WRX Cobb Short Throw Shifter and Bushings Install. Did You Guys Have the Issues I Did
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This is a discussion on WRX Cobb Short Throw Shifter and Bushings Install. Did You Guys Have the Issues I Did within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Today I installed the sts and bushings from Cobb in my 2012 base WRX. I have to say overall I ...

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    Registered User jas280z's Avatar
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    Angry WRX Cobb Short Throw Shifter and Bushings Install. Did You Guys Have the Issues I Did

    Today I installed the sts and bushings from Cobb in my 2012 base WRX. I have to say overall I am impressed by the package, but one thing has me disappointed, the hardware and bolt holes.

    The socket head cap screws that come on the dual adjustable shifter are garbage in my opinion. I managed to strip the head on the top screw while tightening it, yet the shift rod still slide around in it. I know that it was not cross threaded, as I never fully took it out, it just jammed up for whatever reason and then Torque-O-Matic (me) got impatient and made it even more FUBAR.

    I picked up a few SHCSs from my local Ace (and an easy-out) and replaced the hardware with that, what a difference. My suggestion would be that anyone who is planning on doing this install immediately replace the hardware PRIOR to stripping the included SHCSs. Other than that, the install in the top side was pretty simple.

    But oh the underside. I am still slightly bleeding on my keyboard thanks to the underside. Taking everything apart was rather simple. The fact that my dad has a couple of four post lifts didn't hurt, but it would have been just as simple (and easier in some cases) to do the job with a set of jack stands. The thing that really sucked was the rear shifter bushing.

    The rear bushing actually came apart rather simply, but installing it was a 3 hour crusade. The issue is that the stock bushing only has a small, roughly 3/32 in thick, metal flange where it bolts up. This allows for quite a bit of play on how you install the bolts, they can come in from quite an angle, rather than perpendicular to the hole, and still go in. This is VERY important.

    The Cobb bushing is all polyurethane, and about an inch thick where the bolt hole are (with metal sleeves in the holes). The holes are parallel to each other. This is a big issue as the actual bolt holes are not parallel, but rather come away from each other at about a 20 degree angle.

    This causes BIG issues, as the included longer bolts do not have the same 1/4 inch unthreaded section in the beginning to locate themselves in the hole, and there is not enough play in the poly to bend the hole to the needed angle to get both bolts in.

    My solution to this, after crying in the corner for a while, was to get a set of nice M8 (I believe that was the size, but don't take my word for it) studs, similar to what holds my Datsun's intake and exhaust manifolds on, and use those. The plan was to slide the bushing over the studs, and hold it all in place with nuts. This proved to be quite difficult as well. The studs were just long enough to make it impossible to slide the bushing over them, as, obviously,the distance apart is widest at the end of the studs.

    What I ended up doing was pulling the metal sleeves out of the holes, which made the openings just big enough to muscle the bushing into place. From here I pulled the bushing out half way, so that the studs were not touching the end of the opening, and put the sleeves into the opening. I pounded the sleeves on with a socket that was small enough to not fit over the sleeve, but big enough to allow the stud to slide inside.

    I then (or rather my friend as my arms were shot at this point) forced the shifter linkage into the bushing, and installed the front bushing.

    I know that people have complained in the past about the rear bushing being a PITA, but I did not expect anything near this. I have done engine installs that went more smoothly. I honestly do not believe that I would have ever gotten the bushing installed with the supplied hardware, just not enough play to get the bolt started.

    At then end of the day, I ended up making two trips to Ace, and spending ~$70 that I hadn't planned on spending, although in all honesty I bought a nice set of easy outs as I didn't have any, so part of that cost will benefit me for quite some time. The install from beginning to end took 8 hours, and about a pint of blood. That heat shield is SHARP.

    So, what is the point of the post? First off to put a tidbit more Subie knowledge into the universe, and secondly to see if you guys faced the same issues. If you guys did, how did you overcome them? I found it ridiculous that bushing holes were not at the proper angle to allow insertion of the bolts, and plan on calling Cobb on Monday to let them know my dissatisfaction with that. I am a mechanical engineer, and tend to overestimate the average person's ability to grasp what I believe to be obvious mechanical concepts, but I am convinced that this is something that Cobb should have addressed in preproduction.

