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View Poll Results: Would You Like SOA to Release an Official Test Procedure for Their AWD Systems?
Yes, that would be very helpful. 59 78.67%
No, ignorance is bliss. 16 21.33%
Voters: 75. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-13-2003, 03:47 AM   #1
sajohnson
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Default Would You Like SOA to Release an Official Test Procedure for Their AWD?

Personally, I think that it would be very helpful. It would put an end to much of the disagreements over how our AWD systems are supposed to perform. It would also make it clear to dealers and owners when there is (or is not) a problem.

It is very strange that Subaru does not publish a test for the VC units or the AWD as a system. There is a test(s) for almost every other active component on a vehicle.

The lack of an official test is even more peculiar given the fact that Subaru's reputation is based on the fact that every one of its vehicles is equipped with some version of AWD.
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Last edited by sajohnson; 05-13-2003 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:53 AM   #2
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Asking for a procedure is silly. The procedure depends on the problem.

This is like asking for a procedure for testing the engine computer or ABS. Testing such systems include an enormous battery of tests.

If you want a simply go/no-go test without on-board data acquisition, you're not going to get it, because the only "procedure" you will be able to prescribe without proper equipment will always be subjective and up to the user (mechanic) to interpret.

With complex systems, one can design a "test" that shows the system is properly functioning and yet another equally valid "real-life" test that shows the same system to malfunction.

As has been described in threads started by you, there are many possible tests that are agreed to be 100% valid. Others are not agreed to be valid. Stick with the ones that, by consensus, are valid and come back with results.
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:28 PM   #3
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I don't think this has to be all that complicated. Testing an AWD system, especially a VC-based (purely mechanical) one should be pretty straight-forward.

I would not expect a company like Subaru to prescribe a procedure without providing the dealer with proper equipment (or at least a list of authorized facilities).

For example, if the customer suspects that the AWD system is not transfering as much power as it should in split-mu situations (say, one end of the car on ice, the other on dry pavement) -- I would think it would be easy enough to place the car on a dyno and measure torque transfer at various rpm points.

Either a conventional 2WD chassis dyno could be used with two tires in the air or on rollers, or a 4WD dyno could be used.


PS: You said, "there are many possible tests that are agreed to be 100% valid".

Are any of these tests you refer to authorized by Subaru? In other words, could I use the results to get my VC units replaced under warranty (assuming no abuse)?
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:51 PM   #4
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Orson: Borrow someones service manuals. Full testing procedures already exist for other complete systems that start from the most basic issue and go all the way to testing for correct resisistance in a component.

Sajohnson has the right idea, it is very strange not to have it.
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Old 05-13-2003, 04:23 PM   #5
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Absolutely should have it- how do we even know it works?

If the motor didn't work we would know... same goes for
abs, power windows, suspension, every other part of the car. If it "transfers from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip" then we should be able to see that in a standartized test procedure established by SOA.
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Old 05-13-2003, 08:56 PM   #6
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no
why .. so that you can say yes my AWD is working properly

the only appllicable referance i know of in the service manual is that you are not supose to "drive" the car when it is on a lift. bad on the center diff..


Quote:
Absolutely should have it- how do we even know it works?
spoken like a true noob
find some dirt/snow/sand/leaves/ball berrings/barbie dolls/fishing lures..what ever low traction

rev the engine to 4000 rpm and let out the clutch if you see more than 2 wheels spinning you have two differntials working
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Old 05-14-2003, 02:06 AM   #7
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Jaxx: To use your own language -- your post makes you sound like the noob.

ANY AWD system, even one with 3 open differentials, will spin at least 1 or 2 tires and maybe all 4 in a limited traction situation -- as long as the traction available to all 4 tires is about equal.

A true test would involve a split-mu situation, not all 4 tires on a limited traction surface.

