Shanes Impreza Wobble Shifter Fix

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The Problem

Do you drive a Subaru?

Does it have a 5 speed Manual Gear Box?

Does the Gear Shifter seem to have way more side-to-side slack than it used to?

The odds are, your shifter joint needs to be replaced.

The OEM Fix

The procedure to actually replace the joint can be seen here. Shifter Wobble Fix Including a video of before and after the fix. The only slight problem with this fix, is that it requires buying a whole new joint! Sure, it's only $45 plus shipping. But, there must be a way to rebuild it!!

The DIY Bushing Fix

Then, I found this thread on Nasioc where someone simply replaced the bushings. NASIOC - Custom 5spd Shifter Joint Bushings

How cheap can I do this for?

I wanted to do this fix for as little $$$ as possible! As in, under $10. If it was going to be worth rebuilding this joint, the cost had to be way below the cost of a new joint. Well, I did it under $8.00. Thanks to Wedge on RS25.com for sending me his old worn out Joint to use.

The issue was that riveted shoulder bolt. I wanted to find a way to reuse it. And I did. In short, I ground the small end off, drilled a hole down the center of it, tapped it, and bolted it back in! Voila! Cheap fix!!

All of the photos can be viewed here: Wobbly Shifter Fix Photos

Dimensions

The following diagram shows the actual measurements of the joint. The interesting thing to note is the ID of the joint tubes. They are not a metric size like 10mm. They are in fact an Imprial size of 3/8". Go figure!!

  • A: Barrel ID = 12.84mm | 0.5055" | 1/2 inches.
    • The OD is 35mm
  • B: Barrel Length = 35.6mm | 1-13/32"
  • C: Fork Inside Width = 39.84mm | 1.9655" | 1-9/16"
  • D: Fork Outside Width = 45.95mm | 1.8090" | 1-13/16
  • E: Rivet Hole = 10mm at one end, and 8mm at the other end.
    • The Rivet OD itself = 10mm | 0.3940" | 25/64"
  • F: Roll Pin OD = 8mm | 0.3145" | 5/16"
  • G: Fork metal thickness = 3.18mm | 0.1255" | 1/8"

Parts

This was all I actually bought. And get this, after I ordered a bag of these bushings, I saw the same thing in lows for pennies. Would have saved me shipping!

  • 6389K624 Pack of 5 Flanged Nylon Bearings for $2.98
    • 1/2"OD | 3/8"ID | 3/4"Length
  • 6mm-0.5 Metric Bolt (I happened to have a Grade-8 one lying around)

Tools

  • Grinder
  • Drill Bits
  • M6-0.5 Metric Tap
  • Loctite

My Steps

The old joint, and the bushings to be used.

You can see that the old bushings are gone!


This is the small end of the rivet, to be ground flat.


The rivet ground flat and smooth. Try not to cut into the joint.


The rivet punched out.


Now, with a Drill Press, I drilled out the center of the rivet.

Then tapped the hole with a 6mm-0.5 tap.


The Bushings Inside Diameter are 3/8". But, the Rivet has a 10mm shank. So, you'll need to press the rivet though the joint bushings. I just used my bench vice. Also, you'll need to drill out the small hole on the joint just a little bit. Tapping the end of the rivet enlarged the small shank just enough to prevent it from fitting back in the joint. Trust me, you'll want to test fit the rivet before putting the bushings in!! I threw on some Loctite for good measure too.


The rebuilt joint back together! It's tight, but not crazy too tight. I expect it'll be just fine.


You can see a thin metal washer on one side to take up the slack. Don't use a thick washer though. You dont' want a tight fit, just a snug fit.

The best part about this fix is that if the bushings fail, it's an easy 1-2-3 fix to replace them again.