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Old 10-15-2010, 03:12 PM   #1
ChosenWon
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Red Sox Nation w/ y2k4door
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2000 Audi S4
silver/rally dirt brown

Default 01 outback, 160k miles, AT tranny locked?!

Push the lockout button and the shifter moves back and forth freely as if attached to nothing. Won't start, has power.

Any input? Anything at all would be helpful.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:26 PM   #2
Tbird Man
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sounds like your shifter linkage is broken, It is likely in gear which won't allow the engine to start.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:49 PM   #3
Storm
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Yup, just picked up a 99 OBS with this very problem. The pivot on the end of the lever siezes up and stresses the threaded portion of the cable into failure.

Reach down and physically push the selector on the trans all the way to the rear. That would be park and the car should start. If there's a helper in the car, have them apply the brakes while you pull the selector to R then N and D......You can move the car wherever you need to go at this point (if they put the shifter in the corresponding position).

Jay Storm
about to find out what a new cable costs too....
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:39 PM   #4
ChosenWon
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Thanks Tbird.

Jay, thank you I really appreciate your insight. I will pass it on and update the thread when a solution is reached/verified.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:57 PM   #5
Storm
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No problem. I am learning to breathe deeply and count to ten when working with the 4EAT. It seems very little is actually interchangable like the manual trannies are......

I thought I could install a legacy shift lever with the cable and have it work. Visually, it all looked the same, but the throw of the lever was off, so it wouldn't engage gear for gear the way it should. Back to plan B (well....more like plan F by now).

Good luck,
Jay
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:25 PM   #6
littman84
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2001 Impreza OBS
BlU/GRY

Outback Sport I'm the guy with the 01 Imp. OBS...

You guys sure know what you're talking about!

I continued to try and diagnose the issue and decided to take things apart from the inside until I found the issue. Well, sure enough, the cable was completely disconnected, broken right at the contact with the nut. I pulled on it to simulate the presence of a "selector" and put it into PARK. Car starts! Put it into D and drove it home (not far). First things first: thank you very much.

Now the problem is it looks like I can't simply get under the car and replace it. It seems I have to remove the exhaust pipe, and some sort of cover, probably for protection, that my car has. Any more advice on this issue would be appreciated. I would like to do this myself and avoid mechanic fees. I'm going to order the cable through a Subaru dealer Monday and get it on Tuesday. Again, thank you guys.

Let me know if I should not attempt this (it doesn't seem too hard)
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:31 PM   #7
Storm
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It's not too hard. If you have spindly wrists, you can sneak your hands up into the area where the cable attaches to the trans (2x 14mm bolts) but you may have to remove the top one from up above. It won't come out all the way, so leave it in until the bracket is loose. Pull the pin retaining the cable to the selector on the trans itself, then remove the washer and the end of the cable. Make sure the rubber insert comes off too, or the new cable will never seat right.

On the shifter end of things, make a note of how much thread is sticking out from the nut so you have an idea of where to adjust the new cable to. Soak the threaded parts with penetrant and try to get them off. They may break, and that's okay. The housing anchor point should come off without too much drama. Once it's all off, use a punch and more penetrant to try and get the pivot to move free again.

This is the point where I'm at on my project. I got hit with a sidejob that took way too long this weekend, so I'll add more when I can. If you catch up, add to it!


Jay
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:18 PM   #8
littman84
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BlU/GRY

Exclamation AAAhhhhhh

Storm,

Where are you with your project?

Okay, so I got the genuine parts from a local Subaru dealer: Selector cable, a sleeve nut, and a bushing (the pivot thing). This is all great because it would be nice to replace the pivot thing. I've spent hours removing the cable. I don't have a lift or a jack or anything so I didn't have much space under the car. It was an epic struggle (my neighbor came out and was wondering why I was under the car screaming like a cow being slaughtered).

The cable is finally removed along with the two brackets, one is the trans bracket(which included a clamp), the other is the one connected to the selector assembly (with two 12mm bolts/nuts). The new cable came with a new selector assym. bracket, which I'd like to use because the original, as you might image, is rusted.