Personally, I find it incredible that anyone here at the NASIOC would not want to have an official Subaru factory test procedure. What's the harm? Afraid you might find that your AWD isn't working properly?
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Old 05-15-2003, 01:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by sajohnson
Personally, I find it incredible that anyone here at the NASIOC would not want to have an official Subaru factory test procedure. What's the harm? Afraid you might find that your AWD isn't working properly?
Seriously. Somebody hasn't made a decent arguement yet as to why one shouldn't exist.

Here's an example:
Our cylinders are supposed to have around 150psi. Obviously, with everything else on automobiles, this number is a ballpark figure, and will vary between car to car. However, right in the service manual, Subaru has a method for verifiying the compression in the cylinders and provides data to compare.

Now assume Subaru provided no method to check the compression (yes, imagine you couldn't figure out a way to realistically do it yourself) are you suggesting that you should just "believe that the compression is fine" because your engine runs? You figure the pistons must be gonig up and down, so why bother finding out if they are working normally or not?

I think it's the same thing in this case. Your method of spinning the wheels to test the AWD on a slick surface is what I liken to, "well, the engine is running, so I must have compression!" Sure there is compression, but what if one cylinder is reading 70psi? That's a problem. A BIG problem.

So what if I can make my tires spin on a slick surface? What HARD EVIDENCE should I be seeing that everything is performing at or near design specs? On an AWD car built by a company that prides itself on offering AWD as a "standard feature" in every single one of its new cars, I would say having an official testing procedure and standard methods of evaluating the AWD system is highly critical.
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Old 05-15-2003, 01:58 AM   #9
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CirrusWRX: EXCELLENT post!

Your analogy using compression is very good (I wish I'd thought of it!).
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Old 05-15-2003, 03:42 PM   #10
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sounds like you are questioning the engineering behind the product not the condition

perhaps if you worded it more like

"Would you like SOA to release and official test procedure to determine if the center/front/rear open/viscous/suretrack differentials are functioning correctly/broken"
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:50 AM   #11
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Agreed with Jaxx - that wording is probably better. Need a test that all the elements of the AWD are doing what they're supposed to do, and then in combination with one another.

Like my compression example, this thread title seems to say "I need to know that the AWD is working" is like saying, "I need to know my engine is working." Rather, to make sure the "engine is working," we have a few hundred tests we can perform, one of which, is to check the compression.

Is there really no way to test the diffs and their operation right now?
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:26 AM   #12
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OK, I was simply trying to make the question short and straight-forward.

Needless to say, there are multiple tests that could be performed on the various AWD systems and sub-systems that Subaru puts in their cars.

Maybe I should have written 'tests' plural, although test _procedure_ does imply more than one test. I don't know if I can edit the question now.

Last edited by sajohnson; 05-16-2003 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:02 PM   #13
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At least from the results so far, it looks like a very strong majority of NASIOC members would like SOA to develop test procedures for their AWD systems and related components.

Any ideas as to how we can encourage them to do the right thing?
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by sajohnson
What's the harm? Afraid you might find that your AWD isn't working properly?
HA HA HA! no ****.

someone please give a well-reasoned explanation of how this would be a negative.

thank you.

Last edited by rally_wannabe; 04-29-2008 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by sajohnson
At least from the results so far, it looks like a very strong majority of NASIOC members would like SOA to develop test procedures for their AWD systems and related components.
This is a laughable poll and this is a laughable conclusion based on a loaded question. What do you think would be the outcome if I posted a poll asking:

"Would you like one million dollars in your bank account?"
A) Yes, I would love something for nothing
B) No, I believe in starvation and poverty

sajohnson - There are already some test procedures agreed by all here on the board. You have not tried them. Others have. You have tried to dispute those results from others even though you have not tried them yourself.
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:57 PM   #16
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Very loaded question - and I think the larger issue is that what some really want is for Subaru's AWD to be what they think it should be, rather than what it is. Based on what it is there is plenty of information on diagnosing when it isn't doing what it is supposed to.

Dropping the clutch and getting wheel hop is not one of those methods for saying something is wrong.

