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Thread: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Some general info on the introduction of the 2003 Legacy GT and the Sportshift Automatic Transmission from: http://www.cars101.com/subaru/legacy/legacy2003.html

    "NEW FOR 2003 models a lot has changed for 03
    the basic L is upgraded with a Special Edition Package. You get a lot for the money.
    The GT wagon is upgraded to what would have been a Limited in 2002 although it isn't called that anymore.
    GT automatics get the new SPORTSHIFT clutchless transmission with VDT all wheel drive.
    And as always, colors come and go...

    new for 03 GT

    new Major changes for the GT and L models.
    new The base GT wagon is gone, so there is now only one GT wagon and sedan. Both are what last year would have been called 'Limited" models but this year there is no such name.
    new GT wagon now comes with all the features on the 02 Limited sedan, including upgrades stereo, leather, side airbags, heated seats and etc.
    The sedan remains the same with the folllowing changes applicable to the wagon:
    new Transmission. This year all automatic tranmission GTs get
    SPORTSHIFT. New for Subaru clutch-less shift feature for more controlled and sportier driving. Select'D' (drive) and the automatic shifts normally, or move the gear selector to the left and control the gears by tapping the lever up or down.
    Sportshift gear clearly indicated in upper center of gauges
    VTD AWD (variable torque distribution) with 45/55 front/rear power split for a sense of stronger acceleration. The VTD system has been used in the H-6 models since 2001."

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    So here are a couple CL listing that I have questions about. This first one, I think must be the same clip that Dead told me about (and might even be the same clip from which he got that steering wheel?):
    http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/ptd/4415183621.html

    "JDM SUBARU LEGACY BH5 EJ20 DOHC TT CLIP FOR SALE - $1795 (LYNNWOOD)




    JDM SUBARU LEGACY BH5 FRONT CLIP INCLUDES:
    ~EJ20 DOHC TWIN TURBO ENGINE
    ~AWD AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
    ~ENGINE BAY WIRING HARNESS
    ~ECU
    ~105,439 KILOMETERS ( 65,615 MILES )
    ~YEARS : 2002 - 2004
    ~$1795.00

    PHONE (425) ••• •••• ADDRESS FEI 6907 216TH ST SW LYNNWOOD WA 98036 "
    I won't be buying this clip. lol

    Okay, so according to the cars101 archive that I quoted in my previous post, the USDM Sportshift 4EAT was introduced in 2002 for the 2003 model year Legacy GT.
    However, is this next craigslist ad, I see what looks like a Sportshift shift selector. It is a little different, with no large button on the top of the gear selector, and the USDM labeling facing the Left-Hand Driver position, though. The car is listed as a 2001 Legacy GT Limited:
    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/pts/4379173328.html

    " 2000-2004 Subaru Legacy GT parts


    I'm currently parting a 2001 subaru legacy gt limited sedan
    parts will fit legacy models both wagon and sedan years 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
    fender r &l, 2.5l radiator w/condenser, bumper cover w/support, mirror l&r, door l&r f&b, excellent black leather interior, 140k automatic transmission, sunroof, headliner
    NOT AVAILABLE: Engine, hood, headlights, foglights
    many more parts available let me know what you need email w/phone number if you want a quick response "
    So, either
    A) the model year is not correctly listed, OR
    B) the cars101 archive is wrong about the year in which the Sportshift was introduced (seems unlikely), OR
    C) the 2001 car was swapped with a 2003+ Sportshift auto (seems unlikely), OR
    D) the 4EAT shift selector for Model Year 2001 looks like a Sportshift selector (to my untrained eye), but actually isn't one.

    Do all 3rd-gen Legacy auto shift selectors look like these pictured here, whether they are Sportshift or not?

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Option "D".. That 2001 is not a sportshift car. This is what that shift selector looks like up close.


    The sportshift one looks like this:

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    ^^ what rkrenicki said. You'll find plenty of Outbacks and GTs with the standard auto shifter... the sportshift happened in very limited numbers. I've been on the lookout for a good example to buy for awhile now. Most dealers list it as "Shiftable auto trans" or similar.
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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki
    Option "D".. That 2001 is not a sportshift car. This is what that shift selector looks like up close.


    The sportshift one looks like this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Huffer
    ^^ what rkrenicki said. You'll find plenty of Outbacks and GTs with the standard auto shifter... the sportshift happened in very limited numbers. I've been on the lookout for a good example to buy for awhile now. Most dealers list it as "Shiftable auto trans" or similar.
    Ah OK thanks guys! rkrenicki, is there what looks like a large button on the top of the shift selector stick, like the one in the JDM clip? If that is indeed a button, what is its function? Is it a simple selector lock release, like any other automatic selector stick? I'll do some more Google searching (I get surprisingly little info on 3rd-gen Legacy Sportshift), but do you happen to have another close photo that shows this more clearly?

