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Old 12-22-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
lj8915
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Default Why are 1st and 2nd gear so terrible in these cars?

I've driven 2 wrx's (mine, 2012 and a 2013) and in both, 1st and 2nd gear never seem to go in smoothly. It just seems like it's rubbing on things when I put it into gear or something. No "knife through butter" feel.

Now, I've only driven ones with the spt short shifter so I wonder if thats the issue.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
Zaya
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I never had an issue(Only driven the STI 2013 though) Never had a problem getting it into gear/shifting. I have been told(By my friends) that the Subaru Short Shifter isn't the best and going to KartBoy would be the better choice.

Sorry if this wasn't spot on! Just giving my own experience, hopefully it has helped or shed some light on this question.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:32 PM   #3
Spenk
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Subaru MTs are notchy, but if you can't make a quick and smooth 1-2 upshift, your technique needs work.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenk View Post
Subaru MTs are notchy, but if you can't make a quick and smooth 1-2 upshift, your technique needs work.
^^ this. If youre accustomed to VW or Toyota or Honda MT, then Subaru MT will require some practice to get the shifts nice and smooth.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
Jonny Up North
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shift early.... 1st is just a granny gear... Does that help?
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:34 PM   #6
easterbran
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On my 05 Sti with a Kartboy SS, second gear is pretty smooth, but 1st is ROUGH unless I am at a stop AND stomping on the clutch like I want it to go through the floor. It's even worse on cold mornings.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
ByeBye4g63t
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easterbran View Post
On my 05 Sti with a Kartboy SS, second gear is pretty smooth, but 1st is ROUGH unless I am at a stop AND stomping on the clutch like I want it to go through the floor. It's even worse on cold mornings.
Blip the throttle slightly or when you're going to put it in gear and it doesn't go in, go back to neutral, take your foot off the clutch, and try again. I don't have this problem with my car unless the engine is still cold. However, my first car with a 5 speed had me do this everytime I went to first LOL.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
easterbran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ByeBye4g63t View Post

Blip the throttle slightly or when you're going to put it in gear and it doesn't go in, go back to neutral, take your foot off the clutch, and try again. I don't have this problem with my car unless the engine is still cold. However, my first car with a 5 speed had me do this everytime I went to first LOL.
I'll give it a shot! Thanks for the tips.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:44 PM   #9
lj8915
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What's funny is my gears are WAY smoother when I first start driving it on a cold morning (maybe cause the fluid is still thick), but it starts becoming rough after driving and everything is warmed up

Wonder if I need a better fluid? Still using the factory fill.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:44 PM   #10
424wrx
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its notchy when new. mines better thats its older. i have a kartboy ss and bushings. also i changed to subaru extra-s gear oil at 30k in the tranny and rear diff. that made a nice difference in smoothness.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:01 PM   #11
Syrius78
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I got a 11 wrx, and 1st and second gear are smooth. I got the stock shifter with the kartboy bushing.

I can only compare with my old 07 civic and 04 civic. The 07 was harsher than my wrx.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:12 PM   #12
jim_newton
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i have the SPT shifter as well, and yeah, it kinda sucks. My problem is 5th. Maybe 1 out of 3 times it won't go through the gate at speed ... i have to backout .. pause .. rev .. and then it goes in.

If you're having trouble getting it into first when the car is stopped, the key is to put it into 2nd first, then 1st. Works every time, I had that issue real bad with my RS and then I read that, and problem solved. I believe I saw that on here, the post was something like: "when i drove trucks in the military, they taught us to put it into second first, then first." the worst thing you can do is force it in
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:11 PM   #13
coalslaw
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yup. did a tranny oil change recently to motlygear 75w90 and it still has the 1-2 hardness like the oem fluid. so it's just the way it is. even the 08 2.5i MT feels like this. civic shifting is quick because their tranny is lighter and smaller probably. as for short shifters, some had synchro issues, some had more engine noise complaints, or w.e. the case is. you would be btter off using subaru spt shifters if you are under warranty.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:12 PM   #14
lordgrinz
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The SPT shifter was an improvement to me, the lifeless clutch and Hill-Assist are my biggest complaints.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:12 PM   #15
lj8915
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Is it easy to swap out the spt short shifter for a stock one?
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:14 PM   #16
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I have the factory short-shifter, Kartboy front and rear bushings, Cusco transmission mount, and Whiteline transmission member bushings. Definitely more NVH, but it shifts like sex.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale2011WRX View Post
I have the factory short-shifter, Kartboy front and rear bushings, Cusco transmission mount, and Whiteline transmission member bushings. Definitely more NVH, but it shifts like sex.
Yeah, I went to see, thank you message,Merry Christmas !
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:55 PM   #18
Dale2011WRX
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Yeah, I went to see, thank you message,Merry Christmas !
Merry Christmas to you too. Good luck with your English in the new year.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:28 PM   #19
MaddMax
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Double clutching and a well matched rev makes getting into 1st from a roll relatively easy.

Subaru's aren't alone with 1st gear "lock out" either. My 96 Maxima 5MT was like this as was my 90 CRX Si. Every G35 and Nissan Z 6MT I've driven is the same way as well.

My Maxima and CRX were pretty notchy as well, much like my WRX. My CRX was surprising since it was a cable shifter and not a direct linkage. The 6MT on the G/Z is really notchy, almost resistant going into some gears.

If you want a buttery smooth shifter, you'll need to go looking for FWD cars with cable shifters. Most every FWD Honda and VW has super smooth shifting. It's also disconnected as hell too.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lj8915 View Post
I've driven 2 wrx's (mine, 2012 and a 2013) and in both, 1st and 2nd gear never seem to go in smoothly. It just seems like it's rubbing on things when I put it into gear or something. No "knife through butter" feel.

Now, I've only driven ones with the spt short shifter so I wonder if thats the issue.
Because it's not an STi?



Flame suit on!
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:34 PM   #21
shamrocker
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Sometimes mine shifts smoothly and sometimes it's tough, not sure why. Maybe it's better in warmer weather or after driving it a while? SPT shifter and Cobb bushings, BTW.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:07 AM   #22
JAMM0N
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I have the short throw shift also. Its a pain in the ass for 1rst sometimes it feels like its jammed. During winter season this gearbox suxks. Seems to freeze up on me. Eventually i will switch to kartboy amd see how that works out but right now i am hating on my short throw shifter.

Its not what car you drive. Its all the shifter. I cant blame the gearbox can you?
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:09 AM   #23
13_DGM_Hatch
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First is tough on cold starts for me but reverse is always tough. I almost always have to go into gear then back into reverse. Is this just what makes a Subaru a Subaru? Lol
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:16 AM   #24
easterbran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 13_DGM_Hatch View Post
First is tough on cold starts for me but reverse is always tough. I almost always have to go into gear then back into reverse. Is this just what makes a Subaru a Subaru? Lol
Yeah, no synchro on the reverse iirc
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:29 AM   #25
ResidentR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMM0N View Post
Its not what car you drive. Its all the shifter. I cant blame the gearbox can you?
I absolutely can blame the gearbox for being slow and notchy. Compared to the civic si and speed3 I've driven, the gearbox in the wrx feels more suited for a truck, and no amount shifters or bushings can change the nature of the transmission, though they do make it more livable. It's part of the character that the car has, and I've learned to like it.
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