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Old 01-14-2021, 04:05 PM   #1
DrNorm
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Question replacing tranny in '05 WRX: what to do about stub axles on an '04 replacement tranny

I have an '05 WRX and the transmission went bad. Did a LOT of research on replacing it and decided not to go the JDM route due to compatibility headaches. Found (what was supposed to be) an identical trans from a salvage yard on East Coast (listed as same part # as my trans. TY754VZ6AA.

When it arrived, however, it has male "stub axels" from the front dif., whereas my trans has female receive for front axels. However, the strip with the OPART # on the transmission that was sent has fallen off so there is no way to definitely verify it is the exact same transmission.

The salvage yard insists that it is the correct part and says that all we need to do is remove those stub axels and my drive axels will plug right in.... except the mechanic can't seem to get them out. (many parts were quite corroded as it was a NE US car with 15 winters of salt/ice exposure and appears to have been "left out in the weather". Took a lot of impact-wrenching to disassemble external parts to prep for install.)

Near as I can tell from reading dozens of posts, the salvage yard is "probably" lying to me? This trans is probably from an '04 or earlier?

BUT-- assuming we can get the stub axels removed, it should otherwise be a direct swap? I have read posts saying that stub shafts from the differential should just "come out" once circlip is removed (though might need assist from bearing puller) and another that said "the bearing cups will need to be removed to get the stubs out of the 5MT".

With so many differences between years and models, once I stat reading about 6MT upgrades or Legacy swaps or JDM parts, it just like getting all the right parts to swap anything other than an identical model seems liked a monumental effort, especially since the work is being down by a transmission shop and not by me.

Or, if trans model part # can't be verified... is it foolish to even consider installing it? If I don't use this transmission, I could dispute the credit card charge for the part ($1500) but I'd still be "out" about $600 in OOP costs ($350 shipping and shop time to prep this trans) if I abort AND it will take another 4-6 weeks to get a different transmission shipped (requires ocean freight).

NEW trans
http://www.dropbox.com/s/ptpaw3dvoku...rans.jpeg?dl=0

no part #?
http://www.dropbox.com/s/2qpjy41p5wh...0num.jpeg?dl=0

current trans from '05 WRX
http://www.dropbox.com/s/6qgn998244x...rans.jpeg?dl=0
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Last edited by DrNorm; 01-14-2021 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:50 PM   #2
snow_bound26
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02-early 04 used the stub axles. Late 04 and newer use male axles. So it's safe to say the salvage yard didn't know what they were talking about.

Why not just get 03 axles and call it a day? That's your easiest solution. I have read that you can remove the studs, but I believe you have to change out some of the parts so the male axles fit. Which leads back to getting 03 axles and calling it a day.

And just for future reference, swapping to a JDM 5 speed is really easy.
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Old 01-14-2021, 05:13 PM   #3
DrNorm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snow_bound26 View Post
0Which leads back to getting 03 axles and calling it a day.

And just for future reference, swapping to a JDM 5 speed is really easy.
thanks for that info.

as I am in Hawii, with very limited access to parts, "just getting some '03 axles" is no easy or inexpensive option. It was $350 and 4-weeks just to get the tranny here. Also, my car has on 82k miles, so I didn't want to put in an even older, high-mileage transmission. The salvage yard "claims" it came out of an '05 WRX with 78k miles, but with no part # on it, now I am really leary about "what" to believe. I could try to get a refund from them but would still be out the fright and prep charges.... and have to find and then wait another 4-6 weeks for another tranny.

I had initially wanted to swap to a JDM for the benefit of the 4.11 FDR but that would have meant changing the read dif, as well (not a big deal... just more $$) and I kept reading about all kinds of other compatibility issues that could crop up: EDCM controller plug, starter, and others. Given that I am having the work done at a shop, I decided that keeping it as simple as possible was the most important issue (especially since this is now a DD and not raced, so the performance increases are just not critical anymore)

Last edited by DrNorm; 01-14-2021 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 01-14-2021, 05:15 PM   #4
DrNorm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snow_bound26 View Post
I believe you have to change out some of the parts so the male axles fit.
can anyone comment on this? (assuming this is actually an '04 transmission) If I just "remove the stub axles" will it work or will my drive axels still not just "plug in"?
Because there is no part number, I guess it could even be a JDM transmission? There is no way to know if the salvage yard is just feeding me a line of BS.

The whole point of obtaining an identical transmission was to avoid hours of additional research because of problems like this and numerous threads that give completely different information about what is required when you make changes.

I am now really concerned that if I don't know the actual part #, then I really have no idea what I am putting in. The salvage yard insists it's the same part number as my WRX '05 and "it was just a dissaembly thing. Just remove them and you're good to go".... but then "why" does it have stub axles if an '05 trans clearly does not?

I have found posts claiming you absolutely "can" just use my current axles, and then others (like the reply above) saying you cannot.

