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Old 03-09-2010, 03:16 AM   #1
nissaneng
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Default '02 WRX 6 spd STI Conversion with r180 rear LSD & DSS (Drive Shaft Shop) Rear CVs

Here are the details for my 6 spd transmission swap and a few warnings about Drive Shaft Shop custom rear CV shafts to use the r180 LSD with my existing 2002 WRX hubs.

I have a 2002 wrx with 100k on it and the 5 spd transmission was making an awful popping/clicking noise when I was driving straight and going around corners, it got progressively worse and there was a bearing whine as well as bad synchros in 1st and 2nd so I decided it was time for an upgrade! (I think it was a bad center diff)

I went with a 2005 STI transmission, rear LSD, and all 4 driveshafts that I bought on ebay for $3000:

I converted the transmission to accept my stock front CV shafts with new stubs and oil seals:

805329010 Circlips need 2
38415AA110 stubs need 2
806730041 oil seal Left and right side are different
806730042 oil seal Right and right are different



Before I go further I wanted to say that I have had great experience with http://www.chaplinssubarugenuineparts.com/ using their OEM catalog I was able to get a lot of the parts I needed at a great price, also since I am in Everett, WA they would have parts to my door the next day with their regular ground UPS shipping even if I ordered them at 3:00 PM the day before.

While I had the transmission out I went ahead and replaced my rear main seal (which was a major pain, I had to drill two small holes in the seal, screw in a sheet metal screw with a fender washer and then use a seal puller and grab the washer top and bottom, working both to get it to come out). I also went with a new Excedy stage 1 clutch, I had an ACT clutch and ACT streetlight flywheel and wanted something that didn't require as much force to disengage. I had the flywheel resurfaced before reinstall.

The worst part of the whole swap was the rear CV shafts, I decided to go with Drive Shaft Shop custom rear CV shafts so I could reuse my stock hubs, tires, wheels, etc even though the two shafts were $1256 delivered. The DSS shaft is significantly heavier than stock:

WRX Rear CV Shaft: 11.9 lb / each
STI Rear CV Shaft: 14.8 lb / each
DSS Custom Rear CV Shaft: 16.9 lb / each

There is a link to some pics at the end of the post show the diff and axle end of WRX, STI, and DSS shafts (there seems to be lots of confusion about what works and what doesn't), this shows how both ends of '05 STI rear CV shafts are different from 2002 WRX.

One of the shafts worked great but I had to send one of them back because it wouldn't slide into the diff, the spline OD was over tolerance and they had to mill it down, I tried hammering it in and only succeeded in jamming it in the diff, requiring me to beat it out with a screw driver from the other side with the other CV shaft removed. They claim it fit in their test jig but their tolerances are obviously off. They did the work and covered ground shipping but it took over a week to get there so I paid to have it air shipped back after they did the work so I could get back on the road sooner.

After I got the shaft back it went in just fine but the groove for the circlip was cut 0.1" too far toward the diff end of the shaft, leaving a 0.1" gap between the outer part of the diff side seal and mating surface on the shaft. The inner part of the seal that keeps diff oil out was unaffected but dirt and or water could potentially get in easier with this gap so I put some duct tape around the gap for now and plan on calling DSS back and complaining about their less than acceptable machining tolerances and seeing what they do about it or moving the seal out a little bit, really for $600 each, they should be watching their processes better.

I went with regular Valvoline 75W90 oil in the transmission for now and subaru genuine LSD oil in the diff. I plan on changing both fluids at 1k and haven't decided what transmission fluid to go with yet.

I still haven't hooked up the DCCD yet, i will keep driving it as is for now until I buy a controller. I transferred the wiring harness for the reverse sensor and neutral switch from my old transmission.

I also changed the slave cylinder, which I kept on when I was putting the transmission in (which weighs 220 lb and is a pain in the butt to get in with one helper on a sketchy floor jack and a piece of wood) this was a mistake and I had to remove it before the transmission would go in as it got stuck on the firewall so remove it before you install the transmission if you go this route.

I replace the shift linkage and went with my stock WRX 5 spd knob, shimmed so that the reverse disk will work.

All told it took me about 5-6 weeks working off and on and waiting for parts and cost about $4500 for everything for the tranny and LSD swap (not including the new clutch, rear main seal, or resurfacing the flywheel), although I am working on selling the leftover STI shafts and some of the WRX parts at the moment so I may recoup some of my costs.

Here is a link to some pics I took of the install:

Everything is running well at the moment and worked 1st time on startup, praise God! I am enjoying the new gear ratios, the best part though is the rear r180 LSD, totally planted through the corners, it is a little more tail happy without the DCCD controller hooked up than my 5 spd was, not bad though. I found that my rear viscous LSD r160 had actually been replaced with an open rear diff and the spider gears had portions of several teeth missing, I bought the car with 84k on it from a dealer so don't really know when the original unit bit the dust. I don't know but the owner who had it before me might have put the wrong ratio diff in and caused the center diff to wear out quicker, just speculating though.

