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Old 07-16-2014, 08:56 AM   #1
Vlad
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Sti V9 Spec C

Default 6 speed transmission review

This may seem like an odd choice for a part review.
But it is a common upgrade these days and a place would be useful, where people can first of all see what is expected, so that after they do their swap, they can understand exactly how successful the swap was and also be able to quickly understand if the swap is less than 100% problem-free, or has problems and needs to be returned.


Although this is not a part, but a sub-system, or sub-assembly, it does carry a .. part number , so I will review it in this section.

I am in a position to provide a good amount of information, because like a few others, I have chosen to buy a new 6-speed from Subaru.

First question when you found the supplier that has the best price for you, is what is included, question which at the time I could not answer precisely and had to take the gamble that .. much will be included..

So, the transmission wiring harness is included, clutch fork, bearing, slave cylinder top mount for the dog bone, rear lower shift fork for the stay bushing, all oil seals, ventilation bracket and hose.

Mine is a late '07 with the longer ratios but also no oil pump.

What is notably not included: no part of the shifter, but surprisingly the shift comp joint. So the shifting is just a bar, you have to get the comp fork and steel pin.
I discovered that the width of this fork differs from one year to another.

Also the return spring of the clutch fork is not included. The part number for the Sti is different than the WRX, the WRX one looked really beat up, the new one is cheap, so I bought it.

As expected, no part of the mounting is included.

It comes with neat caps for all oil seals packaged in a very nice and protective box., the splines of the input shaft and the bearing come re-lubricated, with that Subaru grease, and with a protector over them.

There is a small amount of oil in it, I would call it assembly oil, probably less than a quart.

The price shipped and taxed is more than your average swap, and you still have to get the auto driveshaft, shifter, mount and maybe stubs, to be on par with them.
I decided to also add a new 6 speed OEM clutch (without bearing, of course).

There are obvious advantages in getting something new, especially something this complex, which people use to launch, drop the clutch drift, drag race, etc.
Then in the end they may accurately represent to you the mileage, but not necessarily what it has done during that mileage.

And now to the review itself:

It is whisper quiet, I can't believe how noisy the 5 speed was at this point, my exhaust seems so loud now. I can't believe how quiet my R160 is.
My expectation was that the transmission will quiet down a small amount, but the misc noises from the rear end will come out more and overall the NVH will be the same.

Somehow I expected that the gear ratios will be confusing and that 6th may add some confusion. Everything is 100% intuitive this version is an excellent replacement for the 5 speed.

I expected the car to drop down on the wheels barely noticeable but nevertheless noticeable, if you use Sti springs. I think it did, but this is more of a feeling than anything.

I expected this to fix the speedometer issue with the Sti Cluster, it did, there still is an error, but now a constant one, not increasing with the speed as it was before and reduced in size at 3 mph.

I was surprised by a change in steering feel at parking lot speeds. It felt like the alignment changed and the toe was bringing back the steering to center stronger than before. Adding to this my thought that the car dropped (therefore changed toe), I went to have the alignment checked and it seems its still fine.
This has to be the front/center diff then.

There is no decel rattle.

I think there is some kind of damper to the clutch return. I forgot how this was implemented back in 2003 and I did not trace this through its stages, if it had any. In fact I forgot completely about it.
In '02, the 5 speeds were dropping like flies, as people were doing quarter mile passes and dropping the clutch.
As a result there was some kind of clutch release damper that was introduced for the 5 speed. Maybe in '03? maybe in '05? I can't remember.
I thought I remembered that this is something external and visible on the clutch line and only for the 5 speeds.
But maybe it is with the 6 speed too and designed into the slave cylinder.
The result is that when you double declutch, the clutch has a moment of hesitation or a soft return, to put it this way.
My '02 had none of that so the clutch was promptly "clank"-ing back in.
I thought there was still air in my slave cyl, but I think now that this is here to stay.

The throws are shorter, I think the short throw is not needed.

Downshifting into first is now easy and smooth.

In a steady state turn, the front feels to me completely planted and different than before. More so after the DCCD Pro activated the center diff. It feels like I did a whole new set of suspension improvements.

But the rear, where I still have the R160 with the VLD feels weird almost like it does a fraction of a fishtail and then catches itself. This also happens under heavy load sometimes. I am sure that a R180 will fix that, I'm just pointing out that with the 5 speed things were generally loose but this behavior was not there, probably not obvious.

Edit: The small fishtail turned out to be a Sti endlink/pillow ball type, which had the pillow ball socket cushioned with cast rubber. The rubber separated inside the socket until the socket popped completely out and revealed the problem. In short, it was an endlink problem.

