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Thread: ATTN: Loose Subaru Shifters [Solid linkage bushing writeup]

  1. #1
    Dirty Member FlatBlack's Avatar
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    Default ATTN: Loose Subaru Shifters [Solid linkage bushing writeup]

    This writeup is for the early transmissions, [1990-2001 Impreza and Legacy], but should also work with the GDs' linkages.

    After replacing the shifter linkage mounts on my 96 Outback Sport with Kartboy polyurethane mounts, the shifter was still noticeably 'floppy.'

    About a week later, I was codriving a 93 Legacy Turbo [we have the same linkages] and the problem bushing [See the circled "11" in the exploded shifter linkage drawing] came out while on a Rallycross run.

    Shifting into first and second became impossible, and we had to jerry-rig the linkage with zip-ties just to get the car home.

    We decided to find a permanent solution to our cars, so this is what we did.

    **I would suggest replacing the linkage mounts with polyurethane like I did, the old rubber gets brittle and creates additional slop in the shifter. However, if you are on a budget, this is a quick, effective fix. There will be a noticeable increase in shifter harshness and noise as we've replaced a rubber bushing with a metal part.**



    Removal:

    Unfortunately, the bolt that holds this piece in place hits the transmission housing during removal, so disassembly of the linkage is necessary.

    The most difficult and time consuming part is removing the 'knuckle' [Part 29 in the drawing] from the shifter arm that goes into the tranny. It is connected with a spring pin inside a spring pin [See part 19]. You must first find a drift or rod that is the same OD [Outside Diameter] as the inner spring pin. I made a piece out of a drill bit inside a very small sized [~6mm] socket and some 3/8 extensions.

    After that is done, you can remove the outer spring pin. It's not that easy, but once it's done, you can remove the knuckle [Part 29]. Vance's knuckle slipped right off as soon as the spring pins were out. Mine, however, was rusted to the tranny rod >_< I did the install as well, it was just a major PITA compared to Vance's. Getting that thing off of there makes things much, much easier.

    Go to your nearest hardware store and bring the knuckle [Part 29] and the other part of that assembly [Part 26].

    You'll need:
    * A Bolt and nut to replace the old bolt
    * A metal sleeve to replace the bushing.
    * A few washers that fit over the 3/8" bolt [I used three (3)]

    I'll look up the part dimensions when I get home, but the bolt was a 3/8" diameter. Make sure to get a bolt with a long shoulder that is about as long as the stock knuckle length. We had to cut our threads down to not interfere with the transmission housing.

    Part 26 has two sized holes [One is larger for the shoulder of the bolt], and you'll need to drill the smaller hole out to fit the larger, new bolt. If you get confused when the female part [Part 26] is off the car, the side with the nub with the hole for the spring [Part 20] is the side that needs to be drilled.

    I put the female knuckle [Part 26] in a vice, drilled it out, and installed the bolt, sleeve, washers, and nut while it was in the vice. After it was all together, I made sure it was tight but could still rotate a bit, then cut off the excess threads on the bolt.

    Here is the fully modified knuckle assembly [Parts 29 and 26 attached with the new bolt/metal sleeve setup]



    "Installation is the reverse of removal"

    The other knuckle's bushing [Part 13] was not deteriorated in either mine or Vance's linkages, for some reason, and does not need to be replaced.

    I only had to re-install the outer spring pin, it wasn't going anywhere so I think the inner spring pin is unnecessary.

    Enjoy your tight shifter.
    Last edited by FlatBlack; 01-04-2011 at 08:29 AM.
    - Mat
    78 Datsun 280Z Terbeaux, L28ET, MegaSquirt Extra V3.57, Evo FMIC, 275/40/17s, Helical LSD, etc...
    05 Subaru Forester XT - 5MT, EJ257 hybrid
    96 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport - EJ22/5MT, GrpN TM, GD WRX Springs/Struts/RSB


    Quote Originally Posted by Lancia037Rally View Post
    Besides, if Travis wants to drive around in a circle on a bunch of yahoo's bumpers, he lives not far from the DC Beltway and can do that 24/7.


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  3. #2
    Radio Ops Moderator williaty's Avatar
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    Turn in Concepts has a product and instructions for this already. They sell a shift linkage bushing kit that has 4 new hard poly bushings an a new crush tube. All you do is knock the roll pin out of one side of the shift linkage u-joint, unbolt the other side, and swap bushings.

    The really old cars can also buy a modern version of the linkage itself that bolts together rather than rivets together.

  4. #3
    Dirty Member FlatBlack's Avatar
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    Whoops.

    Oh well. Can't hurt to have another writeup.

    *edit* It's $80 on their site, this was maybe $4.00 USD.

    http://turninconcepts.com/product_in...roducts_id=357
    - Mat
    78 Datsun 280Z Terbeaux, L28ET, MegaSquirt Extra V3.57, Evo FMIC, 275/40/17s, Helical LSD, etc...
    05 Subaru Forester XT - 5MT, EJ257 hybrid
    96 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport - EJ22/5MT, GrpN TM, GD WRX Springs/Struts/RSB


    Quote Originally Posted by Lancia037Rally View Post
    Besides, if Travis wants to drive around in a circle on a bunch of yahoo's bumpers, he lives not far from the DC Beltway and can do that 24/7.

  5. #4
    Radio Ops Moderator williaty's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's that expensive because it includes a brand new linkage from Subaru. There's also a MUCH cheaper version that's bushings and the crush tube only.

  6. #5

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    Nice and cheap write up

  7. #6

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    Oh just so you guys know. The turn in concepts linkage will not work for transmissions older than 9/96. It is completely different in everyway i had to order an oem link for my '96 obs and i held them together with the TIC linkage to compare and they link is a different style. So the original idea or replacing the rivet with a bolt is about all you can do.

  8. #7

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    I hope my '97 has a transmission newer than 9/96 as I just purchased the updated linkage from TiC and I'm getting ready to install it along with the Kartboy bushings.


    2002 Aspen White WRX - gone
    1996 Outback Sport - 250,000 miles

    Never argue with stupid people. They will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

  9. #8

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    I would suggest a lock washer. Apparently the nut came off on the P.o. after FlatBlack owned it. It had tape holding in bolt 28......tape.....
    But other than that, great write up on an easy cheap fix!!!!


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