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Old 10-12-2001, 03:46 PM   #1
Cjchaps
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Unhappy WRX 1st Gear Synchro Problems

Guess I'll be the first to post here.

If you have had problems with your first gear synchro on your WRX and brought it to the dealership, could you please share your experience.

I can't shift to first unless I am going below 10 or so and want to bring it into the dealership sometime to see what they say.
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Old 10-12-2001, 03:57 PM   #2
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Mines at aboutr 15mph, but it's the same thing since day 1 I had the car. Same when I had the RS. I kind of look at it as normal for the car with it's short 1st gear.

But if anyone's had this situation and a dealer said it's a problem, I'd love to hear about it too.

--kC
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Old 10-12-2001, 03:59 PM   #3
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had my WRX since monday...seems a little like that going into 1st from 2nd < 10 MPH. Doesn't bother me too much..gonna see how it is after 1k breakin and before any mods.

~V
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Old 10-12-2001, 04:48 PM   #4
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Don't you guys read your manuals?

It's not a syncrho problem. Subaru intentionally made it that way to protect the engine. If you were driving at even 30-40 and put into first gear, it's a lot of work for the engine to match up the speed. I am not sure what RPM it should be in first gear at 30mph, but if it goes above 7-8k or higher, there's a chance you will get a blown engine.

If you were even at 10mph, it won't allow you to shift to 1st unless you double clutch. If you just forcefullly shift into first, it will break the syncrho, and that's when you take it to the dealer.

If you really need to shift to 1st when moving, put the gear in neutral with the clutch engaged, blip the throttle so the rpm reaches where it should be in first gear at the speed you are travelling and then change it to first gear, it will go in. It's called double clutching.
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Old 10-12-2001, 04:54 PM   #5
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I'm sure rev matching helps during a roll, but how about from a stop.

Occasionaly (usually when people are in the car so they can laugh at me) at a dead stop with the clutch ALLLLL the way down I try to shift into first and GRIND.

Took it to a dealer, does it less but still does it.
I don't even think the syncros are involved at a stop the input and output shafts should both be at 0.

I'm waiting for someone else with some free time to bug there dealer and get his fixed.

-Ed
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Old 10-12-2001, 05:15 PM   #6
Subie Gal
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this is not a problem... it's the way the subaru is made to PROTECT your car... like was stated, read your manuals.. get to know your car a bit better...

j.
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Old 10-12-2001, 05:53 PM   #7
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Yeah, what Subie Gal said. A properly functioning VW does the same thing.
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Old 10-12-2001, 05:58 PM   #8
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If you get a grind trying to go into first, you have to put the clutch in first

seriously, though I do get this at a stop, where it doesn't want to engage. I think it is just a sweet spot (or, unsweet spot) where the engagement teeth are at just the wrong position. I have learned that when it happens, I can always select second, which moves the gears enough to get into 1st.

(at stop light)
doh!doesn't want to go to first.
(select second, and then first again)
That easy!

should it be like that? well, it isn't broken, just unrefined. They could have tuned the enagement gear to get first easier, but maybe like Jamie said, they decided to go for longevity.
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Old 10-12-2001, 06:51 PM   #9
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Originally posted by imprezadan
A properly functioning VW ...
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Old 10-12-2001, 06:54 PM   #10
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Short of being at a dead stop, 2nd gear is a far better option in any case!
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Old 10-12-2001, 08:09 PM   #11
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It is the same way with most of the MT cars I've driven. I've never owned an automatic. I would like to hear if anyone has experienced a MT that allows for easy shift-in into 1st at above 10, 15mph.
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Old 10-12-2001, 10:04 PM   #12
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first always like that

mine would pop out of first when pressure was let off the acclerator. brought it in, they rebuilt 1st and 2nd gear with all the synchros being replaced and a bunch of related hardware, if I got real ambitious I could dig out the order. took about a week

speed safely

Brian
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Old 10-12-2001, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by hkwan
It is the same way with most of the MT cars I've driven. I've never owned an automatic. I would like to hear if anyone has experienced a MT that allows for easy shift-in into 1st at above 10, 15mph.
What manual transmission cars are you talking about? Definately not Hondas, Toyotas or Nissans.
If you rev-match properly when you're double clutching there is no reason why you couldn't downshift into 1st at 30mph or so. I used to do it all the time in my Integra GS-R and my Celica and my other Integra...
It's a question of technique... and a LOT of practice... but it's doable.
As far as the WRX goes, I haven't tried very hard to do it, since the transmission is a weak point, unlike a Honda or Toyota product. However if someone says that the manual reads that there's a gear lock, I'd believe them, especially since I have unsuccessfully tried downshifting to first in an AutoX but I was blaming that on owning the car for less than 2 weeks.
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Old 10-13-2001, 01:12 AM   #14
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I've read the manuals. On the manual transmission there is a "reverse check mechanism" which prevents a direct 5th-to-reverse shift but there is nothing designed into the transmission to prevent a shift into 1st above any particular speed.

