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Old 11-03-2010, 08:55 PM   #1
xluben
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Default xluben's Pictures and Review of the MODE Racing Adjustable Short Throw Shifter

I got my 2011 WRX just a couple weeks ago, and I already decided I wanted a new shifter. I researched and found the Kartboy and COBB shifters to be the most popular. The Kartboy is a hair cheaper, but the COBB is fully adjustable. Unfortunatley the COBB seems to be hard to come by these days. With a little more research, I found that the COBB is now being sold under the MODE brand name (reference: http://www.iwsti.com/forums/2640100-post14.html).

I decided to order mine from Rally Sport Direct. They seem to have a great track record and are very active online. I see them posting in forums as well as making YouTube videos of their products on a regular basis. They also have a huge variety of products and great prices. I ordered mine from the following link and it took a couple days to arrive.

http://www.rallysportdirect.com/MODE...08-Forester-XT

If you are more a video type person, than text/photos, check out Rally Sport Direct's "What's in the Box" video for the 02-07 WRX version of the shifter. It looks nearly identical and functions exactly the same (MODE Racing also makes the shifter for a variety of other makes and models: Impreza, WRX, STI, Legacy, Forester, and the Mitsubishi EVO).


This shifter will fit the 08, 09, 10, or 11 WRX as well as the 06-09 Legacy GT and the 06-08 Forester XT. I ordered on Saturday night and it was on my doorstep Tuesday when I got home from work. When it arrived it came in a smallish brown cardboard box. Here's a photo of the box (keys for scale):



Inside that box, is the white box that MODE packages their products in:



Inside the white box is the shifter (wrapped in bubble wrap), an allen key, and instructions.



The body of the shifter is black anodized aluminum. The threaded top portion and the bottom section are both steel. The hardware is stainless steel. Here are some photos of the shifter itself:





The above photo's show the as shipped configuration of the shifter. Without any adjustment the shifter is set to its shortest physical height, but longest throws. The top and bottom pieces are independently adjustable, by simply loosening the screws and sliding the rods up and down. The can even be completely removed:



In the above photo you can see that the rods have lines machined into them. I believe these are suggestions as to the furthest out you should have them adjusted. Any further and there will not be sufficient material for the body of the shifter to clamp onto. If you set both ends to the longest adjustment, you will have the shortest throw length, but the tallest shifter:



Here are some comparison photos vs. the stock shifter. As you can see it is much, much shorter. It also does not angle backwards towards the driver. It is straight up from the pivot point.

1. Longest throw, shortest height:



2. Shortest throw, shortest height:



3. Shortest throw, longest height:



Installation details in the second post....
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:55 PM   #2
xluben
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I found that installation instructions that were included were not quite correct. I believe they were for the second generation WRX. The instructions simply say to pull off the bezel around the boot, but in the newer WRX's, it is a bit more involved. I used a combination of the following two guides in order to do the disassembly:

http://www.twmperformance.com/manual...all-manual.pdf

DIY: 2008 STi KartBoy Short Shifter - NASIOC

Some of the trim pieces were not easy to get off. I eventually got it apart, but I did not remove the entire armrest piece (as seen in the first link). You only need to get it loose enough to remove the trim around the shifter. Once I got all of the trim off, it was pretty straightforward. You will definitely need a c-clip pliers to get the stock shifter out, and to put the new shifter in place. I re-used the grease from the OEM shifter, and re-installed everything in the opposite order of the disassembly. I set the shifter for the shortest throws, and the shortest height. I used the machined line to set the lower portion to the longest "safe" position, and there were no interference issues with the metal plate, but it does slightly rub the rubber boot.

I would suggest screwing the knob on at this point and making sure you like the throw length and shifter height. It is much easier to make a change now, before you get everything put back together. During re-assembly, I unfortunately lost the screw that is under the parking brake boot, and also the clip on the opposite corner (passenger side of the center console). If anyone knows the specs on these parts, or where to purchase them, please PM me!

