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Old 01-26-2014, 12:53 PM   #1
maw230
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Default Torque binding..

Well I've read a thousand threads on this so far, but still want to know what has worked best for everyone in regard to fixing torque binding. My situation:
2005 impreza wagon 2.5L 4EAT (i guess, its an auto)
The car shudders when turning tightly at low speeds and sometimes when taking off or braking.
Putting the 10 amp fuse in the FWD slot eliminated the problem.
First steps were to add front and rear diff fluid, but that didnt help. The fluid in the diffs was very clean.

Most people say it's the duty C solenoid since it goes away when we put the fuse in.
Many other people claim that changing the tranny fluid multiple times has helped them.
Some say driving around in a figure 8 worked for them.

My thought is to first try draining and changing the tranny fluid. This was done a little more than a year ago and the fluid is clean, but im willing to try anything.

Does that seem like a reasonable first step? Should I add any of the Ford Friction Modifier to the tranny fluid? I read that may help as well.

If it is the solenoid, would it be extremely difficult to replace without the use of a lift? I have ramps and jacks stands only.

Thanks for ANY help!
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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You should try a fluid change first. It can't hurt, except the time and money. Although I have found at best it's a temporary fix.

Most likely it is the Duty-C solenoid.

Look here for replacement info:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2501432
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikelok View Post
You should try a fluid change first. It can't hurt, except the time and money. Although I have found at best it's a temporary fix.

Most likely it is the Duty-C solenoid.

Look here for replacement info:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2501432
I just put a tube of this in the tranny:
Instant Shudder Fixx By Dr. Tranny (2 oz.) : Amazon.com : AutomotiveInstant Shudder Fixx By Dr. Tranny (2 oz.) : Amazon.com : Automotive
since it had been changed so recently. If it does work I'm sure it will be a temporary fix as well.

Yeah I read that post earlier today. Looks like some good info. I wonder what a dealer/shop would charge to replace the solenoid. Do you think the car needs to be on a lift to do this?
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:00 PM   #4
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I hear shops charge any where from $500-$1000 to do the work.

I did it with 2 jacks (only one is really needed though) and 2 jack stands. Just make sure you can get it up more than 12 inches. With air tools and a lift it could probably be done in about 3 hours. Without a lift and hand tools plan on 5-6 hours.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maw230 View Post
Putting the 10 amp fuse in the FWD slot eliminated the problem.

Most people say it's the duty C solenoid since it goes away when we put the fuse in. Wrong.
Many other people claim that changing the tranny fluid multiple times has helped them. Right
Some say driving around in a figure 8 worked for them. Do this between the fluid changes.

My thought is to first try draining and changing the tranny fluid. This was done a little more than a year ago and the fluid is clean, but im willing to try anything.
If the problem goes away when the fuse is put in that means the solenoid is still working fine.

Draining the trans pan only gets part of the fluid out. So you have to change it at least 3 times with short drives in between to replace the majority of the fluid.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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If you can put in the fuse and it goes away my first guess is it's not the solenoid.
It could be, but usually it fails hard.

If it's been run with mismatched tires (even from lack of rotating) the clutch plates get fussy and stick, just like a motorcycle clutch.

If it's been beat on a bit the clutch basket can be ridged, making the plates stick. Filing the basket grooves can fix mild grooving.

As mentioned fluid change is 1st and easiest to try.

Some folks have gotten relief by putting in a limited-slip additive after a few fluid changes, they say it's safe but that makes me nervous.

I had my rear section off, one of the bolts snapped, had to drill and helicoil.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:29 PM   #7
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Oh, and post-04, solenoid failure would probably lead to no lockup, before then +12V to the solenoid released the clutch, 04 and after 0V frees the clutch, +12V locks it fully.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:21 PM   #8
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Thanks all. I will change the fluid and report back.
So if it's not the solenoid and changing the fluid doesn't work is the next step to open up the transmission and peak around??
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:14 PM   #9
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No fluid but put in additive and seeing a significant difference. We went from a growl and whole car vibration to a very subtle hum and vibration. If I didn't know that we were having prior issues I wouldn't notice it. I plan to change the fluid a few times with the additive and a filter change. Is this definitely a temp fix or could this cure my issue?

Thanks
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:47 PM   #10
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It could go either way as far as temporary or long lasting. It's sounding more like a gummed up clutch pack. The clean new fluid can help "un-gum" it so it works normal.

After several flushes just drive it and see how long it goes.

You might be lucky.

Last edited by Bikelok; 01-27-2014 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:07 PM   #11
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Flushing seemed to help for a small while, but the issue is back now. I notice it more when turning the wheel to the right instead of the left which I thought was odd. Also, the steering wheel is about an inch off center.
I used rather cheap walmart brand tranny fluid for the flushes if that makes a difference.
I'm sure not what to do next besides take it to a shop with the knowledge I have now. I certainly don't have the time or an extra vehicle to use while the car is apart.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:11 PM   #12
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If it does get opened up, I'd suggest replacing both the clutch pack and Duty-C solenoid and not just one.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:56 PM   #13
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Took it to a local "import specialist" today. They plugged in their diagnostic scanner and took it for a drive. The owner said that he would not recommend to open it up at this time and to continue driving it as is. He wasn't able to find anything wrong with it.

