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Old 12-30-2001, 01:39 PM   #26
HIHO
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You own an AWD now and there are some different rules involved. 10 mph is the right and only time you really need to shift into 1st. Subarus are geared lower than most other cars too.
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Old 12-30-2001, 02:05 PM   #27
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You can say it until you're blue in the face....
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Old 12-31-2001, 02:26 AM   #28
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Default AWD?

What does AWD have to do with the speed at which a trans can be shifted into first gear? My wife's AWD RAV4 will easily shift into first above 20 mph.

As stated above, my WRX will slip into first consistently at 26-27 mph.

As for *why* a driver would want to do this, it may be uncommon but there are situations that call for MAX acceleration--for example, let's say you're slowing down at an intersection when you notice one of those big Leach garbage trucks come up behind you at a high rate. It's obvious it isn't going to stop and you're about to be creamed *unless* you can grab first gear and nail the throttle. But toooo bad, the syncros don't work just right and you're forced to shift back into 2nd by which time you've been rammed by a big smelly trash truck. Ag-ra-vation!
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Old 12-31-2001, 11:11 AM   #29
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The Rav4 is not the same AWD system as the Subaru.

Quote:
As stated above, my WRX will slip into first consistently at 26-27 mph.
I doubt this is a true statement. You are the one that is having a problem with their syncros.

There must be something wrong with your engine too because I can take off pretty well in 2nd at any kind of rolling speed. Hell if the garbage truck rear ends you than sue'em.

Learn something about your car before you start telling everyone theirs is broken.

http://www.fortunecity.com/silversto...%20and%20Brake
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Old 12-31-2001, 01:27 PM   #30
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Default HiHo

You didn't answer my question: What does AWD (or FWD or RWD) have to do with the speed at which a trans will slip into first gear?
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Old 12-31-2001, 01:46 PM   #31
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Think about it. When the tranny is responsible for 4 wheels turning instead of 2 there is alot more stress. It is really simple. When you jerk an AWD car from 1-2k rpms to 6-7k rpms there is alot of stress that is not there in a FWD or RWD car. A Subaru unlike alot of other AWD cars as a REAL, even, distrubution of power. 50-50% and 60-40% to front and back. Alot of other AWD cars,trucks are really FWD untill a wheel slips. So your normal rules do NOT apply when you are talking about a TRUE AWD car.
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Old 05-14-2003, 01:51 AM   #32
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Default Gotta respond

Ok, my first post (I've only had the car for a few days), but I had to respond.

The reason I found this thread was because I was searching on google to find why I was having so much trouble downshifting into first from second at a reasonable speed. This is needed, especially in critcally important situations, because this car has a LOT of turbo lag, and it's hard to pull at 10mph in 2nd gear. When you've slowed down to enter an intersection, and then realize you have time to make a left turn if you go quickly, and begin to go, can't shift to first, go back to second, floor it, and get nothing because of turbo lag... that is a serious safety problem caused by a bad transmission.

First off, the reason many people talked about going into 2nd before 1st from a standstill in other cars: most gearboxes are a combination crashbox and synchro'd box, with synchros on all gears except 1st and reverse. Since these gears are only needed (theoretically) from a standstill, you don't really need synchros. Therefore, shifting into second allows you to get the drive shaft (I believe I have this the right way) moving at close to the speed of the first gear so that you can then shift to first more easily.

The WRX, however, has a "fully sychromeshed" gearbox, according to the manual. That, I assume, means that every gear, even first and reverse, has sychnros.

Now, if there's a block, an actual bar that steps in and prevents you from going into first from above 10 mph, that would be one thing. But that's not the case, because people are reporting a grinding sound, which indicates the synchro is NOT working. No matter how you cut it, a grinding synchro is NOT a safety feature. That's called permanent damage. Anyone saying that Subaru made the car to grind in order to save the engine is making a logical mistake, because that would trade the gearbox for the engine. Further, I'd rather burn out the first gear than total the whole car because I can't hit first and the engine bogs and I get nailed making a low speed left turn. That saves the gearbox but wrecks the whole car. Not good either.

