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#1: 04-08-2005, 11:15 PM
How to make an STS "Shorty Shifter"
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At the request of PatagonianGT, here is a fairly detailed description on how to shorten the stock subaru STS shifter 35mm. The maximum amount by the way.


12mm wrench and 12mm socket and drive for removing linkage.

½ capacity drill (optional)

Belt sander (optional)

Snap ring pliers

12mm x 1.25 rethreading die (P/N 03866811 from MSC direct ~$10.00

Flat mill file (if you want remove the flange by hand) – very doable.

1 1/16 box wrench for driving the rethreading die

CRC or suitable cutting fluid. Don’t use motor oil

Ye olde hacksaw

Petroleum jelly for the repack

Ben Folds Five CD.

Step 1

Make a drawing to illustrate what you want to remove, rethread and shorten. Or use mine See jpeg

Step 2

Take shifter out of car- see other threads which describe this in detail. Thanks guys!

Step 3

Remove the forged flange on the shaft. I started with a hand file to make sure it could be done. It is very doable but will take some time and care. I used a ½ inch drill and a belt sander to clean up the shaft.

Step 4

Position shifter in a vice and thread the die down to bottom of existing thread. Then reposition shifter in vise so you are holding on the original thread. Crank down on so it won’t rotate in the vise jaws when you chase the thread down to 30mm above the vibration isolator. The thread you are smashing in the vice gets cut off in the last step anyway. The reason I did this was because the shaft is isolated from the rest of the shifter by a rubber over mold. If you hold on the large isolator tube and start to chase threads, I guarantee you will twist the shaft right out of the rubber isolator –then you’re buying a Kartboy! Chase the new thread down to a height of 30mm above the isolator tube. Use a suitable cutting fluid. I used CRC. I drove the die with a 1 1/16 box end wrench; you could use a crescent wrench in a pinch

Step 5

With the die still on the shaft, cut the shaft to 55mm from the top of the isolator tube and then chamfer the saw cut end. Lastly, back the die off the threads. This will remove any burrs that could mess up the Momo knob threads.

Step 6

Reassemble and Enjoy. The boot will now sit over the larger isolator shaft with just enough room for the rubber cover underneath. One note; when you reattach the linkage, be careful not to over tighten the bolt. I tightened the bolt until there was no play at all and then backed it off ever so slightly.

My observations:

1: Much much better feel. More positive engagement due to less leverage. very solid. I also removed all play from the linkage attachment point.

2: Shorter throw – shorter shifter = shorter arc length

3: Unexpected benefits – better access to the climate control system. No shift knob in the way!!! This one never even occurred to me until I drove the car. Retain the vbration isolation without giving up anything.

4: Better hand position, my wrist rests right on the hand break lever. Hard to explain, it just feels more natural.

5: It looks cool!

And, my wife thought I was nuts until she drove the car. Her reply, why didn’t Subaru do this in the first place? “It feels a lot sportier”

My Kartboy bushings come in tomorrow I will let you all know if there is added benefit.

If you are looking for a sportier shifting experience and don't want to shell out for a shifter. this is a simple and very effective mod.

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Last edited by jah64; 04-21-2006 at 06:57 PM.. Reason: Updated threading die part number
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