2004 Legacy Tranny Cooler Line quandary

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by acroth1981, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. acroth1981

    acroth1981

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    Location:
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    Hello all, I’m pretty new here and since there appears to be an abundance of informed people here I though I’d ask a question.....
    I’m completely rebuilding a 2004 Subaru Legacy 35 Anniversary Wagon I recently picked up. I wanted a Subaru project of my own after doing a few overhauls on Customer vehicles. We own a Baja too but that car has been maintained and rarely needs much.

    While tearing down the top end of the engine in this Legacy I found that the Automatic Transmission Cooler lines were disconnected from the radiator. Clearly the radiator was replaced. I’ve been doing this stuff all my life and I recognize a new aftermarket radiator when I see one. The typical crappy caps are still installed on the cooler in & out tubes at the bottom of the radiator.

    My first suspicion was some shade tree mechanic rigged it for whatever reason but forgot to go back & connect the lines.

    The part that’s tripping me up is the lines are connected to each other with tranny shop fittings. These are not your typical auto parts store or hardware store plumbing parts but more like the random fittings that come with auxiliary tranny coolers or that might come from Transmission distributors like TransStar.
    I sort of think a tranny guy bypassed the radiator but I can’t understand why? I started wondering if these radiators might be prone to some sort of a failure or cross contamination so someone in “the know” bypassed it. Or maybe there is really no good reason to bypass the cooler. I’ve never encountered anything quite like this. My instincts tell me to connect the lines to the radiator.

    The guy said he was driving this thing as a daily ride til the inspection ran out (though I don’t know how since virtually every aspect of this car was pretty clapped out).

    What I will say is the ATF is relatively clean, the tranny shifts normal (when compared to our cream puff Baja). I’ve literally only driven the car about 5 miles. I towed it home, did a few things to it, and on the test drive I quickly decided I wasn’t driving it up I got through the engine overhaul and a drivetrain overhaul (I-joints and front cv’s were total trash). The fluid is not fresh but it’s not burned either. I’ve just finished up the engine. All the mechanical stuff is just about done except the front CV’s. As soon as the CV’ s are done and I figure out which way to go with the lines it’s ready for another test drive, followed by differential oil change and a tranny service.

    Anyone have any thoughts or should I just go ahead and reconnect the lines. I humbly await any input.

    Thanks in advance
     
    acroth1981, Jun 25, 2019
    #1
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  2. acroth1981

    acroth1981

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    Location:
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    Just for the hell of it, this is what I’ve done to the car so far. It’s purring like a kitten and I’m eager to start putting some miles on it!

    Electrical

    • New battery
    • Replace center console light bulbs
    • Install Double Din Radio
    • Install 4 new (used) speakers w/ foam baffles
    • Re-wire cigarette lighter for constant power
    • Gauge cluster bulb covers
    • Reinstall cluster

    Exhaust

    • Build new intermediate exhaust pipe
    • New catalytic donut seal
    • New catalytic flange bolts & springs
    • New muffler gasket

    Drivetrain & Brakes

    • New tires
    • Install new rear drive shaft
    • Replace rear brake rotors & pads
    • Re-machine new rear rotors for proper fit
    • Clean & service parking brake
    • Replace front brake rotors & pads
    • Replace front brake hoses
    • Bleed brakes

    Engine

    • New spark plugs
    • New engine air filter
    • Clean mass air flow sensor
    • Disassemble engine air intake
    • Make new throttle body gasket
    • Replace 2 center plenum gaskets
    • Clean intake manifold internally
    • Sandblast intake manifold & paint
    • Clean throttle body
    • Replace coolant crossover pipe o-rings
    • Sandblast coolant crossover pipe & paint
    • Sand blast fuel injector cover brackets & re-paint
    • Repair / braze leaking heater core pipe
    • Re-paint heater core pipe
    • Wire wheel top of engine case
    • Re-paint top of engine case
    • Repair right side rocker cover bolts stripped
    • Sandblast rocker covers
    • Repair rocker cover fasteners Right top x2 stripped, installed studs
    • Replace rocker cover gaskets & seals
    • Replace AC o-rings
    • Clean AC lines
    • Refurbish EGR Valve
    • Refurbish Alternator
    • Refurbish AC compressor
    • New AC compressor clutch
    • New pcv valve
    • New pcv valve hose
    • Re-paint all top engine components
    • Replace harmonic balancer
    • Replace AC tensioner pulley slide and bolt
    • Refurbish AC tensioner bracket
    • Sandblast accessory brackets & repaint
    • Refurbish alternator tensioner
    • Refurbish engine hardware
    • Refurbish remaining oem hose clamps
    • Refurbish fuel lines
    • Refurbish fuel injectors (clean,filters, seals)
    • Refurbish fuel rail
    • Reinstall intake manifold
    • Reinstall accessory brackets
    • Reinstall Ac compressor
    • Pull vacuum on Ac / test leaks PASSED
    • Load 12oz r134a
    • Reinstall alternator
    • Reinstall Ac belt tensioner
    • Make subaru balancer tool
    • Sandblast power steering pump
    • Engine oil & filter change
    • Paint power steering pump
    • Torque harmonic balancer
    • Install power steering pump
    • Cleanup power steering lines
    • Install belts
    • Reinstall battery
    • Reinstall air filter housing
    • Install thermostat & housing
    • Install water pump bypass hose
    • Fill & bleed coolant
    • Check for leaks fuel & coolant
    • Recharge ac (already put 12oz r134a)
    • Install hoses
    • Reinstall washer reservoir

    Body

    • Repair rear hatch release
    • 3D print vent gauge pod for trans temp gauge
    • Sand & paint vent gauge pod
    • Needle scale any undercarriage rust
    • Paint needle scaled surfaces
    • Reupholster drivers door panel arm rest black vinyl
    • New wiper blades x3
    • Reinstall dashboard trim

    Left to do:


    • Drill hole for trans temperature gauge wiring
    • Wire trans temp gauge
    • Install trans temp sender
    • Install front cv shafts
    • Test drive
    • Trans fluid change
    • Differential fluid change
    • Repair sunroof drains / rear water leak
     
    acroth1981, Jun 25, 2019
    #2
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