('09-'13) Can i run without a driveshaft? And how long to remove it? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can i run without a driveshaft? And how long to remove it?

Hi guys,

I have a bad center bearing.

How long does it take to remove the drive shaft and can I run for 1 week without it?
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to put your car into FWD mode put placing a fuse into the FWD slot in the fuse box under the hood. That's step one.

I have no idea what it's like removing a drive shaft on a 2009 model, but on older models it's 4 bolts in the front just behind the U-joint, same for the rear, then 2 bolts on the center bearing. Super easy.

As long as your car is in FWD mode, you can run without a drive shaft indefinitely.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yay!

And to remove the center bearing after? Does it come right off when you remove the drive shaft?

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You mean, the driveshaft that goes to the rear differential to drive the back wheels? I don't think you can safely do that on a Subaru like you can on a Volvo, for example, due to the differences in drivetrain.

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stan_t View Post
You mean, the driveshaft that goes to the rear differential to drive the back wheels? I don't think you can safely do that on a Subaru like you can on a Volvo, for example, due to the differences in drivetrain.

Stan
What about the fuse in the FWD section of the fuser box??? What is it used for?
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That will make the computer not send power to the rear diff, the physical parts will still be connected though. Maybe someone knows for sure if they are safe to disconnect, but I don't think it's very common on Subarus -- it is very common on AWD Volvos though when the bevel gear gives out.

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stan_t View Post
That will make the computer not send power to the rear diff, the physical parts will still be connected though. Maybe someone knows for sure if they are safe to disconnect, but I don't think it's very common on Subarus -- it is very common on AWD Volvos though when the bevel gear gives out.

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You did read that I was thinking about removing the driveshaft AND disabling the AWD by putting a jumper in the FWD section of the jumper box right?
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default OK...

Yes, you "can" drive the car, sans driveshaft by putting the fuse in to disable the AWD.

But...

Don't drive like speed racer while doing so. Removing the driveshaft is what you have to do with these cars to be able to tow dolly them behind an RV.

I know LOTS OF PEOPLE with AWD cars(Subaru, Volvo...pretty much ANY FWD based AWD system) that remove their driveshaft when they go on vacation(with their RV doing 95% of the drive). Do they drive hundreds of miles this way? No.

The worst thing that could happen is you attempt to drive in snow and you let the front wheels slip and it tries(in vain, cause there is no driveshaft) to send power rearward. It would probably throw all sorts of codes...none fatal.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You did read that I was thinking about removing the driveshaft AND disabling the AWD by putting a jumper in the FWD section of the jumper box right?
Yes, I did read it. I would personally not do it on a Subaru, but it's up to you. I'd rather rent a car for a week than risk breaking it further than it already is.

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default As a side note...

Once you remove your driveshaft(and you realize how simple it is) you can carry the wrench with you...and when you have a breakdown on the side of the road...

Call a towing company and say, "I have a Subaru, but I dropped the driveshaft, so you can send a regular tow truck."

You just saved yourself 40% of the cost of the tow(flat bed costs more).
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Um... does the Subaru Automatic transmission have a rear transmission seal that only works when the driveshaft is in place like the manual transmissions?
I know if you disconnect the driveshaft from a 5/6MT the transmission oil will begin to drain on you.

And for the record, Subaru doesn't use a FWD based AWD setup. The engine is longitudinally mounted with a transmission mounted aft of that. That is the typical RWD arrangement. A FWD based AWD system would use a transversely mounted engine with the transmission and differential being mounted adjacent versus aft of the engine's placement. Just because the Subaru automatic has a 90/10 power split to the front doesn't make it a FWD based setup.
The best example is to compare the Subaru drivetrain to that of a Mitsubishi Evolution or any Honda/Acura for that matter.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default That makes...

A big difference if the driveshaft has to be there to keep the seal in place.

What I meant(for the non-car literate) by FWD based AWD system...

One where the the front tires bear the brunt of motive force...until there is slip.

I'm fully aware(cause I am car literate) that Subaru isn't the "typical" FWD based system(neither is Quattro).

But the point remains that you "can" remove the driveshaft...as long as the driveshaft isn't an integral part of the trans seal.

Which, with my above "RV scenario"...you could still unbolt the rear of the driveshaft to be towed...you just have to keep the front of the driveshaft in place. (do I know all the cars where the driveshaft is integral to the seal? No. I check first on an individual basis. I used to tow my 1991 Audi V8 this way to drop it off for service. I had a tow dolly and it was 45 miles to the closest German Autohaus)

Heck, there are even some pure rear drive cars where you can't "just yank" the driveshaft...or you lose all the trans fluid.

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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You CAN try it, but it will be a disaster. As stated, the rear driveshaft also acts with the rear seal.

Can't remember if it was here or one of the other Subaru boards, someone tried it and didn't make it out of their driveway or garage.

Subaru never built it's AWD transmissions ( manual or Auto's ) to be driven wihtout that driveshaft. The FWD transmissions of the 70's 80's and early 90's were different.

We HAVE drained transmissions, both manuals and automatics, removed the driveshaft just to TOW them when a flatbed was not available, ( front up, rear on the road ).
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post
Which, with my above "RV scenario"...you could still unbolt the rear of the driveshaft to be towed...you just have to keep the front of the driveshaft in place. (do I know all the cars where the driveshaft is integral to the seal? No. I check first on an individual basis. I used to tow my 1991 Audi V8 this way to drop it off for service. I had a tow dolly and it was 45 miles to the closest German Autohaus)

Heck, there are even some pure rear drive cars where you can't "just yank" the driveshaft...or you lose all the trans fluid.
Unbolting the driveshaft at the rear would work in theory, as long as you can assure that the now unsecure and flailing driveshaft is properly secured that that it will not damage any other parts of the car. He wanted to drive the car in FWD, not tow the car on a 2-wheel car dolly.

This scenario will not benefit the OP since he is concerned about removing the driveshaft from the transmission... which we've established will drain the fluid from the transmission.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Yeah...

About the RV thing...

When I had suggested that I tow dolly it myself to the guy who owned the shop(one of the Indianapolis Autohaus...Merkle I think) he fashioned a "loop" that once the driveshaft was off the rear, you swung the loop down to hold the rear of the driveshaft about 4 inches away from the yoke.

He charged me $85(at the time, mid 90's) to put in this loop. It saved me butt loads of money in being able to tow the car to and from his shop. Once that thing was out of warranty...they did all of its maintenance(other than the basic stuff I could do).
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