
Frost Pearl White

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I have had no problems with my tranny, but, it only has 56,000 on it!
Except for the shift solenoid noise, it has been very dependable, and as I don't abuse the tranny, I really see no problems in the future.
Overall, MY BAJA has been a very solid vehicle, and unless something unforseen happens, I plan on keeping it for another 4 or 5 years, at least!
Keep it under 90, folks!
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