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Old 07-03-2005, 01:56 AM   #1
Jonathan
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

Legacy How the other half lives.

I love my '99 Legacy GT Limited sedan.
Unfortunately I have never felt really "comfortable" in the car.. The sunroof rails thwack against my head if i sit up straight... The leather seats are too slippery...
Overall i like the car... to me its a keeper... just not what I want to drive "every day".

My solution ?
I just bought a '96 Legacy 'L' with a 2.2 and 4EAT. 185,000 miles.
Basically the same car except its got more headroom, wimpy but at least grippy seats, and unfortunately its fairly softly sprung, and its not got much in the acceleration, or braking departments.

I figure with aftermaket suspension, a WRX brake upgrade and GT or WRX wheels it should handle and stop okay.

But this 4EAT thingy has me really puzzled. In drive, waiting for the lights to change it viabrates. A lot. If I punch it, when the light turns green the engine growls with authority, and eventually enough hydrualic presure gets built up that the car does indeed accelerate. No danger of power induced whip-lash, but it does go. In doing so the engine is exceeding 4500 RPM just to keep up with the surrounding traffic, and eventually (after hitting a few traffic lights) I detect a slight smell of cooking AT fluid. Does anyone sell an Automatic transmission fluid cooler for these cars ?

Is my transmission on its way out, or is this normal behaviour for this model/year Legacy ?

Anyone else with such a vehicle ? If so how do you drive it ? Any special techniques ?
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Old 07-03-2005, 03:55 AM   #2
Blue98leg
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I have a 98 legacy 2.2L 4EAT with around 121k, and though i have hesitation from 1800 to 3000 rpms, i belive this is do to the front o2 sensor( which is used in calculating the Air/Fuel ratio ) is going bad causing it run lean. Another solution for many with a 3000 to 4500 rpm hesitation is a grounding mod, and an resistor to offset an overeactive knock sensor.
But i have no noticeable transmission vibration.
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Old 07-03-2005, 11:10 AM   #3
sha_zapple
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My car takes right off from a stop (not at lightening speed mind you, it is the 2.2L afterall!) It shifts at 4500 in 1st if you have the pedal to the metal.

I dont notice any vibration at a stop though. Id suggest getting the tranny flushed and such. Perhaps that will help (and its probably overdue anyway, I know it is for mine!)

Also, upgrade the rims, tires, and rear swaybar makes a huge difference! (14" rims and a wimpy 13mm swaybar leaves much to be desired) I have WRX rims and a 18mm outback swaybar (cheap and effective upgrades)
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:01 PM   #4
Sub!eDr!ver
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I've got a '98 GT Limited, and have the same problem with the seats. I heard that someone added some washers to the front seat mounts to tilt the whole assembly back a little and that seemed to help. I haven't tried it myself.

Does your GT have the seat height adjuster on the left side? I think it was standard on the GT. It provides a healthy amount of vertical travel, but if you're still hitting your head with the seat bottomed out, try leaning the seat back.

Regarding the tranny on the '96, definitely try a power flush and see if it helps. It may.

My '98 shifts just shy of redline when I hold the pedal to the floor. I presume the 'L' tranny is programmed differently, since it's aimed at less "enthusiastic" drivers.

Tim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan
I love my '99 Legacy GT Limited sedan.
Unfortunately I have never felt really "comfortable" in the car.. The sunroof rails thwack against my head if i sit up straight... The leather seats are too slippery...
Overall i like the car... to me its a keeper... just not what I want to drive "every day".

My solution ?
I just bought a '96 Legacy 'L' with a 2.2 and 4EAT. 185,000 miles.
Basically the same car except its got more headroom, wimpy but at least grippy seats, and unfortunately its fairly softly sprung, and its not got much in the acceleration, or braking departments.

I figure with aftermaket suspension, a WRX brake upgrade and GT or WRX wheels it should handle and stop okay.

But this 4EAT thingy has me really puzzled. In drive, waiting for the lights to change it viabrates. A lot. If I punch it, when the light turns green the engine growls with authority, and eventually enough hydrualic presure gets built up that the car does indeed accelerate. No danger of power induced whip-lash, but it does go. In doing so the engine is exceeding 4500 RPM just to keep up with the surrounding traffic, and eventually (after hitting a few traffic lights) I detect a slight smell of cooking AT fluid. Does anyone sell an Automatic transmission fluid cooler for these cars ?

Is my transmission on its way out, or is this normal behaviour for this model/year Legacy ?

