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Pre-2005 Subaru Manual Transmissions

I’m hoping to check out something I’ve heard recently. I heard that Subaru had recurring issues with their pre-2005 manual transmissions and that they completely changed the 5spd starting in '05 models. Is there any truth to this? If so, is it true for all models or just some? Has anyone had experience with pre-2005 subaru 5spds, either positive or negative?

What model are you considering?

we’re looking at the forester and outback wagon. i heard that the manual transmissions in the pre-05s were prone to problems. Any truth to this?

For what it is worth…my 96 went 135K original clutch, no problems, my 2001 has 110K original clutch, no problems.
The 2001 has a little clutch shudder when it is cold and wet outside, but it has done that for ever.

The only ones known to have issues were 2002-2004 WRX’s. Otherwise no worse or better than any other car.

Subaru manual transaxles have 2 faults IMHO. One is that their synchronizer rings do not get as good a grip on the gear they’re fitted to. This can lead to a gear crunch if shifting rapidly.
The other is the large number of selective parts Subaru uses during a transaxle repair. Since an independent shop is not likely going to spring for dozens of parts they will only use a few of, any manual transaxle repairs should go to the Subaru dealer unless the guy at the independent shop really knows his stuff.

Generally speakings, the transaxles are perfectly acceptable and most problems are caused by the car owners. Dragging clutches, hard shifting, and even riding around with the weight of the hand/arm resting on the gearshift lever will cause problems.
The latter is often what causes the transaxle to jump out of gear. This usually occurs in 3rd or 4th gear since that is the 2 gears that the car owner generally uses when shifting constantly. It all depends on the owner’s habits.

JMHO anyway and don’t worry about manual transaxle problems. The Ford T5 manual transmission in the Mustangs also get a bad rap for dependability but what is not stated is that most of those T5s get some serious abuse from the owners.
You know a 19 year old kid with a 5.0 Mustang and 5 speed is not going to hot dog it a bit…:wink: