Vacuum Modulator Replacement, EA82 Models
Ed McQue wrote this, and we all thank him!:
Symptom: Loss of automatic transmission fluid though there are no apparent leaks. White smoke may or may not be present from the tail pipe. Probably cause: Blown vacuum diaphragm in the vacuum modulator. The white smoke is the ATF burning in the combustion chamber. The more smoke you see, the worse the modulator is. Solution: Replace modulator. Procedure: Remove the spare tire for easier access. Facing the vehicle, the vacuum modulator will be on the left hand side of the engine. It is the only thing with a vacuum hose attached to it. The vacuum hose will be a short rubber "elbow" hose with one end going to the modulator and the other end going to a steel line that runs to the intake. Refer to the photo if you can't find it. The shinny brass item is the vacuum modulator, but the stock one will be a dull grey color. Remove the rubber line from the vacuum modulator. The modulator unscrews from the transmission counter-clockwise (lefty-loosey). You may need to use channel-locks to get the modulator to move. Spin off the old and spin on a new and snug it (no need to torque it super tight). WARNING: The vacuum modulator is holding back ATF, so have a catch pan ready underneath the transmission and have the new modulator in hand and ready to put on. The FRAM part number for the replacement vacuum modulator is FM 2324. Make sure you top off the transmission when you are through.
If you have questions for Ed the email address is at the top where I typed his name, or you can post on the Ultimate Subaru Message Board and I am sure somebody will help ya.