Anyone else with such a vehicle ? If so how do you drive it ? Any special techniques ?
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Old 07-04-2005, 03:22 PM   #5
subysouth
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I got the cloth seats and am 6'2" and can fit fine with the sunroof. Just lay the seats back Jay-Z style.

ss
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Old 07-06-2005, 05:24 PM   #6
98_soobie
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sounds like you better save up for a tranny...
but flush it twice to make sure you got all the burnt up goodies out. and put a can of transx in it... should help.. also you can get a trans cooler from your local parts store that will "work".. with help.
good luck
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Old 07-07-2005, 01:03 AM   #7
Tizzle
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Change the tranny fluid and get a hayden or permacool tranny cooler. It makes a difference
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Old 07-07-2005, 03:52 AM   #8
US2JDM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subysouth
I got the cloth seats and am 6'2" and can fit fine with the sunroof. Just lay the seats back Jay-Z style.

ss
Me too (minus the Jay-Z). Is the height adjust cranked up or something?
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Old 07-08-2005, 05:27 PM   #9
subysouth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by US2JDM
Me too (minus the Jay-Z). Is the height adjust cranked up or something?
I was actually kidding, I can basically sit bolt upright without hitting the roof, no height issues at all. The seat height is at its lowest setting I believe.

ss
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Old 07-23-2005, 01:32 AM   #10
Jonathan
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98_soobie
sounds like you better save up for a tranny...
but flush it twice to make sure you got all the burnt up goodies out. and put a can of transx in it... should help.. also you can get a trans cooler from your local parts store that will "work".. with help.
good luck
Well I finally brought the car in for a much needed oil change at Jiffy-lube. For $100 they flushed ~21+ quarts of ATF fluid through my tranny untill the fluid came clean. The car shifts fairly smoothly and the viabration at idle is either greatly reduced, or something I have adjusted to.

FWIW I am learning to live with the 4EAT, although the lag time between "full spead ahead" and actually reaching yor target speed takes much getting used to.

Is it really true that ~1/3 of the stock automatic transmission Subarus radiator is used to cool the transmission ? If so, perhaps i dont really need a transmission cooler after all ?
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Old 07-23-2005, 12:50 PM   #11
PowerMatt
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I know on my '96 GT the radiator is indeed used to cool the tranny fluid. I know because the hose blew once and sprayed fluid all over my front brakes. Try stopping your car when your front rotors are covered with tranny fluid (insert a few surprised explicatives while you're at it). Needless to say I had to have all the tranny fluid replaced. I had the local Toyota place do it since there's no Subaru dealership in town. It still has a low-level vibration when idling, and it still lurches out of first (at low revs, when I punch it it flashes past 6000 and smoothly drops into second before I realize it). I assume it's the original tranny, so it's got 184k on the clock. I've never smelled anything burning from it while driving, but when I stop and get out I always smell a few hints of all the grease and grime that has built up on my engine giving off a light burning smell.
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:09 AM   #12
Perdue
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I have a rough idle from my car when it's in gear and I'm stopped and holding the brakes. Every once in a while, if I slam the gas pedal from a dead stop, it will bog the motor, but this seems to be because the motor's running rich secondary to an aftermarket intake. I've changed plugs, plug wires, fuel filter, and air filter to try'n correct the rough idle/bogging situation, but nothing has really helped A LOT. I've just learned to deal with it. Never smelled burning transmission fluid that I can remember though...have you checked your fluid?

Edit: And my car will go to just shy of redline in first when I'm at WOT, and will shift somewhat sooner in second. '98 Legacy L 4EAT
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Old 07-24-2005, 06:36 AM   #13
Jonathan
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perdue
Never smelled burning transmission fluid that I can remember though...have you checked your fluid ?
Before i bought the car, when checking it out, I pulled the dipstick.. I didn't detect any burnt smell at all, although the fluid was a dark brown... not the pinkish-redish colour one would expect to see in a healthy 4EAT. When I road tested the car I did a few tight figure-eight turns in an empty parking lot to see if i could detect the AWD clutch packs engaging/disengaging. Everything was very smooth. No detectable "clunking" at all.

However shortly after I had the car serviced at Jiffy-Lube, I did make an illegal "U-Turn" and sure enough there was that charactoristic "clunking" as I made the very tight turn, which I assume is normal for the car. I figure after I put a few hundred or so miles on the car i will check the fluid again and if the colour changes, or I detect any burnt smell I will try a second fluid change. If that doesnt work, I guess its off to the local tranny specialist to see what he thinks.

For now I believe the car is in good shape, I am just not used to the amount of effort the car goes through in attempting to keep up with surrounding traffic when the light turns green.
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Old 09-15-2006, 05:07 PM   #14
Mach V Dan
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Keep in mind that if any fluid drips down off the engine or trans, it's going to land on the hot exhaust and burn. You may be smelling motor oil or some other fluid burning on the exhaust.

My '97 GT auto will hold in gear to redline. It's definitely a slug off the line. On the other hand, I've beat on it pretty hard and it's still soldering on at 105k miles.

I'm only 5'7", so headroom isn't an issue. I find the seats completely un-supportive, though. All sporty cars should have Lancer Evo seats.

--Dan
Mach V
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:04 PM   #15
Jonathan
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Quick Silver Metallic

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More mis-adventures with my high-milage "beater" 2.2 Liter, 4EAT Legacy "L".

This week I brought the car in for a regular oil change at the same Jiffy-Lube. The polite but mildly-retarded gentleman who previously did excellent work vacuming the interior, washing the windows, and misadjusting my tyre pressures apparently managed somehow to get promoted to the poistion of "oil adder". He added the oil to my car after they drained out the old oil. After paying for what seemed to be a fairly routine oil change I was sent on my way...

