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Old 10-08-2016, 09:47 PM   #1
Cons
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 418690
Join Date: Apr 2015
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Indiana
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
WRB

Default Unusual Shifter Problem

Hey fellow Nasioc-ers. I decided to do this small writeup because I had a very odd problem with my shifter, as the title states. I got it fixed and I wanted to share with you guys in case someone was dealing with a similar problem.

Some background first:

I drive a manual 2002 WRX. I've had it for two months as of now. Long story short, I went to NC to buy it and drove back to IN where I live. I purchased an exhaust on the way back because it had a 3" straight pipe all the way from the downpipe back that was too loud for my taste. Once I got it home, I drove to mechanic friend's house a few days later to install the exhaust and do some other maintenance with his lift.

The car shifted fine and it was only when I downshifted from 5th to 4th on an offramp that my problem happened. The shifter suddenly felt very sloppy; it was just flopping around and I couldn't get it into any gear but 2nd. I managed to limp it to the shop and found out what was wrong.



This is the shifter exposed. As you can see, the ball on the end of the shift lever rests in a cup in a ball and socket joint.



This is what happened to me on the offramp. Note that the ball is slightly out of joint and the cup is spread open (the arm was unbolted to expose this; that didn't break or anything).





This cup is what the ball rests in. At the very end, there is supposed to be a snap ring. That is what came off and broke, which caused the ball to be able to slide around very loosely. The solution is to get a new snap ring (it was about $3 or so) and put it on the end. After that, my car is back to shifting normally.

I hope this helped you guys out. Thanks for reading.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:15 PM   #2
mrsaturn7085
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Member#: 375462
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Vehicle:
2006 Impreza WRX STI
WR Blue

Default

I recently posted a thread noting the changes Prodrive made to the GpN car shifters - the summary being, they replaced the plastic cup and ball with a steel bearing. Probably for this very reason.
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:57 PM   #3
Cons
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Member#: 418690
Join Date: Apr 2015
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Indiana
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
WRB

Default

Yeah, it definitely seems like it could be made stronger
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:55 PM   #4
mrsaturn7085
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Member#: 375462
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Vehicle:
2006 Impreza WRX STI
WR Blue

Default

The appropriate bearing cost approximately 80 bucks before all the other machined parts necessary to fit it... that'd probably be why Subaru chose to mold a couple of plastic parts. Even at OEM quantity cost, they'd probably bump the raw material cost by 5-10 bucks in the shifter which would be a hefty amount considering most of those plastic bushings outlast the car as-is.
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