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Mr. April 2008, Image Master
2005 X
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1,325 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What a PITA... Well not really. The whole install is just a bit tricky. Mainly the removal of the old shifter. I ended up prying back the little plastic tabs with a flat head screw driver, pumped a bunch of lube in, and pushed and pulled like a mutha. Finally the stock shifter popped out.
Putting in the SS is a whole lot easier. Just place the shifter in the gaping hole left by the old shifter, grab a large rubber mallet, swing once or twice and the SS sets right into it's new home. I also installed Kartboy's shifter, and trans cross member bushing.
The shifter bushings were cake, however the trans crossmember was a real PITA. The bolts are tough to get to (and that's putting it mildly.) Not sure how tough it is in the XT but I needed a big 'ol extention, flex fitting, and flare nut wrench just to get at, remove, and install the bushing.
WHen I first put in my SS I thought I was sent the wrong item. I mean it was really low! Then I put in the trans crossmember bushing and the whole thing fit perfectly. The throws are much shorter, and very precise. It's kind of notchy but in a good way. Kind of like having a shift gate. The shifter only goes where it is suposed to.
If your looking for the best SS try kartboy's. When you combine it with all of their bushings it's a kit that can't be beat..!

Kartboy Forester SS, shifter bushings, crossmember bushing, black knob.
http://www.allwheelengineering.com/basket/catalog.cgi?query_net_id=kartboy&query_class=KB-016-1997
 

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Asphalt Surfers Unlimited
2004 Forester XT
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742 Posts
One more :!:

Kartboy makes great gear.
 
S

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Another Kartboy SS

I ordered the Kartboy SS with front and rear bushings. It arrived from Cali to NY within two days. I'm resisting the urge to install it right now because I have to be at work in 30 min... but when I get home, it's the first thing I'm gonna do. :biggrin:

This is gonna be my first install/mod on my Subie (but def not the last), so you can bet there will be pics to track the install. Can't wait to take her for a spin afterward, too. :drive: We have a SS on our 03 Accord and I can't wait to have the crisp and notchy feel in the Subie, 5th gear always feels a mile away with the stock shifter.
 

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2011 Toyota Tacoma DCSB Auto
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1,932 Posts
aww poor dog
 
S

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well, it is installed! The OEM rear bushing was a PITA to get off and I had to enlist some manpower to get the new shifter set in the socket, but all is well! I love it. :biggrin: I'll take some pics tomorrow, and my dad snapped a pic of me under Tyra's belly all mucked up in grease. :redface:
 

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Premium Member
98 Forester...what else
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5,714 Posts
Schwe said:
...and my dad snapped a pic of me under Tyra's belly all mucked up in grease. :redface:
And we'd better see that picture posted up here...more proof for the non-believers!!

:grin: :grin:
 
S

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The long-awaited pictures





Roo said:
And we'd better see that picture posted up here...more proof for the non-believers!!

:grin: :grin:
LOL, is that enough proof? :drive:
 

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2010 dodge caravan auto
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1,748 Posts
I love mine, installed today the rear was a major PAIN IN THE A$$!!!!!!!! (tools were thown all over my yard) but after the the trouble a very GREAT, the shifter feels a lot better now.
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,751 Posts
Since I started on reviews today...

Got the shifter and the bushings. Uninstall part was very simple, installation - not so. First, I had issues with the front stay because of the spring that would keep falling off. Then the rear stay... first, the bolts would not thread in, and then one of the bolts was next to impossible to access, since the bushing lifted the whole thing significantly; still, got it done, from the inside of the car. Finally, had to get a friend to help me get the lever in (simply hitting it with a hammer did not work - needed some more push and hammering).

At first, I was disappointed with the shifter height (too low). However, after thinking about it for awhile, I realized that a stock height would not give sufficient throw reduction. And the way it is, it's nearly halved the throws. Very nice, solid shifts. There is more vibration, but I hardly notice that with my upgraded tranny mount and rear diff outrigger lock bushings (also KB).
 

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07 FXT sport
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1,736 Posts
Installed the kartboy front shifter bushings a couple weeks ago.

Very noticable difference, but of course I waited about 160,000 miles to install them.

#1 Mod helper approves of Kartboy products!!




dm
:starwars:
 

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Registered
2005 Forester XT
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1,553 Posts
I love my KB short shifter. It made the car feel much better shifting and reduced the throw by a ton, no more bus shifter for me! Install was fairly straight forward, the trick to getting the old shifter out is to turn it around 180* and then pull back toward the rear of the car and it pops right out. Getting the new one seated in the ball and socket joint required many a HARD hit from my 2 lb cross peen to finally get it to seat. I thought I was going to break something with a deflected hit. :lol: I managed to hit my hand once with a hard swing from the crosspeen, but other than that everything installed well. I'm also running KB's rear bushing along with a full delrin front bushing that I recieved from Jami and it shifts 1000x better than OEM. I had done the bushings first and then picked up the shifter later for a good price here on the forums and it really made the bushings shine and made the car more fun to drive.

