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#5: 10-09-2004, 06:11 PM
Re: Kartboy short shifter installed.
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Title: Resident crank
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Location: Highland Park, IL.
Car: 2005 Subaru Legacy GT wagon
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Originally Posted by RobY
Initial impressions are good. I will be getting around to installing the Bushings tomorrow and I will do a review on that as well.


-The throw is VERY VERY short much shorter than the STi unit that I tried.

- Very well made. The shifter is made out of Cr-moly steel. It is a very solid unit. The welds are perfect. Looks liike a very good TIG job by a very experienced welder.

- Solid. It gives a very positive feel to the shifter. You can feel the car going into gear. May be considered notchy by some.

- Looks great! Sits about an inch lower than stock. Its a very stealthy look. Looks AWESOME with my STI shift knob.


- Fitment issues. I had to cut the corner off the steel surround plate to keep it from rubbing. Apparently subaru put the surround plate there to prevent installation of NON-STI short throw shifters. If you change the angle of the shifter to change the leverage it rubs. Kartboy reccomends just bending the plate upwards and out of the way . I decided to get a little dremel happy removed the plate and trimmed the corner square.

Apparently the only diffrence between the STi STS and the stock shifter is an extra few degrees of bend in the rod so that it clears the surround plate. The leverage is acheived the same way as the KB shifter acheives leverage. Let me tell you the engineers at subaru know how to "design in" a few extra bucks. :o

- Notchy for some. Its expected for a STS that reduces the throw this much. You have less mechanical advantage so it takes a bit more effort to get in into gear. I like it very mechanical, no mush. Some softer types may not like it.

Overall I am satisfied. I will report back when I have a chance to drive the car a bit more and get those bushings installed. I bet it will stiffen up the linkage alot more.
Thanks for the report, and being the pioneer.

But notchy is notchy. It's the Kartboy feel that, as a "softer type," I don't like. Short shifters are a matter of taste, however, as is shifter height, etc.

Know also that Subaru engineers are very good at designing in OE-style function, rather than "extra bucks." This is why the STi setup is the way it is, a complete linkage rather than a lever that you have to hammer in to the existing linkage.

I do think the Kartboy bushings are a worthwhile mod, and one that I did to the STi short shifter that I installed in my WRX wagon.

Happy shifting,