Last edited by DrNorm; 01-14-2021 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 01-14-2021, 05:49 PM   #5
snow_bound26
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Stub axles only came on the WRX from 02-early 04. Even the early 04 STi had stub axles. This is well documented and you can go on a Subaru parts supplier and look for yourself. It doesn't take much time to research this stuff. While you're on the website look up the specific parts that are different between your 05 trans and the replacement one. You already have the parts since you have both trans and would just need to swap out the appropriate pieces.

https://www.subaruonlineparts.com

This is the site I use when I'm trying to find part numbers. But reality is you could have driven to the store and bought a couple female axles in the amount of time you've taken to ask us questions on here. Just do it the easy way. $150ish and you'll be good to go. Whereas changing the stuff over will take more time, you'll have to make sure seals are good, the tension/depth on circular plate for the axle on the trans is set properly, etc, etc.

Once everything is together, rotate the driveshaft to make sure there's no binding. If there's binding then the rear diff isn't matched to the front diff and you'll know if it's truly a USDM WRX trans.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:03 PM   #6
DrNorm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snow_bound26 View Post
Stub axles only came on the WRX from 02-early 04.

But reality is you could have driven to the store and bought a couple female axles in the amount of time you've taken to ask us questions on here.
thank you, again. In my defense, I have probably spent 5+ hours reading through threads on this forum and other Suby sites trying to answer this. It is not a simple as you suggest because numerous threads have contradictory info. Furthermore, because there is no part # on the "new" transmission (and salvage yard insists it's same part # as my trans from same model/year car-- which it clearly is not) it puts me in a difficult position.

Also, while I appreciate your "just go to the store" suggestion, I happen to live in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. We are VERY rural and we "have" no store to go to that would have anything like this. Just getting new axles is no small feat. Everything has to be ordered and freighted in by boat/barge. Even small parts often cost ore to ship than cost of part. I had to have the tranny shipped from upstate NY, which was the only low mileage, 2005 WRX tanny I could find (and now, from your info, it clearly looks like they lied about that- so if they lied about the year, what else did they lie about? How many miles on it? I don't want to spend $3,000 (which is what this is gonna cost by the time I'm all done, adding freight costs and the might higher mechanics costs, here) to have a car that still can't be driven.

Tempted to cut my losses ($600 freight/prep), dispute the credit card charge (since clear they didn't send me an '05 tranny) and start again. Which will take 4+ weeks to get a different tranny here.

Last edited by DrNorm; 01-14-2021 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:16 PM   #7
DrNorm
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went to subaruparts.com. problem is, what do I even look for since I don't know what transmission I have? I looked up front axles for 2003 (since it should be a female, as the axle stubs were on '02-'4, or your post) but the catalog pic shows a "male" axle (like my 05 axles). Furthermore, it's not "$150" but looks to be $300-450 each side + freight, so well over $1,000, plus prob $500 un additional labor, for something that might not even work.

as I said before, b/c of isolation, time and shipping costs and not doing it myself (which means paying a mechanic to figure all this out), this was not a game I even wanted to play.

If it were that simple, there probably wouldn't have 100's of posts asking similar questions (and none with a clear answer or an answer valid only to that very specific circumstance).
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:33 PM   #8
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Old 01-15-2021, 01:28 PM   #9
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You were sent the wrong transmission and you have plenty of evidence to support this. Heck, you could even ask your local Subaru dealership to write a letter for you on their letterhead stating that this is the incorrect style transmission for your model year.

You should be reimbursed for the cost of the WRONG transmission and refunded the cost of shipping for a mistake that you didn't make.

If I were in your position, I would file a dispute with my credit card company.
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:04 PM   #10
DrNorm
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(reply deleted)

Last edited by DrNorm; 01-15-2021 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:22 PM   #11
DrNorm
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yes. I would tend to agree with you (and my wife ABSOLUTELY agrees with you ) but at this point, I'm going to take the path of least resistance. The salvage yard (who has shared the VIN and it is indeed an '05 WRX?) is sending me the axles off the vehicle the trans came out of, so that "should" work.

This was the fix that snow_bound26 had also suggested. I had located non-OEM replacement axles for ~$340 + shipping, before yard offered to send the donor axles.

The only thing that might explain this whole problem (assuming yard is being honest and competent) is that the donor vehicle itself had a tranny swap at some point and they put in an '02-early '04 trans and changed the axles to make it work.

If that's the case, then it's a bummer because I don't know the history of the trans (mileage-wise. though donor had 78k) and b/c there were minor upgrades in synchros/gears from '02-early '04 vs. late '04/'05.

If it all works- relief. If it craps the bed 5,000 miles down the road, then I will have absolutely no recourse for a refund on the "wrong" tranny and be out the $3.5k+ this will all end up costing ($1500 trans + $350 freight + install). Mechanically, I'm not sure the changes from '02/'03/e'04 --> '05 really make that huge a difference?

But going the "fight them" route means time spent finding another trans (it was VERY hard to find a '05 with < 100k), waiting 4-6 weeks for it to get here and likely eating about $600 in freight and prep costs. Even if I dispute the charge on the trans, I see no way to "compel" a salvage yard 5,000 miles away to reimburse me for freight and prep charges? Small claims is not an option and "my time" (and aggravation) is simply worth a lot more.

in retrospect, perhaps going with a JDM trans (which a plentiful, usually low mileage and no salt) would have been to better choice, since I ended up having to change the axles, anyway. I would have also meant changing the read dif. but that would have given me a higher FDR, as well. Hindsight....

thanks for your suggestion, though, as you are probably right. I'm just too busy to deal with it.

Last edited by DrNorm; 01-15-2021 at 05:27 PM.
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