Turn In Concepts Linkage Update Subaru WRX 5MT 1997-2005
This linkage update is for the pre-2006 Subaru 5MT that DO NOT have the external return spring. Subaru stopped using the external return spring sometime in 1998. If you are unsure please look at your linkage under the car to check.
What it does: Eliminates much of the side to side slop that develops in the lever due to the stock bushings wearing out.
Why a whole linkage when the other styles we offer are just bushings: The STi, the 05+ Legacy 5MT, and ALL the 06+ Subaru 5MTs have a linkage that you can completely take apart and replace the bushings. The cars prior to this in that 1998 to 2005 timeframe have a linkage that is riveted together and cannot be serviced or upgraded.
What about the bushings - won't they just fail again: No. As part of the Updated linkage you get TiC linkage bushings. They are much stiffer and more wear resistant that the stock pieces.
Why you want it: Simple. Better definition of each gear so you're no longer rowing in pudding.
Super tight shifts after replacing this in my 2003 WRX Impreza. Was a problem free installation. I'd highly recommend this if your shifter doesnt feel the same anymore.
The shifter wasn't the "MIRACLE FIX-ALL SHAMWOW" that people claim it is, but I'm combination with upper and lower, front and near shifter bushings, the shifter has never felt better. Still about 1/3" of side to side slop, but the shifts feel super solid with my 600g knob.
It took about 3 weeks of daily driving to get the new bushings to break in. The shift into second was a real pain that whole time. But it was worth it!
Installation was an absolute PITA on my 06 OBS, and we at one point had to use a blowtorch (you read that right) to melt the bushings in the old linkage to maneuver it enough to get it out. It can't be tight if it's a liquid!
Parts are exact fit and had no problem installing. Glad I upgraded to the new joint assembly.
10/10 would install again
Had to sand down the black plastic bushings and the metal sleeve inside them to get it to fit. Not a huge amount, but I shouldn't have had to do any. After that though, it worked great. Significantly decreased shifter slop.