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Old 07-26-2008, 01:05 AM   #1
Box This
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Default 98 Legacy 5 speed, shifter is sloppy as heck.. what to replace?

the 5 speed in my 98 legacy is just rediculous. even when it's engaged in gear, you can move it so far side to side in any gear that it appears to be in neutral and feels like it too.

What do i need to replace or tighten to get rid of all the slop in the shift lever?
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:18 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Box This View Post
the 5 speed in my 98 legacy is just rediculous. even when it's engaged in gear, you can move it so far side to side in any gear that it appears to be in neutral and feels like it too.

What do i need to replace or tighten to get rid of all the slop in the shift lever?
Just get some new bushings, it will tighten things up quite a bit.

If you want even better feel, go for an upgraded transmission mount. As a warning though, the transmission mount does add considerable NVH. It makes the transmission feel a lot better though in my opinion.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:01 AM   #3
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KartBoy makes a whole bushing set, I beleive.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:40 AM   #4
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bushings wont do anything. You need to replace the shifter knuckle rubber bushings, or you can do the whole shifter knuckle. It looks like this
You can see the rubber/plastic bushings im talking about, well most likely yours completely worn out allowing the shifter to have an insane amount of slop. Replacing these will help eliminate the slop. The parts I am talking about are A in this diagram

The pin you need to knock out to take off the whole knuckle is a double roll pin so you need to knock out the inside first. This completely fixed my problem after i installed kartboy bushings that didnt do anything.
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Old 07-26-2008, 04:59 PM   #5
johnnyboy98leg
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Default shifter slop

I agree with legacy1907. You may also want/need to replace the shifter spring and/or plate. The roll pins are a pain! I use a little (5/16"?) socket to hold it and tap it in using a long extension.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:35 PM   #6
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Thats the culprit, thanks guys.. I dunno if I feel like breaking my wrists (big hands, big guy) trying to change that in my back yard.. sucks.
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
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I changed mine out a while back, same issue. Turn in Concepts makes a knuckle with poly bushings for the newer cars, but it won't go into our cars without modification. So I ordered some bushings from McMaster-Carr and put them in. I got the idea from this thread. It is definitely not an easy/fun job. Getting the knuckle out with the tranny in the car is hard, hard work.

In that same thread Fuji K mentioned that he didn't remove the knuckle, but slipped some washers in on either side to fill in the gap. I imagine that would work, I'd just be worried the washers would slip out eventually.

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Old 10-12-2009, 10:21 PM   #8
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OK I'm finally going to tackle this job after many moons of procrastination I picked up the knuckle today it was about $62.00 with tax from a dealership.

I'll post photos of the process when done.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:03 PM   #9
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I need to do this too. I was thinking turned aluminum inserts.

The crappy thing is that I had the trans out less than a year ago to do the throwout bearing, crossmember bushings, trans mount, and front and rear shifter bushings. It would have been much much easier to do this as well.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:16 AM   #10
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I used metal washers between the knuckle/u-shape and works perfectly fine for me.

the dealer wanted like $20 something for each of those blue bushing!

F that.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legacy1907 View Post
bushings wont do anything. You need to replace the shifter knuckle rubber bushings, or you can do the whole shifter knuckle. It looks like this
You can see the rubber/plastic bushings im talking about, well most likely yours completely worn out allowing the shifter to have an insane amount of slop. Replacing these will help eliminate the slop. The parts I am talking about are A in this diagram

The pin you need to knock out to take off the whole knuckle is a double roll pin so you need to knock out the inside first. This completely fixed my problem after i installed kartboy bushings that didnt do anything.
Exactly what he said. My '00 Legacy had 186K on it when I replaced this at the dealership (took them 30 minutes), and with the KartBoy bushings my shifter is PERFECT.
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:08 PM   #12
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Le gasp. I didn't know you could get the whole assembly... My new tranny needs one of those as well. Wish I had known before putting it in the car.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:16 PM   #13
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i would love to see a write up on how to do this. like many others, mine is doing this as well.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:16 PM   #14
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I was just under my car yesterday tracking down the culprit to my horrible shifter in my 97 GT wagon.

I sent Turn in Concepts an email to see if they had anything for the early GT's, but I might as well just get the piece from the dealer and be done with it. I just don't remember even the brand new GT's back then having the greatest shifter feeling.

But ANYTHING has to be better then my shifter right now!!! Pathetic would be an improvement at this point
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shik View Post
I sent Turn in Concepts an email to see if they had anything for the early GT's, but I might as well just get the piece from the dealer and be done with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony@TiC
You will have to drill a hole in our linkage to match the approximate location of the tab that is on your linkage that the centering spring hooks to. It can be done quite easily.

Tony
Im waiting until I do a swap to order mine from TiC and swap it with the tranny dropped.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:22 PM   #16
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After driving my "new" 02 WRX with kartboy bushings and short shifter, I can honestly say that I prefer the shift action in my Legacy (now with 203K miles) after replacing that knuckle and adding Kartboy bushings (but stock shift lever). YMMV, but dang a new knuckle nearly "cures all".
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony@TiC
You will have to drill a hole in our linkage to match the approximate location of the tab that is on your linkage that the centering spring hooks to. It can be done quite easily.

Tony

Im waiting until I do a swap to order mine from TiC and swap it with the tranny dropped.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:17 AM   #18
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Quickie reply, sorry to dissappoint! I was unable to get a camera but I will explain briefly how to do the job.

