How to Remove & Replace a Subaru Transmission

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If you must replace your clutch, replace your transmission or have it rebuilt, you will have to remove the transmission. Removing the transmission on a Subaru is straightforward and similar to the process for other vehicles, with some key differences. The Subaru transmission is relatively heavy, so it would benefit you to have a helper when lifting it in and out of the car and to ensure that it remains on the lift during removal.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet
  • Wrench
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Punch
  • Hammer
  • Transmission lift attachment for jack stand
  • New clutch kit
  • Resurfaced or new flywheel
  • Lift the Subaru with the jack, and rest the vehicle on jack stands.

  • Drain the transmission gear oil from the transmission. To do this, use a 1/2-inch drive ratchet, and insert it into the transmission drain plug and remove the plug. This will ensure that you don't spill transmission fluid during removal.

  • Disconnect the drive shaft and exhaust pipe, as they will both be in the way of removing the transmission. The drive shaft will be connected to the transmission with four bolts. Simply use a wrench to remove them. To remove the exhaust, use a ratchet and extensions if necessary.

  • Remove the transmission mount at the top the transmission with a wrench or ratchet. It will be connected to the firewall and held with a bolt.

  • Disconnect any wiring connected to the transmission, and remember where it goes.

  • Disconnect both drive axles from the transmission. Subaru uses pins that hold the axles to the transmission; use a punch and hammer to drive the pins out to remove the axles.

  • Use the ratchet to remove the seven or eight bolts holding the transmission to the engine block. Place a transmission lift underneath the transmission to hold the transmission and lower it down. If you don't have a transmission lift, you can also use a transmission attachment for your jack.

  • Shake the transmission back and forth until it drops onto the jack. Pull the transmission straight back, ensuring that no pressure is put on the input shaft, and lower the transmission to the ground.

  • Jack the new transmission into place, and push the input shaft straight into the flywheel hole. Bolt it down to specification.

  • Install the axles by pushing them into the transmission with your hands. Then insert the pins with your hand, and use a punch and hammer to drive them into the axle.

  • Reconnect the wiring, exhaust system and drive shaft in reverse order of the steps above.

  • Use the ratchet to connect the transmission to the transmission mount on the firewall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Getting the input shaft splines to line up in the clutch may prove difficult. If this happens, spin the output shaft with your hand. This will reposition the input shaft and allow you to insert it into the clutch.
  • The transmission is very heavy (150 pounds) and could inflict injury if you are not careful handling it. If you aren't in good shape physically, this job is better left to the pros.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect yourself from injury.

References

  • "Automotive Repair and Rebuilding;" Jeffrey J. Rehkopf; 2006
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