Within about two miles, when travelling up a hill, I romped on the car and got it to sort of accellerate, enough to pass a few slow pokes. However shortly after cresting the top of the hill the car started to buck and vibrate at about 45-50 MPH, so I pulled back into the right hand lane with all the slow-pokes wondering what was happening. Thirty seconds thereafter the Check Engine light starts blinking (Not a good sign), unfortunately at this point I was entering a construction zone on the highway, and didn't have a good place to pull over. However the "Check Engine" light had stopped blinking, but was still on and the engine had resumed running smoothly.

I did manage to pull over at the next turn-off, pulled into a parking lot and checked my oil level. It was nearly two quarts over-filled. Needless to say I turned back the way I had came, and brought the car back to Jiffy-Lube, explained to them what happened, and got them to drain and refill the oil. This time the "manager" type person performed the refill, and it was filled up to (but not beyound) the "full" level. I was again sent on my way.

I drove off to the nearest "Auto-Zone" place and got them to pull the code. I was told it was a "cylinder number 4 misfire", but wasn't given the actual code. I asked them if they could clear the "CEL", but was told that it is "illegal" from them to do so.

I then proceeded to cruise around some (with the "CEL" light still lit up) and put some miles on the car, doing a mixture of gentle back roads, and some highway miles as well. I finally after over a year of ownership got the car out on the highway without the usual rush-hour stop and go.

This car is awesome. Seventy-Five MPH cruising is only 3,000 RPM, where as in my 5-speed '99 Legacy GT Sixty-Five MPH is like 3,100 RPM and the car feels like a "tug-boat" in this RPM range. While not much of a performance car, my modest little "L" eats up the miles cuising comfortably and quietly. This is something I never knew before, as I had only really used the car as a "daily driver" in rush hour traffic, and always used the "GT" for fun highway cruising.

After two hours and ~100+ miles of mindless cruising, I parked the car, let it rest while I ate up some fast food. After returning and starting the car back up the "Check Engine" light had shut off, and has not returned since.

My guess is that romping on the car while travelling up hill generated sufficiant oil presure to cause some of the excess oil to enter the combustion chamber (via the PCV valve and intake manifold ?) where it caused a short- lived stumble and studdering as the excess oil didnt combust as efficiently as the normal fuel-air mixtures does, thus tripping the cylinder missfire "Check Engine" fault code. Gently driving the car back to Jiffy-Lube, and getting them to change the oil correctly apparently resolved the problem, but as the "CEL" Fault code had been triggered, the Check Engine light remained on. After "X" number of miles without the any additional fault codes being triggered the computer apparently decided to shut off the "Check Engine" light, and hopefully all is well.

While it is easy to blame the Jiffy-Lube "grease-monkies" for this problem, I really feel that anyone theretically COULD have made this mistake as my dipstick is a dark-black annodized colour, Vs. the more common brightly coloured silver and this in the poor-light levels of their garage made getting an accurate read of the dip-stick into a bit of an eye-test. On the other hand, I guess the retarded man (and his manager) maybe didn't understand just how critical his job function of an 'oil adder' really is.

When I mentioned this incident to some of my co-workers, I was told to stay away from Jiffy-Lube and remided of all the horror stories that were associated with them when they first started up. (Oil Filters not being installed correctly, engines seizing up from no oil pressure, etc...), and it was suggested to me that I really should have insisted on written documentation from them so that if I do develope further difficulties, I can possibly get some assistance from them.

Am I likely to experiance problems down the road with blown seals ???

Last edited by Jonathan; 09-16-2006 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:43 PM   #16
Wiscon_Mark
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to answer you last question: Maybe, if it's overfilled, the front cam seal will leak, or blow, but you didn't go far with it overfilled, so hope for the best.

Personally, the 3.9FD tranny isn't even low enough.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:02 PM   #17
KD7000
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Jon, I bought an OBD scanner a couple months ago, so let me know if you need any codes checked or cleared.

-Brian
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:49 PM   #18
Jonathan
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Quick Silver Metallic

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While doing the "automatic transmission flush", and using several $7 bottles of Cheveron "Techtron" fuel system cleaner (at every other fill-up) did a great deal to reduce the engine vibrations at idle, it wasnt until very recently when I had the spark plugs replaced with new NKGs, new spark plug wires installed, and the fuel filter replaced. Now it seems to idle very smoothly (even in park). Its like driving a new car.

Putting in new oxygen sensors appear to have improved fuel milage, as well, although I have yet to do a full fill up since the O2 sensor was installed.

Based on cars101, Subaru made some changes to the original 4EAT Automatic transmission in '97 (as well as making the EJ22 into an interferance motor) so that my experiances with this particular car ('96 EJ22 with 4EAT) are perhaps somewhat different from many other folks experiances with 97+ Legacys, and Legacy GTs that have the bigger EJ25 motor.
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:42 PM   #19
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Wow, you updated annually for the past two years. That's awesome!

--Dan
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