Modifications >> WRX >> Performance

Kartboy shifter and bushings
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The install of the Kartboy Short Shifter and shifter bushings ( for the WRX is very similar to the RS install. Please refer to these pages for more details:


Bushings (note CUSCO and KB bushings install exactly the same way) :

Below there will be pics similar to the ones on the above pages that are specific to the WRX. Here are a few install watch-outs and hints I would like to add. I recommend doing the shifter first then the bushings. You can drive the car up on ramps and let the exhaust system cool while you put the shifter in.


The center console for the WRX dosen't have screws holding it in like the RS. Rather, there are some hidden tabs and clips as shown in the pictures. The way I removed the console was to pull up the emergency brake, and open the hatch to it's rear compartment. Using a flat blade screwdriver, that I wrapped with a towel to scratching the plastic, pry up the back half at the slots shown in the picture. After it's up enough to grab the back half I just tugged firmly to remove it. Unplug the mirror controls so you can put it aside. Note where the clips are and put them back on the upper part before installing it. For the front half, I first unscrewed the shift knob all the way. It's attached to the boot so just let it rest there when it's unscrewed. Next remove the front half of the console top. Grab the back part that's exposed and tug up. It sort of hinges at the front under the radio section. Now the shifter will be exposed. Using 2 - 12mm wrenches remove the nut and bolt that holds the shifter to the rod. To remove the shifter from the car just bend it back till it pops out of the socket. Notice that there is a lot of grease around the socket. You can use this on the KB shifter when you install it. Just smear it on the ball. Now that the shifter is out you will have to remove the small bushing (2 rubber parts and one metal cylinder) and put it in the KB shifter. Removing the small bushings and cylinder is pretty easy. You can just push out the center cylinder with a large screwdriver or something that is a little wider than the cylinder. The pic below shows one bushing on the metal cylinder and one off. They both can come off though. Now install the KB shifter in the socket. Be sure the bend in the shifter points towards the back of the car and not the front. If you put it in the wrong direction. The shift knob will hit the dash. Popping it in place is relatively simple with the proper tool. A plastic hammer. A good wack or two and it should pop right in. If you don't have a plastic hammer I've heard that screwing on the shift knob then hitting it with your palm will work but I can't say I've given that a try. Once the shifter is in put the bolt back in (insert from the drivers side with the nut going on the passenger side) Tighten the nut but don't go crazy tight. It only needs around 15 ft / lbs or so. Too tight and you may make the shifting stiff. Here is a watch-out. Some people have had the rod that is attached to the shifter contact the surround plate when in first gear (see pic) When I installed this one, it would hit the plate if I pushed up on the shifter. There are a few simple solutions. First I'd try and loosen the 4 - 10mm bolts that hold the plate that's being contacted (see pics). The holes under the bolts are oval to the right and left and will allow the plate to be adjusted a little. With the bolts loose shift the plate up and to the left then tighten it down. This may be enough to help. If not and you need more clearance, remove the plate by taking out the 4 bolts. It will lift right off. Now you can do one of two things, make the bolt holes a little bigger so you have more adjustment or use a flat file (or Dremel) and remove some of the metal where the rod contacts by beveling it. I used a file and took off a small amount of metal. That did the trick for me. Putting the plate back on is easy. Just be careful to get the small rubber tips in the centering holes at the center of the top and bottom.

Once you have the plate back on you can reassemble the console. It will press back into place. Now for the bushings.

The bushing install is the same as the RS mostly. You'll need the car up on ramps or jack stands. Make certain the car is SAFELY in the air, you are going to get all the way under the car at the center. Goggles are a good idea too. Look at the pics and the page referenced above. A few things I want to note. The WRX seems to have more room to get your arm in there and grab the rod to remove the OEM bushing. Still long sleeves are a good idea around the heat shields, they tend to be sharp. When putting the KB bushings on fit one half on (wide side in towards the tranny) then the arm. When you put the second half of the bushing in it will be tight. I found it best to push it in as far as possible, which usually isn't enough to expose enough threads to allow the nut and large washer to be put back on. Using only the nut (no big washer yet) tighten the nut on enough to allow more threads to show. You don't have to crank all the way on the bolt just enough to let the large washer and nut to grab. Usually just a few turns. Then remove the nut and put the nut and washer on. Be sure to have the hook part of the washer facing up and bending away from the tranny. You should see a big "H" stamped on the washer. If you put it in the other direction it will prevent the linkage from shifting into first and fourth gear (trust me) When you are about to tighten the nut on the stud (with the washer in place) put some lock tight on the threads to prevent it from backing off. A few people have had this happen. Also, don't go crazy tight on the nut 15 ft / lbs or so should be enough. Another problem I've heard of is the stud snapping with excessive force. If you see a gap between the bushing and the rod surround don't keep cranking down on it when it's snug. Some installs will have gaps others won't. The gap will be small and won't effect the performance of the shifting. My guess is it's a build tolerance thing. Hope this helps.