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Old 11-02-2001, 02:01 AM   #1
NIN2001
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Default 2002 WRX 2nd to 1st Downshift issue

OK... I need everyone here that has a new WRX that is having this tranny issue to e-mail me. I am going to go to my regional Subaru rep this month. I had to wait for a month and a half for her to drive my car because the mechanics assesment of the situation wasn't good enough for Subaru Tech. Crap I tell you, well please send me and e-mail if you are experiencing the same trouble as many of us are send and e-mail to Nick@WRXTuner.com I would like to take as many cases of this problem with me if you can include the last 8 digits of your VIN that would be great as well this way they may actually contact you about the problem if they can't resolve it after 3 tries they have to lemon law the car... or if I get my way...our way... I want the STI 6 speed gear box. You see it would be cheaper for them to replace the tranny with the 6 speed then to give me every penny I paid for the car including interest. Just some food for thought. Send me an e-mail so we can fight this thing together maybe we can get a resolution.

Nick
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Old 11-02-2001, 06:47 AM   #2
SubEd
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Nick,

Out of curiousity, it this your first Subaru?

Ed
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Old 11-02-2001, 08:46 AM   #3
GRWRX
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What is the problem?
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Old 11-02-2001, 01:18 PM   #4
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hey...yeah, this is quite obviously your first Subaru. It's normal!!!! They all do this!!

ugh, sorry, had to say it, because there have been way too many complaints on this. You have NO argument. Why waste your time?
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Old 11-02-2001, 01:45 PM   #5
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Hi,

Just out of curiousity, is the 2nd to 1st downshift issue limited to people who practice dropping the clutch at high revs and stuff like that, or there any gentle drivers with the same problem?
For the record, my WRX is at 3400 miles and can downshift to 1st without a problem.

What I'd like to know is at what mileage did people begin having problems? If anything, my car is loosening up nicely in all areas (not just transmission) and is running better than when it was new, hence my curiousity.

David
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Old 11-02-2001, 02:36 PM   #6
Tobias_Ostapchuk
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Why would you ever downshift to first? Are you trying for a fater time out of the hairpin at Long Beach?
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Old 11-03-2001, 12:45 AM   #7
T-WRX-02
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Not to stir up a hornet's nest, but do any of you "non down-shifters" live in a hilly area and drive in rush hour traffic. The WRX tranny is geared very low in first with a wide split into second. In stop and go traffic, especially going up hills, it is really impractical to stop or almost stop to shift down into first gear. Doing this would assure some semi trailer would have a blue Subaru hood ornament on its grill.
The big problem is the spacing of gear ratios ... wind out first gear to 4K and you are barely into second gear enough to keep from stalling on a hill. (I think the 5-MT started life as a 6-MT with the cost accountants removing the real second gear to save a few yen.!)

The wide gear spacing and the way the input shaft drives the low gear synchros is the source of the problem. It would be nice of SOA if they would give us credit for our faulty 5-MT's in trade for a 6-MT). Personally, I'd feel a whole lot better about the whole situation!
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Old 11-03-2001, 02:03 AM   #8
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For the past 16 years driving a MT, I've never downshifted from 2nd to 1st in normal driving or even open highway sprinting.

Living in the city of hills, I still don't downshift from 2nd to 1st. I go from 2nd to neutral to 1st. Don't use the ebrake either. Learned from the start to be fast off the clutch. In fact, I thought it was a no-no to downshift into 1st from 2nd.

6500+ miles driving with this philosophy and the tranny and shifting remains stable and smooth (even better with the Kartboy and bushings!).



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Old 11-03-2001, 02:04 PM   #9
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Just because "they all do this" or "its normal" or you personally dont find the need to shift from second to first, doesnt mean there is not a design flaw or a problem that could be rendered. Every other car I have driven must have some magical technology in it that allows the driver to go into first from second at 10-15mph that my WRX does not. How come every other car company has figured this out and Subaru hasn't? Because our transmissions are weak and outdated, and should not be included in a car meant for performance? If the tranny in a stock car can not handle occasional hard driving (not clutch dumps mind you, but simply spirited driving) then why put it in the car.

I have already had my tranny replaced once, because REVERSE gear blew while I was backing out of my driveway. Not going fast, simply backing out of my driveway. This is inexcusable, and thank god has not happened again. I dont abuse my (completly stock)car, and yet I still will not be suprised if something else goes wrong, let alone the inability to shift from 2nd to 1st at a reasonable 10-15 mph.

Rick
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Old 11-05-2001, 11:56 AM   #10
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but what you are missing is that it's NOT a design flaw...and it's NOT a problem with YOUR particular car. They were built to be like this. If you don't like it...then maybe you shouldn't have bought a Subaru.

