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#7: 01-29-2013, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by whitetiger View Post
All late model 5mt subaru's use a VLSD in the center including the non-turbo ones.
Ok - so there isn't a swappable 'open differential' alternative available.

Originally Posted by whitetiger View Post
The VLSD diffs are sealed units. you can not "drain the fluid out." you can swap in the full diff in your "old trans" in your the one that is binding if its still good.
Ok - so that option isn't avavilable either!

My old transmission has done 100k and having read various articles about them the viscous couplings often only last about this long so I am slightly reluctant to swap it as I may have the same problem again in a very short time!

Originally Posted by whitetiger View Post
I'm a little skeptical of the fact that your center diff has gone bad. If you haven't had someone verify that it is your center diff, you should get a second opinion. Could just be a bad axle. If it is in fact your center diff, then it must be replaced. No getting around it. you could get one of the fatermarket ones, but of course they are alot more $$$$.
Fairly certain it is the centre viscous coupling:

Test 1
Turning the stering wheel, whilst manoeuvring at low speeds, feels like gently applying the brakes; i.e. the transmission is binding.

Test 2
Front weels off the ground (rear wheels on the ground), with the transmission in nutral, I can't rotate both front wheels in the same direction at the same time.

Thanks for your advice "whitetiger" - looks like I will just have to 'bite the bullet!'

Thinking about why it may have failed - I did get a puncture about 3 or 4 months ago where I had to put the 'space saver' spare wheel on and drive ~30 miles. As the space saver is a smaller diameter this will have caused the outputs of the centre diff to be spinning at different rates and heat up the fluid which ultimately could have cause the failure I now have.

If this is the case why do Subaru put space saving wheels in their cars? ...because if they are ever used they are likely to result in centre viscous coupling failure! Do they warn about this in the owners manual (unfortunately I don't have an owners manual to check).