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Old 02-25-2003, 06:42 PM   #1
UkNuck
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Default Difficulty engaging 1st from stop - T/O bearing?

[2002 WRX] I know there has been a lot of discussion about difficult downshifts but does anyone else have trouble engaging 1st from a dead stop? No 'grinding' - just completely locked out.

It is only a problem when cold. It 'feels' just like a T/O bearing problem i.e. I can get the same symptom when warm by not fully depressing the pedal. Is it possible that there is enough engagement to spin the input shaft (under no load) + cause the lockout?

I'm taking it in for a scheduled service soon, and I want to explain this without sounding like an eejit. Is there actually a lock-out mechanism as such? Or is it down to synchros whatever the direction of relative rotation between input and output shafts?
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Old 02-25-2003, 08:54 PM   #2
jjunior887
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most likely they're gonna tell it's normal, alot of people have this problem, even alot of the older rs'. I have just gotton used to it for the most part, try thowing it in another gear once your stopped then first, it usually lines up the synchros and it'll go right in. Another thing I've started doing is lightly pushing toward first as I'm coming to a stop(less than 5mph), it'll usually glide right in right before you stop(although this doesn't work when your sitting at a long light or something cause you really should put it in nuetral). Letting the clutch out just a bit works sometimes too.-James
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:00 PM   #3
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It's normal for 1st to be stiff in the cold. My previous subies were all stiff going into both 1st and 2nd when they were cold. I bought my first 2 ('80 and '84) in Ottawa and put semi-synthetic gear oil in them, which really helped. I'm not sure whether that's good idea for a WRX or not ...
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:06 PM   #4
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not a expert, but it might have to do with the transmission fluid vs. the particular atmasphere. I ran the wrong tranny fluid for about a week and had the same problems. The fluid took longer to heat up and get to the right state, the oil was way to heavy. I changed it to 75w90 a lil' lighter than stock. I could imagion if you live in a cold envirement stock fluid might cause this.
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Old 02-26-2003, 09:07 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. The problem did seem relieved for a while when I topped off the tranny fluid, so maybe that *is* the key. I'm reluctant to change to synth though given the reported problems Mike alludes to. I guess it's just going to be another little pleasure of the Suby driving experience
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Old 02-26-2003, 09:16 AM   #6
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If I remember correctly some people who put fully synthetic gear oil in their WRX trannys had trouble because the oil was TOO slippery. The synchros actually need some resistance to work properly. The cars I put semi-synthetic in were from 20 yrs ago.

Anyway, if you let your car warm up a little before driving and drive slowly to start you should be OK. You could also try a block heater, which will reduce cold-start wear on the engine and also warm the tranny a bit.
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Old 02-26-2003, 05:50 PM   #7
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i have that problem some times too when the car is cold, just gotta get used to it.
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Old 02-27-2003, 07:53 AM   #8
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I put fully synthetic Motul oil in the trainy and yes, the first is hard to engage when it's cold, even when pressing/releasing clutch many times.

I did find something tho (at -35C) instead of pulling the stick completely to the left and push, I just push it and it gets in a lot better. When I pull it completely left first, it seems like it gets stuck on the gate or something.

Hope it helps.

Phil
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Old 02-27-2003, 08:00 AM   #9
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Reverse is even more of a pain to get into when it's cold. For 1st gear when cold go into 2nd and then back up into 1st this does the sycro aligning thing and should be easier. When the car is moving every so slightly it will go right into gear but dead stop and not moving is always an issue with manual trans. not just Subie.
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Old 03-01-2003, 04:50 PM   #10
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A little blip of the throttle will do wonders when trying to engage first.

When I first got my WRX I could blip the throttle and get it in first above 25 mph, if I wanted. Now it will still go in but usually not until 20 mph or so.

Others will call bs on this but it works for me ALL the time.
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