-Steve
 

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2007 Forester Sport XT 5MT
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737 Posts
I installed my Kartboy Short shifter and front and rear bushings yesterday. It really did improve the feel and accuracy of the gear selection. I was having genuine issues with the stock selector and second gear. I missed a few hard shifts because of the gooey nature of the shifter locating/isolation, and the time it took to get in to the next cog.

IMPRESSION
The new Kartboy setup has really improved the character of the the whole driving experience with the modestly higher effort and direct feel and the shorter snick-snick gear change.
The one complaint is that the shifter is located too far forward for me. I have moved the seat two clicks forward and although I'm not quite fouling the steering wheel with my knees and elbows, I feel a bit crowded and it is still a lean out of the bucket for the top selections. (Yes, it is in properly!) :) This being the second day, I'm getting more used to the granny-close wheel and the Italian-far shifter!

INSTALLATION
I didn't have instructions printed out but I did look at the instructions on-line when I considered purchase. I didn't have any real problems with my '07. Even with the c-clip removed, it was a small feat to remove the old shifter. Finally pulled the whole shifter out complete with it's locating bushing. I knew it had to come out together, but didn't remember reading about that part. Reinstall but putting the c-clip and the bushing on the new unit and then back in the cup.
I knew about possible interference with the plate that holds the rubber mat. Mine did not shift over much and surprising to me is that I ground off almost a square inch and it still contacts in 1st gear. I stopped grinding at this point because I didn't want to take the rivet holding the threaded stud completely off and needed to switch to a rotary grinder to finish.
I also struggled to get the rubber mat completely back into place under the console and carpet.
I decided I had a good functional install and would test before final finish.

FUTURE
I don't know if I have enough stock in the current shift lever to 'dog-leg' it back 2 inches and keep enough shifter height. I'll have to cut and add the extention...
I'll get to it about the same time I fab up a proper push/light bar!

El Sid
 

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2000 Forester
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75 Posts
Another KB Short shifter owner here.

Bought from the ScoobyMods/Kastle's Korner store. Got the package that included the Short Shifter, Knob, and Front Shift Bushings. So far, I've only put on the short shifter and knob of course. Waiting for the weekend to do the FSB's. So far, even with just the short shifter, every shift feels refreshingly crisp. Even 5th gear, the one I instinctively feel to be further in travel than the rest, is quite crisp. The knuckle ball shifter as I've mentioned in another thread feels properly weighted as well.

A couple things to note: I ordered the GC8 Impreza version for my Forester. I tried speaking to a rep from KK but they couldn't come up with the height differences at the time I asked. I just dove in and bought one anyway. It's a whole lot shorter than the stock Forester shifter in height. Here's how it looks:



While my arms are long enough to work with this, my elbow occasionally bangs into the armrest which I'm close to just taking off and making my own shorter door.

Bottom line? It actually feels very similar (a bit less travel) to a stock first generation 350Z shifter- and I love it. More to come when I put in my FSB.

(Also, I hope I'm not thread jacking. Afaik, if I made another thread about my review, it would probably get merged)
 

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2004 Forester XT 5-Speed Manual
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319 Posts
Throw doesn't seem that short???

I just had the KB forester specific short shifter and bushing combo installed today. Shifts require a little more effort now when pushing the shifter, but they do feel more stable with less jiggle than the stock shifter/bushing combo.

The shifter itself doesn't seem to be any lower than stock, which I don't really mind since it would be almost too far away in 5th if it was much shorter.

One thing I'm not 100% satisfied with is the throw. It doesn't seem much shorter than stock. Maybe I'm tricking myself in regards to the throw distance, but I read that throw should be 40% shorter and it really doesn't feel like it's much shorter. Is this something others can attest to with the forester specific kb shifter?? I was considering the Cobb dual adjustable short shifter at one point, so I could dial in the length of the shift and knob height, but also read a lot of good things about the KB and went with that, now I'm left wondering if I made the wrong choice.

Thoughts? Has anyone had both and can offer a comparison?
 

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1,586 Posts
Just installed mine today, a GC8 version. Removal was a PITA. I thought I was going to break something. Install was ok. I lubbed the ball up a lot and that helped. My WRX wasn't this difficult to do!
Love the short throws now. Plus no more play when in neutral. The oem had some play going on.
Now to install the bushings.
 
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