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Hi everyone!


I'm doing some work on my subaru, fixing this and that.  One thing that has been bugging me about it is that the stick shift is not so smooth.  It is particularly stick in between 1st and 2nd gear.  That is to say, you can of need to force it into gear, or sort of use the magic touch.  Any ideas what could be wrong, or what I could do to fix it?

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There are some bushings in the shifter linkage that wear out with age and cause it to flop around. They also tend to make it difficult to find the gears because it makes the shifter so sloppy.

That could be causing some of the stiffness going into gear.

There used to be a few write-up with pictures on how to replace the bushings, but it seems that most of them have disappeared or the pictures in them no longer work.

If you crawl under the car and find the shift linkage at the back of the trans, reach up and wiggle the shift rod around and you will see the play in the joint where the bushings are supposed to be.

Some of these you can disassemble the joint and replace the bushings, others the joint is rivited together and just has to be replaced.



Generally, difficult to get into gear is indicative of worn synchronizers in the transmission, of which 1st and 2nd gear cause the most trouble, or a problem with the clutch not releasing all the way. Knowing that you have the sloppy shifter problem though, I would start with replacing the bushings and to from there.


Another thing that can affect shift quality is gear oil level in the trans. Make sure it is at the proper level, and if it hasn't been changed in the last couple years it would be a good idea to change it.

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sounds like a combination of sloppy shifter bushings, and a loose clutch cable, or just worn pressure plate. My car is like this at 260,000 miles, and the clutch will slip in high gear at highway speeds if i force it. Shifting it is like rowing a boat and throwing ahot dog down a hall way.


In my case the sloppy bushing is on the shifter shaft, comes as a unit, and is secured by a roll pin, and is a 60 dollar preassembled part at the dealer, for which you cannot get individual bits for, and cannot service unless you drive out the roll pin and remove it from the trans.


Try double clutching techniques. First check the clutch cable adjustment as it has to be adjusted to compensate for clutch disc wear.

Edited by MilesFox
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