I went ahead and bought the Kartboys. Since then I've developed a much more comprehensive understanding of what to do.
Here is a diagram of the Subaru shifter in our car:
The labeled parts are all bushings.
The shifter stay bushings
(front) and E
(rear). Kartboy and Cobb both sell polyurethane front & rear stay bushings here
What these bushings do is increase the clarity of your shifting (so you know what gear you're in). They really do make a significant difference. They DO NOT
remove the horizontal and vertical slop that you feel, but it WILL make it almost not feel like a problem!
In order to remove this slop, you must replace the shift linkage
. The problem bushings are labeled A
in the diagram. However, on our Legacies (basically pre-1998), these bushings are riveted into the linkage, meaning that you can't remove them and you must replace the entire linkage.
Turninconcepts sells a shift linkage on their website, but THESE ARE NOT FOR OUR CARS. This is made for 03(?)+ Legacies (and other Subarus) and WILL NOT FIT ON OURS WITHOUT MODIFICATION. I don't know exactly what the modification is but I'm sure you could find it with some googling. More information about where to buy & how to install the shift linkage will be found here
. Very in depth guide, many thanks to ernestedward over at ultimatesubaru.org.
The vertical slop is caused by the ball in the diagram at the base of the shifter (below the C bushings) being loose. I can't figure out exactly how to fix that, but I know that with a new shifter or short throw shifter (still new) this problem would be gone. I imagine that if you punch out the pin in the center of the the sphere there would be a way to tighten it but I haven't done that so don't take my word for it.
If you want help on the install respond to this thread and I'll give you tips for what I did (some of which is either not online or difficult to find). The install took me much longer than most because of my lack of tools available. What I ended up needing was this:
- Jack & Jack Stands (make sure you know where to place on the frame
- 12mm Socket
- 12mm wrench (for the front stay bushing, no space for a ratchet)
- Long Extension (not exactly anything, anywhere from 8"-12". I just put two together).
- Universal joint (used this for the rear install)
- PB Blaster (or some kind of corrosion penetrant like WD-40)
Remember that the rear bolts do not screw in straight, but rather toward each other at a slight angle. To achieve this with the second bolt, use the long extension to angle the bolt rather than trying to achieve it by putting pressure on the stay bushing.
Hope this helps!