Subaru ff-1/1300/1400/1600/1800/Brat 1970-1984 Repair Guide




The linkage adjustment is important for the automatic transaxle. Great care should be exercised because improper adjustment will result in damage to the transaxle.

To determine if adjustment is necessary, check the shifting operation with the engine off and the parking brake applied. While holding in the release button with your thumb, move the selector lever forward until you can feel that the transaxle is in park. Then move the lever back and feel for the five remaining positions. If the gear selector indicator points to the proper gear at each stop, and if the selector lever does not jump when the release button is let go, the shift linkage is properly adjusted. If this is not the case adjustment is necessary.

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Fig. Fig. 1 Shift linkage found on automatic Subarus

  1. Place the gear selector in Neutral position.
  3. Loosen the adjusting nuts on the linkage rod.
  5. Check that the manual lever on the transaxle is in the N detent position.
  7. Set the gear selector lever so that it clicks in the Neutral position.
  9. Tighten the adjusting nuts.


This adjustment can be performed on the outside of the transaxle.

  1. Park the car on a level surface.
  3. Raise the vehicle and support it with jackstands, engine OFF.
  5. Locate the adjusting screw above the pan on the left side of the transaxle.
  7. Loosen the locknut.

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Fig. Fig. 2 Transaxle brake band adjusting screw location

  1. On models 1970-80, tighten the adjusting screw to 6.5 ft. lbs. (8 Nm), then turn it back exactly 2 full turns.
  3. On 1981-84 models, tighten the adjusting screw to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm), then turn it back exactly 3 / 4 turn.
  5. Tighten the locknut.

Following the above procedure will adjust the transaxle brake band to the factory specified setting. However, if any of the following conditions are detected the adjusting screw can be moved 1 / 4 turn in either direction:

Turn 1 / 4 turn clockwise if the transaxle:

Jolts when shifting from 1st to 2nd
Engine speed abruptly rises from 2nd to 3rd, or,
Shift delays in kickdown from 3rd to 2nd.

Turn 1 / 4 turn counterclockwise if:

Car slips from 1st to 2nd, or
There is braking action at shift from 2nd to 3rd.


The control valve assembly of the automatic transaxle is governed by intake manifold vacuum rather than throttle position, therefore, there is no linkage which requires adjustment.


The kickdown solenoid is located on the right side of the transaxle case. The switch is operated by the upper part of the accelerator lever inside the car, and its position can be varied to give slower or quicker kickdown response. To test its function press the accelerator to the floor with the engine off and the ignition switch on. An audible click should be heard from the solenoid.