Cobb Rear Shifter Bushing Squeaky. Thoughts?
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This is a discussion on Cobb Rear Shifter Bushing Squeaky. Thoughts? within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey guys, I have a 2014 WRX and I've had the Cobb front and rear shifter bushings installed for around ...

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    Cobb Rear Shifter Bushing Squeaky. Thoughts?

    Hey guys, I have a 2014 WRX and I've had the Cobb front and rear shifter bushings installed for around 1000-1500 miles now and there is a squeak that is driving me nuts. This has been since day 1. I'm 99% sure its coming from the rear shifter bushing. I crawled back under the car today and took it apart and re-litium greased it all thinking that may solve it. And no change in the squeak.

    The symptoms are as follows:
    When i'm cruising north of 40-50 MPH and the car is warm and everything is expanded and nice a hot under the car, I here a little metal-on-metal squeak when i hit bumps. It doesn't happen at low speeds and not usually when the car is cold. But get it up to operating temp and hit slight bumps and you hear a squeak. I'm not talking about magnified tranny noise BTW, as I knew that may get louder which is fine.

    My conclusion was that it was that maybe it needed more grease. But now that I am thinking about it I don't think it is that at all. My take is that everyone complains about how the bolts for the rear bushing thread kind of crooked compared to the bushing it self. At the same time, the Cobb rear bushing comes with metal sleeves for the bolt to go through. but because the bushing is uniformly straight and the bolts thread a bit annoyingly, I am wondering if it is the bolt squeaking up against the metal sleeve in the bushing.

    So the questions are as follows: Has anyone else experienced this squeakiness with the Cobb rear bushing? And if so, What was the solution to get rid of it aside from live with it.

    I did some searching and couldn't find anyone talking about this, but hopefully I'm not alone! Thanks!
    2014 Subaru WRX Limited Sedan in Crystal Black Silica
    Mods - STi Short Throw Shifter w/ Cobb Bushings, Cobb Tuning Race Red Shift Knob, Totsubo Front License Plate Mount, Corsa CBE
    2009 Acura RDX w/ Tech Package in Grigio Metallic

    Retired: 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 5-speed, 2005 Acura RSX Type-S 6-speed, 2010 Honda Accord Couple EX-L V6 6-speed.

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    Registered User Impreza2.0's Avatar
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    Replace the washer with a grade 12 washer. The harder metal will change (decrease) the frequency and volume of vibration being absorbed by the assembly. This issue exists all the way back to the first versions of our cars. Urethane does not absorb it's lubricant the way rubber does, so the deflection in the bushing is being absorbed purely by itself. The lubricant is really protecting the metal from rust and acting as a silencer far more than actually 'lubricating'. You can take the assembly apart and pack it with paste, but eventually it is likely to go back to it's present form. Replacing the washer is a sure bet. A locknut to replace the stock nut can't hurt either. The nylon in those is a vibration absorber.

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    hmmm, there actually isn't any washers on the rear shifter bushing....there is a sleeve within the urethane to hold the bolt...unless the front bushing washer is where you would say the noise is coming from?
    2014 Subaru WRX Limited Sedan in Crystal Black Silica
    Mods - STi Short Throw Shifter w/ Cobb Bushings, Cobb Tuning Race Red Shift Knob, Totsubo Front License Plate Mount, Corsa CBE
    2009 Acura RDX w/ Tech Package in Grigio Metallic

    Retired: 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 5-speed, 2005 Acura RSX Type-S 6-speed, 2010 Honda Accord Couple EX-L V6 6-speed.

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    Registered User Nayrb37's Avatar
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    I know you said you believe you've isolated it to the rear bushing, but the change in shifter height will change the angle of the the linkage coming into the vehicle and may cause a squeaking because the linkage is rubbing slightly where it enters the vehicle. Applying some lithium grease to the linkage itself where it rubs will also eliminate the squeak if that's the source. I didn't have a squeak when I installed my Kartboy SS, but I did see an installation video where the person mentioned the squeak and how to eliminate it.
    2014 Subaru WRX WRB Stage 1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nayrb37 View Post
    I know you said you believe you've isolated it to the rear bushing, but the change in shifter height will change the angle of the the linkage coming into the vehicle and may cause a squeaking because the linkage is rubbing slightly where it enters the vehicle. Applying some lithium grease to the linkage itself where it rubs will also eliminate the squeak if that's the source. I didn't have a squeak when I installed my Kartboy SS, but I did see an installation video where the person mentioned the squeak and how to eliminate it.
    Sorry,,,maybe I was unclear in my description of the issue, but I didn't install a Short throw shifter. Just Cobb front and rear bushings. The STS was on the car from the factory and there was no squeaks. that's why I believe I've isolated it to the only thing I installed at that time.
    Last edited by XxSullyxX; 06-16-2014 at 08:48 AM.
    2014 Subaru WRX Limited Sedan in Crystal Black Silica
    Mods - STi Short Throw Shifter w/ Cobb Bushings, Cobb Tuning Race Red Shift Knob, Totsubo Front License Plate Mount, Corsa CBE
    2009 Acura RDX w/ Tech Package in Grigio Metallic

    Retired: 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 5-speed, 2005 Acura RSX Type-S 6-speed, 2010 Honda Accord Couple EX-L V6 6-speed.

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    Registered User Nayrb37's Avatar
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    Oh gotcha. No problem. Good luck solving the issue, little squeaks can be so irritating. I use the Totsubo license plate mounts and it caused this awful squeak.