The last thing is that the 6 speed and the steel driveshaft vs the 5 speed and the carbon driveshaft mean that there is a new off-boost hesitation and that wonderful pick-up with torque from the lowest RPM, which I had just gotten days before the 5 speed broke, is now gone.
I have to give it a decisive accelerator kick, so it doesn't bog down, say in a uphill traffic light situation, where before nothing was needed, just start with gas like a good aspirated engine. And I'm sure the R180 will add to this..
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Last edited by Vlad; 09-30-2014 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:13 AM   #2
rexworx
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edit... I cant read haha.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:21 AM   #3
Vlad
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Small update, I decided to replace the clutch master cylinder as well, because it has 150 K miles and with all the stop and go traffic it has seen, probably millions of depressions.

Also, getting into third gear when downshifting at a merger ramp had been difficult.
I think that the correct shifting action for this gearbox is with feedback.

Some Citroen gearboxes have no feedback shifting.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:44 AM   #4
mkvaron
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Great detailed review! I'm with you on the new parts, ya never know what someone else did...
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:01 PM   #5
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Great review! I've had a few different subarus now and in the past they have felt real notchy. My 15 wrx is smooth and easy!
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:43 AM   #6
Vlad
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Sti V9 Spec C

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Another piece of information is that I got my car weighed this weekend and it gained almost exactly 100 lb, from the 5 speed+ R160+ Small rear brakes and axles to the 6 speed + R180 + rear Brembos and big axles.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:18 AM   #7
Vlad
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Another update:
I have the R180 now.

There had been a problem with the drivetrain "pushing over the front wheels", kind of like a muscle car would.
You take a turn, step on the gas and the rear end tilts to one side a bit and feels like it wants to continue to go straight, prepares to do a fishtail.

So I traced that to having to re-calibrate my DCCD Pro and I got a better understanding of how the factory DCCD rotary knob still controls how aggressive the dccd is, even when you are in auto mode.

But when I fixed this, I noticed that the behavior of my transmission was like night and day depending on the position of the rotary knob.
It binds if I drive in the neighborhood with the knob more locked than a third.
Conversely, when I want to take a wide turn at speed, say 60, the only way to get a predictable and mostly neutral behavior, is to put it in manual and have it locked at least 2/3 of the way.

Now while these things could still mean that a tune of the DCCD is needed, I noticed that others that are posting about the effect of the DCCD, mostly post that there is little to no effect to the settings, "you're lucky to have an auto mode, just leave it in".

I think that actually the discs in the DCCD wear not as slowly as people think and the effect is that the DCCD feels like it's all the same, no matter the setting.
The DCCD Pro guys probably figured out that most users of the unit will have worn DCCD and adjusted their factory tune accordingly.
This could be why I can't seem to find a setting that covers properly both ends of the spectrum in auto.
I may have to get their tuning kit.
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:29 AM   #8
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What's the subaru part # on the 07 6-speed?
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
Vlad
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Sti V9 Spec C

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32000AJ350.
Normally part numbers are not allowed, but I am thinking this is relevant to the review.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:20 AM   #10
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Hi there, I was looking at the different gear ratios as I would like to put longer gears in my car also. I noticed that the front diff numbers were different but the type of diff used was the same? I assume if the diffs are the same type, then the number shouldn't matter. Here is what I mean.

My Car:

Center Diff Type Front Diff Type Rear Diff Type
Viscous(4kgf) A.P. Suretrac R180-Suretrac
38913AA112 38410AA030 38410AA041

JDM Forester STi:

Center Diff Type Front Diff Type Rear Diff Type
Viscous(4kgf) A.P. Suretrac R180-Suretrac
38913AA112 38410AA071 38410AA041
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:31 PM   #11
Raohden
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Vlad, did you ever track down the center diff issue you were having to needing the DCCDpro tuned?

I did and '05 6spd swap with an R180 a couple of months ago. I installed a DCCDpro unit, and calibrated it right away before I drove it. I do get some occasional binding in auto mode when driving around town and neighborhoods, but not at the level you are describing. My transmission was used though, so that may be part of it. It tends to bind more in a tight turn if I am on an incline vs. level where it is usually very mild. If I leave it in manual, it binds very easily.

Speaking to doing long or tighter turns at speeds between 40-60mph, the center diff will usually give just enough to make it through the turn and then start to tighten up like it wants to pull the front straight when coming out of the last 15% of the turn. In tight sweeping turns, right when the front feels as though it is going to understeer, it biases torque to the rear which generates oversteer and allows me to keep traction on the front, then the car balances out. I don't know if it works out this way just because of the greater torque bias to the rear for the '05 transmission vs. the '07 or not, although I have 24mm sway bars f/r, with the rear bar set to maximum stiffness which may be contributing more to that than the center diff.

