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Old 01-02-2005, 10:38 PM   #1
kennyvb
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Cool Installed Factory Shortshifter w/ Kartboy Lever/Bushings

i installed my shifter setup the other day on my 05 wrx and thought i would share. my previous car was a honda (integra gsr) and that shifter was pretty much awesome...very direct and relatively short from the factory. the side-to-side movement of the shifter was much stiffer than my wrx, though. when i first drove my wrx, the gears seemed to very vague and shifting distance was longer than the honda's. i've had my wrx for about 3 months now and have gotten used to the shifter (and much heavier clutch) but decided to see if i could duplicate the feel of the honda shifter. basically, i've heard good things about the subaru "sti" shifter and kartboy products and gave them a whirl. the subaru quick shifter reduces distance betweens shifts (like any short shifter). i also wanted to "enhance" the driving experience by adding the kartboy lever and bushings.

quick shifter (subaru p/n: C101FA001):


kartboy shift lever (kartboy p/n: KB-001-1997):


kartboy shifter bushings (kartboy p/n: KB-003):


the overall installation was pretty simple to do but the difficulty was getting in the tight spots under the car. the only tools needed are something to lift the car, phillips head, 10mm socket, 12mm socket and wrench and ratchet.

i followed this guide: http://www.rocketjohn.com/vehicles/stiss.html

just some tips:
1. make sure you remove the "c" clip when removing/inserting lever into the "linkage ball-seat". the clip is very strong.
2. to remove the factory (1-piece) from the linkage, i just hammered it out with the mallet.
3. make sure you have a shop towel because the factory shifter (especially the bushing) is really greasy.

preinstallation...comparison of the lever on the subaru quick shifter and kartboy lever. the kartboy lowers the knob height about 1", and i'm not sure about pivot differences:


post installation:




impressions: i've driven the car about ~40 miles since the installation. the shifting distance is definitely shorter of course...about 1" from neutral to get into each gear...not sure if that is consider to be "flick-of-the-wrist"... the kartboy lowered the knob, again, about an 1" and the overall shifter looks better and sportier to me. the bushings increased the "notchiness" of the shifting feeling and gear selection requires a little bit more force. i think this is the trade-off to increasing "directness".

it's probably one of the more expensive routes you can take for a short shifter but overall, i'm pretty satisfied with the setup. does it feel like a honda shifter?? not exactly but it is better and sportier

thanks
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:08 AM   #2
Red04WRX
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good review

I love my kartboy. I had the short shifter from the factory, and with the added Kartboy lever & bushings, it makes a world of difference... For anyone w/ the short throw from the factory who might be wondering (like I was before I had the kartboy installed, ahha)

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Old 01-03-2005, 01:40 AM   #3
Bishop
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hhhhmmm maybe i should put this down on my mod list.
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:52 AM   #4
kickitjp
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Did you change out your tranny fluid?
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:58 AM   #5
willz23
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Just wait til you try swapping out the transmission mount for the STI unit.

One word to describe shifting "awesome"

will
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:00 AM   #6
kennyvb
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still running stock fluid and not sure on the sti tranny mount yet. might be too harsh...
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:28 AM   #7
s1lentx
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nice. so you think the extra $20 is worth the money for bushings?
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Old 01-07-2005, 01:22 AM   #8
kennyvb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1lentx
nice. so you think the extra $20 is worth the money for bushings?
the bushings are definitely worth the money. it changes the shifter feel quite a bit.
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Old 01-07-2005, 01:33 AM   #9
squeech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyvb
the bushings are definitely worth the money. it changes the shifter feel quite a bit.
+1. I felt more difference adding the bushings than I did adding the lever
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:30 AM   #10
makanai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeech
+1. I felt more difference adding the bushings than I did adding the lever
I know it's probably impossible to describe, but how did it change the shifting? Kennyvb, you said that it increased the "notchiness" of the shift, which worries me a little because the WRX seems to be rather notchy to begin with. But, more than anything, I seem to have trouble with the side-to-side play of the shifter that causes a slight snag. Is that the "directness" that you're talking about?

Thanks,
MAK
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Old 01-07-2005, 09:56 AM   #11
Quack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red04WRX
good review

I love my kartboy. I had the short shifter from the factory, and with the added Kartboy lever & bushings, it makes a world of difference... For anyone w/ the short throw from the factory who might be wondering (like I was before I had the kartboy installed, ahha)


yes, i've always wondered if the KB shifter would work with the factory short shift kit.

gonna order mine tonight

thanks for the info guys
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:22 AM   #12
Mulder
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If you have the factory short shifter you need to order the Kartboy lever for the GC chassis, '01-earlier, NOT the one for the '02-up.
The bushings reduce fore-aft play in the shifter but don't do much for side play, which is internal in the transmission. Be sure the pivot bolt for the lever is properly torqued, too much will make shifting stiff and too loose will increase play. It's more common for this bolt to be overtightened since the required torque is very low (about 8 ft-lbs).
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:54 AM   #13
Synth
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Nice write up and review, thank you.
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:37 PM   #14
kennyvb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
If you have the factory short shifter you need to order the Kartboy lever for the GC chassis, '01-earlier, NOT the one for the '02-up.
The bushings reduce fore-aft play in the shifter but don't do much for side play, which is internal in the transmission. Be sure the pivot bolt for the lever is properly torqued, too much will make shifting stiff and too loose will increase play. It's more common for this bolt to be overtightened since the required torque is very low (about 8 ft-lbs).
this is right. after i installed the shifter, i didn't know how much side play there was before so i thought some bolts were too loose. i tried tightening them over spec but that didn't help. so just make sure you torque them to spec.

i'll try to describe what the bushings do. they make me more confident that i'm in a particular gear. this might be a psychological effect because of the slight increase in force that is required to put the car in gear. basically, they do reduce fore-aft slack and shifting is stiffer. i've also found that getting into reverse usually only takes one attempt when i would have to try several times (sometimes) on the stock setup.

with that said, the bushings are relatively inexpensive to the other tranny parts so they'll be worth a try. i'm not sure i would buy the lever replacement. the knob positioning is lower but i'm not sure i'm that discerning to notice shifting distance reduction (between factory ss and factory ss w/ lever).
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Old 01-07-2005, 07:43 PM   #15
Quack
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cool, thanks for the additional info.
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Old 01-08-2005, 01:20 AM   #16
s1lentx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
If you have the factory short shifter you need to order the Kartboy lever for the GC chassis, '01-earlier, NOT the one for the '02-up.
The bushings reduce fore-aft play in the shifter but don't do much for side play, which is internal in the transmission. Be sure the pivot bolt for the lever is properly torqued, too much will make shifting stiff and too loose will increase play. It's more common for this bolt to be overtightened since the required torque is very low (about 8 ft-lbs).

wait i got a 05, so i get the 01- earlier? NOT the 02 up?
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Old 01-08-2005, 09:40 AM   #17
Mulder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1lentx
wait i got a 05, so i get the 01- earlier? NOT the 02 up?
Yes, IF you have the Subaru short-throw already installed. If you have the stock shifter you get the one for 02-up. You can confirm this with Kartboy when you call or email them.
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