You will need:

1.) ramps, or ability to lift vehicle enough to work under. (I simply used drive on ramps it was enough room, tight, but enough.)
2.) 12mm socket, flex extension, at least 8" extension, wratchet, 12mm wrench, set of pin-punches (I have a set of 6 and none of them were exactly correct, but I made them work.)
3.) PB blaster to make life easier.
4.) Hammer
4a.) Needle nose plyers - longer the better
5.) Parts.. $62.00 including tax for new knuckle with bushings included. (For the shift lever itself, $7.00 bought me the new spring for under the car, and the 2 new blue bushings for the sides of the shifter inside the car.)
6.) ball joint puller, or similar item to tap the knuckle off the shift linkage in the trans.
7.) Grease.. I use some synthetic grease for all my projects. makes things easier to put together, and avoids squeaks.

Steps:

1.) Having a helper is cool... shift tranny into 5'th gear.
2.) Go under car once properly secured and supported.. oviously. Position yourself to the left of the exhaust.. if you are standing under the vehicle on a lift, or laying on the ground you'll need to be under the drivers seat basically.
2a.) Remove spring from bottom of knuckle with needle nose plyers.. if it;'s even still there.. mine was gone.
3.) Using pin punches and hammer, remove center spring pin (hammer upwards until it falls out, relatively easy.)
4.) Remove larger spring pin, same deal.. hammer it out with a punch.)
5.) Shift into reverse to make this step easier. Using your 12mm socket gear, make an extension and swivel head to fit onto the bottom bolt of the rear of the knuckle. (Here comes the hard part.) Using a 12mm wrench, hold the top nut still so it doesn't turn as you use your other hand to turn the socket below and remove the nut from top, and stud bolt from below. This may be rusted in place so you will need to have a good long set of channel lock pliers or something to drag it, and pull it down and out.
6.) This step is up to you, but I found it easy to use a ball-joint puller bar, and place it over the transmission shift linkage in front of the knuckle which is undoubtedly stuck on there from corrosion. Hammer the back side of it, so the knuckle slides off, and presto.. knuckle is out. (granted up to this point, it took me 2 hours since I had little space to work and no room to swing my hammer.)
7.) Clean the old stud bolt and nut off (emory paper, or a wire wheel works great for removing rust.)
8.) Grease up your new knuckle which is pre-bushed.. reach up there and slide it back into the shaft from the trans. Have a helper if possible maneuver the shift lever so you can slide it over the new knuckle, apply grease to your stud bolt and slide it back up through the fork. Apply top nut, and tighten (don't know torque specs.)
9.) Have helper then push shift lever forwards or side to side until you line up the holes for the front side of the knuckle, and the hole in the shaft from the trans. (this is hard, the brace for the trans is right in your way.) re-tap in your large spring pin using your punch. Next insert the smaller center spring pin and tap that into place. This may be trial and error.. I found it easiest to place my punch inside a socket that fit, then ad an extension and hammer it into place.


10.) Once you have gotten this far, you're pretty much done. If you purchased 2 new bushings for inside the car, simply remove the 2 phillips screws under the console lid, pull up the plactic trim for the e-brake.. then unscrew the shift knob.. pull up the plastic surround and I believe 12mm wrench to remove the nut and bolt from the shift lever/fork assembly. Remove old bushings, grease, apply new bushings and re-tighten the botl and nut up there.

That's about it.. Sounds simple but my best advice to you is be patient, be careful... and the higher the car is the easier it will be to work on. With a lift this job may take you 20 mins. It took me 4 hours, with less than 2 feet to work with under the car laying on the ground.

You may wanna buy some gojo also, your entire arms and face WILL be covered in soot unless your car doesn't leak as much oil as mine or have 194,000 miles on it. HAH!


Alright hope this helps! Sorry I don't have pics.. couldn't get a camera. Sorry for any bad grammar.. this was typed quickly and with out spell checking it.

Yes- replacing the knuckle is a cure all, the shifter with new knuckle and spring feels 98% like new. the other 2% would be the bushings on the shift lever inside the car, and the maybe half a % would be new shift assembly where the ball of the lever sits in.. that does wear out which provides up and down motion, but most people will never feel that when shifting.

My shifter feels new, and sits perfectly centered. After this job, I thought 1'st gear was in the wrong place, my first used to be on my leg, and 5'th was punching the passenger in the leg.. lol. Now it's so close I almost felt like I upgraded to a short throw / close gate. haha

Last edited by Box This; 10-15-2009 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:30 PM   #19
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Walkthrough DIY
Well done!
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:56 PM   #20
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Just had the dealer replace this in my '97 GT Wagon. FINALLY, no more nuetral-in-gear feeling! Incredible difference.

FWIW, the tech had to break out the torch due to so much corrosion on it. Personally, I'm glad I didn't even attempt this job, laying on my back with the car on jackstands
Gave the tech a $5 tip for it being a pain in the ass.

I do think a short-throw with some bushings would help things even more, but it is a 100 percent improvement over the way it was.

WooHoo!
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:57 PM   #21
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how much did it end up costing, if you dont mind me asking?
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:14 PM   #22
Shik
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how much did it end up costing, if you dont mind me asking?
The part was $58.38 and labor was $124 which was 2 hours I believe, but as I said, he had a lot of trouble with mine so $182.38 total. I'm guessing it could be done for less though if everything goes smooth and depending on what your dealer's labor rate is.

-Matt
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:07 AM   #23
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will the bushings off ebay make any difference? only 14 bucks or so . ..
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:36 AM   #24
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will the bushings off ebay make any difference? only 14 bucks or so . ..
not until you get the knuckle replaced! I'm sure they wouldn't hurt though
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:11 PM   #25
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FWIW, the TiC shifter knuckle has firmer bushings than factory so they won't wear out as quickly. I just bought one from a friend who is selling his car, never installed the part. I also got their pivot bushing as well, for my Kartboy.
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