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Shifter Bushing HAPPINESS!
Posted 10 June 2007 - 04:54 PM
Spent weeks reading and researching, more weeks collecting the parts . . . and months trembling in fear!
Wasn't easy but it's probably the most satisfying improvement I've ever made to a car. Tight, firm and smooth. I can now make every shift with a flick of the wrist and minimal hand movement. I'd forgotten how sweet it could be.
Put in Kartboys front and rear for the stay rod--nice firm and stable feeling. Had to use OEMs for the "universal joint" at the boss that connects to the transmission's shift rod (wish someone made a more durable product for there but it appears not).
Absolutely the best and most reasonably priced mod (about $20) was Turn in Concepts "pivot bushings" for the shift lever-to-control rod joint. The old OEMs were in good condition but the TiC parts--Wow, what a difference in feel!
I know this is already too long, but for anyone interested here are some notes:
1) The inner roll pin came out quite easily. I attribute this to the automatic oil mister system installed on the car (leaky valve covers?) Put the shifter in 5th. Used a 3/16" punch held in a 3/8" socket on a 6" extender to drive it.
2) Slid a 9/32" socket, a couple of old nuts and a couple of washers onto the punch (thanks Subyluvr2212 for the idea) so that about 1/4" of the punch tip stuck out. Gaffer taped it all together and started pounding.
Nothing! Couldn't budge the large roll pin mainly 'cause I couldn't get a straight "on-axis" shot at it. Finally admitted defeat, soaked the area with PB Blaster and buttoned the car up. Figured I'd have to tear the tranny support out the next weekend.
3) Secret weapon: My son came home from college that week--so I had him sit in the car and firmly push the shifter forward (still in 5th) and outward (toward passenger side.) That extra half inch of distance and few degrees of twist allowed a straight shot at the roll pin.
4) Fifteen minutes or so of pounding, then my son heard a loud "Yes!" from under the car. Pin popped out.
5) From joy to desolation: Realized that the boss had to be driven off the shaft next. Uh-oh! Asked him to shift to reverse and couldn't believe what I saw. The boss slid right off and fell loose (that automatic oiler again?) He heard sheer happiness from underneath the car.
6) Took the unit out, disassembled the "universal" linkage (which didn't have a shred of bushing left in it) and cleaned everything thoroughly. Reassembled with well-greased new bushings.
7) Installed rear Kartboy. Had to do this from above, working blind. Put it in upside down! Took it out, wiped it down, re-greased it and put it in again . . . upside down. At that point I knocked off for a quiet lunch (I wasn't speaking to myself) after which, miraculously, it went in right side up.
8) Putting it all back together was pretty straightforward. Lining up the boss-to-shift rod holes for the roll pins was a little tricky but eventually I got it.
9) Next morning I got up and actually looked forward to driving to work!
Some notes about the aftermarket parts, which I heartily recommend:
Kartboy lists their stay rod bushings as being for '97 or '98 and newer Subarus, but thought they should work in earlier models. They seem to be just fine in my '95 Legacy.
Turn in Concepts doesn't make the "pivot bushings" for early Legacies but after weeks of discussion and emailing measurements and photographs they cut a metal "crush tube" to the size I needed (about 25mm IIRC). All I had to do was trim about 3mm off one of the urethane bushings to get a tight fit.
I dealt with Clint, one of the owners of TiC--super pleasant, super helpful Subaru lover himself. They also cut a few extra tubes to have in stock so if you're interested tell him you want the "Nick's '95 Legacy" model! (By the way, I have no connection or financial interest in this--just want to see my friends get a fantastic mod at a great price!)
Wow, I do talk a lot. Anyway, Aloha all.
Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:11 PM
I too agree that I wish there was an alternative to the OEM bushings, maybe polyurethane or something. But alas, there isn't.
NOW... I know you've already got it back together Olnick, but in the future, keep this in mind:
If you feel compelled to ever use a new-style short shifter, like one meant for a WRX or the like, you can make them fit with the assembled bracket and boss, part number 35047AC030, pictured here. That comes preassembled, with bushings already in it. So instead of disassembling your old one and replacing its bushings, you can just replace the whole thing in one fell swoop. But, this piece is intended for the new-style shifters and won't work with your old shifter setup, so you can only use it if you're planning to upgrade to a new-style short-throw.
I myself plan on doing this soon, and will use that bracket assembly.
Glad you got it worked out!
Posted 11 June 2007 - 02:30 AM
I've always enjoyed my standard Suby shifters (especially now!) so doubt that I'd ever swap in a short shifter. But if you do it I'd love to hear your reactions and observations.
Posted 16 March 2008 - 10:35 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:34 AM
Has anyone put together a parts lists for this repair? My shifter feels very sloppy, like its sitting in a bowl of spaghetti or something else mushy!
Yes it does sound like your bushings are shot. Parts needed depend on the year/model of your car--Subaru made several changes over the years.
I'd suggest you get a Haynes manual and look under "Shift lever--removal and installation," there's an excellent blow-up drawing there.
Then slide under your car and study the linkage, especially the "boss joint" that connects the rod from your shift lever to the rod stub on your transmission--that's where the worn bushings usually are.
Search here on USMB for shifter bushing threads, there's pretty good information and links. You can start with the "Similar Threads" listed at the bottom of this page.
Finally, if you want to talk to someone about the parts you need, I highly recommend calling Jason at Mike Scarff Subaru in Auburn, Washington (866-528-5282)--very knowledgable and great prices.
Good luck, and when you have specific questions come back here and ask.
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