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This is a discussion on New member here and got a question also. within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hi I'm Dave, and I just picked up an 02 Subaru WRX sedan. I had owned a S13 240sx and ...

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    New member here and got a question also.

    Hi I'm Dave, and I just picked up an 02 Subaru WRX sedan. I had owned a S13 240sx and a S14 240sx. Yes I love them 240sx. Since I've never owned a WRX before, I'm not sure if my problem is "normal" or not.

    When I quickly shift from neutral to 1st gear, it makes this "clonking" sound (not grinding), like if you're waiting on a red light and it just turned green type of shifting speed. If i clutch and wait about 2 seconds (letting the tranny slows down a bit)and guide it into first, the clonking noise won't be there. Is this normal on WRXs?

    To me it sounds like a sycronizer is being wacky. One of my friend said change the tranny fluid first. What is ya'll take on this? Thanks a bunch.

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    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Greetings and welcome to the club Dave!

    Clonking? This does not sound normal, but wait for others to chime in for more of a consensus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a WRX View Post
    Hi I'm Dave, and I just picked up an 02 Subaru WRX sedan. I had owned a S13 240sx and a S14 240sx. Yes I love them 240sx. Since I've never owned a WRX before, I'm not sure if my problem is "normal" or not.

    When I quickly shift from neutral to 1st gear, it makes this "clonking" sound (not grinding), like if you're waiting on a red light and it just turned green type of shifting speed. If i clutch and wait about 2 seconds (letting the tranny slows down a bit)and guide it into first, the clonking noise won't be there. Is this normal on WRXs?

    To me it sounds like a sycronizer is being wacky. One of my friend said change the tranny fluid first. What is ya'll take on this? Thanks a bunch.
    Do you have your foot on the throttle at the same time cuz thats kinda what ive collected out of that and if thats the case i wouldnt suggest doing that in anyvehicles, the synchro brakes have to work way harder and likely will make noises...

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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    You're into cars with an "X" in the name...I can respect that

    It's not unheard of for 1st gear to be rough, but if you're at a dead stop and do a smooth "clutch-gear-gas-clutch out" start, there should not be any unusual noises. If there are, I would start by inspecting the bushings on the gearbox, engine, and rear differential. Weak, torn, or missing bushings can definitely cause driveline noise.

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    Registered User rex01752's Avatar
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    Ive heard WRX have a double synchros on the first and second gear. First gear also has a lock out saftey feature that wont let you engage first gear unless you are going under ten mph. Does it happen if you not moving at all?
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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rex01752 View Post
    Ive heard WRX have a double synchros on the first and second gear. First gear also has a lock out saftey feature that wont let you engage first gear unless you are going under ten mph. Does it happen if you not moving at all?
    As far as I know, none of this is true. I've never heard any of that before.

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    Registered User rex01752's Avatar
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    Thats what i was told by a subaru specialist at my college. (not trying to be offensive)
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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    okay, did some research. No such thing as 1st gear lockout on the WRX or STi.

    A thought on the (weak) synchros - Page 2 - NASIOC

    Read Ride5000's post...he's a knowledgeable guy and I trust his opinion/knowledge in all thing Subie.

    Also, reference this thread:

    Why does 1st gear grind? Read here - NASIOC

    You will notice that he claims the 1st gear has a single cone synchro....this is consistent with what I posted. He does say later that the newer transmissions were updated to a double synchro 1st gear, so 05 wrx's and later all have double cone 1st gears now. Unfortunately this excludes your car

    Just thought I'd try to find a real answer for you
    Last edited by Timdog1650; 06-26-2008 at 06:15 PM.

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    Thanks guys for all the replies,

    goalieboy1- no i don't throttle when my clutch pedal is pressed.

    timdog & rex- my bad, i think i kinda left out some info on my question and confused yall. This happens when I'm at a dead stop waiting on a red light. I never shift into 1st gear when my car is moving. The 240sx is the same thing, once you're out of 1st gear, it does not allow you to go back into 1st gear if your vehicle is in motion-any speed, well unless you jam the crap out of it.

    Ok this is how it goes,
    Waiting at a red light in neutral. Light turns green. I would clutch, tries to shift into 1st, clunk clunk clunk, 1st gear in. Seasaw my throttle and clutch and go.

    This noise won't be there if I clutch, wait 2 seconds, shift into 1st, then take off. Hope this makes sense.

    Thanks.

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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a WRX View Post
    Thanks guys for all the replies,

    goalieboy1- no i don't throttle when my clutch pedal is pressed.

    timdog & rex- my bad, i think i kinda left out some info on my question and confused yall. This happens when I'm at a dead stop waiting on a red light. I never shift into 1st gear when my car is moving. The 240sx is the same thing, once you're out of 1st gear, it does not allow you to go back into 1st gear if your vehicle is in motion-any speed, well unless you jam the crap out of it.

    Ok this is how it goes,
    Waiting at a red light in neutral. Light turns green. I would clutch, tries to shift into 1st, clunk clunk clunk, 1st gear in. Seasaw my throttle and clutch and go.

    This noise won't be there if I clutch, wait 2 seconds, shift into 1st, then take off. Hope this makes sense.

