Variable Transfer Clutch

#1

I have an 04 Subaru Baja (auto-trans) for sale. It was recently looked over at a Subaru dealership. They said the Variable Transfer Clutch (VTC) should be replaced, but I haven’t felt any rotation issues in the wheels.

Is the VTC something that has a continuous wear? Could it be worn, yet still have 25,000 miles left on it?

#2

What are you refering to when you say “still have 25,000 miles left on it”?

#3

The transfer valve and clutch pack are at the rear of the automatic transmission, and they transfer drive to the rear wheels. The valve controls hydraulic pressure on the clutch pack to reduce or increase engine power to the rear axle depending on conditions.

When the valve wears the clutch pack won’t disengage fully, and the drive train will bind under tight turning conditions. Continued use under this condition can cause internal damage to the transmission case.

This is a wear item and considered normal maintenance, but most Subarus are a lot older than 5 years when this happens. My Legacy had over 90K miles when the transfer valve was replaced.

Have you noticed any binding? Your car is relatively new for the valve to be worn, unless it has very high mileage. What made the dealer suggest a transfer valve? Were you having a problem with the car?

If you’re not noticing anything I’d say sell the car as is and don’t worry about it. The valve isn’t going to fail completely overnight and damage the car. It’s a wear process that happens over time. Who knows how much longer it may last?

#4

A prospective buyer had the car checked out at a Subaru dealership.
My Baja has 102,000 miles, so maybe it is time, but I haven’t noticed any problems.

It’s past due on the drive belt / cam maintenance , plus the transfer valve replacement, plus rear fender replacement (small crunch but costly), new tires… I can’t afford TO sell it!!

thanks for the info

#5

i.e… "Those tires still have another season before they need replacing. "

“That clutch will last a bit longer.”

#6

So, your Baja needs a timing belt, a transfer valve, and body work, right? You do have a bit of a problem.

I hope you’re pricing this thing correctly.

Maybe you should fix the problems and drive it another 100K miles.

#7

Your asking someone who can’t even see the car tell you how long this item could you last? I guess it could.

#8

It doesn’t look good. lol
I owe $14,000 and the book value is starting 'round $9,600.

I’m selling it because I can’t afford the payments/insurance anymore. yikes!

#9

Hey old school…
You’re missing the point of my question. Maybe I should rephrase: I was wondering if the VTC is something that will show wear over time (with a slow decrease in functionality), or is it a “part” that breaks and must be replaced.

below is the info that mcparadise gave me. It has been very helpful:

The transfer valve and clutch pack are at the rear of the automatic transmission, and they transfer drive to the rear wheels. The valve controls hydraulic pressure on the clutch pack to reduce or increase engine power to the rear axle depending on conditions.

When the valve wears the clutch pack won’t disengage fully, and the drive train will bind under tight turning conditions. Continued use under this condition can cause internal damage to the transmission case.

This is a wear item and considered normal maintenance, but most Subarus are a lot older than 5 years when this happens. My Legacy had over 90K miles when the transfer valve was replaced.

#10

I wish you the best of luck. You’re going to need it.

#11

thanks…

Your help has been appreciated.
All the Best in 09

#12

How much (if anything) did you put down? And how in the world do you owe $14k on a 5 year old car? Do you have another vehicle to drive should you sell this one? If this is your only vehicle I would not sell it. Instead replace the timing belt and water pump ASAP. And do what you can to pay it off or at least pay it down to where you would have equal equity and then sell it. You are in a very precarious situation.

#13

And good luck to you in finding a buyer for your Baja. I hope it works out.