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Old 07-12-2018, 12:00 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 431707
Join Date: Oct 2015
Default 2003 Outback MT 1st and 2nd gear jerk

Hi everyone, I wanted to post this and maybe get some ideas on what the issue could be on my 2003 Outback MT 2.5. 173k miles.
What the issue is, when you roll on the throttle gently and not fast(when your at a lower rpm like 2k,anything above 3.5k rpm there is no jerk) in 1st thru 3rd gear the engine jerks about 3 times (like you unplugged the spark plug wire for a split second and put it back on) then runs great at the higher rpm. No codes in the computer. Replaced the wires and plugs with NGK parts. Has a new throttle position sensor, timing belt+pulleys, oxygen sensor, fuel filter and throttle body cleaning. Motor idles great and has good compression. My scan tool does not have a misfire counter so I cannot be 100% that its a misfire. Clutch does have a lot of miles on it, and it engages at the top of the clutch pedal stroke, it does not seem to be slipping at all but maybe it could be weak springs in the pressure plate? Any help would be much appreciate. Thank you!
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:06 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 395574
Join Date: Jul 2014
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Almost Cape Cod, MA
2007 OBS


Hard to say with the description but it could be a couple of things.

First, Subaru's "Buck" at lower RPM sometimes - especially when there is drive train slop like worn mounts or bushings. It is a more pronounced in lower gears. The other issue is it could be a glazing issue on the flywheel or pressure plate.

Again, it's really hard to tell over the internet and really only someone who if familiar with Subaru's could tell you if it was normal with a test drive.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:59 AM   #3
NASIOC Supporter
Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: USA, North NJ, 07456
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT


How long have you owned it?
Is this a new issue or did it just start?
If new, did you do engine/trans work just before it happened?
Do you have much time driving a MT?

Could be lugging the engine a bit along with some high mileage driveline parts.

My clutch slip test is........
A middle gear (3rd in a 5MT), slight uphill is better, road speed so the engine is about 3500 RPM (in the torque band for a Subaru NA), mash the gas and watch tach and speedo.
If the revs come up but no/limited speed change, clutch is slipping. Tach may drop a bunch if you back off the gas.
If the revs and speedo change at about the same rate, clutch is fine, for now.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:44 PM   #4
Elbert Bass
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 283429
Join Date: May 2011
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Down yonder.
2016 Fuji Sunfire 03


Have you checked your motor mounts?
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