Subies have always been niche cars, they cater to only a certain few... The coming over of the WRX has shown the reasons why it is this way.
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Old 11-05-2001, 03:36 PM   #11
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JGard18,
I believe the car is advertised as having a 5 speed synchromeshed transmission. That means the average driver should be able to shift up and down through the gears at speeds normal for the gear selected without having to know about rev matching or double clutching. The car wasn't sold as having a 5 speed with synchros only on gears 2-5.

The dealership here in Tallahasee Fl. replaced my transmission's 1st and 2nd gear synchos when I brought it in with a grinding problem while shifting to 1st from 2nd at any speed. They didn't tell me the transmission was designed to make grinding noises when attempting to downshift into first at anything more than a roll.

If Subaru set out to design a 5 speed synchromeshed transmission they have suceeded. However, they didn't quite make their transmission bullet proof. The transmission does its job in a 'so so' fasion if you ask me. It's not especially smooth, nor does it have great 'feel'. I've had better shifting experiences in both Hondas (I know everyone here hates Hondas) and Mazdas. I'm not going to bash the tranny in the Suby cause it get's the job done. I will go as far as calling it the weak link in an otherwise awesome car. I think Subaru should take note of this and get a better tranny in their newer cars as they come to market.

And JGard18, here's one of the definitions of Niche:
"A special area of demand for a product or service". I don't think Subaru is attempting to corner the market on bulky shifting (or not shifting in some cases) transmissions. If Subarus have always had poorly designed transmissions that don't like shifting to first maybe it's time they fix the problem. By stating they are all this way you are admitting it's a problem. No one would design such an annoyance into a product.
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Old 11-05-2001, 04:04 PM   #12
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I can engage 1st gear at 20 mph... haven't let off the clutch to see what happens, but it does go into gear. My car is brand new though... only 400 miles. I do know that Subaru has a limiter on downshifting into 1st, but you guys seem to be having trouble even doing 10 mph.
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Old 11-05-2001, 04:04 PM   #13
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if it's constantly grinding on you, that could be a problem. but they have designed these cars so that they don't shift into first going much more than 5-10mph.

as many have said before "this is obviously your first Subaru".

and as I meant to say, but you seemed to have to take it word for word, but whatever. Subaru's are not for everyone. They don't make many cars, and don't sell many cars. The people that DO buy them, love them, and that's that. They accept them for what they are, and are content. They don't compare it to the Civic or Accord they just sold, and think all of a sudden something is wrong.

I'm just trying to tell you people...don't get your hopes up about getting the 6-speed tranny in the car as a warranty replacement. I can tell you know it won't happen, and if it does, you can come to my house and kick me in the balls or something
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Old 11-05-2001, 08:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
if it's constantly grinding on you, that could be a problem. but they have designed these cars so that they don't shift into first going much more than 5-10mph.
hooey... I can put my wrx into first at about 22 mph..

If I go into second and take it to 40 and put the clutch in and gently try to put it in first.. (even gentle pressure) it will not pop in until the speed drops to 20-22 mph..

I have not let out the clutch at this speed but it will go in..

I believe you cannot just slam it into 1st gear even at 10 mph you have to put gentle pressure on for about 1 - 1.5 seconds before it slips in.. this was the same as my eagle talon awd and I belive this is by design...
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Old 11-05-2001, 08:28 PM   #15
silverbullit
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I think I'll wreck my tranny and try to get a 6 MT gearbox so I can have a shot at kicking jgard in the balls.
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Old 11-06-2001, 03:44 AM   #16
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My WRX is the third Subaru I've owned (including a '98 and a '99 RS). I downshift into first at maybe 10MPH on a regular basis. The car has over 12,000mi on it, and never a problem. Yes, 1st gear is important here in Seattle. I've done this on all of my Sube's and never once had an issue... I can downshift into 1st at 20MPH after double-clutching, and it slides into gear easily.

I do no abuse my transmission -- I never do a drop-clutch launch; I will always ride the clutch slightly in first so as to save the gears (besides, building boost is important).

Rule #1. NEVER FORCE THE CAR INTO GEAR.
Rule #2. DON'T DROP THE CLUTCH.
Rule #3. IF YOU IGNORE THE ABOVE, DON'T B17CH WHEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.

If you have a problem and you're treating the car right, well then, that's an issue. Unfortunately, when dealing with complex mechanicals, one must first rule out user error.

gi.
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Old 11-06-2001, 08:45 AM   #17
Austin
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There is no lockout device built into your tranny. If it is functioning properly you should be able to shift down into first at any rpm in its range w/o double cluthing.

There is no lockout device to prevent your tranny from shifting into first gear at any speed in its rpm range while your car is moving.

They do *not* all do this. I now have TWO subarus in my driveway that do not do this. BOTH of those subarus can downshift into first while moving, because they both have functioning first gear synchros.

And, yes, shifting into first while moving is generally not a good idea and does cause synchro ring tooth wear. If you have to shift into first while moving, double clutch.