Edit: with the car at least - says a lot about whether something is wrong with the driver.
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Old 05-21-2003, 06:05 PM   #17
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What the hell is wrong with you two (previous two posters). You need to remember that this isnt the WRX club, many of us have cars that arent even performance oriented with drivetrain problems. Even with the service manuals sometimes the testing procedures are too low level.

The testin methods for different portions of the drivetrain are great, we need a starting point in order to get to these testing points. The "AWD Testing Tree" would eventually lead to these more detailed tests.

Even if sajohnson has alterior motives it doesnt matter how loaded the question is, I have no such agenda. For example I want to be able to look at a used car and perform a test that will most likely show that no problems exist.
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Old 05-21-2003, 07:34 PM   #18
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I dont really understand why everyone is freaking out thinking their awd isnt working. What could honestly break in the transmission that would make your awd not function "properly"? If you diffs are not blown, your awd is working fine. There is no procedure to test the awd becaust you dont need one. Its not like an engine where a number of things could make it not run.
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Old 05-21-2003, 07:42 PM   #19
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ciper - I didn't say anything to indicate that my response was for WRX only. However the title of the club is impreza - so I don't think I need to make an explicit effort to discuss every model of Subie out there in every post.

The option for response in the poll ARE loaded - I am supposed to say "no - ignorance is bliss" when there is information and one option should be "the information currently available is satisfactory to me". But I guess no one is allowed an independent opinion. Consensus is only valuable when it is arrived at independently - forced consensus is worthless ask the Iraqis for a few decades under Sadam.

My 2003 pet peave has officially become the fact that some people think only they have a right to an opinion and everyone else should keep their mouth shut or expect to be flamed. Everywhere I go this year there are people that run around saying anything they wish and then yell at others for having their own independent views.

If you want to disagree fine - there is no need to directly personalize it and then throw false statements at me. I am well aware of the coverage of the board and club membership. The board may discuss other models but the club is for imprezza owners based on my understanding when I joined.

Make the responses for the poll serious and I will take the poll seriously.
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Old 05-21-2003, 07:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Would You Like SOA to Release an Official Test Procedure for Their AWD?

Quote:
Originally posted by sajohnson
Personally, I think that it would be very helpful. It would put an end to much of the disagreements over how our AWD systems are supposed to perform. It would also make it clear to dealers and owners when there is (or is not) a problem.

It is very strange that Subaru does not publish a test for the VC units or the AWD as a system. There is a test(s) for almost every other active component on a vehicle.

The lack of an official test is even more peculiar given the fact that Subaru's reputation is based on the fact that every one of its vehicles is equipped with some version of AWD.
sajohnson -

I think the premise above and your original thought on a petition in the other thread are generally good. Though there are several responses in these threads where disagreements need not exist since there are statements from people who know very well how the transmissions are supposed to perform. And I respect that you disagree and are of the opinion information is lacking, even if I am satisfied. I think the poll itself lacks the seriousness of your original intention though IMO.

Most would avoid the ignorance is bliss part even if the consider the current information satisfactory and would rather SOA concentrate on other things.

Last edited by turboICE; 05-21-2003 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:28 PM   #21
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Maybe I misunderstand the point of the AWD test. I think some of you are confusing placing blame on subaru for a percieved issue when many of us want a troubleshooting guide for vehicles in order to make sure that age or a damaging event hasnt caused any problems (damaged event could be a tow or drag race or whatever else you can imagine)


jehcpa: So how about the 1.8 liter impreza owners? Or automatic? Not everyone can just "drop the clutch"

Even if the club had a rule about discussing other vehicles (impreza only) the drivetrain is still the same between vehicles, so the tests would be exactly the same, at least in similar model year vehicles (sure VTD enabled would have different steps).

You didnt have to vote in order to post a comment. Sure the poll's questions may be skewed towards one direction. This testing procedure would exist for DEALERS use, the dealer could run this test and give the person a straight yes or no answer. We have access to the exact same information they have and currently no overall testing method exists.