My current issue: I've removed one of the two 12mm bolts connecting the old cable assym. bracket to the shift lever assym., the other bolt is now completely STRIPPED!!! I can't loosen it. The wrench has no grip on it whatsoever. One option is to leave the old bracket in and just disconnect the cable by loosening the other big hex nut (which connects the cable to the bracket)...I hope I didn't lose you. I would like, however, to use the new bracket.

Please let me know what you think.
How can I remove a completely stripped nut?
How can I remove that pivot thing?
I have another question that I'll save for next time.

Thank you very much
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:37 AM   #9
Storm
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I've just gotten a chance to catch up with this thread. Life is very busy these days!

Do you have ramps that you can drive up onto? I need room to get my gut under the car and not slice myself to shreds on the heatshields that are conveniently right in the way.....but I digress.

For you, I would suggest leaving that old bracket on the shift lever and putting the new cable into it. Otherwise, there are stripped nut removers available at most any parts store or even Lowes, that do a good job of digging into the rounded nut and force them off. My fear is that the amount of force required to get it loose, may break the stud (or are they bolts?). If they're bolts, break em off and use the new stuff. If they're studs, I wouldn't mess with them!!!

For the pivot, it looks like it'll just drive out with a punch. Clean up the rusty part of the lever and tap the new one in. Grease it up so the corrosion stays away longer.

On my project, I learned that a Legacy cable is just not gonna work on the OBS. I tried making it work but it doesn't have enough travel to make it through all positions. I am now waiting for a new cable to come in.

Good luck,
Jay
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:06 AM   #10
littman84
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Arrow

Do you really need all positions?

I wish I had some ramps or a flashlight or any useful items; I had to borrow everything for this. Anyway, a buddy came over with some spiral sockets and the nut came off without much struggle (I've been showering it with WD-40). Everything is in place now, I just have to re-attach things to the car. I really hope it all works out, for you too.


Thanks for everything and I'll keep you posted...
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:54 PM   #11
Storm
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He he he....well, the one time I got the cable attached to both the shifter and the trans and was able to start the car, I learned that the lever was in P and the trans in N.....so R was really D and N was 3.....Couldn't remove the key and had no R..... I could make that work, but not my son....this is his first car, so I probably shouldn't leave it ghetto-rigged that badly! I did give some thought to making a plate and putting a T handle on the end of the cable, so he could just count the clicks from P and figure out the rest.....

Glad yours is working out good. If this new cable comes with everything your did, I'll likely replace the bracket as well. Keep us posted and I'll do the same.

Jay
Quote:
Originally Posted by littman84 View Post
Do you really need all positions?

I wish I had some ramps or a flashlight or any useful items; I had to borrow everything for this. Anyway, a buddy came over with some spiral sockets and the nut came off without much struggle (I've been showering it with WD-40). Everything is in place now, I just have to re-attach things to the car. I really hope it all works out, for you too.


Thanks for everything and I'll keep you posted...
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:10 AM   #12
littman84
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BlU/GRY

Thumbs up All Done!

I am happy to tell you that I got the job done I'm glad I took care of this and not a mechanic; I'm assuming it would've been expensive and they would've had to take out the exhaust and the weather shield. That would've caused many nuts and bolts to break and the cost would keep going up.

Overall, the only hard part of the job was not having the right tools. A flashlight is extremely useful here There was also some difficulty in reinstalling the bracket on the trans. side. It seemed to that I needed to attach the cable to the bracket first and then reinstall the bracket, so I did that. The issue was the cable made it hard to realign the bracket; perhaps I shouldn't have tightened the clamp after installing the bracket...

Anyway, everything works fine but the selector moves too smoothly and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:08 PM   #13
Storm
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Nice.....seems like we're on the same timeframe, my friend. I just put my sons new cable in last night and had the same issues. With the exhaust and heatshield in the way, it's a PITA to line up the forward bracket for the bolts. Got'r done though.....The car can find all it's gears now and still let me take the key out and stuff. I'm a happy camper, as well as my son. He's one step closer to being able to drive this biyatch!

Jay
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