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Old 04-07-2014, 01:59 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 353331
Join Date: Apr 2013
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Rockwall, TX
2013 STi Hatch
Dark Grey Metallic

Smile Cobb STS and Shifter Bushings Install/Review

I didn't know if I should put this here or in the parts review section, I figured here made the most logical sense but if not I am sure the admins will move it for me.

This is a combo install/review for the Cobb STS and the Cobb front and back shifter bushings for a 2013 GR STi 6-speed with the reverse lock-out. As others have probably said, if you are planning on doing these upgrades do them together since doing the bushings is much easier if you take out the shifter. I am also going to relay what I did that was different from the instructions and the issues I came across.

First I printed out the Cobb directions for both the bushings and the shifter and printed out the directions for the TWM shifter (it is a more detailed explanation and has better pictures IMO).

After that I pretty much followed the shifter directions first all the way to the point of taking out the OEM shifter and transferring the parts of the OEM shifter over to the Cobb shifter.

Once that was done we switched over to the bushing. BTW having a friend is not totally needed, but if you can get someone to help, (even if they are not mechanically inclined) I recommend it.

On the bushings, Cobb recommended just removing the O2 sensor, heat shield from the back part of the down pipe and the rear transmission cross-member. I currently have the OEM down pipe which is broken into two parts, the part that directly connects to the turbo and the part that connects to remainder of the exhaust. My friend and I figured it would be easier if we just take off the second part of the down pipe since it is semi-covering where we would be working.

So that was a mistake, we removed 3 of the bolts and on the last bolt we sheared it off. The strange part was that of the two bolts that attach to the upper part of the down pipe, the one that required a breaker bar came off no problem and the one that seemed easy at first was the one that jammed up and was sheared off. And if you have looked at the down pipe the upper part connection is covered by a heat shield that is welded on. So we were stuck and couldn't do anything that day since we will need to take off the entire down pipe and cut into the heat shield to completely remove the remainder of the bolt.

After that mess we continued on to bushing install, which as we expected was much easier with the down pipe out of the way. We removed the shift link and took off the old rear bushing and pulled out the old front bushing and replaced both with the new Cobb bushings.

Two thing of note, the front bushings fit is very tight, to the point where I needed a vise to compress them into the shift link. And second when we were installing the back bushing the instructions said not to install it the wrong way but failed to say which was wrong. And on top of that when we were putting the bolts back in, the first bolt went in no problem but no matter how we tried the second bolt did not go in smoothly. It looked to have a slight angle to it probably less than 5 degrees but the whole time we were worried that we were going to strip that bolt, luckily that didn't happen.

We then re-installed the shift link back onto the car (removing the useless safety wire in the rubber boot that I suppose is for keeping the cup of the shift link to stay in the boot). And then you are done with the bushings install so at that point we re-installed the trans rear cross-member, the down pipe (with exhaust sealant in place of the now sheared bolt), heat shield and O2 sensor.

Back to the shifter, we pretty much followed the TWM directions and was straight forward until the reverse lockout steps. This is where having a friend is almost a requirement. What we did was, one of us went under the car pushing the reverse lockout actuator on the transmission while the other was in the cabin and fed a wire that was thin enough to allow the pin to go over the wire and threaded through the lockout cable on the shifter. Then you pound away until that little bastard finally goes in (took awhile).

You are pretty much done after that, I strongly recommend taking the car for a test drive before putting your interior trim back together so that you can set the height and throw to your liking since all of that will be covered up after you put it all back together. Personally I set the Throw Adjustment to the lowest setting and the height adjustment to the lowest setting.

Now the review.

Out of the box, everything looks of very high quality and the shifter looks very well built and feels solid. Once installed the difference is incredible, all the slop is gone and everything feels tighter and more precise. Also gone is the shifter wiggle when driving around, everything has firmed up. And I love having my height lower than stock, I know the some people like the tall shifter but I am more of a fan of the shorter height. And the beauty of this shifter is that it can satisfy both worlds, if you want it tall, set it tall, if you want it short, set it short and anything between. 9/10 for the quality of the bushings (would have gotten 10/10 if it was not for the rear bushing bolts not lining up perfectly. And 10/10 for the quality of the shifter.

The NVH definitely increased with the new bushings, but everyone pretty much knows this will happen going into it. And at cruising speeds the gearing whine is lost in the rest of the noise, so you really only hear it at low speeds and IMO it sounds pretty neat. But if you do not want any new NVH I would not do the bushings or at the minimum not do the rear bushing that seems to be where the most noise comes from.

It should be noted that we didn't have any white lithium grease handy, but we did use Lucas Semi-Synthetic Assembly Lube, which is very slippery and very sticky at the same time. And we used a lot of it at all the points of the install. The bushings, the shift link parts that are installed in the bushings, and the three key points of the shifter, the sleeve where the reverse lockout parts are installed, the ball that goes into the cup and the part where the shifter mates to the shift link. So there was was no rattling from any of those points and we will wait and see if it stays that way.

Some of the issues that I came across, if you have the throw at its lowest setting, you might have a difficult time getting into second gear. I raised the throw height by about 3/8" and didn't have any problem anymore.

Also if you have your height at its lowest setting you will have two issues: your reverse lockout cable will more than likely be rubbing on your drive-shaft and be making a noise (this happened to me) and you will need to secure it down to the shift link with some zip ties and second your shift boot will be all wrinkled up to the point where there is no easy way to use the reverse lockout with out grabbing the boot as well.

I would rate this install difficulty at 2 out of 5 if you have worked on a car before and bump it up to a 3 out of 5 if you are by yourself. Aside from the exhaust bolt debacle this install from start to finish came in around 90 minutes but a lot of time was added with us trying to get the sheared bolt out, which never happened.

I apologize for the very long review, but I am an engineer and I kinda get carried away with my explanation (out of habit I guess).

I also didn't take any pictures because between the TWM and Cobb directions there were plenty of photos to follow and really the only thing i could have shown was where I sheared that bolt...

I hope this is useful and would recommend doing this mod to anyone that feels their shifting feels sloppy. Next up is addressing the engine RPM wiggle I get when I quick shift, here comes the Group N mounts and pitch stop, (and probably Stage 2, so that I can get that OEM down pipe out of there)!

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