So, does first have a synchro? If so, why can't you shift into it at a reasonable speed? If the engine can stand doing 30mph in 1st (which I'm pretty sure is possible) why can't you shift into it? If I shove the hell out of the gear and make it engage, the engine can take it. So am I meant to shove the gear? This is what you'd do in a Porsche, and let their best-around synchros do the work.

As for the lag, this is not a naturally aspirated Ferrari or a twin turbo Porsche. The twin turbo can be tuned to cut down on lag. This is instead a car with a big, laggy turbo, that needs gearing to keep it in the right rev range. You don't want to be sitting at 2k rpms waiting for the turbo to hit, because you'll be waiting a long time. That's when you need to downshift. I've driven other turbos (Saab 93, Audi 1.8T, VW GTI 1.8T, and Mazda RX-7) and they have less lag, especially the RX-7 with twin sequential turbo. The WRX has more power (maybe not than the 7), but the lag is greater.

To sum it up, there are times when the 2-1 downshift is necessary, no matter how good a driver you are. The turbo lag makes the downshift necessary. Blipping might work, by why is it needed? And no, this is a bug, not a feature. So what to do? Cram it into gear? Blip, even though it's slower? Take it to the dealer? Never drive at under 30 mph?

Last edited by the_saintz; 05-14-2003 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 05-14-2003, 07:23 AM   #33
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Would anyone shift out of 1st gear at 30+ miles an hour? Why would you downshift into it at anything close to that speed? That has to be wayyyyyy up there on the tach. IIRC my RS is pushing it at 20mph in first. If you are over 15 mph, 2nd gear should respond just fine. If you need to get to first to pull out from a roll, maybe you should have waited because your probably cutting someone off. Like it has been said before. The WRX is a Subaru, not a Honda, Toyota, ect. Every Subaru I've owned has disliked down shifting to 1st, along with my 87 GTI 2 85 Ford Rangers.
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Old 05-14-2003, 08:00 AM   #34
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There are many real world situations in which it's perfectly fine to try and use 1st gear WITHOUT coming to a stop.

Steep hills, stop-and-go traffic, pulling out in traffic, u-turns, autox, etc. are all examples.

5 mph in second gear (in the WRX) just does not cut it. It is probably fine in an RS b/c of the extra torque, but 5-20 mph in 2nd gear in the WRX is ridiculous. You might as well open the door and push the car with your foot like Fred Flintstone.

It is true that you shouldn't be pulling out in traffic (i.e. cutting someone off) if your car can't accelerate fast enough. But it's embarrassing when grandma in her '82 taurus and Chong is his 79 VW minivan have enough power to pull out in traffic, but I don't in my WRX, because I can't get into 1st gear.

1st gear goes to 30mph in the WRX. Just because the PROBLEM affects nearly everyone w/ a WRX, doesn't mean it's not a problem.
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Old 05-14-2003, 08:25 AM   #35
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So I guess a WRX with a 2.0 liter engine off boost has less torque and horsepower than my N/A 1.8 liter 127 hp GTI did in the same RPM range? That GTI was plenty driveable considering it was gutless until about 3800 rpm.

BTW, stop and go traffic does not require you to go in and out of 1st over 15-20 mph last I checked. As I said before, if you need first to pull out from a roll, you probably shouldn't be pulling out anyways. Except for auto cross all the things you listed are done from a stop, or darn close to it speed wise.

As far as the problem issue, I have said it before. Take a look at the transmission drive train sticky in this forum. There are less than 70 posts and that covers the whole drivetrain. There are way more than 70 WRX owners on this board. A vocal few does not make something a problem for 20,000 plus WRX owners.
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Old 05-14-2003, 09:33 AM   #36
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[
Quote:
Originally posted by Keith99RS
So I guess a WRX with a 2.0 liter engine off boost has less torque and horsepower than my N/A 1.8 liter 127 hp GTI did in the same RPM range?
At 1k-2k rpm? Probably so. I've driven many cars and haven't found anything as gutless as the WRX at really low rpms.

