2000 Subaru Outback M Tran stuck in neutral

my 2000 Subaru Outback Manual Transmission is stuck in neutral. I thought it might be the clutch so I pulled it out of the car and checked the clutch linkage etc. With the transmission fully removed from the car the shift lever does not move at all. My question is, if the transmission is fully removed from the engine should the shift lever function?

Sounds like the shift linkage is jammed.

Maybe I wasn’t clear. I removed the WHOLE transmission from the engine, shift linkage included, and the rod that comes out of the transmission does not move at all…stuck.

Oh, an actuation lever on the transmission is jammmed? Then you have internal transmission issues. Is the fluid at the full level? Is there an access plate of some sort you can remove to take a look inside? I’d drain it first and look at the oil for signs of metal particles/pieces, that kind of thing.

awesome, thank you for the great answer. Internal transmission issues is exactly what I needed to hear but didn’t want to believe.

You might post your questions on a Subaru site, folks there have dealt with these a lot.

This usually points to a shift rail detent problem or a bent shift rail. In some cases it involves digging deeper into the shift fork situation.

A problem like this can also be caused by a collision that may have happened in the past.

Subaru manual transmissions are not that difficult to tear apart but a lot could depend upon your mechanical abilities. There are a few quirks in there that can lead to serious problems if reassembly is not done correctly.