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    This is a USDM car - same shifter but without the AT HOLD function:
    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale ... =366636496

    Here's another:
    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale ... =370282368

    The button on the top does the same thing the button on the side of the BD/BK 4EATs.

    http://drive2.subaru.com/Fall02_2003Legacy.htm
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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by Huffer
    This is a USDM car - same shifter but without the AT HOLD function:
    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale ... =366636496

    Here's another:
    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale ... =370282368

    The button on the top does the same thing the button on the side of the BD/BK 4EATs.

    http://drive2.subaru.com/Fall02_2003Legacy.htm
    Thanks Huffer! Is AT HOLD/POWER simply the same thing as the POWER MODE as commonly modded in 2nd-gens? Is this a 2-position switch (Power Mode OFF/Power Mode ON) or a 3-position switch (AT Hold ON/OFF/Power Mode ON)?

    I ask, because, even though it looks like a common Subaru 2-position pushbutton, it is labeled like a 3-position rocker switch.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    On the JDM models, it's a 3 position switch. The USDM models didn't get that switch (or the shifter trim to accommodate it). The USDM 03-04 GT models got the better VTD drivetrains with the smaller 2.5 engine. The Outbacks H6 has had VTD since 2001.
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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by Huffer
    On the JDM models, it's a 3 position switch. The USDM models didn't get that switch (or the shifter trim to accommodate it). The USDM 03-04 GT models got the better VTD drivetrains with the smaller 2.5 engine. The Outbacks H6 has had VTD since 2001.



    Well I am still confused then, because the JDM clip has the drive selector labeling for a RHD arrangment (without trim I can't tell if there was a AT Power button) but the closeup photo has the labeling for a LHD arrangement. The on-the-side Sportshift slot is also on the right in the closeup photo instead of the left.

    As for the HOLD button... this simply holds the gear you are in (depending on the A/T mode you are in)?

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    That is because the JDM clip is RHD, and the one I pictured is from a LHD car.

    As for the Power/Hold switch.. it was never available in the US on any model. The trim I pictured is from a LHD european car, which DID get the Power/Hold switch. JDM Sportshift cars would have had a power/hold switch on the right hand side of the gear selector.

    It is a three position switch, Power, Hold, or Off (center position).
    Power mode tells the TCU to shift closer to redline, keeping the car in the power band longer.
    Hold is short for Winter Hold. It locks out 1st gear, and locks the center diff to 50/50. This helps in icy conditions to reduce wheel spin when starting off.

    The US TCUs have a pin for Power mode, and can be "easily" wired up. Unfortunately, they do not have a pin for Winter Hold on any model here in the states.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki
    That is because the JDM clip is RHD, and the one I pictured is from a LHD car.

    As for the Power/Hold switch.. it was never available in the US on any model. The trim I pictured is from a LHD european car, which DID get the Power/Hold switch. JDM Sportshift cars would have had a power/hold switch on the right hand side of the gear selector.

    It is a three position switch, Power, Hold, or Off (center position).
    Power mode tells the TCU to shift closer to redline, keeping the car in the power band longer.
    Hold is short for Winter Hold. It locks out 1st gear, and locks the center diff to 50/50. This helps in icy conditions to reduce wheel spin when starting off.

    The US TCUs have a pin for Power mode, and can be "easily" wired up. Unfortunately, they do not have a pin for Winter Hold on any model here in the states.
    Mind = Blown

    This is awesome stuff. I don't get much chance to learn all of these details when I am always focusing on 2nd-gen discussions.

    I remember now Dead posting some pics of a JDM BG Grandwagon with the A/T HOLD button... I don't remember that older model looking like a 3-way switch, though.

    Looking at the pictures of the JDM shifter vs. the EDM shifter.... It seems to me that the ergonomics of the JDM Sportshift slot, on the left of the main PRND321 slot, would work better in a LHD car anyway. That slot is closer to the driver, and I can almost feel myself pulling the shifter towards me while using it in spirited driving, keeping it in that slot. With the EDM unit, I can see myself reaching further away from my body than necessary, and accidentally tugging the shifter out of the Sportshift slot under the same spirited driving conditions.

    What about the 3rd-gen cluster? Are there special indicators that illuminate, depending on the A/T mode? Is this cluster a straight swap for BD/BG/BK?