Try this. At 25 mph in 2nd gear, depress the clutch and shift to neutral and release the clutch. Then depress the clutch again and shift into 1st. If it won't go into 1st without grinding, take it to your dealer and get it fixed.

For reference, here's the section of the 2002 Impreza Owner's Manual that describes the operation of the manual transmission:
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Old 10-13-2001, 01:28 AM   #15
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down shift into 1st? mine does, but i do it realizing ITS A BAD
IDEA!

on a trip we were allowed to drive ferraris, porsche, audi tts, etc all moded our two rules were: take dips at angles and NEVER downshift into first until we were COMPLETLY STOPPED.

2cents
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Old 10-13-2001, 10:13 AM   #16
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One of the reasons I bought up this issue is because in my '91 prelude which I have been driving for the past 6 years or so, I can shift to first at 30 or 40 if I want to without any problems other than the tach redlining. I've been readjusting my driving style for how the WRX functions though... It's also that when I first got the car, it used to shift into first at higher speeds than I can now without griding. I have about 3500 miles on the car.


Quote:
Originally posted by hkwan
It is the same way with most of the MT cars I've driven. I've never owned an automatic. I would like to hear if anyone has experienced a MT that allows for easy shift-in into 1st at above 10, 15mph.
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Old 10-13-2001, 10:15 AM   #17
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Never downshift into first... okay but I was in an autox the other weekend and their was this really tight hairpin turn and everytime I exited it in second the engine sort of bogged and I was exiting really slowly and I thought loosing alot of time. I tried one run downshifting to first but it didn't want to go into gear so I just put it back into second. Was there anything I can do here or just live with it and try to make the time back somewhere else??
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Old 10-13-2001, 07:13 PM   #18
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My other two vehicals both shift into first at 25-30 without hesitation. It makes for a good jolt if you are trying to go to third.
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Old 10-13-2001, 07:23 PM   #19
GRWRX
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During an autocross you cando the 2-1 downshift, but you're taking chances. Sooner or later the first gear syncro is going to fail.
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Old 10-13-2001, 10:45 PM   #20
Jon [in CT]
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For reference, here's a table from the 2002 Impreza shop manual:
Attached Images
File Type: gif transmission.gif (41.2 KB, 1223 views)
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Old 12-27-2001, 01:43 PM   #21
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jon, how can i get access to this manual
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Old 12-29-2001, 04:12 AM   #22
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Default (hkwan)1rst at 27mph

I have no problem getting my WRX to slip into 1rst at 26-27 mph consistently. I am surprised that anyone would suggest that it is "normal" for a manual trans (of any make) to behave otherwise.

It is completely unacceptable for people to have to slow down to 5-10 mph or even come to a complete stop and shift into 2nd before being able to shift into 1rst.

I would suggest that anyone who has a WRX that behaves otherwise take it into their dealer before the warranty expires. This could even be a safety issue under certain circumstances.
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Old 12-30-2001, 02:25 AM   #23
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Why in the hell do you NEED to shift to 1st at 30-40mph? That is just stupid. Learn to drive before you start with the Subaru can't make a tranny BS.
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Old 12-30-2001, 05:06 AM   #24
midwest
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Default 2nd before 1st

SlideWRX

When I drove Tactical trucks in the Army, they taught us when stopped to shift into 2nd before 1st. I've always done that every since out of habit and its been over 15 years now! I've had many cars since then,both domestic and foriegn,with standard tranny's and almost all of them have seemed to not want to let me shift into first now and then...even while at a stop. Guess all those years were good for something after all-

midwest

p.s.
I've driven Porches,Maseratis,and Farraris who's trannys acted touchy now and then too.
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Old 12-30-2001, 12:56 PM   #25
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You don't necessarily need to shift into first at 30-40 MPH, but I would say it would be *nice* to be able to downshift into first going faster than 5mph. My WRX will grind while I try downshifting going 10 MPH. I've been happy with the transmission overall, it's just the first gear syncro seems to be the weakest link. Double clutching(release the clutch between gear shifts) does not help in any way. Rev matching helps a little bit, but it's also very picky, and a lot of the time it will still grind.

Quote:
Originally posted by HIHO
Why in the hell do you NEED to shift to 1st at 30-40mph? That is just stupid. Learn to drive before you start with the Subaru can't make a tranny BS.
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