Thanks for all the great info on the site, the FAQ on the 6spd swap and lots of other posts had a lot of great info in them, there is still a lot of stuff to weed through if you decide to do the swap.

All pics from the swap: http://picasaweb.google.com/lukedome...N-_1828quy2RA#
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:29 PM   #2
Dubstar112
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used to be 07 wrx 6speed

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Good writeup. Pretty much covers the aspects of the six speed swap. I did one in my 07, except I went with a 3.90 rp conversion until I got a set of 04sti rear hubs and axles. It was a better route as I have heard/read complaints of DSS's quality. From their driveshafts to their axles people have had problems. Gives me a bad impression of them and scared me away.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:20 PM   #3
nissaneng
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I was planning on doing a 3.9 RP conversion as well but when I pulled my old diff and found out not only that it was open but that the spider gears were broken so I went with the DSS axles for simplicity and to get back on the road quickly.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:31 PM   #4
Dubstar112
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Did you do the shift upgrade bushings too?
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:23 AM   #5
nissaneng
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No, I was running out of money and so will wait to upgrade the shifter bushings when I go with a short throw shifter eventually.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:54 PM   #6
tolnep
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what you did was very close to what i have considered doing. especially the DSS axles. even though they are expensive..

i wish they had a competitor...

my question is this.. can i use ANY STI r180 diff (as long as its matched to the 6 speed) from any year, IF i go with 04 STI hubs and the required hardware to complete the hub change and keep my 5X100 wheels and tires and my custom ground control suspension?

do this instead of going DSS?

second question.. about the DSS axles. i have heard two other issues with them.. first some part of the axle is exposed which should be covered thus allowing dirt into the area. i dont remember if this was the CV covers themselves or some part of where the axle mated with either the diff or the hub..

and secondly, i have heard that the DSS axles are noisy and wear out fast (i think this is the CVV joint). any comments on that?
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:48 PM   #7
Dubstar112
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used to be 07 wrx 6speed

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tolnep View Post
what you did was very close to what i have considered doing. especially the DSS axles. even though they are expensive..

i wish they had a competitor...

my question is this.. can i use ANY STI r180 diff (as long as its matched to the 6 speed) from any year, IF i go with 04 STI hubs and the required hardware to complete the hub change and keep my 5X100 wheels and tires and my custom ground control suspension?

do this instead of going DSS?
yes all usdm STI r180's are compatible on the inner cv side. 04 rear hubs are special because they offer r180 splines, 5x100, sti parking brake. You obviously know this already but Im just reiterating.. Buy brake rotors for STI fitment in this case. I think this is a better method than the DSS based on the upgraded rear hub and parking brake.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:14 PM   #8
STiGuy23
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^^^^ so how come you cant run an r180 with 04 sti rear axles on stock 5x100 wrx hubs??

im in the middle of swapping an 08 sti 6 speed into my wrx and the 08's are the same as the 07's with the 1.1 center which will allow you to run the stock 3.54 rear which i will do untill i can find a complete 5x114 suspension with hubs.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
Dubstar112
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the outer spline is different.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:04 PM   #10
tolnep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstar112 View Post
yes all usdm STI r180's are compatible on the inner cv side. 04 rear hubs are special because they offer r180 splines, 5x100, sti parking brake. You obviously know this already but Im just reiterating.. Buy brake rotors for STI fitment in this case. I think this is a better method than the DSS based on the upgraded rear hub and parking brake.
i know some of this, but actually this version is the most confusing.

04 sti hub, o4 sti brake rotors, 04 sti backing, 04 sti parking brake (dont know what all is required here), 04 sti rear calipers. i've heard there are issues with the STI parking brake install in a WRX.

are there issues with ABS rings or with other parts?

sheese i wish there was an alternative to DSS. a simple plug and play axle solution with a good rep.

i went looking on one of the OEM part vendor sites and tried to figure out the actual part list to do this and wasnt able to figure it out. this appears to be the least documented of the various solutions. there are hints that the larger STI brakes will change the brake bias. which can be addressed by installing a 'big brake kit' for the WRX up front...
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:31 PM   #11
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what are these issues for the parking brake?

you need 04 rear hubs + knuckles with backing plate, r180 diff, 04 sti rear axles, 190mm parking brake assembly. those are the main parts.

for the parking brake you just need all of the springs and stuff to hold the parking brake in place.

for brakes you have two options. You can either get the rear STi brembo calipers and use the STi rotors
or
you get the FHI 2 pot calipers and get either DBA 4656 or DBA 565 rotors
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:41 PM   #12
nissaneng
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The DSS axles don't seem to be noisy at all, at least that I have noticed so far, my exhaust is loud though so I doubt I would notice if they were. There are heavier and clearence on my rear struts was pretty minimal on the outer CV joint, only about 0.1" between the bottom of the strut and outer clamp that holds the CV boot on.

