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99 forester
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I have a 98 automatic forester and yesterday when I was exiting the highway my front wheels locked and it stopped in the middle of the exit!! Some guy even ran over my emergency triangle!!

Now I have to fix it, im trying to figure out what happened.

A couple of weeks ago I had the suspension serviced and after that a whine from the transmission started, now it just locked.

When I put the car in gear it seems to actuate the gear but it doesnt move one inch (I cant rev the motor freely so I think its in gear and not in Neutral)

If I lift the front wheels off the ground they turn (if I turn the left to the front the right turns to the rear. So it seems that the spiders in the front diff are not broken)

The rear rolls normal without any lock.

My hypothesis is that either the front diff got locked or the center diff is damaged.

the tranny has a badge on top that reads
TZ103ZR1AA - L2

does that mean something?

The foz is a 98 model with 2.0L engine (120hp), auto tranny and sls rear suspension. Its from a saudi market or something.

What transmission can I buy used to replace this one without replacing the rear differential ratio. I have found many on ebay but im worried about the ratio.

thanks for any help i can get
 

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04 XT
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318 Posts
My hypothesis is that either the front diff got locked or the center diff is damaged.
I wouldn't think the front diff is damaged because then the spider gears probably wouldn't work...?

No clue.

All I can say is get as many part numbers off everything as you can and go to work searching forum archives.
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,752 Posts
The auto transmission does not have the center diff per se. Either way, you'll have to remove and disassemble transmission.
 

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99 forester
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Where on the tranny can I find its model number (like in the casting, how to read that sticker or something), so I can buy a used one with the same ratios and controlled with my TCU

If its not the differentials, could it be the Park holder that is engaged and so it hold the car stuck?

thanks for any help I can get
 

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548 Posts
The parking pawl is supposed to be a weak device not capable of locking the wheels (it would break up) unless it was a low speed slippery situation.
 

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99 forester
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I was doing 30mph and it was dry, the tires left 20ft of marks so I guess it wasnt the park prawl.

What could lock or jam like that?

how do I know the model of the tranny so that I can buy a used one? All I want is the ratio of the front differential to be the same as my rear so that they are compatible, if I happen to find one with a shorter first gear or final drive would only be a bonus!
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,073 Posts

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,752 Posts
What could lock or jam like that?
Something major. Expect broken shafts and/or gears inside the transmission. Might as well start looking for a new one.

maybe a cracked front diff housing allowing the ring and pinion to bind and lock up. this would still allow the spider gears to function.... It would not be the first to be posted on here, but rare.
Siunce fronts are still spinning fine, it's likely the transmission. The rears are probably just got disconnected at TC and thus did not lock up.
 

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99 forester
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I took out the front oil drain and there was no oil in there (front diff)!!!

So Im guessing the bearings blew and made the ring and pinion lock up.

Can I change the differential only or would I need a new transmission?

Anybody know the ratios for usdm and jdm trannys (not 1-4 gears but the diffs ratio) so that I can start looking for a new one.

thanks
 

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548 Posts
I took out the front oil drain and there was no oil in there (front diff)!!!
Was the diff case intact or broken after the lock-up?
If intact, was there any sign of leaks?
(Unfortunately I do not know any ratios for your model...)
 

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2002 L
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273 Posts
I took out the front oil drain and there was no oil in there (front diff)!!!

So Im guessing the bearings blew and made the ring and pinion lock up.

Can I change the differential only or would I need a new transmission?

Anybody know the ratios for usdm and jdm trannys (not 1-4 gears but the diffs ratio) so that I can start looking for a new one.

thanks
That was gonna be my guess! They question you need to ask yourself first, is WHY there is no oil in there. It either leaked out, or some work was done and somebody forget to put some in!
 

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2007 2.5X 5mt
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943 Posts
That was gonna be my guess! They question you need to ask yourself first, is WHY there is no oil in there. It either leaked out, or some work was done and somebody forget to put some in!
Did you go to Iffy Lube lately? They have a habit of overfilling crank cases and draining front diffs. (They seem to think front diff drain is oil pan drain then add oil to your still full engine)
 

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99 forester
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
yep I had my shocks changed and I think the mechanic drained the diff and forgot to refill it.

Im going to disassemble it and see if I can salvage it but I think its toast.

I want to get a new transmission but it has to have the same ratios so I need some help
 

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none none
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9,011 Posts
If you don't want to worry about the FD ratio, you could just pickup a 4eat with a matching rear diff.

IIRC most auto foresters are 4.11 gearing. Some turbo models are 4.11 or 4.44. I believe most imprezas are in the 3.54 to 3.9 range (at least the MT models are, not sure about auto though).
 

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99 forester
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
the front diff didnt have any oil and the bearing on the pinion seized.

I wanted to change just the bearing but the ring and pinion got marked and itll hum so I bought a new jdm tranny from ebay for $300 shipped

thanks for all the help

ps: can someone tell me the oils (type and amount) used in the front and rear diff and inside the auto tranny to replace everything when it arrives
 

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2002 Forester S Sport
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25 Posts
Why aren't you having your mechanic (who forgot to fill it back up) pay for everything?
 
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