('01-'02) Forester Auto Trans and AWD question. - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 4
Car Year: 2002
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: AT
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Forester Auto Trans and AWD question.

2002 Subaru Forester 2.5l with AT.

Hello all. I'm Dave and new to this forum thing. I'm hoping someone on here can share some insight on the Forester AWD system that can help me to determine if I should consider replacing my blown AT with another that I have in a spare parts car.

The other day while driving home my AT started making some loud grinding sounds. It began clunking from a dead stop while pulling out. It grinds and hums particularly loud while in park and in neutral. The ATF level appears fine and started out of nowhere. I'm not sure if it's related, but I did have a front caliper freezing up on me for the past week, so maybe the extra strain on the trans from the brakes rubbing caused damage to the AT???

Anyway, my question is this: Is it worth it for me to take my AT out of my parts car? My parts car is also a 2002 forester with an AT however, this cars AWD never seemed to work properly. It seemed like it was only a front wheel drive car until the wheels spun excessively in the snow and the RPM would get very high and only then the AWD would clunk very hard and activate the rear wheels. Does the AT control the AWD or is it something in the rear diff that activates the rear wheels to spin? Also, the car has no trouble codes.

I don't have a lot of money to get the car fixed at a shop but I am pretty mechanically savvy, however I have no experience with AT's other than swapping them out.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:23 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston
Posts: 449
Car Year: 2005
Car Model: Forester 2.5X RWD
Transmission: JDM 6mt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
To me, it sounds like both of those vehicles have a bad center differential.

Best case is that your current AT in the car has 100% shot trans mounts and its bucking about under the car.

For the parts car AT, that is a worn/broken center diff causing the FWD to AWD issues.

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sleepstate

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 4
Car Year: 2002
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: AT
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Thanks for giving me a place to start looking, Sleepstate. I'm going to do some research on here on the center diff. Do you (or anyone else) happen to know if the center differential can be changed out while the AT is still in the car, or is it best to remove the AT?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 07:00 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston
Posts: 449
Car Year: 2005
Car Model: Forester 2.5X RWD
Transmission: JDM 6mt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
It requires a special puller on the AT, I assume you could do it in there, but it would probably make the job much easier out of the car.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 08:21 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Monessen PA
Posts: 10
Car Year: 2002
Car Model: Forester S Premium
Transmission: 4 EAT w dif lock
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Side question

A spin off question. Is there a way for a shop to diagnose a worn/bad center diff?

My '02 EAT does the same thing - acts as if it is a FWD, not AWD. Bought used, low mileage (65k), and from the looks of things, she very well maintained. Googled both previous owners when I got the title, and both were "little old ladies", not that that means anything.

Thanks,
Mike

Mike

'02 Forester S Premium
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