Want to know the basics like what VSS means and the different VSS types? Check out our Part 1 Blog Post.
If you are converting from an auto to manual, please click here.
In this Part 2 blog post we will focus on what to do if you are swapping out your Subaru transmission or cluster. The only times you would need to update your VSS if you swap out your transmission or your cluster with models that use a different type. No matter what type of transmission you put in, you should be putting in the Vehicle Speed Sensor that matches the cluster that you will be using! We can not reiterate this point enough, cluster determines your VSS type.
There are two varieties of manual transmissions beyond 5 and 6 speed; those with speed sensors built in and those without. This also coincides with the car using a CANBUS (EX 05+ Legacy and 08+ Impreza) wiring system and those that are NON-CANBUS (EX 04 and older Legacy and 07 and older Impreza). CANBUS models use the ABS Module to convert wheel speed into a signal for the cluster, therefore transmissions that come in these cars do not need the speed sensor gear built into the transmission.
NON-CANBUS transmission into a CANBUS vehicle - Nothing to worry about here, just bolt up the transmission since the cluster and ECU will get the speed signal direct from the ABS module via CAN.
NON-CANBUS transmission into a NON-CANBUS vehicle - Just make sure the original vehicle speed type is used on the new transmission. If they are different, simply unbolt the incorrect sensor and bolt in the correct one.
CANBUS transmission into a NON-CANBUS vehicle - This will require an external module like a VSSPro to replicate the speed sensor to get speed information to the ECU and the cluster. It works like the CANBUS ABS module to convert individual wheel speed into a signal the ECU and cluster understand.
If you have a Pre-99 cluster and put in a 99-07 in as a replacement, the vehicle speed sensor will need to be wired up. We have the connector for this here
We also carry replacement Vehicle Speed Sensor Extension Harnesses and Factory replacements.
Extensions - If you swap in a 6spd transmission in your original 5spd application and want to get rid of the long factory extension or do not have the original extension the two below would be good options.
Complete Replacements - If you don't have it or the current one has failed, a complete replacement would be a good choice.