The diff end of the axle doesn't have the metal cover that goes over the entire diff side oil seal, the hub end of the CV shaft is milled to mate to the wheel bearing oil seal. You could put some duct tape around the diff side oil seal if you are worried about it but I don't think it will be a big issue, may have to change the diff side seals a little more frequently.

As far as them wearing out, we'll have to see, I saw one or two references to that as well when I was doing my research.

As for going with rear '04 STI hubs, I am pretty sure you have to upgrade brakes or use custom mounting plates to make your brakes work, and then when you go with the Brembos you might have clearance issues with your wheels and then the bake bias issues you mentioned before. I don't know about the parking brake.

The ABS sensor is in the knuckle, not like the front CVs so there shouldn't be an issue with your ABS system if you upgrade hubs.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:58 PM   #13
Dubstar112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tolnep View Post
i know some of this, but actually this version is the most confusing.

04 sti hub, o4 sti brake rotors, 04 sti backing, 04 sti parking brake (dont know what all is required here), 04 sti rear calipers. i've heard there are issues with the STI parking brake install in a WRX.

are there issues with ABS rings or with other parts?

sheese i wish there was an alternative to DSS. a simple plug and play axle solution with a good rep.

i went looking on one of the OEM part vendor sites and tried to figure out the actual part list to do this and wasnt able to figure it out. this appears to be the least documented of the various solutions. there are hints that the larger STI brakes will change the brake bias. which can be addressed by installing a 'big brake kit' for the WRX up front...
The cars actually need better rear bias. The gold brembos for the rear are slightly less powerful than the fhi 2 pots according to bias numbers. No abs issues, simply grab the rear running gear from an 04 sti and install and drive. Nothing is complicated. I used my 2 pots fhi and dba 4000 series rotors for my conversion. You could technically take any year sti rear knuckle and install a 5x100 wheel bearing. dont even bother with the backing plates. Just get the knuckles loaded, parking brake assembly, axles and go!... plus brakes
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:46 PM   #14
langsbr
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nissaneng, interesting note about your stock rear diff. My situation was exactly the same - I had ordered a rear from an older imprezza and planned to move the WRX LSD to it, but mine had been swapped with an open one as well, and it was nearly destroyed. I was amazed it was running there were so many teeth worn on it.

Luckily since I ordered a complete 3.9 diff, we just swapped the cover for the mounting points and all was good. Wish I had the cash for the DSS axles and R180, but I had to do this on a budget.

dubstar - good info on the ability to just swap out the bearing. If I can find a complete rear drivetrain, I'm not too worried about the year on them anymore. That does lead me to a slightly different question - is the front the same way? Also, would I be able to do an 'on the cheap' 5x114 conversion by swapping the wheel bearings on all of them, in case I come across wheels first? Just brainstorming...
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:50 PM   #15
tolnep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstar112 View Post
The cars actually need better rear bias. The gold brembos for the rear are slightly less powerful than the fhi 2 pots according to bias numbers. No abs issues, simply grab the rear running gear from an 04 sti and install and drive. Nothing is complicated. I used my 2 pots fhi and dba 4000 series rotors for my conversion. You could technically take any year sti rear knuckle and install a 5x100 wheel bearing. dont even bother with the backing plates. Just get the knuckles loaded, parking brake assembly, axles and go!... plus brakes
well.. i suppose if i kept watching for a while, i might pick up those brembos (and other parts maybe) cheap. however.. initial pricing, new and from those selling their gold brembos looks like the cost, by the time you get everything in, even for used parts, is more than DSS axles....

on e85 and my current setup (includes evo III 16g, 1000cc injectors and tuning) im around 300 at the wheels i think. i'd like to go for more, including a built motor, but the next big speedbump in that direction is the transmission. and so far i cant see less than 5k to get there, whether its a ppg 5 speed, or an sti six + 180 or an 07 STI + keep my r160 (which then becomes the weak point). i know its been done cheaper, but it aint easy finding the parts to do this, especially since i absolutely want to end up with a high geared, WRX like set of gears). Costs include all the extra parts, new pressure plate, clutch etc and i will not sell off my old parts (keeping them). to make it harder, my current setup runs great, has only around 49k miles on it and I hate to tear into it to build it up even though i'd like another 100+ hp to the wheels (thats as far as i want to go on this car.. say 450 at the crank.. done).
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:16 AM   #16
langsbr
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No need for a new clutch and related. I used my 5 speed clutch, pp, and flywheel with no issues. Granted, it might not hold too long once I get tuned.

You should easily be able to do the swap for less than 5K, unless you are doing a complete STI trans, rear, and brembos.

What's to stop you from doing the budget method and using an R160 from an older imprezza. It's much easier and cheaper to do that than find an 07 STI trans.

I'm under $1500 for my entire six speed swap for the trans, shifter, 3.9 r160, driveshaft, shift knob, and kartboy SS.

There are deals out there, you just have to snatch them.

I'm looking for an R180 setup with all the knuckles and brembos now...
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:39 AM   #17
nissaneng
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where did you manage to snag an STI 6 speed transmission for less than $1500? And how many miles does it have on it?
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