I'm not sure how to feel about that one. The issue is still present of course and isn't extreme, but I worry that it will only continue to worsen if left unmanaged.

Any opinions? I'm debating changing out the fluid one more time with some higher quality stuff. Any recommendations?
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maw230 View Post
Took it to a local "import specialist" today. They plugged in their diagnostic scanner and took it for a drive. The owner said that he would not recommend to open it up at this time and to continue driving it as is. He wasn't able to find anything wrong with it.

I'm not sure how to feel about that one. The issue is still present of course and isn't extreme, but I worry that it will only continue to worsen if left unmanaged.

Any opinions? I'm debating changing out the fluid one more time with some higher quality stuff. Any recommendations?
Duty C Solenoid is shot. I would also recommend changing the clutch packs and duty-c solenoid at the same time.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider327 View Post

Duty C Solenoid is shot. I would also recommend changing the clutch packs and duty-c solenoid at the same time.
This^^^

Most likely cause.

You can drive like that for a little while, but is recommend repairing as soon as you can.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:59 PM   #16
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I'm getting conflicting advice. Most people say that if after putting the fwd fuse in the problem goes away then it definitely isn't the solenoid..
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maw230 View Post
I'm getting conflicting advice. Most people say that if after putting the fwd fuse in the problem goes away then it definitely isn't the solenoid..
The jumper did not always work for me.
I tried several different times and sometimes it worked, others not.

After much reading and research I have found that diagnosing the problem does not always follow the same rules all the time. A real PITA.

You can try several more fluid changes. It may still be just a gummed up clutch pack, but I'm leaning toward the solenoid too.

Last edited by Bikelok; 02-25-2014 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:16 AM   #18
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I see. What are some possible long term effects of not getting it fixed?

Also, as an amateur garage mechanic (changed the turbo on my old bugeye) is this something I could knock out in a weekend?

Thanks for the help on this.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:43 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by maw230 View Post
I see. What are some possible long term effects of not getting it fixed?

Also, as an amateur garage mechanic (changed the turbo on my old bugeye) is this something I could knock out in a weekend?

Thanks for the help on this.
Shearing off the clutch hub can happen with long term use.
Abysmal gas mileage as well. I think I was getting around 15 mpg at best.

If you are capable of doing a clutch, you should be able to do it yourself. It took me just about 5 hours (a little under) to do without a lift and all hand tools. It's not the most fun job, but not impossible.
The worst parts are removing and installing the transfer case. It's more like a wresting match.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:03 PM   #20
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Never done a clutch. I just can't trust our local dealer to do it right and can't find a good subaru mechanic locally.

I've noticed the horrible gas mileage, but I thought we just calculated it wrong.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maw230 View Post
Never done a clutch. I just can't trust our local dealer to do it right and can't find a good subaru mechanic locally.

I've noticed the horrible gas mileage, but I thought we just calculated it wrong.
If you have a good basic set of mechanics tools, a couple of good jack stands and at least one good jack, you should be able to do it. If you don't have a gasket scrapper, then get one. Read over as many write ups as you can and get familiar with it. It's not that complicated, but like I said, its not fun wrestling the transfer case on and off while on your back.
I don't have the luxury of leaving my car apart overnight. Anything I start I have to complete that same day (sucks).
If you have a whole weekend, you should be fine.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:52 PM   #22
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Sounds good. I'll read up on it before I decide either way. Thanks again.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:55 PM   #23
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If this post falls on deaf ears I will start a new thread, but I would rather update and continue this one...

Took the car to the dealer. They ran some pressure tests and according to subaru's recommendation the transfer valve body needs replacement. The part costs $970 and labor is $700. He said he thinks that the clutch packs are ok, but they didn't actually dig into to confirm. This was just a diagnosis. To add to that they believe both head gaskets need replacement and he quoted me $2800, because he won't just do the gaskets, but wants to do everything you can think of while the motor is pulled. I understand, but I can't afford.

So, I come here seeking advice. I can't afford any of this quite honestly, but could probably find a way to spend $1000. If it takes me doing the work myself then I will do it. We're lucky to have a spare car if needed.

Anyone ever heard of replacing the entire valve body for this issue? I don't recall coming across it in my research.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:21 PM   #24
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I've never seen it be the valve body, but I'm not saying its not.

You can find a good working used unit to install for less money than what they are asking to do the transmission.

Head gaskets, Ouch! I've been there.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:17 AM   #25
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Good to know. To me the best thing to do is to start digging into the transmission and looking for the problem myself.
Know of any places in particular to find a used valve body?
I don't know what to do about the head gaskets. Can't afford their price.
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