Last edited by Raohden; 01-30-2015 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:49 AM   #12
Vlad
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I did a reset, where I adjusted the level of how aggressive I want the DCCDPro to act, meaning you press the accelerator while doing the reset. Then got knowledge of how the thumbwheel actually does have function while the DCCDPro is in auto mode and determines how aggressive it acts.

So I tuned it by giving some gas at reset, in my mind postponing when the DCCD grabs, then using more thumbwheel, meaning, the ramping up of the lock is faster. But I could not find a happy compromise, where it's locking softly enough in the neighborhood and sharply enough at speed.

Then I got comfortable with using the thumbwheel without looking or fumbling for it, while I drive. The factory Auto system may not need you to do this, as it's sophisticated, but this (DCCDPro), seems to benefit from adjustments while I drive.
It's almost as if there was a vehicle speed input, although it still would not be as the factory one, it would be much better than it is now, for me at least.

Last edited by Vlad; 01-31-2015 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:14 AM   #13
Vlad
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Now I'm thinking about how the DCCD is an amperage consumer that I did not have before, but I have a JDM Sti swap, so my alternator can keep up with the DCCD.
But I run a lightweight battery, which may not back up the amperage request of the DCCD coil, at night, with the headlights on.
I am running HID lights, which the JDM Sti Spec C (the engine I have), may not have had.
I have to check specs on the JDM alternators.....
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:44 PM   #14
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That very well could be it, you may have to contact Jeff to see what he recommends. I calibrated mine without the throttle input. I found that having the dial set to 2/3 of turns before full lock in auto mode has a pretty good baseline for my driving style. My suspension is too soft for my taste however. I'm running Epic springs, Tokico HP struts with Group N strut hats. If I pitch the car into a hard turn, the body roll causes the DCCD to lock up very aggressively when coming out of the turn as I get on the throttle, to the point where I really have to hold onto the steering wheel. It is still very controllable, but I want more stability from the suspension than I have now. I plan to move to some RCE Yellow springs with Koni struts soon, so it will be interesting to see how the DCCDpro with behave with that combo.


I have read up on some other guys on the forums who have switched to other brands of DCCD controllers, as they were unable to get the performance of the DCCDpro to match their driving style. DCCDpro just released a Spiider Plus unit late last year, that uses the individual ABS rings to see how fast each wheel is moving. They claim it to be a superior system. Of course that happened 1 month after I bought my "old" version
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:18 AM   #15
Vlad
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So, here is an update:
Although Sears checked my alignment after my 6 speed swap and said it's fine, either they did not check it properly, or the suspension took a little longer to settle, but my front toe was quite out of spec.

So, the height of the car DOES change after this swap, the front drops additionally and with sti (or in my case V7 Sti Spec C OEM springs), it levels.
As this happens, it needs an alignment, although you may have had it aligned with the 5 speed and checked the alignment right after the swap.

The giveaway was that it chewed my front tires with barely 7000 miles or so in one year.

With the car now aligned, I don't get the offcenter push from the rear over the front (wanted to fishtail) at the exit from a hot turn.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:58 AM   #16
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Any different if i order from China? Do anyone knows?
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:10 AM   #17
Vlad
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Send the part number to your supplier. If they can procure it for that market then it's the same
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:22 PM   #18
Raohden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
So, here is an update:
Although Sears checked my alignment after my 6 speed swap and said it's fine, either they did not check it properly, or the suspension took a little longer to settle, but my front toe was quite out of spec.

So, the height of the car DOES change after this swap, the front drops additionally and with sti (or in my case V7 Sti Spec C OEM springs), it levels.
As this happens, it needs an alignment, although you may have had it aligned with the 5 speed and checked the alignment right after the swap.

The giveaway was that it chewed my front tires with barely 7000 miles or so in one year.

With the car now aligned, I don't get the offcenter push from the rear over the front (wanted to fishtail) at the exit from a hot turn.
Yes, it most definitely has an effect on the alignment. That wasn't all for me, the Epic springs I have are very soft, and compressed quite a bit more. The car sat about 3/4" lower (maybe slightly less), no exaggeration. That used up what little suspension travel I had left, and I began hitting the bump stops. All of this surprised me for a weight gain so small.

As for the alignment, it started wearing the outside front drivers side tire a bit more than the rest. I don't have any exact numbers, as I am changing out my suspension this weekend for RCE Blacks/Koni inserts with 2004 STi front lower control arms, and Group N rear bushings w/ STi Pink trailing arms. Once I get it aligned, I will report back on how the DCCDpro works with the new set up.
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