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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi,
i have a question regarding shifting in this car. i do not currently own this car, but i have been getting closer and closer to deciding on this car when i do make my purchase. anyway, from what i have read on the board, shifting isn't really smooth in this car at all. i've read about people grinding gears, not being able to get into reverse easily, etc. i'm wondering if these problems are also as prevalent on the 2003 models. I haven't gone to test drive this car yet so i'm just curious if the problem is as bad as it sounds.
thanks
 

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To be honest, I drove a stick my whole life but it took me about a month to get this one down perfect. Its a little differnt then other cars. Its a little *****y about going into first while the car is moving so you have to rev match to get it to work. And no problems with reverse.
 

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The tranny isn't made of "glass" like some claim it is, but it does have it's quirks. I have also driven stick for years and had to get used to the shifting/clutching in this car as it has a slightly different feel to it.

There does seem to be some funkyness to 1st and Rev in a lot of cars though (dispite what some claim). Mine WILL NOT go into 1st if I am rolling (I can rev-match, double clutch, heel-toe, you name it-it doesn't seem to matter), and sometimes grinds going into first while already stopped at a redlight. However a new discussion on this has brought up the idea that SOME of this grinding/syncro problem is related to what brand/type transmission fluid people are running. My 1st gear got noticably worse (won't go into gear while moving) AFTER stepping up to Redline Synthetic. I am planning on experimenting with a different fluid within the next week or two to see if I can find a fluid that works better in this tranny. Some people have claimed that the problem has gone away/reduced after switching to certain brands of tranny fluid.

-Jason
 

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What's double-clutching?

I swear...one day I'm going to know all this and scoff at the newbies. :D

Ooh, and while I'm here, is there any good way to change from 1st to 2nd smoothly after flooring first to 6000rpm? I need detailed help with that one. I suck at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another question is how often do these problems happen? Is it hard to get into first from a roll all the time or rarely? Is it always hard to get into second after flooring first? Do these grinding problems happen everyday, once a week, month, year? From some of the posts I have seen on this board, it seems like its a permanent normal problem. I feel like it can't be that often or people wouldn't buy the car after test driving it, but I kind of want to make sure. Also, is there anything I should look for while test driving?
 

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What kind of car are you coming from? That's going to make a lot of difference on how you view the shifting charactaristics. Personally, I cam from an Integra GSR and the gates were better defined and much shorter in the GSR, even with the WRX short shifter option.

Bottom line, it does take some getting used to. The gears will grind for the first few weeks till you get used to it. But it's more than a liveable gear box, by most accounts, it's quite good. Just not the best I've ever driven.

If you're considering the gearbox a sticky point for picking the WRX or not...it's not that big an issue to preclude your purchase. Buy one, you'll be happy.
 

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I have to say I've not once grinded the gears since owning it 2 months. I had a little trouble getting it into 3rd gear once or twice during the first week, but it's perfect now. A little stiff from freezing cold starts, but after a few minutes it's great..
 

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Mine doesn't grind at all. It's a lot stiffer than a FWD cable shift car like a Honda though. And as a result I can't shift nearly as quickly as I could in my Civic Si. But it's very precise. You can feel exactly what you are doing.
 

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I had some difficulty with reverse initially and didn't find shifting to be very smooth. I don't know if it's b/c I got used to it, or it just got smoother over time, but I no longer have those problems. There is a very tactile feel to it that I haven't really seen from other cars. It will reward you on rev-matched downshifts by effortlessly gliding into place. It will take some getting used to but I don't think it's a sore point. Alot of the magazines actually raved about it (shifting, gates, etc).

WilliamG said:

Ooh, and while I'm here, is there any good way to change from 1st to 2nd smoothly after flooring first to 6000rpm? I need detailed help with that one. I suck at it.
Try getting on the gas a little earlier (when you're releasing the clutch).
 

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The few times I've grinded gears, its been my fault. I haven't had any problems going into first from a roll, you kinda have to force it in, and rev matching helps alot. My WRX is my first m/t car, and a few of my friend have more experience driving stick, and they have a hard time getting used to it. I think its a combination of the gearbox and the AWD drivetrain makes it unique to drive. Once you get, its so worth it though.
 

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any problems i've had usually happen when the car is cold. it doesn't like to go into first when you're rolling, which is a bit ridiculous because 2nd can be too high a gear if you're going real slow (like on parked highways where everyone is looking at an accident on the other side of the median because they're wishing they were in california). when the car is cold first and reverse can be harder to find, but after the car warms up i don't experience any real issues with the tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well its good to know that its more of a get used to kind of thing rather than a problem. i was basically concerned that it would be the only thing i didn't like about the car after test driving. The wrx would be my first manual transmission car, but i've driven them around a lot, enough to feel very comfortable with a stick. I've driven a 93 cavalier z24 a lot which wasn't smooth at all, and an 02 rsx type s which was very smooth.
 

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short shifting?

Anyone changed over to the short shifter? How does it compare to stock? Thanks
 

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I just had the Subaru short shift kit installed last week. I think it's fantastic. It's about 50% shortened, and a much more 'lock into place' feel about the gearbox. I really like it, but some don't. I think you might want to try it in a Subaru at the dealership before you get it. I think it rocks though... Completely. Even my wife thinks it's fantastic. Neutral to 1st is the tiniest of movements now. Fabulous!
 

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I'm used to shifting my SS every day. I went to the dealer to test drive a WRX and had no problems shifting. It was a little different (all cars are) but I had no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
well i test drove the car today and had no problems at all. i test drove one with a short throw shifter installed and it actually felt very smooth. i was thoroughly impressed with the car after the test drive, far exceeded my expectations...
 
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