After I got it all put together I was really impressed by how short the throws were! It really is a night and day difference. The spongy feeling is completely gone, and the throws are incredibly short. It is a bit notchy, but that is to be expected with the change in leverage. I've only driven it around very briefly, but I like it a lot so far.

Here are photos of it installed in the car:









Overall, I am extremely happy with the shifter. The quality of the part is top notch. I am glad I decided to go with the adjustable model. I like how it is set up now, but it is really nice to know that I can adjust it in the future if my preference changes. The shifts are no longer mushy, and are very short and crisp. I would recommend this shifter to anyone looking for the best, most adjustable shifter for their WRX. I am also very happy with Rally Sport Direct. I would recommend them to anyone looking to buy Subaru aftermarket parts!
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:26 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for the Review and the Amazing images!

These shifters are AMAZING to say the least. We are running one on our 2011 STi, and several of the guys here including myself are using them as well on our personal cars.

Kirill
RallySportDirect.com
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:08 PM   #4
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Can this short shifter be used on 06-08 Forester X (Not XT)?
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:45 PM   #5
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Great pictures and review. I'll be picking up one of these next year for sure!
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:00 PM   #6
xluben
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RallySport Direct View Post
Thank you so much for the Review and the Amazing images!

These shifters are AMAZING to say the least. We are running one on our 2011 STi, and several of the guys here including myself are using them as well on our personal cars.

Kirill
RallySportDirect.com
Thank you for the comment. I really enjoy the shifter, and the buyer process through RallySportDirect was flawless!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjmik View Post
Can this short shifter be used on 06-08 Forester X (Not XT)?
I do not know. Maybe RallySportDirect could answer that. Otherwise I would go straight to the source (MODE). If you happen to have your shifter out and want me to take measurements of my stock shifter, I would be happy to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sroski View Post
Great pictures and review. I'll be picking up one of these next year for sure!
Thanks! Great purchase. The adjustability makes it completely worth it.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:16 PM   #7
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UPDATE (11/9/10):

When I initially installed my shifter, I set it like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben View Post
2. Shortest throw, shortest height:

It's a been a week now, and I've decided it's too short. Throws are of minimal length, but they are very notchy. (This is not due to the specific design of the MODE, it would be the case with any shifter creating throws this short.) Luckily the MODE is completely adjustable.

Next I tried leaving the knob height, and adjusting for the longest overall throw:

Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben View Post
1. Longest throw, shortest height:

This will not actually function in my car. It is so low, that the shifter hits the surrounding bracket and the car will not shift into 2nd, 4th or reverse. If you adjust the shifter up ever so slightly (a few mm's), then it will clear. You are left with considerably longer throws (still shorter than stock), but a much smother shifter feel.

I thought that felt a little too long, so I adjusted mine to somewhere in between. I left the knob at the lowest height. Because I moved the pivot point down (maybe 1/2" or so), the overall height of the shifter is slightly lower, but it is barely noticeable.

Now the throws are still much shorter than stock, but it is not nearly as notchy as it was at the minimal throw length. I'm very happy with it, but if I ever change my mind, I can always adjust it again!
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:58 PM   #8
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Nice review/write up, did you have any problems with squeeking during shifting? I installed mine in my 2010 wrx today and it squeeks, and I dont know why. I put some lithium spray greese on the end of the shifter but it still squeeks. any ideas?
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2010REX View Post
Nice review/write up, did you have any problems with squeeking during shifting? I installed mine in my 2010 wrx today and it squeeks, and I dont know why. I put some lithium spray greese on the end of the shifter but it still squeeks. any ideas?
We had the same issue in our 2011 STi when we installed the shifter. Loosened the bolt about 1/4 turn and it solved the problem. Issue is that if the bolt is to tight, its putting to much load in the fork which squeezes the shifter pivot bushings causing a noise.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:28 PM   #10
xluben
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Good suggestion. Mine doesn't squeak at all. When tightening the bolt, make sure it is still loose enough for free movement.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:04 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies, I'm going to loosen the bolt a little bit, and see what happens.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #12
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How does this compare to the KB or any other short throw? Any relativity is helpful.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:50 PM   #13
xluben
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevarian113 View Post
How does this compare to the KB or any other short throw? Any relativity is helpful.
The MODE is fully adjustable for both height and throw, so it can be set up to feel nearly identical to the Kartboy. But also it could have shorter or longer throws and could also be shorter or taller overall.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:57 PM   #14
Chevarian113
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So in shortest form, the throw would be shorter than the KB? Just for comparison, in usable form, due to your comments about not being able to get it in gear at the shortest setting, how does this relate to the KB? If there is a Vendor, or anyone who has experience with both (including yourself, if so), your opinion is greatly appreciated.