Once again, there is no lockout device that prevents the car from downshifting into first. Read the manual. If you can find it (in the MY01 manual or the MY02 manual) then you can come to my house and kick me in the nuts. One interesting thing you might come across in the manual, though, is the claim that your new Subaru has a fully synchromeshed transmission...
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Old 11-06-2001, 04:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2002 WRX 2nd to 1st Downshift issue

Quote:
Originally posted by NIN2001
contact you about the problem if they can't resolve it after 3 tries they have to lemon law the car...
Nick

Yeah good luck with that one....I'm on my way to the dealership for the fourth time for a CEL. All supposedly caused by the same issue.

Oh the lemon law? Well they'll work on it at least 8 times before even mentioning that. Don't like it? Well then spend the thousands of dollars and take them to court.
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Old 11-06-2001, 09:37 PM   #19
Stallion
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My concern, as I have posted on another thread about this same subject, is the fact that so many tranny's are having this problem, but there are also a lot that are not. Therefore, this means there is some sort of failure rate. X have the problem, Y dont , therefore X/(X+Y) and you get the failure rate (which in this case is very high). So, what does everyone who says "they're suposed to do this" or "this must be your first subaru" have to say to this.

Obviously for some people this is not a problem, and obviously there is not logical reason for subaru to design the transmission to not go into first at these speeds. Also, there is not lockout device. So, because there is in fact a failure rate (read: people with and without the problem) , and no logical reason for this to be happening, that constitutes a problem.

Rick
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Old 11-07-2001, 12:59 PM   #20
PrezzieBaby
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yea, I tend to agree with the above statements. WHY !?!? would you downshift into first. Most cars do have a lot of resistance when you try to do that...because you're not supposed to! The only time you should go back into first is near or at a stop...not to slow your car down or get your revs up.
I live in Los Angeles, sometimes drive from LA to Palm Springs on firday nights (tons of traffic) and San Diego to LA same thing. But no downshifting!!! If they can prove you're doing that..you're gonna be paying after awhile. NO lemon law!

By the way...you get interest on your money back if your car's a lemon? I'm from cali...so the same 3 times applies...but no interest. You get your money back, or the same car again. I don't think they'll swap trannies, cuz that doesn't work with inventory...but you might as well try I guess.
Just make sure you don't downshif in that one too!
Sarah
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Old 11-07-2001, 04:26 PM   #21
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my WRX is my FIRST manual tranny car, i learned on it, i race around with it, never a problem i never grind anything or jerk it...

i dont see what the problem is... the only thing that troubled me was that i didnt know that if im in 5th and floor it i wont go anywere but now i know to downshift to pass cars...

but i would like to try a 6 speed..
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Old 11-07-2001, 05:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by PrezzieBaby
WHY !?!? would you downshift into first.
Who cares why! Some people do, some people don't, but that's not the point...

The point is that ALL of these cars are sold w/a fully synchromeshed transmission, and ALL of these cars should have a functioning first gear synchro.
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Old 11-07-2001, 08:28 PM   #23
PrezzieBaby
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Damn Austin, that was just a question.
These cars can have issues just like any other.
Sarah
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Old 11-08-2001, 12:30 PM   #24
NIN2001
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Default Sorry it took me so long to reply.

Yes this is my first Subaru that I have owned... it is also about my 15th car that I have owned. Out of those 15 cars about half were manual transmissions, I hear you saying thatís the way they are, well, I hate to say it, BUT YOUR WRONG! When I first drove the car I was able to down shift the car ( when I say down shift I mean when I am coming up to a light and it's red I take the car out of gear and coast to the light with my foot lightly on the brake to come to a smooth stop... Oh look at that the light just turned green, Dilemma... I am only going 10 mph if I put it into 2nd the car that is behind me that is going faster then me might rear end me whatever should I do, I put my car into first and step on the gas. ) Now with over 11,000 miles I can down shift or put the car into first at 10-15mph but it grinds. In the beginning it sounded like every other manual transmission, the familiar whine of the syncros speeding up the gears to match the RPM to keep the car from grinding, Now it's gone... WHY? you ask... CAUSE THE FREAKIN SYNCROS ARE TOAST!!

This is a problem, some of you have just learned to accept it because you either have no choice because Subaru has told you it's normal... well, as a car enthusiast from a generation of many car enthusiasts this is not a normal occurrence on any vehicle on the planet accept for Subaru and if that means that they are building an inferior product then ya know what... they should fix it.


Just so I don't get someone who want's to be a wise ass and say "there are cars on the planet that grind going into first gear for whatever reason" I want to be the first to say "Your right" although those vehicles are not production model cars available in the US. Transmissions with few or no syncros are available as well as the gears to replace your originals with limited or no syncros. But remember we are talking about a STOCK off the showroom floor car that everyone can buy.
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Old 11-08-2001, 04:38 PM   #25
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I'm back in a '93 Legacy with the same gear ratios as a WRX, final drive is 4.11.

No problems starting from 2nd or acceleraing from 5 or 10 mph in 2nd.

I was told that 2nd to 1st is a no-no by a dealer.

Roger
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