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Discussion Starter #1
Vehicle: 2000 Forester L, 200K miles, 4EAT.

I thought this was an engine issue, but I am thinking it is actually transmission. Even though this car has little value, the plan is to give it to our son in a few years so fixing it will happen. I'd prefer to not have a shop fix it, but I might have to pony up for it.

I did the secret handshake and I got 2 blinks per second indicating there are no transmission codes.

Symptoms:
Observed: About 1 mile from home, car will attempt to stall when coming to stop or slowing for a turn.
At idle, the engine seems like it is under a slight load, more than normal. The idle seems strained at that point. Put it into neutral and that goes away.
Also, when still cold, the RPMs will jump when shifting from 2 to 3 indicating some slippage or delayed engagement. That goes away quickly as it warms up
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Feel: The transmission and car feels bound up. I'm now getting some noise on turns and acceleration. I could swear it is a right rear noise when turning right. Like a CV joint. It gets better when car warms up. Yesterday I noticed an almost clunky noise from left front under harder acceleration. In the snow, around the culdesac, under acceleration it pushes (understears) like a bulldozer. Let off the gas and the push goes away.

I'm leaning towards a bad solenoid in the transmission, but the codes didn't give me anything. Could a solenoid be bad even if not getting a code?

Transfer clutch duty? That wouldn't be too hard. Drop the pan and Sonnax sells a solenoid kit.

Transfer clutch solenoid - this would suck because I would have to pull the transmission, right? Have to pull the tail off?

Line pressure duty so solenoid?

Plan is to do some diagnostic work tonight and see if I can get information on potential issues.
Other thoughts or experience with these symptoms?
 

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Sounds like your torque converter clutch isnt fully disengaging. I think it will only throw a code if the opposite occurs P0741, and it detects a mismatch when the TC clutch is supposed to be engaged. I know on the phase II 4EAT, the TC clutch is controlled by a selenoid that is accessible via removing the pan...problem is that on the phase II, they dont sell the selenoid separately..... I think they did on your vintage however.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
@Inspector I know Rostra sells the solenoid for a phase 2 version 2. I thought 2000 was a phase 1. But in looking, I think it is a phase 2 version 1. I guess that is the first thing to figure out.

Is there a way to test it before dropping the pan?
 

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On mine, Rostra only sells the transfer clutch solenoid (the one that controls power to rear wheels) but not the one for the torque converter clutch.

I think you'd need one of those advanced subaru obd readers which can get into the AT module to do any troubleshooting ahead of time. Personally, i would just try replacing the solenoid....that way if you know that doesnt work, the transmission is probably not worth saving.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Put the 2wd fuse in. Initially it felt a little different, but all the same noises were there. Pulled the fuse and it felt the same as with the fuse in.

If the fuse test has no change, does that point to a particular issue more specifically?
 

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I think you're confusing the transfer clutch with the torque converter clutch, and you have reconfirmed that your problem is probably the torque converter clutch.
 
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