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

Manual Transaxle



In all 4-speed, 5-speed and 4-wheel drive models the transaxle and drive axle share a common supply of lubricant. On 1970-73 vehicles the lubricant level should be checked at least every 3 months/3000 miles (5000 km), whichever comes first. For 1974-80 models check the level every 6 months/6000 miles (9700 km). On 1981-84 models, check every 6 months/7500 miles (12,000 km).

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1 Recommended lubricant grades for the manual transaxle

Refer to the Capacities chart for the correct amount of lubricant the transaxle and drive axle in your vehicle needs. Use API GL-5 hypoid gear oil of one of the following viscosities:

SAE 90-above 30°F (-1°C)
SAE 85W-below 30°F (-1°C)
SAE 80W-below 0°F (-18°C)


The level is checked with a dipstick in much the same manner as the engine oil level. The dipstick is located on the right rear (passenger) side of the transaxle housing.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2 Manual transaxle dipstick location

Be careful not to confuse it with the engine oil dipstick, which is located on the same side of the engine. It may be necessary on some models to remove the spare tire in order to gain access to it.

  1. Check the transaxle oil level with the vehicle parked on a level surface and the engine OFF .

The engine should be shut off for at least three minutes before the transaxle oil level is checked.

  1. Remove the spare tire if necessary. Pull the dipstick out and wipe it with a clean cloth. Insert the dipstick again and then remove it.
  3. Hold the dipstick horizontally and check the oil level.
  5. The oil level should be between the upper and lower marks. If it is below this, replenish it through the dipstick opening with GL-5 hypoid 80 or 90 weight gear oil.

Add a little oil at a time. The distance between the marks on the dipstick is less than a pint. Do not overfill.

  1. Install the dipstick and install the spare tire if removed.


  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface. Turn engine OFF and apply the parking brake.
  3. Raise and support the vehicle with jackstands.
  5. Place a container of adequate capacity beneath the drain plug which is located underneath the vehicle, on the bottom of the transaxle housing.
  7. Use the proper size metric wrench to loosen the drain plug slowly, while maintaining a slight upward pressure, to keep the oil from leaking out around the plug.
  9. Allow all of the lubricant to drain from the transaxle, then install the drain plug and gasket (if so equipped) DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN .
  11. Remove the transaxle dipstick and fill the transaxle to the capacity shown in the Capacities chart. Do not overfill.
  13. Use the dipstick to check the oil level. It should come up to the full mark.
  15. Insert the dipstick and lower the vehicle.
  17. Check for leaks around the drain plug and check for proper transaxle/transaxle operation.