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5EAT Remote transmission filter replacement process and fluid change. JDM 2008 Subaru Outback 3.0 Eyesight.


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TL;DR: Buy a prong style filter removal tool first, such as the Toledo one, which goes down to 60mm diameters.


Thought I'd share a brief writeup on the remote mounted ATF filter replacement for the 5 speed auto.

For a JDM 2008 Outback EZ30 in my case, but probably similar for a Legacy/Liberty 2.0/2.5 GT,  Outback 2.5 XT, Tribeca, and possibly the rare Forester “S Edition”. These filters don't exist to my knowledge on the newer 3.6 vehicles.


I was surprised to find my car had one of these filters, as they were supposedly deleted from 2008. But I guess the cutoff was after May when mine was built.


They are supposedly a lifetime filter, but I have no idea if the previous owners in Japan had it changed, and 14+ years sounds like more than a filter's lifetime to me, the element is made of paper after all. 


The genuine Subaru/Tokyo Roki AT filter can probably be found cheapest on EBay or Amayama. but I got one of TradeMe from "redengineparts" based in Whangarei, because I wanted it quickly.

This wasthe listing the listing link, or Subaru Part number 38325AA032.


This video explains things well, and this other video shows the various Subaru filters cut open, and why it's best to go genuine for these. Transmission/hydraulic fluid is pumped at a much higher pressure than engine oil, meaning the bypass pressure for a normal engine filter would be completely wrong.

The genuine filter also has an anti drain back valve, meaning it stays filled with the engine stopped, and there is less mess on removal.


Battery removal/reinstallation is super easy, if you can't figure that out from the video then don't attempt this.

Biggest issue was getting the old filter out in the tight space. I had unbolted the small wiring harness bracket to get a bit more space, but this shouldn't be necessary. The last guy in Japan had installed it a little too tight for my pliers or bare hands. The bigger EZ30 oil filters are much easier.
I didn't want to risk puncturing the filter with the pliers and still not be able to remove it, so I picked up a Toledo 3 prong tool from SCA. Pics in last image of the Imgur album. This filter diameter is only like 65mm, so all the other brands were too big. There was only just enough room to get a 3/8 ratchet onto it.


A short story in a photo album: https://imgur.io/a/mAl9bsN


Prefilled the new filter with new Idemitsu ATF-HP, lubed the seal, checked the old seal had come out with the old filter. Then tightened as tight as my ATF covered hand could get it. Filter says 14-16Nm, but it was too tight to get a torque wrench in there. Service manual says a bit less than that anyway.


Started it up, checked the gears still worked lol, then removed the battery again to check for leaks and try to get it a bit tighter. Also did my 3rd drain and fill of the pan. Shifts seem slightly smoother, but they were never bad in the first place. ECU reset with the battery disconnect may have helped a little too.


I'll leave the correct ATF brand and ATF replacement procedure for another post.




Edited by jwd146
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  • jwd146 changed the title to 5EAT Remote transmission filter replacement process and fluid change. JDM 2008 Subaru Outback 3.0 Eyesight.

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