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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

First off I'll list the parts I just installed on my '02 WRX wagon last Friday then I'll describe the problem I'm having.

Parts:
- Kartboy Rear Subframe Locking Bolts
- Kartboy Transmission Mount Bushings
- Kartboy Rear Subframe Mount Bushings
- Cobb Double Adjustable Short Throw Shifter
- Cobb Front Shifter Bushings
- Cobb Rear Shifter Bushing

While the short shifter and shifter bushings function and feel amazing, the Kartboy bushings I installed have significantly increased noise, harshness, vibration (NHV) under 2,100 RPM. I also notice a pulsating vibration while crusing at highway speeds in 5th gear that comes and goes depending if I'm on the gas or not.

I installed a lightened flywheel when I replaced the clutch a year ago which created some trans noise when deccelerating in gear and I can tell that sound is amplified by the trans mounts. I am fine with that noise as I know what it is from, but the low frequency vibrations below 2,100 RPM don't feel right. I'm thinking they may be a result of a slight misalignment of the trans and/or rear differential. To replace the trans bushings, I used a jack to lift up the transmission which may have slightly tweaked the alignment. There was also an opportunity to throw things out of alignment when replacing the Rear Differential Cross Member Bushings.

I should also note that before installing the parts my steering wheel was dead center when going straight but is now slightly to the left (about 5 degrees counterclockwise).

I'd appreciate feedback from anyone who has installed these parts and if this is to be expected.

Thanks, 2002SubieWRX
 

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I suspect that the Kartboy Rear Subframe Locking Bolts have messed up (shifted) your rear alignment. Are they equally torqued to 96 ft/lbs? Now that you've done some driving on them, I'd recommend torquing them down again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I suspect that the Kartboy Rear Subframe Locking Bolts have messed up (shifted) your rear alignment. Are they equally torqued to 96 ft/lbs? Now that you've done some driving on them, I'd recommend torquing them down again.
Thanks for the reply Lokey. I torqued the locking bolts to 60 ft/lbs which is what it says to do on Scoobymods.com and torqued the other 4 subframe bolts to 96 ft/lbs. That's a good idea to re-torque them though.

Now that you mention the rear subframe locking bolts, I'll go into a little more detail to explain my install and possibly shed some light on where the vibrations are coming from: I first tried installing the new locking bolts using an allen wrench and was able to get the driver's side flush with the subframe (more on this later) but not the passenger side due to interference of the gas filler neck cover. I didn't have a 10mm socket attachment and it was after 10:00PM so I left the passenger side sticking out a few millimeters figuring it was pretty darn tight and wasn't going anywhere. (I know I shoulda got the correct tool and thoroughly read the directions first. Now I know.) A few days later I picked up a 10mm hex attachment and read the directions again on Scoobymods.com and found that they say to not only loosen the other 4 subframe bolts first but that the aluminum sleeve may not be flush with the subframe. I pulled out the locking bolts to reinstall after loosening the other 4 bolts and found the aluminum sleeves were gouged a little bit. This tells me when I first tried to install them the holes weren't perfectly aligned so as I tightened the bolts I forced the subframe out of whack a little. A rear alignment may indeed fix this entire issue.

Anybody else have a similar experience?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One other question on the Rear Subframe Bushings. I have a 2002 WRX. The kit comes with 3 bushings for each side but apparently the large diameter thin bushing is not used on some models. ScoobyMods installed them on an '04 Forester XT and didn't use the thin, large bushings but I'm not sure if they are supposed to go on my '02 WRX. Anybody else installed these on an '02-'07 WRX?
 

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Thanks for the reply Lokey. I torqued the locking bolts to 60 ft/lbs which is what it says to do on Scoobymods.com and torqued the other 4 subframe bolts to 96 ft/lbs. That's a good idea to re-torque them though.

Now that you mention the rear subframe locking bolts, I'll go into a little more detail to explain my install and possibly shed some light on where the vibrations are coming from: I first tried installing the new locking bolts using an allen wrench and was able to get the driver's side flush with the subframe (more on this later) but not the passenger side due to interference of the gas filler neck cover. I didn't have a 10mm socket attachment and it was after 10:00PM so I left the passenger side sticking out a few millimeters figuring it was pretty darn tight and wasn't going anywhere. (I know I shoulda got the correct tool and thoroughly read the directions first. Now I know.) A few days later I picked up a 10mm hex attachment and read the directions again on Scoobymods.com and found that they say to not only loosen the other 4 subframe bolts first but that the aluminum sleeve may not be flush with the subframe. I pulled out the locking bolts to reinstall after loosening the other 4 bolts and found the aluminum sleeves were gouged a little bit. This tells me when I first tried to install them the holes weren't perfectly aligned so as I tightened the bolts I forced the subframe out of whack a little. A rear alignment may indeed fix this entire issue.

Anybody else have a similar experience?
Ahhh...the plot thickens. :) Yeah, IMO, its always a good idea to get an alignment done after messing with these. My alignment was probably little off and I just never noticed. I just know the car felt SO much smoother after I got an alignment, even if I hadn't messed with the suspension/diff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ahhh...the plot thickens. :) Yeah, IMO, its always a good idea to get an alignment done after messing with these. My alignment was probably little off and I just never noticed. I just know the car felt SO much smoother after I got an alignment, even if I hadn't messed with the suspension/diff.
I'm going to try pulling the locking bolts and rear subframe bushings out and reinstalling them making sure to reinstall everything as close to the original locations as possible. If it doesn't smooth out I guess I'll have to get an alignment. I just had one done like 3 months ago so I'd rather not drop another $75 again. That's $75 that could be put toward painting my spare hoodscoop. My WRB scoop is peeling pretty bad:(.
 

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That sounds like a good plan. Good luck and keep us posted, man.
 

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Yeah, they do just increase noise as well though. Especially the outrigger bushings. I find it gets pretty noisy when it is time to rotate the tires. The highway thing went away pretty much after a while. You definitely want an alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well I just got my car back from the shop. I went in planning to only do a rear end alignment but they ended up doing all 4. The toe is back center so I track nice and straight a good deal of the noise and vibrations seem to be gone. I only drove it about 10 miles but plan to get some miles on it this weekend. I'll follow up with a review of the NVH issues after I get some more seat time.

Anyone looking to install a short shifter will not be disappointed by the Cobb Double Adjustable one. Also, get bushings when you do it...you won't be disappointed.
 
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