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Old 01-03-2006, 11:57 PM   #1
TehWagon
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"WRX Gear Attack"... good article

The guy/s who wrote this definitely either had a subie or have talked to lots of people who have! Very informative and really sums up a lot of our 'woes'
http://www.turbomagazine.com/feature...ur_wrxgearset/

" The Subaru WRX has established its superiority with an affordable price tag and unforgettable all-around performance.
The WRX in stock trim can be a competitor almost anywhere it goes, whether it is rally or road racing; out of the box, this car disappoints many adversaries.

The five-speed transmission, however, is the topic of conversation for many enthusiasts on the street and many competitors at the track. The majority of the complaint list goes as follows:

Gear Set Symptoms
1) Hard launches break first gear
2) The car will not go back into first gear unless you come to a complete stop
3) Fifth gear is absolutely useless at the track
4) Constantly stuck between the top of first and the power in second
5) Transmission makes noise during decceleration


These aren't reflective of the opinions of the average WRX owner, but instead from those who push their WRXs to the very edge. Of course, as always, preventative maintenance is the name of the game for the WRX and its not-so-loved transmission.

Most of our testing was done with a few rally-prepped WRXs. Rallying is the ultimate test bed for any product because of its extreme conditions. A rule of thumb is, if it can stand up to rallying, it will stand up pretty much anywhere.

1) Hard launches break first gear


Most complaints come from those who have admitted to revving pretty high before dumping the clutch. The AWD cars are great for getting power to the ground, offering astounding amounts of traction.

When you modify the 2.0 turbo engine, it's easy to find a lot of torque and horsepower quickly, but remember the rest of the car needs to be addressed to handle the power gains.

The number one suggestion is to be aware of potential weaknesses and don't side step the clutch. It is very possible to launch hard with a little clutch finesse; however, be prepared to regularly maintain the clutch linings.

The other option is going with an after market gear set. Most of the aftermarket gear sets are way stronger than stock, but hard launches can destroy way more than just first gear...trust us.

2) The car will not go back into first gear unless you come to a complete stop

It always starts with a little synchro scratching going back to first gear. A new car is usually able to find first gear from 20 to 0 mph. Eventually, that speed lessens until all you get is an excruciating grinding noise unless you are at almost a complete stop.

This noise is very frustrating at the track, especially when the track has a lot of hairpins or very tight corners where first gear would be effective. First gear becomes useless as soon as you shift out of it until you come to a complete stop. The first thing to try is upgrading the transmission oil. The factory Subaru oil is not bad, but there are some very advanced lubricants on the market that can help with this problem.

We stumbled into the ultimate Subaru tranny oil info. We all know the basis for R&D on the WRX is rallying, so what does the World Rally Championship Subaru team run in their cars? Neo Synthetic lubricants, which are manufactured and distributed here in the United States.

We tried some Neo gear oil and eliminated a lot of the issues with the synchros going into first and fourth. The car was once again able to find first gear at around 20 mph. If you have been experiencing grinding issues, there's a chance that nothing short of replacing parts can remedy the problems.

3) Fifth gear is absolutely useless at the track

A WRX with stock tires will do a little more than 120 mph in fourth gear. As best as we can tell, fifth gear is just for highway cruising and fuel economy. There aren't many venues for club racing that warrant or have the track for speeds of more than 120 mph.

Best option here is an aftermarket gear set that has ratios more inclined to keep the WRX in its powerband throughout every gear. A close ratio system is ideal.

4) Constantly stuck between the top of first and the power in second

The thing on every WRX owner's mind is the six-speed STi transmission. Yes, this is definitely the best option for some in-between ratios; however, the expense of the transplant is not cost-effective for some of the grassroots racers, nor will it be legal under some series' rules, which require a standard transmission setup.

Changing the gear ratio in the factory box is a very effective way to go about it. There are gear sets available that help to make first gear usable by making it just a little taller, and second gear a little shorter.

5) Transmission makes noise during deceleration

This is a common problem, but technically not a problem at all. It's just a matter of inconsistent factory backlash in the ring-and-pinion gear. Some models do it more than others.

The Subaru dealership can fix the problem, but not with performance in mind. The dealership will replace the 27 -pound flywheel with a heavier model to keep the gearbox loaded, thus eliminating a decelerating noise.

Going the opposite direction with the flywheel weight will not get rid of the noise, nor will it increase it. The lighter flywheel will be noticeable in how quickly the car finds its powerband. Suggestion: Get over the noise. It's not a big deal, and certainly not worth compromising power.

In our research we have come up with a gear set that can take care of most of the rally and road racers complaints. Gimmie Gears & Accessories offers a "Sport" ratio that is most effective across the board.

The taller first gear of the sport ratio tends to fill the first to second void, and when you shift through the rest of the gears, you have a slightly shorter than stock rpm drop (approximately 750 rpm per gear), keeping the WRX in its desired powerband. The gear set has fewer, yet bigger and stronger teeth, offering the necessary strength for even heavily modified WRXs.

We contacted GT Motorsports, in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., about handling the gear install for us. Follow along as we see exactly what it takes to do a performance upgrade inside the 2002 WRX five-speed gearbox.

FROM GT MOTORSPORTS
Based on a well-known video game (Gran Turismo), we visualized a new service concept. This concept provides the customer with the ability to install a wide range of performance parts all at once. These performance parts can be selected and installed in one full sweep, or in stages.

