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Shifter Bushing HAPPINESS!


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Olnick

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 04:54 PM

I did it. Finally. Got the shifter out of my '95 Legacy and replaced all the bushings. Or, in my case, added bushings where there were none!

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. :)

#2 DerFahrer

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:11 PM

Fun huh?

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!

#3 Olnick

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 02:30 AM

Thanks subyluvr. It was your excellent writeup that led me through this entire process.

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.

Aloha.

#4 timstiles

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 10:35 PM

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!

#5 Olnick

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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.

#6 94 subie

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 11:03 PM

new guy here and my first Subaru ----- 94 legacy wagon 5 speed , 94 K original .  Have same problem with shifter . it moves as if its in neutral even though it can be in any gear  lol. would like to know about the years that would work for mine as a possible kit replace instead of all the bushings and info on better replacement parts as well as sites to get them . Thank you  



#7 Olnick

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 02:34 AM

Wow, what a surprise to see my old thread brought back! 

 

Not sure anyone has a comprehensive list of what linkage joints were used in what models or years.  But I suspect that your '94 and my '95 are probably the same.  I think your best bet is to disassemble your existing joint and put new bushings in it.

 

You might try calling Jason, Parts Manager at Mike Scarff, 866-528-5282, and ask if he knows what's needed for a '94.  And if you do attempt the job, post any questions here--I'll do my best to remember the process!

 

By the way, seven years later and my shifter is still pretty doggone smooth!



#8 86BRATMAN

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 07:21 AM

All the joints that I've seen from 90-96 are the same. The stay and rear mount bushings are also the same for all awd 5 speed tranys until 07 (possibly newer but I've not worked on them).

#9 94 subie

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 10:21 PM

its on the list of things to do.

rebuild shifter

new timing belt kit , with water pump and all other seals. this should stop irritating oil leak .

drain and refill rear pumpkin and trans

front breaks

rewind the cargo cover. 

replace two seatbelts

:huh: probably other stuff to do just don't know yet lol



#10 Caboobaroo

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 11:15 PM

I believe the bushings in the shifter rod are 35035AC000, those are where it meets the u-joint (they will be fixed with a verticle bolt/nut and a metal inner sleeve). Just done a couple sets in the last week. The two horizontal, if it's serviceable, I believe are 35035KA040.

#11 Olnick

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 11:19 PM

Way to go, 94 subie!  If you have a Haynes manual there's an excellent shift linkage exploded view drawing (page 7A-2).  It gives a good overview of all the bits & pieces!

 

Might want to check your valve cover gaskets too--another common source of oil leaks.

 

Good luck!



#12 14D

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 10:28 AM

Found this writeup on NASIOC a while ago where the guy uses parts from mcmaster-carr.  Possibly cheaper and easier to source.

 

http://forums.nasioc...ad.php?t=753869

 

Been too lazy to do this to my car, now it has bigger problems and it's days are numbered :(



#13 94 subie

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 09:15 PM

will look at the valve covers in a couple days - tonight just strained the right ankle- :banghead:  trouble walking  lol.

cleaned the engine and the few drips are showing from the timing cover. don't see any others from the top. 

places here want around $500 parts and labor to redo the shifter .. Arg!!!!  

think the parts to replace all parts needed would be around $100    prob. try to talk my brother into helping when it cools down here in AZ. lol



#14 94 subie

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 01:22 PM

question on the R&R of the shifter

Roughly how long did it take for the job and were might I encounter a ( should have done it that way moment ) 

also was looking at the info about the parts you guys have listed , since I would like to save and do it myself does anyone have a list of the strongest parts to put in and the best place to get ALL of them needed at once so no surprises after the car is not able to drive to get the forgotten part  lol 

thanks to all your great advice



#15 94 subie

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 01:33 PM

on the above info , I forgot to say its a 94 legacy wagon with the 5 speed and 2.2 engine



#16 Olnick

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 06:10 PM

"How long did it take?"  There's no standard.  Depends on the condition of your car's underside, your skill level and your tolerance for frustration!!!  

 

"Should have done it that way moments?"  None in particular--it's pretty straightforward.  But it does demand perseverance & desire!

 

"Parts?"  The only parts you really need are the bushings that go in the "boss joint."   That's where the sloppiness is.  Subaru OEM is your only option for these (to the best of my knowledge there are no "improved" aftermarket ones available.)  The other bushings I mentioned up top are kind of "frosting on the cake"--not really necessary.

 

Here's a link to an Opposed Forces drawing that may help you:

http://opposedforces...illustration_1/

 

The "boss joint" is shown in the upper left of the drawing.  The bushings are the circled #6s and #7s.

 

My suggestion at this point is to crawl under your car and survey/inspect the various parts--get familiar with them "up close and personal!"  Is the little spring (#22) there?  And while you're under there, spray/soak the roll pins (#1) and the connection between the "boss joint" (#2) and the  transmission "stub-out rod" that it fits on.  Use a good penetrant--Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster.

 

I'll try to put together a listing of the procedure in my next post.



#17 94 subie

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 06:19 PM

thanks for the info will get under this week .... on another note 95 and newer had a lifetime seatbelt warranty . 94 and before did not but thank you for the info to look into about just the luck of the draw. 



#18 Olnick

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 08:42 PM

Here's the drill as I remember it!  (The numbers reference the Opposed Forces drawing):

 

1)  Inside the car, open up the center console and get the boot off the shifter.  Near the bottom of the shift lever shaft (#9) is a yoke connecting it to the shift rod (#7)  You'll need to access that later.  For now, put the tranny in 5th gear and leave it.

 

2)  Then get under the car and unbolt the bracket (#20) that positions the stay rod (#23)--two bolts.  Disconnect the little spring (#22).

 

3)  Now for the fun!  Take a 3/16" drift punch and mount it in a 3/8" drive socket extension--I think mine was 6" long.  Use that to drive out the smaller (inner) roll pin.

 

4)  Next you have to drive out the larger roll pin.  This is the tough one!  I slid a 9/32" socket, a couple of old nuts and a couple of washers onto the punch so that about 1/4" of the punch tip stuck out--then gaffer taped it all together.  (That was a tip from another member--if I remember, it kept the punch from going too far in when it slipped off the edge of the roll pin . . . and it will slip off!)

 

Helpful hint:  You need a lot of force to drive out that larger roll pin--but it's difficult to get a "straight-on" shot at it.  So I had my son sit in the car and put constant pressure on the shift lever, forward (toward the front of the car) and outward (toward the passenger side.)  That worked--much better angle.  Took about 10 minutes to get the pin out.

 

5)  Now separate the "boss joint" from the tranny "stub-out rod."   I was lucky here--my son worked the shift lever a bit and the joint slid right off by itself!  But if they are seized together it may take some hammering and wedging and more penetrating oil.   

 

6)  Back inside the car, separate the shift rod from the shift lever--there are bushings in the connection that may or may not need to be replaced (mine looked like new and didn't need to be replaced.)  Now you can take the shift rod out of the car (if I remember correctly!)

 

7)  Disassemble the "boss joint," clean 'em up, install new bushings and put 'em back together. 

 

8)  Now put your car back together--"boss joint" to tranny "stub-out," drive roll pins in, re-connect shift rod to shift lever, re-attach stay rod bracket and don't forget the little spring!

 

And hopefully your shifting is smooth as butter--mine sure was.  Good luck, hope all goes well for you.






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