    Thanks.
    For what it's worth...there is nothing in the transmission designed to stop you from putting it in 1st gear. If it doesn't go, it's either user error, broken transmission, or poor shifting technique. Double clutching/rev matching is key to smooth gear engagement.


    As for the noise/clunk, does it ever do it with any other gear? What if you do this...

    clutch in
    2nd gear
    1st gear
    clutch out/gas

    Does it make any noise then? What if you just put it in 2nd and start off in 2nd gear instead of 1st?

    How about between shifts on normal acceleration?

    I'm thinking your culprits are either driving technique, a dead 1st gear synchro, or a bad throwout bearing....No way to tell without pulling the trans or doing a full tear down. I would either take it to a mechanic or a dealership and see what they have to say. Noises, creaks, and clunks are really hard to diagnose over the internet without seeing/driving it in person Maybe find a local member with some experience who can volunteer to drive it for you and see if they can determine what's wrong.
    Last edited by Timdog1650; 06-26-2008 at 06:32 PM.

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    Registered User rex01752's Avatar
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    2) The car will not go back into first gear unless you come to a complete stop

    It always starts with a little synchro scratching going back to first gear. A new car is usually able to find first gear from 20 to 0 mph. Eventually, that speed lessens until all you get is an excruciating grinding noise unless you are at almost a complete stop.

    This noise is very frustrating at the track, especially when the track has a lot of hairpins or very tight corners where first gear would be effective. First gear becomes useless as soon as you shift out of it until you come to a complete stop. The first thing to try is upgrading the transmission oil. The factory Subaru oil is not bad, but there are some very advanced lubricants on the market that can help with this problem.

    We stumbled into the ultimate Subaru tranny oil info. We all know the basis for R&D on the WRX is rallying, so what does the World Rally Championship Subaru team run in their cars? Neo Synthetic lubricants, which are manufactured and distributed here in the United States.

    We tried some Neo gear oil and eliminated a lot of the issues with the synchros going into first and fourth. The car was once again able to find first gear at around 20 mph. If you have been experiencing grinding issues, there's a chance that nothing short of replacing parts can remedy the problems.

    This From:Subaru WRX Transmission - Gear Set - Turbo Magazine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timdog1650 View Post
    For what it's worth...there is nothing in the transmission designed to stop you from putting it in 1st gear. If it doesn't go, it's either user error, broken transmission, or poor shifting technique. Double clutching/rev matching is key to smooth gear engagement.


    As for the noise/clunk, does it ever do it with any other gear? What if you do this...

    clutch in
    2nd gear
    1st gear
    clutch out/gas

    Does it make any noise then? What if you just put it in 2nd and start off in 2nd gear instead of 1st?

    How about between shifts on normal acceleration?

    I'm thinking your culprits are either driving technique, a dead 1st gear synchro, or a bad throwout bearing....No way to tell without pulling the trans or doing a full tear down. I would either take it to a mechanic or a dealership and see what they have to say. Noises, creaks, and clunks are really hard to diagnose over the internet without seeing/driving it in person Maybe find a local member with some experience who can volunteer to drive it for you and see if they can determine what's wrong.
    No it does not do it in any other gears except 1st. I have not tried the 2nd->1st-go technique yet. I'll give it a shot tom and see what happens. The waiting for 2 second-->1st gear-->go, gets annoying when there's a stop sign or a light in every corner of the street. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by rex01752 View Post
    2) The car will not go back into first gear unless you come to a complete stop

    It always starts with a little synchro scratching going back to first gear. A new car is usually able to find first gear from 20 to 0 mph. Eventually, that speed lessens until all you get is an excruciating grinding noise unless you are at almost a complete stop.

    This noise is very frustrating at the track, especially when the track has a lot of hairpins or very tight corners where first gear would be effective. First gear becomes useless as soon as you shift out of it until you come to a complete stop. The first thing to try is upgrading the transmission oil. The factory Subaru oil is not bad, but there are some very advanced lubricants on the market that can help with this problem.

    We stumbled into the ultimate Subaru tranny oil info. We all know the basis for R&D on the WRX is rallying, so what does the World Rally Championship Subaru team run in their cars? Neo Synthetic lubricants, which are manufactured and distributed here in the United States.

    We tried some Neo gear oil and eliminated a lot of the issues with the synchros going into first and fourth. The car was once again able to find first gear at around 20 mph. If you have been experiencing grinding issues, there's a chance that nothing short of replacing parts can remedy the problems.

    This From:Subaru WRX Transmission - Gear Set - Turbo Magazine
    I can see why everyone is hyping about going back into 1st in a track or something. If it's just regular street driving, I don't see why you ever need to go back into 1st once you're out of it. I never do. If my speed is a little low on 2nd, i just feather my speed back up, problem solved.

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    OKay guys,

    I tried the 2nd-->1st-->go technique today, and I think it works.

    So at the moment, I think i'm jst gonna go ahead and change the gear oil, and just leave it at that. I dont' wanna spend $$$ on it when I have other alternatives to make it not clunk. Thanks all.

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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a WRX View Post
    OKay guys,

    I tried the 2nd-->1st-->go technique today, and I think it works.

    So at the moment, I think i'm jst gonna go ahead and change the gear oil, and just leave it at that. I dont' wanna spend $$$ on it when I have other alternatives to make it not clunk. Thanks all.
    If I were you I'd put the USC in it and see how that works...
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