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Old 01-08-2019, 06:22 PM   #1
blinky
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Member#: 493929
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Kutztown, PA
Vehicle:
2009 WRX
Black

Default Can't Shift into Reverse

Hey everyone. This will be probably be a long post so heads up!

I have a manual 09 WRX with about 111k miles. Over the past few months I've been having some trouble shifting into reverse (although much more prevalent over the past few weeks) . When the car is not running, it shifts into reverse maybe 95% of the time. Once I turn the engine over, that figure switches to NOT being able to shift into reverse roughly 95% of the time. Tried the shifting into 1st/2nd gear then into reverse method. Also tried the double-clutching method. Even heard of someone shifting into 4th, then reverse. None of these suggestions work (at least consistently). I use to be able to throw the car into 1st, creep forward a few inches and then shift into reverse no problem. Not the case anymore. I wanna go into further detail with whats happened over the past few months...

So roughly around October I tried backing the car into a parking space. Attempted to shift into reverse and couldn't do it. Tried the shift creep forward method (like normal) but shifting into 1st felt more like shifting inbetween 1st and 3rd (also going into 3rd still kept the car in 1st). Then I noticed I lost the lower half of my shift pattern (2nd, 4th, and reverse). Had to open the driver door and pushed myself back into the spot. Let the car sit for a week, then came back and she worked liked normal. A couple weeks later I ran into the same problem but was eventually able to get into all the gears.

Around Thanksgiving I decided to go Stage 2, and while the downpipe was removed I replaced the stock shifter bushings with a set (front and rear) from Cobb. Shifts felt great and had gained confidence finding the gears. I had a nasty squeak/creek coming from the clutch pedal for a while at this point and noticed a crack in the clutch assembly (common issue for 08-14 WRX's).

Finally was able to pickup a used pedal assembly from a local Subaru shop in the middle of December and installed it. Immediately noticed the clutch grabs waaaay sooner, just the slightest movement from being fully depressed. Next day I couldn't get the car into reverse. This behavior happened intermittently over the next few days and then quickly changed to no reverse pretty much all the time. I had a Cobb short throw shifter laying around the house for a few months and finally decided to install it because I thought, "What could it hurt?" Didn't help in the slightest (read this may actually cause not being able to shift into reverse).

I'm scratching my head at this point. I've been questioning if I should replace the shifter linkage joint, but I didn't notice anything 'out of the ordinary' when I was under the car and replaced the shifter bushings. I tried adjusting the clutch pedal point via the nut and threaded portion of the shaft coming through the firewall from the clutch master cylinder yesterday, but it didn't help. Checked the transmission fluid level and its fine (thinking about changing it though). All the research I've done points to a clutch issue with not being able to shift into reverse when running. Honestly, it feels like it wants to go into reverse but won't. I've even had it grind a few times, lately, when trying to shift into reverse.

Just looking for some insight and possible next steps. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give as much detail as I could. Thanks
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:01 PM   #2
obielando
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Member#: 487077
Join Date: Jun 2018
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Ohio
Vehicle:
2013 WRX
WRB

Default

Bled the slave cylinder?
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:32 AM   #3
rtv900
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Location: philadelphia
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2016 STI

Default

if it isn't grinding then you just have a linkage problem
if it were the clutch not fully releasing you'd grind like all hell

If it were a synchro it would grind but still go in
Most of the 'tricks' you mentioned above are synchro related tricks.

I think your linkage got goofed up somewhere along the line and it simply won't go far enough now

Also, you say it goes in while not running.
Can you put it in reverse and then start the car in gear clutch down?
how does it respond then?
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
Hangdown
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: New Jersey
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2017 Wrx
CWP

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I agree with above. Sounds like a linkage problem. Just out of curiosity, why did you decide to go with stage 2 setup before fixing a driveability problem?
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:17 PM   #5
bdubblu
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Mostly at my home
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Stage 5.1.2a.2

Default

The linkage piece that goes into the transmission and selects the gears has a polyethylene or urethane piece that wears out iirc. Was just at a buddies shop while he was replacing it. I think it's a pain in the but to do, but can be done on the car. Def want it up on a lift.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:48 PM   #6
obielando
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Location: Ohio
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2013 WRX
WRB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdubblu View Post
The linkage piece that goes into the transmission and selects the gears has a polyethylene or urethane piece that wears out iirc. Was just at a buddies shop while he was replacing it. I think it's a pain in the but to do, but can be done on the car. Def want it up on a lift.
It's pretty easy to access...

once you take off the exhaust and crank.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:14 PM   #7
blinky
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Member#: 493929
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Kutztown, PA
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2009 WRX
Black

Default

Havenít bled the slave cylinder.

If I put the car into reverse, then turn over the engine, I can back up the car without any issues. But once I shift out of reverse, itís back to square one. Iíve already had to shut the car off (after driving), shift into reverse, turn it back on, then finally back the car up.

As far as going Stage 2 before fixing the drive ability issue, I guess I was just naive and thought the problem was only an anomaly ?

Thanks for all the input everyone!Definitely gonna look into the linkage and see about replacing it.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:30 AM   #8
rtv900
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Location: philadelphia
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2016 STI

Default

if it goes in when not running there must just be something barely keeping it offset when the input is spinning
like the synchro is beat up or something

For one, do you know if the fluid has ever been changed?
Did you have it since new or bought used?
Typically most cars have never had a trans fluid change, so I'd at least get that garbage out
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