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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone else get this weird first-gear 'grind'?

It's not really a grind....

Difficult to explain...

You're rolling to a stop, and you're pushing it against 1st gear so that you're in first gear just before you stop. You get a kind of really-fast-vibration through the gear-shift as it goes in. It only happens occasionally but it sends a shock all the way up my arm from the vibration when I do it. It also only happens if I'm moving when I put it into first...

Anyone else know what I mean?
 

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If the WRX has a weak point, it's the transmission. I think nearly everyone has experienced a problem downshifting into first. I believe it is a design problem relating to the synchro. The first gear synchro simply is not robust enough to allow an easy downshift. Even with rev matching, sometimes first gear is impossible to grab.

I'm not particularly good with the heel - toe technique. Double clutching usually works, though.

I'm sure this problem really hobbles the AutoX guys in competition where its necessary to keep the revs up high enough to spool the turbo.

X
 

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I have the exact problem also. I wondered if there was any fix for it (improved parts) that would be replaced under warranty...
 

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I had it too, although I have not experienced it since I got my clutch replaced, although that was just yesterday. I will let you know if it comes up again, but I have felt it before. It seems like as soon as you reach a certain speed it just slides into position very quickly and causes a little grind since its right at that exact point of all or nothing. I guess my advice would be not to force it to much if you don't have to.
 

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hey folks, i am new here, getting to know more about WRX before buying one.
is the tranny cable or hydraulic?
currently i am on 5th gen accord and it's a hydraulic. the shifting expereince/feel is very much a like what WilliamG said. sometimes are gears are edgy feeling.

sometimes it's frustrating and sometimes scared of miss shift and bust a gear.:(

one more thing (out of the topic)
is WRX strictly a 91/94 octane consumer? what's the option of retard timing and use lower octane petrol? doesn't WRX has knock sensor?

once again thanks
 

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You can run the WRX on 87 in an emergency, but stay off boost until you can get 91 or higher. This is in your manual. There is a knock sensor, but it turns off above ~5000rpm as there is too much engine noise that would make the sensor misread. The ECU will automatically readjust itself for different octane gas that you put in.

Calvin
 

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I just started getting this once or twice a day (12,000 miles now) and it's really annoying. I think the synchros are just worn so I'm not sweating it much. I would reccomend always double clutching as long as you're just driving on the sreet to give you synchros a rest.
 

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double clutch and match revs and it should be easy to shift into first. you don't need to force it. in fact, a little mechanical sympathy goes a long way
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not entirely sure about the whole matching revs thing....I can do that shifting from 4th to 2nd for example. But 2nd to 1st? How does that work?
 

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WilliamG...Essentially it's double clutching. From 2nd, as I'm decellerating, it's clutch in, shift to neutral, clutch out and blip the throttle to get the revs to where they would be if you were in 1st and moving at your present speed , shifter should now slide right into 1st. It's important to remember that at this point in the proceedings, the revs will probably have fallen back to near idle, so depending on the speed of the car, you might want blip the throttle once more before you let the clutch back out in 1st. This takes some practice to get the coordination down and some planning ahead, but not only will your transmission like you, you'll be able to hustle through the slow stuff, especially if you get used to breaking with the ball or toes of your foot while your heel does the blipping. Not being the fastest driver in the world, on a good day, the whole process might take me between 2 and 3 seconds, but my flywheel and pulleys are stock so it takes time to get the motor to spool up. Hope this is of some use to you
 

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MisterX said:
If the WRX has a weak point, it's the transmission. I think nearly everyone has experienced a problem downshifting into first. I believe it is a design problem relating to the synchro. The first gear synchro simply is not robust enough to allow an easy downshift. Even with rev matching, sometimes first gear is impossible to grab.

I'm not particularly good with the heel - toe technique. Double clutching usually works, though.

X
Russ is correct, the first gear synchros are pretty bad. In fact, all the synchros are puny. (I've seen my transmission halved.) You need to double-clutch to engage first at speed.

There is nothing wrong with your tranny. This is just a shortcoming of the 5MT.

-Jim
 

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spacemanspiff said:
Not being the fastest driver in the world, on a good day, the whole process might take me between 2 and 3 seconds, but my flywheel and pulleys are stock so it takes time to get the motor to spool up. Hope this is of some use to you
Spaceman, you sound like you'd benefit from a lightened flywheel. I love rev-matching since I installed my Exedy FW (in addition to my AutoSpeed lightened crank pulley). It feels more like the 350Z. When the clutch goes, upgrade your FW.

-Jim
 

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On about 10 occasions i have shove in 1st gear WHILE AT A STOP W/CLUTCH FULLY DEPRESSED and it still made a nasty grind. Its kidna scaring me and I dn what to do. It seems you have to hold the clutch in for a sec or so, then ease it into 1st. I only have 3500 miles, and no clutch drops, and wheelspin ever.
 

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PlatinumWRX said:
Spaceman, you sound like you'd benefit from a lightened flywheel. I love rev-matching since I installed my Exedy FW (in addition to my AutoSpeed lightened crank pulley). It feels more like the 350Z. When the clutch goes, upgrade your FW.

-Jim
Yes, I definately will. I was tempted when my dealer installed a new clutch due to shudder, but they were not having any of it. Pulleys are next, perhaps in July, so that should help.
 

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CKxx said:
On about 10 occasions i have shove in 1st gear WHILE AT A STOP W/CLUTCH FULLY DEPRESSED and it still made a nasty grind. Its kidna scaring me and I dn what to do. It seems you have to hold the clutch in for a sec or so, then ease it into 1st. I only have 3500 miles, and no clutch drops, and wheelspin ever.

I might suggest that you don't "shove" it in to first. Try applying a little pressure on the shifter and wait until it slots in. Same goes for reverse.
 

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Ive never emant to do so, but one would figure that if the clutch is depressed for several second it would go in. Most the time i do it by way of habbit since my first gear always slipped in fast on the civic i traded for the wrx.
 

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Yeah, I also traded in a civic for the WRX.
 

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I don't know if you are talking about the same "problem" I have getting first gear from a stop, but with mine you could sit there for an hour putting pressure on the shifter and it still will not go in. If I put the shifter in second, without even releasing the clutch, it will immediately slide into first like butter. I think it has to do with the bevel on the dog ring for first gear. When the teeth on the slider and the teeth on the ring are lined up exactly wrong they will not slide off each others " face " and engage.

Otherwise, I have no complaints about the Subaru 5 speed. The syncro for first works fine, when the car is moving.
 

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My friend cant go into first w/o first going to second then quickly to first. His problem (upon initial inspection) is a crapped out pilot bearing on his clutch. Apparently its never fully disengaging.
 

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As a side note, everyone should be able to go into first faster if they slide into 2nd first. There is also a note of interest on the order of gear selection: If you downshift while slowing down, the gears go in smoother than if you brake until very slow, or holdin neutral until slow and then try to go into a low gear. So if you downshift from 5->4 at 35mph, 4->3 at 25mph, 3->2 at 18/20mph, 1st at 5mph then it should all be somewhat smooth.

I have to go in for my 15k service so I'm gonna ask about the notchy tranny. Oh yeah, when I press the clutch and pull out of gear, sometimes I get a little growl and the rpms jump.
 
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