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2003 Forester 4EAT
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently acquired my 2003 XS which showed no signs of torque bind on the test drive. Today I took it out for it's first drive on icy roads since I bought it, and as I cranking the steering whell all the way to one side I heard what sound like some noise form the power steering pump, but a definite hopping of the rear end. It acted this way turning both ways. I also never heard any noise from the power steering before, but sitting in the garage, cranking the wheel all the way over it did make a little noise. Interestingly, this hopping occurred on a slushy, slippery cul de sac.

Here's the thing that came to mind- last weekend I replaced the rear differential fluid with Pennzoil synthetic 75W- 90 (which I've used in my older Legacy's). The question that comes to mind is does the 2003 XS have a limited slip differential (which I know generally requires special fluid). If I did use the wrong fluid, will it cause any damage in general driving conditions (I need it to commute to the office tomorrow).
 

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2003 Forester 4EAT
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
In my case, it wouldn't be due to mismatched tires. Matched set of Michelins on the car for the past 23K miles with no more than 1/16" tread difference. Also only acts up when I have the steering wheel locked all the way over.
 

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'19 Forester LTD CVT
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3,249 Posts
In its initial stages torque bind does not show up until the transmission is warmed up. That can take 30 minutes of driving as transmissions do not heat up anywhere as fast as engines do, especially in the winter.
 

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2003 Forester 4EAT
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This feels like an occasional hop in the rear of the vehicle when the steering ins cranked all the way over to one side or the other. It first did it after driving around the block in the ice and snow (maybe 5 minutes) and it's also done it fully warmed up. I tested it 6 weeks ago by cranking the wheels all the way over and it didn't do it at all.

I did find the reference to the limited slip diff being a sealed unit, so no issues with the oil I'm using.

I was about to change the transmission fluid and the spin on filter (which looks pretty old) but the filter was stuck on pretty good. I wasn't sure I want to teatr up the filter getting it off (in case I still cant get it off and end up having to have the car towed to my mechanic). The fluid looks pretty good and didn't notice a burnt smell to it, but I's still like to change it.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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38,988 Posts
That ATF filter is considered a "non-service item" by Subaru... a permanent filter. It's only changed when the transmission is serviced. It looks like a regular oil filter, but looking inside, it's completely different! Take a look at this post in another thread.

Nothing wrong with changing that ATF filter, just make sure you get the correct filter, which is on the expensive side.

We have the original ATF filter installed in both our Foresters. In addition, we're running Red Line synthetic ATF & synthetic gear oil. Not a recommendation, just what we decided to use. :wink:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2003 Forester 4EAT
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I think I will go ahead and do a drain and fill with new ATF tomorrow to see if it alleviates the torque bind. Couldn't hurt to try running a bunch of tight circles afterwards either.
 

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2003 Forester 4EAT
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I went ahead and drained the ATF (disappointed I only got a little over 4 quarts out of it (less than half) when I've gotten 5 or more quarts out of a phase 1 4EAT). The old stuff was brownish red. I skipped the filter for this one. I refilled it with some fresh Dexron III and then drove up to our cul de sac and locked the wheel and drove in cirlces about 8 times in each direction (I was actually getting dizzy). I'm glad to say the torque bind is about 95% gone at this point. I'll do another drain and refill after a little driving (which should change out about 70% of the previous ATF).

I did get a filter for it- Beck Arnley PN # 044-8001 from Rock Auto. Are the transmission filters like thermostats where you should only use OEM?
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Not saying the Beck Arnley PN # 044-8001 would be problematic, but if it was for our Foresters, I'd spend a few extra bucks & go with a factory/OEM for the ATF filter. :wink:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 
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