    As for the "basic" power mode mod, I did this quite awhile back... it is a small improvement, but the regular 4EAT experience still sucks. I am really excited by the possibility of this Sportshift retrofit!

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by camroncamera
    As for the "basic" power mode mod, I did this quite awhile back... it is a small improvement, but the regular 4EAT experience still sucks. I am really excited by the possibility of this Sportshift retrofit!
    Then don't get the Japanese one. It sucks too. Get a US sportshift. I drove an '05 turbo Baja with sportshift and it was worlds better than the crappy sportshift in the RSKs I've driven. The Japanese ones weren't very responsive (of course, they were much older too...).
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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by YamazakiSubaru
    Quote Originally Posted by camroncamera
    As for the "basic" power mode mod, I did this quite awhile back... it is a small improvement, but the regular 4EAT experience still sucks. I am really excited by the possibility of this Sportshift retrofit!
    Then don't get the Japanese one. It sucks too. Get a US sportshift. I drove an '05 turbo Baja with sportshift and it was worlds better than the crappy sportshift in the RSKs I've driven. The Japanese ones weren't very responsive (of course, they were much older too...).
    Is this due to the center console shifter, the TCU, or, most likely, the JDM Sportshift4EAT transmission itself?

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by camroncamera
    Quote Originally Posted by YamazakiSubaru
    Then don't get the Japanese one. It sucks too. Get a US sportshift. I drove an '05 turbo Baja with sportshift and it was worlds better than the crappy sportshift in the RSKs I've driven. The Japanese ones weren't very responsive (of course, they were much older too...).
    Is this due to the center console shifter, the TCU, or, most likely, the JDM Sportshift4EAT transmission itself?
    I'm guessing a mix of the TCU and transmission. I doubt the console shifter would have anything to do with it.
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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT


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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by camroncamera
    I remember now Dead posting some pics of a JDM BG Grandwagon with the A/T HOLD button... I don't remember that older model looking like a 3-way switch, though.
    The 2nd gen "AT HOLD" is just the winter hold function, so it is just on and off. I think its Power switch is elsewhere.

    Looking at the pictures of the JDM shifter vs. the EDM shifter.... It seems to me that the ergonomics of the JDM Sportshift slot, on the left of the main PRND321 slot, would work better in a LHD car anyway. That slot is closer to the driver, and I can almost feel myself pulling the shifter towards me while using it in spirited driving, keeping it in that slot. With the EDM unit, I can see myself reaching further away from my body than necessary, and accidentally tugging the shifter out of the Sportshift slot under the same spirited driving conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by camroncamera
    What about the 3rd-gen cluster? Are there special indicators that illuminate, depending on the A/T mode? Is this cluster a straight swap for BD/BG/BK?
    Yes, there is a specific cluster for Sportshift which tells you what gear you are in. There is a US cluster, and many (but not all) of the JDM 3rd gen Black Face Meters for Automatic cars have this function.

    No, it is not a straight swap, but it can be done. I put a BFM into my BG a few months ago, and I had it working. There are a LOT of fitment issues, and a significant amount of rewiring to make it work. I was never fully happy with the result, and I ended up reverting back to the normal cluster. I do not have the details in this thread, but I do have some progress shots of it working here: viewtopic.php?p=345336#p345336

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki
    No, it is not a straight swap, but it can be done. I put a BFM into my BG a few months ago, and I had it working. There are a LOT of fitment issues, and a significant amount of rewiring to make it work. I was never fully happy with the result, and I ended up reverting back to the normal cluster. I do not have the details in this thread, but I do have some progress shots of it working here: viewtopic.php?p=345336#p345336
    That is awesome stuff but I haven't deciphered what BFM stand for. Is BFM the whole 3rd-gen cluster, or just a subsystem?

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by camroncamera
    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki
    No, it is not a straight swap, but it can be done. I put a BFM into my BG a few months ago, and I had it working. There are a LOT of fitment issues, and a significant amount of rewiring to make it work. I was never fully happy with the result, and I ended up reverting back to the normal cluster. I do not have the details in this thread, but I do have some progress shots of it working here: viewtopic.php?p=345336#p345336
    That is awesome stuff but I haven't deciphered what BFM stand for. Is BFM the whole 3rd-gen cluster, or just a subsystem?
    BFM=Black Faced Meter (Tinted cluster face).

