xluben's Pictures and Review of the MODE Racing Adjustable Short Throw Shifter
I got my 2011 WRX just a couple weeks ago, and I already decided I wanted a new shifter. I researched and found the Kartboy and COBB shifters to be the most popular. The Kartboy is a hair cheaper, but the COBB is fully adjustable. Unfortunatley the COBB seems to be hard to come by these days. With a little more research, I found that the COBB is now being sold under the MODE brand name (reference: [url=http://www.iwsti.com/forums/2640100-post14.html]Subaru Impreza WRX STI Forums: IWSTI.com - View Single Post - New Double Adjustable Shifters from MODE Racing![/url]).
I decided to order mine from Rally Sport Direct. They seem to have a great track record and are very active online. I see them posting in forums as well as making YouTube videos of their products on a regular basis. They also have a huge variety of products and great prices. I ordered mine from the following link and it took a couple days to arrive.
[url=http://www.rallysportdirect.com/MODE-Racing-Adjustable-Short-Throw-Shifter-Subaru-Models-inc-2008-2011-WRX-2006-2009-Legacy-GT-2006-2008-Forester-XT]MODE Racing Adjustable Short Throw Shifter Subaru Models (inc. 2008-2011 WRX / 2006-2009 Legacy GT / 2006-2008 Forester XT) at RallySportDirect.com[/url]
If you are more a video type person, than text/photos, check out Rally Sport Direct's "What's in the Box" video for the 02-07 WRX version of the shifter. It looks nearly identical and functions exactly the same (MODE Racing also makes the shifter for a variety of other makes and models: Impreza, WRX, STI, Legacy, Forester, and the Mitsubishi EVO).
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhwKS0HtUas"]YouTube - Mode Racing Subaru Impreza & WRX Short Shifter- Whats in the Box?[/ame]
This shifter will fit the 08, 09, 10, or 11 WRX as well as the 06-09 Legacy GT and the 06-08 Forester XT. I ordered on Saturday night and it was on my doorstep Tuesday when I got home from work. When it arrived it came in a smallish brown cardboard box. Here's a photo of the box (keys for scale):
Inside that box, is the white box that MODE packages their products in:
Inside the white box is the shifter (wrapped in bubble wrap), an allen key, and instructions.
The body of the shifter is black anodized aluminum. The threaded top portion and the bottom section are both steel. The hardware is stainless steel. Here are some photos of the shifter itself:
The above photo's show the as shipped configuration of the shifter. Without any adjustment the shifter is set to its shortest physical height, but longest throws. The top and bottom pieces are independently adjustable, by simply loosening the screws and sliding the rods up and down. The can even be completely removed:
In the above photo you can see that the rods have lines machined into them. I believe these are suggestions as to the furthest out you should have them adjusted. Any further and there will not be sufficient material for the body of the shifter to clamp onto. If you set both ends to the longest adjustment, you will have the shortest throw length, but the tallest shifter:
Here are some comparison photos vs. the stock shifter. As you can see it is much, much shorter. It also does not angle backwards towards the driver. It is straight up from the pivot point.
1. Longest throw, shortest height:
2. Shortest throw, shortest height:
3. Shortest throw, longest height:
Installation details in the second post....
I found that installation instructions that were included were not quite correct. I believe they were for the second generation WRX. The instructions simply say to pull off the bezel around the boot, but in the newer WRX's, it is a bit more involved. I used a combination of the following two guides in order to do the disassembly:
[url=http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1452491]DIY: 2008 STi KartBoy Short Shifter - NASIOC[/url]
Some of the trim pieces were not easy to get off. I eventually got it apart, but I did not remove the entire armrest piece (as seen in the first link). You only need to get it loose enough to remove the trim around the shifter. Once I got all of the trim off, it was pretty straightforward. You will definitely need a c-clip pliers to get the stock shifter out, and to put the new shifter in place. I re-used the grease from the OEM shifter, and re-installed everything in the opposite order of the disassembly. I set the shifter for the shortest throws, and the shortest height. I used the machined line to set the lower portion to the longest "safe" position, and there were no interference issues with the metal plate, but it does slightly rub the rubber boot.
I would suggest screwing the knob on at this point and making sure you like the throw length and shifter height. It is much easier to make a change now, before you get everything put back together. During re-assembly, I unfortunately lost the screw that is under the parking brake boot, and also the clip on the opposite corner (passenger side of the center console). [I]If anyone knows the specs on these parts, or where to purchase them, please PM me![/I]
After I got it all put together I was really impressed by how short the throws were! It really is a night and day difference. The spongy feeling is completely gone, and the throws are incredibly short. It is a bit notchy, but that is to be expected with the change in leverage. I've only driven it around very briefly, but I like it a lot so far.
Here are photos of it installed in the car:
Overall, I am extremely happy with the shifter. The quality of the part is top notch. I am glad I decided to go with the adjustable model. I like how it is set up now, but it is really nice to know that I can adjust it in the future if my preference changes. The shifts are no longer mushy, and are very short and crisp. I would recommend this shifter to anyone looking for the best, most adjustable shifter for their WRX. I am also very happy with Rally Sport Direct. I would recommend them to anyone looking to buy Subaru aftermarket parts!
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