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Old 04-11-2013, 02:47 AM   #1
lavid2002
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Member#: 226864
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: southern NJ
Vehicle:
2005 PSM WRX
18.5lb. 93 oct, DP, UP

Default FXT and WRX 5mt swap question

Hey everyone. I recently bought a high mileage forester XT (190k)

I want to make this sucker really reliable. I am rebuilding the engine and putting a new transmission in it. I could just swap in a 5mt and service the axles, differential, check the driveshaft, and put new bearings in the hubs. But, I have always wanted an STi 6 speed in my wrx. If I am going to drop money on a transmission, I was thinking now is the time to consider buying an STi swap for ~3 grand. I could put the STi drivetrain in my WRX. Then put my WRX drivetrain in the forester, and sell the forester components.

There is nothing wrong with the forester components right now, I just want the car to be in perfect shape as I plan on owning it for a long long time.

If you were in the same position as me what would you do? Put another 5mt in the forester? Utilize the opportunity to put the 6 speed in the WRX? I would also have to buy brakes for the WRX to fit the STI hubs and rotors.

Here is how I am looking at it. I need to buy a new transmission. I could do one of the following.

1)Buy a new transmission for the forester and service the rest of the drivetrain.
~1,200 bucks all things considered.

2)Keep the transmission in the forester, service it with fluids, and run it until I have a problem. I don't want to do this really :/ I want this car to be very reliable. I want to do all the work now, shut the hood, and know I have a bulletproof car.
~Almost nothing

3)Buy an Sti transmission swap (Diff, trans, axles, hubs) for the 05 WRX and swap all the WRX components into the forester. WRX currently has 77k miles on it and the drivetrain is perfect.
~3,500

I would prefer to do option number three for a multitude of reasons.

Pro's
*I know the WRX going into the FXT is in good shape
*I get a 6 speed in my wrx for when I want to make some power later
*Everything in the FXT gets swapped, hubs, axles, differential, driveshaft, brakes. I like that I am replacing these old components.
*Potentially "Saving" some money by utilizing money I would have spent on another transmission anyways to do my swap.

Con's
*This option adds ~2,000 to my budget for this build.
*I would have to buy brakes for my WRX.
*I am relatively happy with the performance and brakes on my WRX right now and have no big plans to build it up. When I want to go fast I just ride the bike. I really don't like that my transmission is my weak point right now though, and it keeps me from modifying my car more.


If you were in my situation what would you do? I would like to do this swap but I want to be level headed about the decision.

Thanks Everyone

-Dave
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:11 AM   #2
JarHarms
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Location: DeKalb-ish, IL
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06 06 WRX Ltd SGM
02 Forester S

Default

Is the FXT auto or 5MT? If it's a 5MT I personally would rather leave in the FXT ratio trans than change to a WRX ratio trans. Besides as long as the clutch is OK what maintenance is there besides switch trans fluid, diff fluid, and maybe replace a leaky axle seal (or two)? Changing the hubs and such...ehh.

That said, if it was me I would do maintenance on the existing FXT trans for now. Save up the cash for the 6MT you want in your WRX....then swap a-roo away at a later time. Also gives you a DD to drive during the WRX swap; then the WRX to drive during the FXT swap.

At very least you seem to be doing a good job of comparing all your options. **Although it looks like you already made your decision. Good luck

Last edited by JarHarms; 04-11-2013 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
lavid2002
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Location: southern NJ
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2005 PSM WRX
18.5lb. 93 oct, DP, UP

Default

The forester has a 5mt right now. If it had <100k on it I would just keep the transmission in there! I just don't want it to fail on me. You know?
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
joegamma1
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white/carbon fiber

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I'd put "the cocktail" in the Forrester trans with whatever other maintenance you want to do(and be easy on it) and do the 6spd in the WRX anyway, saving that trans for later if needed. Just my .02
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:50 PM   #5
Concillian
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Midnight Black

Default

You can swap the WRX tranny to the FXT, but it's usually not going to bee worth all the work. WRX transmission will be 3.90 final, so you need to swap the rear diff and potentially rear axles (sometimes splines are different... sometimes not). Going from a 4.44 final to a 3.9 final will make the car feel much slower. Especially in city driving. It will allow for slightly better fuel economy on the highway, but the loss in responsiveness and towing grunt may not be worthwhile for a Forester.

If one is a push and one is a pull type, then there is quite a bit more involved in the swap, as you'll need to convert clutch / FW / Slave cylinder / hydraulic hose. I think the FXT is push and 05 WRX is pull, but I'm not sure. Yeah, you have all these on the WRX, but some of these things are often re-used to make a 6MT swap into a pull-type car cheaper. Your 6MT cost may go up.

It's not something to undertake lightly, and the final drive swap should be giving you second thoughts. There's a really big difference in the feel of the car between a 3.9 and 4.444 final. Bigger than you might expect. You could swap ring and pinion in the transmission to keep the 4.444 final, but that's not really your everyday shadetree mechanic type job.

Last edited by Concillian; 04-11-2013 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
JarHarms
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: DeKalb-ish, IL
Vehicle:
06 06 WRX Ltd SGM
02 Forester S

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Just curious why all the concern over the trans just because it has over 100k miles? If it was decently taken care of, I would not expect it to randomly implode on you.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
lavid2002
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Vehicle:
2005 PSM WRX
18.5lb. 93 oct, DP, UP

Default

That is the fundamental question of this whole issue isn't it? I'm glad you bring attention to it.

Should I worry about this forester transmission? I rant it through all the gears and it shifts like butter. The car has had one owner it has service. I could pull the plug and see if I am chia-pet status.

If the car was an automatic I would absolutely replace the transmission due to the clutches, filters, etc... But aside from synchros wearing, does high mileage mean a weaker transmission?

I am willing to put a new transmission into the car if need be, but it has to be done now. Doing it later if it breaks will cost me exponentially more as I won't have access to my garage, tools, and time.

Very good point on the 3.9 and 4.444 final.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:28 PM   #8
lavid2002
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: southern NJ
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2005 PSM WRX
18.5lb. 93 oct, DP, UP

Default

The car has great service records, and only one owner. Serviced by the dealership all the time. Would you feel safe trusting this transmission?
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:33 AM   #9
txl146
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Junior Tuned 301whp

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FXT transmission is highly sought after by WRX folks because of 4.44 final. Never seen someone install WRX transmission into FXT.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:24 AM   #10
JarHarms
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Member#: 138994
Join Date: Jan 2007
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: DeKalb-ish, IL
Vehicle:
06 06 WRX Ltd SGM
02 Forester S

Default

Hmm. You seem to have found an FXT in good shape.
Still if it was mine, I would drop the trans oil, fill with Extra-S, run the installed trans, and not expect any issues. Spend more effort on engine maintenance and probably replace some of the old rubber suspension bushings out for GroupN or TiC.
Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:38 AM   #11
lavid2002
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: southern NJ
Vehicle:
2005 PSM WRX
18.5lb. 93 oct, DP, UP

Default

I am definitely going to do a lot of suspension and bushing work on the car. The engine is getting completely overhauled, new turbo, I will probably swap all the shocks too.

Body looks great, almost no rust.
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