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    2014 Subaru WRX WRB Stage 1
    Stink-Eye Mob # 1.618

    Previous Vehicles: 2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i; 1997 Ford Mustang Cobra; 1998 Audi A4 1.8T; 1995 Ford Mustang
    A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster. - Jeremy Clarkson

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    I use those as well! I actually took a few threads off the bolts with a grinder and that solved that problem.
    2014 Subaru WRX Limited Sedan in Crystal Black Silica
    Mods - STi Short Throw Shifter w/ Cobb Bushings, Cobb Tuning Race Red Shift Knob, Totsubo Front License Plate Mount, Corsa CBE
    2009 Acura RDX w/ Tech Package in Grigio Metallic

    Retired: 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 5-speed, 2005 Acura RSX Type-S 6-speed, 2010 Honda Accord Couple EX-L V6 6-speed.

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    Frankly I could be losing my mind. Because its been over a month with the noise, I am 99% sure it was since the day I did the bushings. But on second thought, I did do an exhaust 4 or 5 days later, and maybe the noise came after that at some point. I'm going to check those bolts too! Because that would be a way easier fix lol
    2014 Subaru WRX Limited Sedan in Crystal Black Silica
    Mods - STi Short Throw Shifter w/ Cobb Bushings, Cobb Tuning Race Red Shift Knob, Totsubo Front License Plate Mount, Corsa CBE
    2009 Acura RDX w/ Tech Package in Grigio Metallic

    Retired: 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 5-speed, 2005 Acura RSX Type-S 6-speed, 2010 Honda Accord Couple EX-L V6 6-speed.

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    Registered User Nayrb37's Avatar
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    I was going to remove the bolts and shave them a bit, but I couldn't back them out (the rubber piece behind the bumper just spun with the bolt). So I wound up removing part of my bumper to get leverage on the backing, and just backed it out a turn or two, and that was enough to stop the squeaking.

    I would think of it had anything to do with the exhaust bolts being loose, you would also hear an exhaust leak. But if some part of the exhaust is just slightly contacting the body that may cause a squeak (similar to why the license plate mounts squeaked against the bumper support).


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    2014 Subaru WRX WRB Stage 1
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    Previous Vehicles: 2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i; 1997 Ford Mustang Cobra; 1998 Audi A4 1.8T; 1995 Ford Mustang
    A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster. - Jeremy Clarkson

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    It's likely the pivot bolt (the one that goes through the shift lever). Torque spec is like 8-12 ft/lbs. Overtightening that bolt will cause the squeak you refer to.

    It's probable that you won't be able to get a torque wrench in there; what I do is hand-tighten, then use two wrenches and do - turn with each (-1 full turn). Additionally, re-greasing that bolt could help, too.
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    For the rear bushing, I couldn't get my torque wrench in there, but last night I went back under the car and tightened them up basically as much as I could with an extension and universal joint (so didn't have the best leverage) and this morning it was definitely less noticeable, but still there. So it seems to be the bushing for sure. At this point though, its not horribly noticeable. probably just me being a nit picker.
    2014 Subaru WRX Limited Sedan in Crystal Black Silica
    Mods - STi Short Throw Shifter w/ Cobb Bushings, Cobb Tuning Race Red Shift Knob, Totsubo Front License Plate Mount, Corsa CBE
    2009 Acura RDX w/ Tech Package in Grigio Metallic

    Retired: 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 5-speed, 2005 Acura RSX Type-S 6-speed, 2010 Honda Accord Couple EX-L V6 6-speed.

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XxSullyxX
    For the rear bushing, I couldn't get my torque wrench in there, but last night I went back under the car and tightened them up basically as much as I could with an extension and universal joint (so didn't have the best leverage) and this morning it was definitely less noticeable, but still there. So it seems to be the bushing for sure. At this point though, its not horribly noticeable. probably just me being a nit picker.
    My reference was to the pivot bolt, which is in the shift lever itself.
    2005 WRX STi (Mods | Virtual Dyno)

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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    My reference was to the pivot bolt, which is in the shift lever itself.
    Right I know, but I didn't change that. It would be purely coincidence if that squeaked after a bushing install I would figure. Frankly what I am hearing may be completely normal, and with the windows down I can't even hear it. The windows have to be closed and i have to be cruising on the highway and it has to be quiet. Maybe it's just the extra noise being transferred up into the car via the bushing, but its nothing abnormal. I probably was a bad candidate to upgrade the rear bushing because I hate misc. noises. so I may just take it out and sell it and put the already stiffer rubber upgraded STi mount the car came with (given the factory STS)
    2014 Subaru WRX Limited Sedan in Crystal Black Silica
    Mods - STi Short Throw Shifter w/ Cobb Bushings, Cobb Tuning Race Red Shift Knob, Totsubo Front License Plate Mount, Corsa CBE
    2009 Acura RDX w/ Tech Package in Grigio Metallic

    Retired: 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 5-speed, 2005 Acura RSX Type-S 6-speed, 2010 Honda Accord Couple EX-L V6 6-speed.

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XxSullyxX
    Right I know, but I didn't change that. It would be purely coincidence if that squeaked after a bushing install I would figure. Frankly what I am hearing may be completely normal, and with the windows down I can't even hear it. The windows have to be closed and i have to be cruising on the highway and it has to be quiet. Maybe it's just the extra noise being transferred up into the car via the bushing, but its nothing abnormal. I probably was a bad candidate to upgrade the rear bushing because I hate misc. noises. so I may just take it out and sell it and put the already stiffer rubber upgraded STi mount the car came with (given the factory STS)
    So, did you install the bushings with the lever in place?
    2005 WRX STi (Mods | Virtual Dyno)

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    Yea I did it the way mike's youtube install showed. I got at it from under the car after removing the hearshield. Didn't disconnect the lever at all. Just kind of
    Moved it around to get out of the rear stock bushing and into the Cobb

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