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I bought this new to me 2001 Outback in late August 2014 and although I did test drive it, I attributed some clutch shudder to unfamiliarity and several years lapse from having a manual car.
I found out quickly it was more serious. I do have extensive experience in driving manual transmissions and I am very coordinated and adept at their operation. But with this car unless I start very slowly and with minimal torque and quite a light touch it will shudder violently. I have never had a car, truck, or bike do this. If I am on a hill or need to move out quick to beat cross traffic there is a good chance the shudder will occur, and when it does, there is no working thru it or feathering possible, it is so bad that you have to completely disengage and start over, usually with the same results. Only a ridiculous amount of clutch riding and a very slow gradual start will avoid this, which is difficult when you need to move out quickly or start on a hill, not to mention it will eat a clutch fast.
It seems that something is warped, and my guess is the flywheel, since I can't imagine the softer clutch material wouldn't conform and fix itself.
This seems to be an expensive problem, and I'm not sure a new clutch would fix it, since it might involve the flywheel assembly. Any help and suggestions welcome, except for driving tips, I already know how to use a clutch. This is a mechanical defect or problem. My first 3 cars where clutched, and add a van, truck and motorcycles.
San Diego, CA, USA
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