The performance parts are available within today's automotive aftermarket and with the dream of bringing the game to life, Certified Automotive Group, INC(CAG,I) started the wheels rolling.

With the game's theories in mind, CAG,I created GT Motorsports, one of four automotive shops that fall under the CAG,I. The four automotive facilities consist of: Certified Auto Care, a full service repair shop, an 11 bay facility with ASE certified technicians. Certified Care Transmission is a full service transmission facility with four bays and three lifts. Under-car Specialists is a full service suspension, alignment, muffler, and tire facility with six lifts. GT Motorsports is a full-service performance shop with an in-house machine shop.

With each shop providing an automotive service specialty, the full gambit of automotive needs are covered. And GT Motorsports' access to the latest in computerized automotive equipment ensures no service or feature is left out.

For example, our wheel balancing equipment will not only balance all four wheels, but can also calculate the correct placement of each wheel for the optimum balance of your vehicle. With the all- wheel dyno, we can provide crucial horsepower data needed in today's competitive environment.

The repair facilities allow you to prep for your upgrades. This is a combination of service and technology.

The Source

Gimmie Gears & Accessories
(909) 767-1473
(866) 4-GIMMIE
www.gimmiegears.com

GT Motorsports
(909) 989-2278
www.gtmotorsports.com

Neo Synthetics
(800) 959-7757
www.bakerprecision.com
www.neosyntheticoil.com

"The Gravel Crew"
www.gravel crew.com "
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Last edited by JoeScooby; 06-19-2006 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:55 AM   #2
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not even a titter?
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:55 PM   #3
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I got your titter! I'll check out the article when i get home tonight, im too busy to read it now.
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:57 PM   #4
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haha cool - it even held MY interest, so that's saying something!
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:09 PM   #5
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The part about tranny oil intrigues me... I would love to be able to shift into 1st above 5 mph without it being a PERFECT rev match.

Not that it's ever not perfect... jk
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Old 01-04-2006, 05:11 PM   #6
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haha - i hear ya! that's not the first time i've heard that, that the oil you use makes a huge difference. i plan on trying it myself in the spring and i'll be sure to post up my experience!
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Old 01-04-2006, 05:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TehWagon
haha - i hear ya! that's not the first time i've heard that, that the oil you use makes a huge difference. i plan on trying it myself in the spring and i'll be sure to post up my experience!
Do it! I'd say I would, but somehow I always put off stuff like that. If you post up with good results I'd definitely love to try something out to help.
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:51 AM   #8
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The oil does make a hugh difference. when I got my car I couldn't go into 1st without coming to a complete stop, once I switched to Redline shockproof gear oil I can drop down going 15 without a problem (I'm sure I could at a higher speed but haven had a reason to try it)
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:58 AM   #9
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nice. good to have some brands for comparison... can that be gotten at any auto-parts store or did you have to order it?
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Old 01-05-2006, 11:52 AM   #10
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I think they sell it at auto zone but I got it from www.summitracing.com. Their are 3 different shockproofs, Superlightweight, lightweight and heavyweight. I have heard heavyweight is the best but can be a real pain to shift in cold weather when it not fully warmed up. I use lightweight and so far am very satisfied.

http://www.redlineoil.com/products_g...61&subcatID=20
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Old 01-05-2006, 12:08 PM   #11
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I actually have that issue to Turbo. I bought it just for that article.

The first time I swapped the tranny fluid, I used Mobil 1. HUGE improvement in smoothness. Then I blew up the tranny. Not that the two are connected.

I am going to change it again next month, and I'm trying to track down some NEO Synthetic. If it's good for the WRC car, it's good for mine.
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Old 01-05-2006, 12:09 PM   #12
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yea i didnt like my tranny so i put an 7spd amg transmission in instead.
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Old 01-05-2006, 12:40 PM   #13
TehWagon
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HAHAHA noyce.
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:15 AM   #14
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hey guys i have 1-4 PPG straightcut gears and a PPG limited slip (1 of 3 in the US) i can down shift into first at 30 if needed that has to do with good tranny fluid. Andrew at automotive Tech has me using Redline shockproof works better than any others out there i can launch at 7200 and launch hard but eats clutches like crazy. but the best is the straight cut whine. i always get "how do you have a turbo and supercharger on the same car", "dude whats wrong with your car". the man to talk to is andrew at automotive tech
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:19 AM   #15
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I have the issue that this was in.
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:35 PM   #16
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thinking about all this does, the jdm spec sti tranny bolt up to the wrx engine since both being the 2.0L ??? cuz that would be a lot stronger i think then the usdm tranny... any thoughts!!
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:55 PM   #17
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i don't know about the jdm one, but ivan's car is living proof that you can put an STi 6-speed in there... (jerk )

be prepared to spend no less than $6k for that, though!
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:36 PM   #18
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the 6 speed bolts up to the 2.0 or do you have to modify it some how?
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastjim
the 6 speed bolts up to the 2.0 or do you have to modify it some how?
As far as I know you'll need STi differentials and a couple other parts. I'll let someone else answer specifics, but I don't think it bolts right up. I WANT ONE though, haha. It would be nice to be able to launch my car without fear.
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:51 AM   #20
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it will bolt up but you need the crossmember, shifter, driveshaft, rear diff, axles, all hubs, and with the hubs your prob gonna need the brakes too, not a cheap mod, pretty much the whole drivetrain
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