For me, I can't see the feasibility in an adjustable shifter, as I would never find the need to adjust.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:10 PM   #15
xluben
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevarian113 View Post
So in shortest form, the throw would be shorter than the KB? Just for comparison, in usable form, due to your comments about not being able to get it in gear at the shortest setting, how does this relate to the KB? If there is a Vendor, or anyone who has experience with both (including yourself, if so), your opinion is greatly appreciated.

For me, I can't see the feasibility in an adjustable shifter, as I would never find the need to adjust.
In the shortest usable setting it is shorter than the Kartboy. And if you modified the bracket around the shifter, you could adjust it so the throws were even shorter.

So if you want the absolute shortest throws the MODE is good. Or if you think the Kartboy throws are too short, then the MODE is good. Also if you find the Kartboy to be too tall, or too short in physical height, then the MODE is going to be right for you.

So if you think you'd be happy with the Kartboy, then go for it. The throws and height are well thought out, and will work well for many, many people. If you want to be able to adjust to your liking, spend a little extra on the MODE.

In my mind you really can't go wrong with the MODE. You will be able to adjust it to your liking. With the Kartboy you could end up with something that you don't really prefer, and you can't change it. For the somewhat small difference in cost I didn't see why I'd want to take the chance with something I couldn't adjust.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:14 AM   #16
Chevarian113
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Thanks so much xluben. That most certainly puts it in to perspective as to how the adjustments are. I have a KB in my 07 now, but of course, will be getting a different one when my '11 comes in. This is very helpful info to hear how the sizing compares!

Very nice write up. Intricate in your description.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:36 AM   #17
xluben
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If you like the Kartboy in the '07, I don't see any reason it wouldn't be good in the '11.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:05 PM   #18
jehymel
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How involved is the adjustment process? Do you have to completely remove the whole shifter, or can you just take the boot off and adjust it while it's on?
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:51 AM   #19
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You do not have to remove the entire shifter to do the adjustment. You do have to remove the trim pieces though.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:17 PM   #20
subysponge
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Thanks for the write up and feedback you have finalized my decision. I can't stand my shifter it feels like my old CJ-7 sometimes in traffic...I am going to upgrade the boot at the same time from the vinyl they use to match my seats better.

Did you do the bushings as well? If so what noise differences did you get? I had a friend change bushings on his LGT and the car was a lot louder...something I would hate.

Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:25 PM   #21
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I have Kartboy bushings sitting in my office, but I haven't gotten around to installing them yet. I'll be sure to give an update once I get them put in.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:22 PM   #22
subysponge
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Thanks your input would be very helpful...after reading thru this I guess I should wait to find the height of the shifter I want before I order the boot? I know I want it shorter than the rudder that is stock but unsure of how much...
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:26 PM   #23
xluben
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Why order a new shift boot? The stock one works fine. If you do think you need a custom one you should be able to tell the change in height based on the photos I posted.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #24
subysponge
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The stock cheap vinyl is just looks awful...a complete mismash of interior that doesn't match each other w/very nice parts and cheap parts.

Redline makes a shift boot/ebrake boot/and armrest cover that matches the seats and it just completes the interior. Very inexpensively too....

Check out this thread - http://www.iwsti.com/forums/gr-inter...-sti-pics.html - and scroll down the whole interior comes together so much better IMHO.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:58 PM   #25
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It looks nice, but that would be very low on the list of things I want. I'd rather spend the money on MORE POWER
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