    And yeah, thats the half cut. I would have got it, but it's an auto. Trans is worth nothing to me. The motor I could have adapted to the GT-B and avoided the rebuild.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread. What is the likely-hood of replacing a standard floor shifter with a sport shift-er? Is't it just a multi-position switch anyway? I hate moving the shifter the labyrinth

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by thesavo
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread. What is the likely-hood of replacing a standard floor shifter with a sport shift-er? Is't it just a multi-position switch anyway? I hate moving the shifter the labyrinth
    I cannot answer your question but please don't be sorry to resurrect this thread because I still want to do this someday! I even bought Dead's JDM SportShift steering wheel so that I could one day do this.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Ah. My goal is just to eliminate the "Olympic track and field course" I have now. I'd be happy with a straight shift line.
    This thread on a forester board has raised my hopes a little.

    http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin ... ost3600665

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by thesavo
    Ah. My goal is just to eliminate the "Olympic track and field course" I have now. I'd be happy with a straight shift line.
    This thread on a forester board has raised my hopes a little.

    http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin ... ost3600665
    Looks like there's some great info in that thread, thanks for sharing! Checking it out now.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    I'm getting lunch together for a good read myself. Albany rain has impeded my fluid changes.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by thesavo
    Ah. My goal is just to eliminate the "Olympic track and field course" I have now. I'd be happy with a straight shift line.
    So by "Olympic track and field course" that means you have the 3rd-gen, non-SportShift automatic gear selector, with the around-the-bend shift pattern? like this:

    And you want to replace that with either a third-gen SportShift gear selector:

    Or possibly a fourth-gen gear selector?:

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    I have that very 3rd Gen gated shifter. Item 2 exactly. I would rather hold a button to move the selector than do loopy-loops. I don't even care about using the sport shift feature. If mechanically, it still keeps the linkage in (D)rive, that's Fine by me.

    I would glue in a silver fence that blocked the [+] and [-] signals. Personally, If i could retro fit a column shift in I would. There does have to be the one "salmon" modder that goes against the flow of other. Everyone wants a floor shift, not me.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    The sportshift selector will work perfectly fine on a normal AT car. I have been driving around like that for a while. It is a plug and play change.

    That being said, it is a pain to swap it out. You need to disconnect the linkage from under the car and then change the whole selector. Then you need to adjust the linkage after which is sort of difficult by yourself.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    Thank you. That's exactly what I needed to read.

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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    I thought about doing this to my car originally as well. Was going to keep her auto, have Level 10 build the tranny and add the flappy paddle shifters to the column. Electrically it shouldnt be too difficult. I would start with Factory service Manual diagrams to see if there are any differences with the valve bodys. I would say you wouldnt even need the whole tranny, the valve body SHOULD be the only part if needed that would have to be swapped.

    I Ended up going 5 speed in my car which will most likely end up going Legacy GT 6 speed when 300whp gets boring, or I grenade it. I enjoy electrical work, so if you are set on doing this, I wouldnt mind setting aside some time to look at the schematics to see whats needed.
    Ruby 2.0 1999 Legacy Outback LTD: Getting Ruby 1.5's drive train.
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    Re: So WHAT IF..... Sport Shift in a 1999 GT

    An '05 Baja Turbo automatic transmission popped up locally on craigslist 111K, price OBO. Seller also has a few other 4th-gen autos (some for 3.0 H6 Outbacks). Did we decide that the Baja Turbo 4EAT is the best match for modding a SportShift into a BK?

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    Bump! Well the original 4EAT in our BK GT seems to have eaten it today. No prior indications of any problem before except for the common 1-2 shift lurch at low speed. The car has had that for the many years we've driven it daily. Today my wife called me as she was leaving her work to drive home when she told me that as she pulled away from a stop sign, she heard a loud pop or bang, and the car instantly wouldn't hardly move. She managed to get the car to an open parking lot and I drove out to meet her as she called for a tow. I poked around the engine compartment and had a look underneath the tranny but nothing looked unusual such as fluid leaks. The ATF dipstick looked fine, the Redline that I've been running for 3 or 4 years looks like new and the level was plenty high on markings. The engine runs great in neutral, but when rowing the gear selector through each gear with the brakes on, it was easy to hear grinding noise once a gear was engaged. I did not move the car, but when the flatbed arrived, the tow guy had no trouble moving the car in neutral with gravity and foot power in order to put it into position to load it on the truck.

    I'd like to know if I can put in a Turbo Baja Sport Shift transmission to replace the dead one for the time being, and then deal with the Sport Shift features at a later time. Any chance of this being plug and play just to get the car back on the road? Or do the matching SportShift gear selector and TCU have to be installed at the same time?

    Now I have to hunt for one.
    Last edited by camroncamera; 05-07-2017 at 08:37 PM.

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