Subaru vehicles have a wide range of transmissions, and they vary depending on models, years, and engine type. The good news is it is possible to interchange transmissions in Subaru vehicles.
In general, transmissions from the same model and year range tend to be interchangeable. For instance, manual transmissions, such as 3, 4, 5, and 6-speed versions, are usually more interchangeable. However, automatic transmissions are less versatile in this regard.
Recently I got help from a dodge truck transmission identification chart. That’s why I decided to make one with Subaru and help you find which transmissions are compatible with your vehicle. Stay with me till the end to find out more about this.
Subaru Transmission Interchange Chart – Generation/year, Model & Compatible transmissions
It is not possible to randomly change the transmission. There are specific transmissions to interchange with for a specific model and generation.
I was not sure about this while interchanging my Subaru XV’s transmission. So, I talked with some specialists and did some research on it.
Here is a chart that I made from my research about the Subaru transmission interchanging compatibility:
|3-speed automatic, 4/5-speed manual
|5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
|4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual, 5-speed manual with dual range
|Second (1990 -1994)
|Subaru Loyale (North American)
|3-speed automatic, 4-speed manual, 5-speed manual
|3-speed automatic, 4/5-speed manual
|4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual
|4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual
|4-speed automatic, 5/6-speed manual
|4/5-speed automatic, 5/6-speed manual
|4/5-speed automatic, 5-speed manual
|5/6-speed manual, CVT
|CVT, 5-speed automatic, 6-speed manual
|5-speed manual, CVT
|Sixth (2015- present)
|CVT (continuously variable transmission)
However, 3-speed automatic and 3-speed manual transmissions were used in older models, and they are now hard to find for interchanging.
4 Factors that Affecting Interchangeability of Subaru Transmission
If you have a malfunctioning or damaged Subaru transmission, you can interchange it with a similar transmission from another Subaru vehicle.
But if you are choosing a different but compatible transmission, some factors could affect the whole interchangeability procedure. Here, I have gathered those factors. Let’s take a look at them:
1. Transmission Type
Transmission type is the main fact that can affect the interchangeability process. Subaru vehicles have different types of transmissions, such as manual, automatic, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and dual range CVT.
All of them have their own versatile design and specifications. Their design and specifications can affect transmission interchangeability.
For example, a manual transmission from a different Subaru model will not properly fit the latest Subaru model that originally came with a CVT.
2. Model Year
Subaru updates and changes their vehicles from year to year. This continuous change can affect the compatibility of transmissions. It means transmissions from similar models may not match due to yearly updates.
For example, a transmission from a 2009 Subaru Impreza may not match or be compatible with a 2019 model. It’s because there are significant changes in its design and specifications.
The model year is a crucial factor that could affect the interchangeability. I have added model years in the transmission interchange chart to help you understand in a better way.
3. Engine Type
The engine type is a major factor that affects transmission interchangeability. Subaru vehicles have different engine types, from naturally aspirated to turbocharged engines.
Although you can use a custom transmission adapter plate to match any transmission with any engine, it’s not that practical. For example, a naturally aspirated Subaru transmission is incompatible with a turbocharged Subaru WRX.
It’s because they have different power outputs and torque. If you forcefully do so, the transmission will shred very quickly.
4. Different Gear Ratio
Gear ratio can affect transmission interchange in Subaru vehicles. Different models and years of Subaru have different gear ratios. It can affect the compatibility of transmissions between different models.
For example, some Subaru models have a higher gear ratio for improved acceleration, and some have a lower ratio for better fuel efficiency.
An incompatible gear ratio may cause transmission slipping and general issues with the transmission.
For example, your vehicle may get stuck in a lower or higher gear for too long, and your engine stalls.
You may also face some issues with fuel economy. So, matching the gear ratio while interchanging the Subaru transmission is essential.
Some Common Issues May Arise When Interchanging Subaru Transmissions
Your Subaru vehicle may show some issues after interchanging the transmission. These issues are common for transmissions and may arise during or after the interchange. Let’s take a look at them here:
> Mounting and Alignment Issues
The transmission may not fit properly on your vehicle as it comes from another vehicle that has different alignments. You may face vibration, noise, or other mechanical issues.
When there is an improper alignment, there could also be an early clutch and bearing problem in the transmission.
> Wiring and Electrical Issues
The wires and connectors are different in each transmission model. I was dazzled while connecting the wires in my Subaru XV. On the first try, I was unsuccessful and had a problem shifting. So, I took help from a professional.
> Shifting Problems
After interchanging transmission, there could be some shifting issues. I have faced difficulty in shifting gears. There could also be gear slipping and jerky shifting.
When I took my car to a professional, he said this could happen because of a difference in gear ratio or transmission type.
Stalling is another issue that you may face after interchanging the Subaru transmission. This is also a general problem for the latest Subaru transmissions. It can happen when you have a long ride.
Changing the thrust water and using a fluid that is suitable for CVT can eliminate the issue.
Tips For Successfully Interchanging Subaru Transmission
Interchanging the Subaru transmission is quite a complex mechanical task. You have to be a DIY expert to do it properly. I recommend getting it done by a professional unless you are confident about your expertise.
Here I recommend you some tips for successfully interchanging Subaru transmission:
- Double-check the compatibility of the transmission with your Subaru model, generation, and year.
- Try to purchase the transmission from a trusted or reputable source or person.
- Ensure the transmission is compatible with your ECM (if your model has one).
- Programme the transmission control module (TCM).
- Replace any sensors, control modules, or faulty parts if necessary.
- Let a professional mechanic or service provider do the installation.
The Subaru transmission interchange chart is a valuable element for those looking forward to replacing their Subaru transmission.
Not only that, if you have a Ford vehicle and you wish to do the same, a Ford transmission interchange chart will be invaluable. You must understand the compatibility of different transmissions with specific models.
You should also take years and generations into account for perfect compatibility. If you follow the chart and tips that I provided, I hope you will feel confident in your selection and installation process.
Certification: BSc in Mechanical Engineering
Education: Mechanical engineer
Lives In: 539 W Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75208, USA
Rasel is an auto mechanic student and writer with over half a decade of experience in the automotive field. He has worked with top automotive brands such as Lexus, Quantum, and also owns two automotive blogs autocarneed.com and taxiwiz.com.