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Old 10-10-2005, 12:47 PM   #1
w chapman
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 75673
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Torque Bind - How to diagnose and fix the problem.

I recently bought a 96 OBW with a few problems....one is severe TORQUE BIND. It appears to be "locked up" all the time, causing a drag on the drive train and EXREMELY POOR gas mileage. The binding will bring the car to a stop in slow tight turns. It's worse in revers

I've tried putting the fuse in the FWD slot under the hood. No difference and also no FWD light visible in the instrument panel.

Also, one can of Seafoam and a number of doughnuts in both directions has made a little improvement, but not much.

We haven't yet totally changed out the tranny fluid.

I need to fix this without the high cost of a dealer or independent Suby shop. So I need some help, advice, wisdom from this group on how to go about the diagnosis and repair with minimal waste of time and money....

Searching here for "torque bind" , I find reference to the FWD fuse, a "Duty C Solenoid" and a "clutch pack" But I don't quite fully understand yet how these three items operate together.

Here's some clues and questions.

1. The FWD fuse doesn't cause any change.
Could this mean that the Duty C solenoid isn't working?
Where is this solenoid located on a 96 OB.
Does it require removing the rear transmission housing?
How do I test it?

2. The PO told me that he car had been stolen/recovered...so most likely towed,....possibly on two wheels...which may have ruined the clutch pack.
I inquired at the dealership about the "cost of a new clutch pack". (I thought it would be a discreet unit to R&R.) The parts guy didn't seem to know what I was talking about...and showed me a diagram with several plates or discs that could be ordered...once we knew the exact size of the old ones.

- Is this a job a reasonably skilled DIY mechanic can fix...or a job for tranny specialist ??

- Is there a step-by-step process for repairing the clutch pack written up here ...endwrench.....or ?????

3. Some people here have reported success with simply changing the tranny fluid and doing tight circles or figure eights...which I guess breaks loose clutch plates that have been gummed up with old fluid or contaminants.

- Is this worth trying ..... given the severity of this car's problem....or just a waste of tranny fluid....given likely removel of the "clutch pack"?

Appreciate some wisdom here.

Warren C
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Last edited by w chapman; 10-10-2005 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:42 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 41012
Join Date: Aug 2003
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
1998 Legacy L


Try using a different fuse, the current one could be busted. Also, definitly try changing the fluid in the tranny and in the rear differential. Much less expensive than replacing parts.

I remember reading on nasioc someone hooked a voltmeter up to their duty C solenoid and they had written what kind of voltage they were getting at different speeds/situations
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Old 10-15-2005, 02:39 PM   #3
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Member#: 49087
Join Date: Nov 2003
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Inside your carnot cycle
1998 RST V8 STi swap
'05 R6 '95 BMW V8 hotness


It sounds like the clutches in the center diff got nuked and welded together during the tow. I would only want a trans. specialist who knows subarus very well to tackle that can of worms. Buying theft recovered cars is never good mmkay? Keep in mind there are many different "clutch packs" in your transmission and they all do different things which is why the parts guy probably had no idea what you were talking about.
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:47 PM   #4
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Member#: 63616
Join Date: Jun 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Mastro Subaru, Sanford FL
1996 Volvo 850 Turbo
with mods :)


If the vehicle was towed with only two wheels on the ground, chances are the viscous coupling is damaged.

If installing the FWD fuse did not fix the problem, (assuming the fuse is good, I think it needs to be a 20 amp fuse, and youput one in, not take it out), then the issue is NOT with the transfer clutches or duty solenoid.
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