    It may not seem like it, but I am actually quite happy with the product. I love the way the shifter feels now. And when put all together, it is a very nice setup. It just could have been SO much easier with a little more work on Cobb's end. I would recommend this upgrade to anyone that is considering it, just don't ask me to come over to help. At least not without some liquid persuasion.

    I posted this on r/Subaru as well, so you guys might see it there. The videos that I used to help with the install were 2011 WRX Short throw shifter install - YouTube and 2010 Subaru STi Kartboy shifter bushings install - YouTube . They aren't perfect, but I highly recommend them. I only took a couple pics as I went along, and they aren't anything special, so I have not uploaded them.
    2012 Base WRB WRX Hatch Stock
    1978 Datsun 280z Fully restored and lightly restomodded: http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/no..._890384.0.html

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    I’m sorry to hear you experienced these problems/challenges. But please congratulate yourself on succeeding. And thank you for a well-written informative post.

    Paul

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    I Support ClubWRX
    I had the same issue installing the rears. Threading the first bolt is quite simple. Its the second one that is a PITA. Also too me a while.
    T0ny
    2011 WRX
    2012 FXT

    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    i cross threaded the bolt on the rear. i kept going, got it in, and will never take it out.

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    Registered User jas280z's Avatar
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    If there is such a universal design flaw with the rear bushing, and that is what it is, how is it that it has not been addressed? I understand the costs of a revision can be high, but not as high as alienating customers with an otherwise very good product. I plan on calling Cobb this afternoon. I will let you guys know what they say.
    2012 Base WRB WRX Hatch Stock
    1978 Datsun 280z Fully restored and lightly restomodded: http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/no..._890384.0.html

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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    it's not cobb and their bushing.

    i used a kartboy bushing, and had that problem.

    with the cobb short throw, i didn't have any problems getting it tight so it wouldn't slide. i might use some thread lock if i ever hae to do it again.

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    Registered User jas280z's Avatar
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    Shadowpr, Cobb and Kart Boy appear to have a nearly identical bushing, so the problem is with Cobb's bushing, as well as Kart Boy's.

    I called Cobb customer support today, to relay my disappointment with the bushing installation. The rep said that he would bring my suggestion (making the holes so that they line up with how the bolts thread into the car, and not parallel) to the engineering team. I am not delusional in thinking that it couldn't have just been an easy way to get me off the phone, but he did mention a revision to the bushing, so you never know.

    I think if more people actually contact Cobb and Kart Boy, and let them know that their bushing should be made easier to install, they will most likely listen.
    2012 Base WRB WRX Hatch Stock
    1978 Datsun 280z Fully restored and lightly restomodded: http://www.zcar.com/members_rides/no..._890384.0.html

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    Registered User jilty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowpr View Post
    i cross threaded the bolt on the rear. i kept going, got it in, and will never take it out.
    I laughed so hard at this my dog wont come back to me now.

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    i had the same problem
    i threaded in two long bolts and used large channel locks to bend them parrallel
    they are easy to straighten out

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    it was a giant PITA for me as well. but persistence prevailed.

    my only suggestion would be to do this on a lift vs. jack stands for the rear bushing alone. I used ramps and it was a PITA, but we already touched on that.

    as for the short-shifter itself, it says somewhere on the package NOT to go to town on those bolts because you'll strip them. ROFL. if it is designed properly, the screws should strip before the thread on the shifter, but i don't know... didn't have that problem. i used the supplied allen wrench and only used light tourque with two of my fingers to address that.

    i do plan on going back in and adding some lock-tite (sp) to the screws on the shifter though.

  12. #11
    Registered User jilty's Avatar
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    When I did my bushings and shifter on my car when it was 3 weeks old, the hardest part was removing the bushings. The front bushing was the hardest one, it took me about 15 minutes alone just trying to push that bastard out. Once it was out, the rest was a cake walk. The rear bushing bolts were a lil difficult, but actually not too bad. A lil locktite and some giggling of the bushing and it was done.

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