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Old 03-11-2001, 07:45 PM   #1
Jessie James
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Post Can you force the 4EAT to downshift to 1st gear? Tell me how, please!

Okay, so I need to know how to force my 4EAT to shift down to first gear when I want it to - specifically when I am on the track and going around tight, slow corners. Even with the shifter jammed in first, it just stays in second, which just kills me, and my acceleration!

I'm not afraid to cut wires, etc., so please let me know how. It's a MY00 Impreza 2.5.

Thanks!

Oh, I know about LevelTen and their $1500 transmission shifter device. Let's hear about cheap DIY solutions!
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Old 03-11-2001, 08:41 PM   #2
Keiho
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Maybe you are going too fast for the tranny to shift down to first gear?

I can shift down into first gear...but that's practically at a dead stop. I don't think it'll be beneficial anyway, when it does downshift to first I get a BIG lurch...not very smooth for taking corners. Second however is ok, and it should be low enough to give that extra oomph needed to take turns.
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Old 03-11-2001, 08:52 PM   #3
Jessie James
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Not really fast, although I didn't look down at my speedo for fear of going off the course!

I'm sure I was going less than 10mph, and the lurch could have been a good thing, as I was planning on it. Believe me, if I were in first gear, I would have accelerated a LOT faster than in second gear, which could have shaved considerable seconds off my lap times. Well, I think so at least!

Does anyone have any practical knowledge on cutting wires or doing something to satisfy my urge for spinning out, err, I mean, accelerating better?

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2001, 10:04 PM   #4
Keiho
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I still say you'll be going too fast for 1st gear. I've tried starting off in 1st gear...I'm barely hitting 20-25 km/h and I'm basically near redline already.

[This message has been edited by Keiho (edited March 11, 2001).]
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Old 03-11-2001, 10:21 PM   #5
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wouldnt that be bad for the diff or something slowing down that fast with a auto?
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Old 03-11-2001, 10:42 PM   #6
Jessie James
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No worse than double clutching it into first with a stick. I just don't have that liberty with an automatic.

Anyone have any clues on how to do this? Come on - LevelTen can't be the only ones....
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Old 03-11-2001, 11:22 PM   #7
gasser
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I never had a problem getting into first. you really have to know your trans and its shift points. do this... take your car out for a drive, and floor it when you reach 20mph, it should hit first with no problem. the same goes for 40mph ( it should hit second). mine hits first the hardest when I slam it down into first at 23-24mph. Also look at your rpm before downshifting and remember at what rpm it was at. This way if you have a bigger tach (5" autometer, it helps!)you don't have to look down.... even if there was a way to get around the 4EAT, to make it go into first at a higher speed it would make no sense, it will just red line.
good luck
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Old 03-12-2001, 07:40 AM   #8
micah
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Your transmission, by design, should definitely be able to kick down at 10 mph. I would say check your throttle position sensor but you said you put the lever in "1" and it still didn't kick down. I don't really have any good advice except that this is not normal function.

My 'VX will downshift anywhere below 30. I know it has a taller final drive but not 3 times taller!

good luck
mbs
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Old 03-12-2001, 07:55 AM   #9
Jessie James
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Does an ECU reset do a TCU reset as well? Maybe I'll just reset the thing in the morning before the race, while I'm walking the track.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-12-2001, 08:20 AM   #10
CRZ_MSL
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First and second gear in the 4EAT force torque split to 50/50, even if you need 90/10. You might get a bit-o-binding on tight turns.
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Old 03-12-2001, 08:45 AM   #11
Faraz
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if you are in second in your AT ...just slam the gas to the floor it will shift back down to 1st ...I do it all the time when I want to race people i just roll by ...and quick pump the throttle ...it downshifts and REVS Hard (sounding like a MT rev).
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Old 03-12-2001, 09:30 AM   #12
Jessie James
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That works great on the street, as yes, I do that too.

That doesn't work on the track though. I can be going as slow as 5mph and have it floored and nothing happens - it just sticks in second. Believe me when I say I tried EVERYTHING to get it to shift down, short of coming to a complete stop!

So AGAIN, I ask, does anyone know how to FORCE, when I (not the TCU) want it to, the 4EAT into first gear. I'm looking for a technical modification to the transmission/TCU/TPS etc...

Come on folks, someone must have taken the 4EAT apart and knows how it really works, right? Or have a wiring diagram or shop manual? Please?
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Old 03-12-2001, 09:51 AM   #13
micah
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You're going to find that not a lot of people know a whole heck of a lot about the 4EAT, even techs. I would definitely try a *CU reset, might help.

Recipe for forcing 4EAT in 2000 Impreza to shift to 1st:

1)Go to dealer
2)Complain that transmission will not downshift to first when lever is put in "1" at low speeds
3)Blow off whatever BS the dealer gives you about how it's supposed to do that. Show him in a 2001 Impreza that they have on the lot if they have one.
4)Let dealer fix / make adjustment necessary to return proper function.
5)Move lever to "1" to downshift.

