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Need some help getting back on the road

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I have a 96 Legacy that the rear end has been fried in. It's my work car so I would like to get it back on the road asap. I was wondering if I could just remove the drive shaft and both rear half shafts and drive it as a front wheel drive for the time being. I know I can remove the drive shaft but I'm not positive on if I can run it without the rear half shafts. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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you cannot completely remove the half shafts or you will destroy the wheel bearings.

you have to leave the splined ends in place and torqued.

but there is no need to remove them if you can remove the rear section of the drive shaft.


the rear section of the drive shaft is removable in the auto trans,

but not in the manual trans, i don't think.

something about the center diff viscous coupling or something.

but you could always try it.

if ti does not run just put it back in.


what it wrong with the rear diff.

they are amazingly hardy and RARELY fail unless they run out of oil.

a bad center coupling or transfer clutch is much more common.

if you have not found metal chunks in the diff oil,

it probably is not bad.



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It's a 2.2 automatic with 233xxx miles. The car is blue and one of the bearings in the rear differential failed while driving home from work. I was stubborn and tried to make it home and the rear diff ending up catching on fire. I paid a whole $250 for the car so I wasn't to concerned about it.


I'll take the cover off this weekend and see if it damaged anything inside the differential. If not I may be able to change the seals and bearings and be good.


Thanks for the quick reply.

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if the rear diff caught on fire,

i would say it is toast, pun intended.


just replace it.

you can probably buy one for $75 ,

they do not fail often so there are lots of them around.

you need a rear diff with a 4.11 final drive ratio.


you can use the dear diff out of these cars:

93 - 99 ej18 or ej22 , AUTO trans impreza

95 - 99 ej22 AUTO trans, legacy (not outback or GT or LSi


96 - 99 ej25 MANUAL trans, Outback, GT , LSi, Forester


good luck


used parts source:


sort by zip code to see what is close.

rear diffs are heavy, shipping is probably not worth it,

unless you have to.

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