Unlike many people I take a Proactive aproach to repairs. I dont wait for things to stop working before fixing them. Here are two great examples, I just replaced ball joints even with no play indicated and I also replaced both coolant sensors even though they worked properly.

I wasnt kidding, many people would LOVE to be able to take a used car to the dealer for a check, and they have a standardized testing method for the AWD. Id find someone online with the service manuals for the said used car and do the test myself.

Surb00: So are you telling me that my mom for example who drives slowly all the time should wait until she is stuck in the snow because the AWD had been malfunctioning the whole time yet nobody knew because I couldnt take it to the dealer and say "make sure the AWD is functioning?" (talk about a run on sentence!)

Your comment of the test not needed for the transmissin because an engine is "where a number of things could make it not run" shows how close minded you are. Ever think some of us have an auto transmission?! Many things can cause the AWD to malfunction, even a shrunk seal that is allowing extra pressure to an area that shouldnt see it can cause a drastic change in behaviour. You also have to realize that not everyone has a brand new car. What if my vehicle has 200k miles and I drive in the snow every day? How about if I get towed with the rear wheels on the ground?
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by ciper
jehcpa: So how about the 1.8 liter impreza owners? Or automatic? Not everyone can just "drop the clutch"
That is good to know that everyone can't because I said that it isn't an appropriate test. And that means it isn't an appropriate test for anyone - which means it is applicable to all Subies not just WRX's so I covered all owners of Subie AWD. Which means 1.8 liter, 2.5 liter, MT or AT the test wouldn't have been valid. I didn't recommend that as a test - but some others have used it to point out there is something wrong with their AWD - and it was that philosophy that I was knocking. I think you read something else other than what I wrote.

Quote:
Originally posted by jehcpa
Dropping the clutch and getting wheel hop is not one of those methods for saying something is wrong.
emphasis added to quote.
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Old 05-21-2003, 10:57 PM   #23
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jehcpa: I agree with you that dropping the clutch is not at all a good test of any AWD system. Believe it or not though -- that is exactly what SOA said to do when I called the '800' #! They said to take my AWD out to a gravel road, rev it up and dump the clutch and see if all 4 tires spin! Not only is that not any kind of conclusive test, it could cause damage.

Orson: Twice now you've said that there are AWD test procedures that everyone here agrees on. I'll ask again -- would you please describe them?

All: I have said that the poll question and answers coud have been worded better, but that is really beside the point. I cannot understand how anyone could in all seriousness NOT want to have a test procdure available. I mean what would be the downside? Almost every component or system on a car has a 'troubleshooting tree' and test procedures.

In fact, the only people I can imagine being against the idea of Subaru establishing test procedures for their AWD systems would be the suits at Subaru and their 'yes men'.

That's why I wrote, "No, ignorance is bliss". It was tongue-in-cheek. To be quite honest, I'm surprised that the poll has been running 80%/20%. I assume that some of the 'No' votes weren't serious -- but I would really like to hear the reasoning of those of you who voted 'No' and honestly believe Subaru should not develop and publish AWD test procedures.

Last edited by sajohnson; 05-22-2003 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:29 AM   #24
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That is ludicrous for SoA to have said that. I hope that was a PR person and not a technical person!

I think anytime diagnostics are expanded it is a good thing, there are other areas that aren't as complete as I would like either - with limited resources I for personal and admitedly selfish reasons just would rather their focus be elsewhere for now.
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Old 05-22-2003, 01:00 AM   #25
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round and round we go.... again.

let's bottom line it, once more.

a. AWD is not equal to 4WD.
b. passenger car trannys are not equal to rally car trannys.
c. open diffs are an escape for energy through the tranny.
d. energy will find the path of least resistance.

I'm no expert on tranny's, but having messed around with RC cars with adjustable diffs and slipper clutches (read: multiple break points) I kind of have an understanding as to why you are frustrated...

Subaru as set the coupling up for a compromise, you can't adjust it. You can't lock the diffs. You're putting the car in a situation that it CAN NOT suceed in because you can't change anything!!
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