The only thing I might be missing is that there might be some set of conditions where the transmission will refuse to shift to "1", even at low speed, by design. If this is the case you are going to have to get in and hardwire something to the valve body and shift solenoids. Don't try this at home.

mbs

ps. Subies are very reliable but if something does go really wrong during the warranty period, dollars to donuts its the transmission in an automatic. In this case, you _really_ don't want to have any cut wires, etc. in the engine bay when they go to fix it or it could be your dime. Just my $0.02.
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Old 03-12-2001, 10:06 AM   #14
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Pedal to the metal.

Tranny will go to the lowest available gear. If you don't go into 1st, then you are going too fast for that gear.
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Old 03-12-2001, 10:26 AM   #15
Jessie James
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No, that is not the case, I can go at least 30 MPH in first, and I am going maybe 10 MPH. But thanks for trying.

Someone tell me about transmission solenoids and how the TCU controls them, and how I can modify them before I give up.

Oh, and please, don't tell me to floor it anymore, I'm snot dat dum, I was flooring it to whole dang time.
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Old 03-12-2001, 11:02 AM   #16
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/wiseazz on
got to dealer...
exchange for a real transmission
/wiseazz off
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Old 03-12-2001, 01:22 PM   #17
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Check fluid level or for vacuum leaks.

Roger
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Old 03-12-2001, 02:10 PM   #18
Jessie James
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Roger,

It's not likely to be the problem (car is only 6 months old) but I will definately check. Thanks for something that was less than obvious.

Anyone else care to come up with something useful? Where are the 4EAT gods today?
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Old 03-12-2001, 03:41 PM   #19
ChrisThor
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I am by no means a "4EAT god" but I do have some common sense. My car is an auto and I find that the best way for me to get the car to shift into 1st after slowing down and exiting a turn to leave at full speed is to put it in automatic-overdrive. If in the 1st postition you feel that it wont shift down into 1st you may want to try automatic-overdrive next race.

[This message has been edited by ChrisThor (edited March 12, 2001).]
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Old 03-12-2001, 05:54 PM   #20
GZoomer
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Do a search for "Digital_Boy" he's done a lot of research into the 4eat. You could also try PMing him.
The only way I can get mine to down shift quickly is to lift and punch it. My legacy only has a 2.2 and I have more weight so I'm almost never in a situation were that is to much power. I have never tried lifting, Down shifting and then punching it.
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Old 03-12-2001, 09:59 PM   #21
Jessie James
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FYI - I talked to my local dealer and they are going to get me the wiring diagrams or at least a quick solution using the solenoids in the tranny. I'll post it here when I figure it out.

I love Marin Subaru - their parts department - it's the BEST.
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Old 03-13-2001, 12:19 AM   #22
WRXwannbe
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I don't understand why everyone is trying to wire up their autotrannies as though is was the only way to shift gears is to go through the computer.

People the lever is there for a reason.just move it to 1 and it'll downshift to one. Take a moment to drive the car while manually shifting the automatic. The 4eat is very forgiving during manual shifting. Since the 4eat is electronically controled the valve bodies don't necissarily work on sheer force of the lever of the shifter. When you manually shift through the gears the computer keeps an eye out and smoothly shifts to the gear of your choice.

I'm throughly convinced I could burn a manual transmision while doing crazy stunt driving.

before a turn don't downshift more than one gear of corresponding speed. Durning a turn you must stay in the gear that was right before the turn. Do not ever shift to 1st while going 15mph, are you crazy? Have you tried neutral coasting before? it works wonders. In an automatic it matters a lot if you have body role in your car, remember the trany is constantly dividing torque between the front and rear wheels.

Just remember to change the tranny fluid to synth and put an in-line filter and cooler.
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Old 03-13-2001, 12:41 AM   #23
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You probal have something wrong with your car i usely run my auto in the 1 position and it willnever shift to 2nd but when i do want to switch to the 1 position i usely drop it at about 25 mph and it shifts right into it after a sec or so.
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Old 03-13-2001, 07:49 AM   #24
Jessie James
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If the 4EAT is so "forgiving" and the lever works so well, how come it won't downshift to first when I am going around a hairpin corner at 5 MPH on the track, but will happily downshift to first when I am going 20 MPH on the street?

If you can explain that and prove to me that you have the experience taking the transmissions apart and know the wiring schematics and how the TCU interacts with the transmission, I'll listen. But until then... sorry, all this "Just floor it" and "use the lever" stuff is hogwash.

I talked to the local dealer and they are going to help me, so I don't have to shell out the $1500 LevelTen wants for their shifter controller which does exactly what I want - uses electronics to control the electronically controlled transmission, because the TCU does NOT always do what the Lever says to do. End of story.

As always, I will post results when I get them.
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Old 03-13-2001, 09:32 AM   #25
WRXwannbe
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good point, although I have taken hairpins in 1st that was before the approach of the curve in which I downshifted. The best way to insure that the car will shift is to constantly shift from the highest gear and gradually drop the gears, I really do recommend anyone to get synth and cooler. My cooler gets soo hot sometimes, when I touch it my hand burns!
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