Quote:
Originally posted by Keith99RS
Except for auto cross all the things you listed are done from a stop, or darn close to it speed wise.
... it's the "darn close to it speed wise" where the tranny has problems. I am in stop and go traffic every day that requires downshifting to first - preferably without stopping.

I can do it by double clutching, and I don't really mind double clutching all the time because it's second nature now. However, it shouldn't be necessary on a transmission with synchros. If it grinds or won't go in at all, then the synchro isn't doing its job. Most Subaru owners are content to live with this (like me), or they're in denial that something isn't working.

Quote:
Originally posted by Keith99RS
As far as the problem issue, I have said it before. Take a look at the transmission drive train sticky in this forum. There are less than 70 posts and that covers the whole drivetrain. There are way more than 70 WRX owners on this board. A vocal few does not make something a problem for 20,000 plus WRX owners.
I haven't posted in that forum, and 20000 WRX owners haven't even heard of this board. So that's hardly meaningful. Find me a bunch of owners who CAN downshift into first while moving w/o double clutching...
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Old 05-14-2003, 12:30 PM   #37
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The_Saintz,
First of all, welcome to the club!
First gear does in fact have a synchro, and it usually works, but it is definitely not on par with the designs used in a modern Honda or Toyota transmission. The design Subaru uses is dated, and in desperate need of an update.
To downshift into first gear try one of the following techniques:
1) rev match and double clutch. This is what I have done since the car was new and I have never had a problem getting the car in first when rolling. This has worked for me in heavy traffic on the hills of San Francisco, and will probably work for you.
2) *Gently* push the gear shifter towards first gear. The syncros will eventually do their job and you will be able to engage first. I don't recommend this because a)it takes time, time that you probably don't want to spend in the example you gave above and b) once you get it in gear, you are going to have to rev match anyway or you'll send shock through the entire drive train.

This is an emotional issue on the board. For the record, I'm not defending the sub par design, just stating what works. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you can't deal with it. You shouldn't *have* to rev match in a fully syncromeshed transmission, but in this case it is what works.

Quote:
Originally posted by scott_gunn
[

At 1k-2k rpm? Probably so. I've driven many cars and haven't found anything as gutless as the WRX at really low rpms.
With all due respect, Scott, I think you need to recalibrate your butt dyno. Yes the WRX is lacking below 2G, but my '97 Civic was more gutless in the same rpm range. So was my '83 Sentra. The problem is, you get used to the power on boost, and when it isn't there, your butt "feels" like the car is motivating much slower than it is. Having said that, I've had to burn the clutch rounding corners up hill in San Francisco with the A/C on. Thankfully it is rarely hot enough to need the A/C in the City!

Last edited by Stanley; 05-14-2003 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 05-14-2003, 02:29 PM   #38
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Default Thanks Stanley, Any examples of better?

Stanley, thanks, good advice. I guess I can try slowly forcing it, but it's better to rev match.

Does anyone have experience with the following:

Their WRX lets them downshift into first at reasonable speed (say, around 20mph) without doing any fancy footwork?

Has anyone taken their WRX to the dealer and actually had them fix it so they could do the above?

Does anyone have a lightened drive shaft (believe that is the right part, connecting the gearbox to the clutch)? If so, does it actually allow the synchro to work better (has less rotational inertia for the synchro to counter)? I know this must be a rare part, but I assume they make it at least for the STi.

Thanks
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Old 06-02-2003, 06:58 PM   #39
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Mine does it at a dead stop with the clutch mashed into the floorboard. It is definately a defect. Really started showing up after the clutch shudder redo.

