How tough is the 03 wrx transmission? How tough are 3rd and 4th gear?
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This is a discussion on How tough is the 03 wrx transmission? How tough are 3rd and 4th gear? within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Raced my friend for the first time in my 03 Sonic Yellow WRX. I don't normally race my car nor ...

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    How tough is the 03 wrx transmission? How tough are 3rd and 4th gear?

    Raced my friend for the first time in my 03 Sonic Yellow WRX. I don't normally race my car nor do I drive it hard so after I went through 3rd and 4th gear I was pissed at myself for doing it. I baby my WRX, no wierd noises coming from the tranny, just want to make sure the tranny can hold up to the stress. Are they somewhat strong?

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    Registered User Monk_Knight's Avatar
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    Pretty tough. If you know how to drive and aren't launching it constantly you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

    My 03 is still going strong at 171k miles at Stage 2+ power level (about 70% or so more hp than stock). I race AutoX in it monthly with no issues at all. Last race had multiple sections per lap where I was full-throttle downshifting to first gear at around 5000 rpms and I'm not at all worried about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk_Knight View Post
    Pretty tough. If you know how to drive and aren't launching it constantly you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

    My 03 is still going strong at 171k miles at Stage 2+ power level (about 70% or so more hp than stock). I race AutoX in it monthly with no issues at all. Last race had multiple sections per lap where I was full-throttle downshifting to first gear at around 5000 rpms and I'm not at all worried about it.
    Alright cool just needed so reessurance. It was from a roll in 2nd gear so I didn't launch it. I'm pretty OCD about my car running and driving properly so I'm glad to hear that. Thanks.

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    If you're OCD about it, don't do it. 3rd and 4th gear are arguably the weakest of all in 2002-2003 WRX 5spds. But they are fine as long as you don't abuse it. Some quick shifting and spirited driving is fine. But launching and slamming gears around and being lazy with your clutch is when you can potentially cause damage.

    You should be more worried about racing in public...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    If you're OCD about it, don't do it. 3rd and 4th gear are arguably the weakest of all in 2002-2003 WRX 5spds..
    Let's be sure to set the record straight...

    The gears in the transmission were changed sometime between 2002 and 2003. The gears in the late model bugeyes is the same gearset that are used in the 2004-2007 WRX. Some 2002s were packaged with this stronger transmission (code ends with -BA) while some 2003s were packaged with the weaker transmission (code ends in -AA). You can't generalize by saying the gears in 2002-2003 were weaker than later years. Some 2002-2003s were weaker than later years, some were packaged with the same gearset as later years. The only concept of which you can be sure is that early 2002s had the -AA tranny while late 2003s had the -BA tranny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Let's be sure to set the record straight...

    You can't generalize by saying the gears in 2002-2003 were weaker than later years
    Well, I just did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Let's be sure to set the record straight...

    The gears in the transmission were changed sometime between 2002 and 2003. The gears in the late model bugeyes is the same gearset that are used in the 2004-2007 WRX. Some 2002s were packaged with this stronger transmission (code ends with -BA) while some 2003s were packaged with the weaker transmission (code ends in -AA). You can't generalize by saying the gears in 2002-2003 were weaker than later years. Some 2002-2003s were weaker than later years, some were packaged with the same gearset as later years. The only concept of which you can be sure is that early 2002s had the -AA tranny while late 2003s had the -BA tranny.
    well mines an 03 Sonic yellow, not sure if they made them later in 2003 or earlier in 2003.

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    The gearbox code will be on a plaque in the engine bay, as will the engine code.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    The gearbox code will be on a plaque in the engine bay, as will the engine code.
    It's the BA transmission

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