Shifting into 1st at <10mph is NOT uncommon and is perfectly normal and should NOT grind. It should NEVER grind. Period. (Especially when stopped )
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Old 11-13-2003, 04:29 PM   #40
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Had 1st gear grinding/synchro issue. Have about 31k miles and full vishnu stage 2 setup. Took it to local dealer and they replaced the synchros... should get the car back today. I expect them to last another 30k
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Old 11-23-2003, 06:13 PM   #41
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I have about 46,000 miles on my stock 2002 wagon. I have just recently started having trouble shifting into 1st at about 10-15 mph. This happens for instance in parking lots where I am looking for a space, or pulling around in the drive thru. This was not a problem when I first got the car, and the car has not been beaten up. I do have the extended warranty, so I will have it looked at someday. BTW, I am 30 and have been driving sticks exclusively since I was 17. Started with my stepmothers used 1985 DL wagon I got in 1990. Drove that for five years for 20,000 miles a year without a single problem in the tranny. Car died with 197,000 miles on the odometer, so my new Subie should not have problems at 46,000 miles.
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:19 AM   #42
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Bump, just because I found this useful, though I have read teh owners manual this did not stick in my head, anyways I figured this is why the car does that. Thanks
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:50 PM   #43
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I think the manual also says that 35mph is the limit for first gear.
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:13 AM   #44
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never had issues getting my Rex into 1st...
and I drive it harder than most of you will ever conceive doing.

Jamie
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Old 01-11-2005, 04:37 PM   #45
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Angry Wrx Leeeemmmooonnnnnnnnn!!!!!

dude i know what you are going through, my car only has 3600 miles on it and I have only had the car for a couple of months, these are the list of problems that I have had to bring it in for:
1. New shift nob (they gave me one where the leather boot was not attacted to the shifter and they gave me the wrong shifter too.)
2. Trunk latch problem
3. The car kept swaying to the right and I had to have them check the allignment on the car (AT 3600 FREAKING MILES !!!!!!!)
4. The wipers would not go all the way down when i used them, they like paused at the bottom and then pushed itself down, it was weird.
5. My reverse was really really really hard to get into and kept grinding everytime I shifted into it. I have had really annoying issues in parking lots with this.
6. There were times when I parked my car onto my driveway (its a slope) and put the e-brake up, but the car would still role back.

** As we speak it is still at the dealership trying to get checking the transmission and e-brake.
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:24 PM   #46
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I've always coasted to a stop.
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:41 PM   #47
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My 01 RS (bought used) would grind into 1st 90% of the time until I put Red Line Synthetic into the gearbox. Now it's only about 10% of the time after 1000 miles on the synthetic. Try it.
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Old 01-13-2005, 06:13 PM   #48
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Smile Wrx Leeeemmmooonnnnnnnnn!!!!! (continued)

I take back what I said earlier, i feel pretty stupid, but I went to the dealership to pick up my car and they not only checked the transmission, wipers, and e-brake, but they checked like every single other part on the car, IT WAS AWESOME. Basically, they a complete huge humonguous service on the car, they even checked the tire pressure levels !!!!!! THE DEALERSHIP WAS AWESOME. However, the verdict was the transmission was just fine and so was everything else. I think I was just over-reacting.
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Old 01-13-2005, 09:05 PM   #49
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Don't feel stupid. At least your big enough to post the end result and the truth.
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Old 01-17-2005, 02:27 PM   #50
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Here is the deal...

1) Temp of the transmission gear oil matters.. if it is not up to (or close to) operating temp, everything is going ton be hard to get into. You may find that it takes a few seconds while stopped before you can get into first. This is caused by cold oil and every manual transmission behaves like this (assuming it is lubricated).

2) Try double clutching to get it into gear. That is the solution to autocross. If you do this and you are not exceeding the rev limit of the engine, everything will be just fine. Personally, I wouldn't shift into first above 20mph.

3) If you find these answers unacceptable, change your gear ratios.... or buy an automatic transmission.

I agree w/ Knotsure....
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