Comments Off on Motorsport Inspired Shifter – Part II

Many of you have probably seen our Stage I shifter setup – basically, a completely stock, OE, O2A shifter mechanism taken out of its box from underneath the tunnel and remounted in a custom sheet metal tower. The sole purpose of the exercise was to raise the shifter up and get it as close to the 3’oclock position on the steering wheel helping to cut down on the time our hands are off the wheel.

[NOTE] Obviously we understand we aren’t real race car drivers and this is not a real competitive race car and hundredths of a seconds shaved off probably won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I’m a junky and I like doing this sort of stuff. [/NOTE]

So for those of you that haven’t seen it, here’s a few pics of the Stage I setup as well as the link to the original thread:

Motorsport Inspired Shifter – Part I

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and why you ask I’m referring to all of this as “Stage I”… 
…well, like always, I couldn’t leave well-enough alone and I’m too cheap to break down and buy a real CAE Motorsport shifter ($1200 USD). So now that the shifter is closer to the steering wheel and we had great success with it at Watkins Glen and Pocono North – never mind the broken shifter cable-end or the busted engine, the shifter tower worked great!

One thing that has always bothered us about the OE shifter, among many things, was the enormous throw… seriously, WTF? (I know, I’m preaching to the choir). So now that the car is up on jack stands for the winter while we install our full cage and figure out our engine problems, it was time to cure the throw.

We started with this (green=neutral, black=OE, red=45% reduction). By adding 2″ to the bottom of the shift lever below the pivot point, we would get about a 45% reduction in throw.

Now that we had a goal in mind, the challenge was to make something that would achieve the goal. As always, AutoCAD to the rescue. Here’s what we started with:

taking some measurements from the OE shifter lever:

so from that drawing above and a few measurements, I started chipping away at a 1/2″ x 1″ x 8″ piece of aluminum that I had left over from the cable-linkage I made. I ended up with this:
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Now that the top was somewhat sorted it was time to figure out the bottom – which of course is the most important part of the equation. We had about 2-3/16″ of room to work with, so I chose a nice round 2″ for the extension below the pivot point of the shifter. Keep in mind, we are eliminating the push down reverse.

Unlike the drawing posted above, I decided that instead of trying to recreate the pin for the shifter cable linkage at the bottom, I might as well just use the bottom portion of the OE shifter and mount it to the new aluminum lever in a similar fashion to the top – this is what we got:
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So now that we got the overall lever figured out, we needed to start toying with the reverse lockout mechanism:

And in the meantime, after a few more tasks, ie: inserting flanged brass bushings and creating some spacers we got the chance to install the lever and see how it felt… actually, to see if it even worked at all – haha
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3rd Gear:

4th Gear:

and more importantly, the comparison… keep in mind, the neutral position wasn’t the same between the two levers, so although 4th has a dramatic reduction and 3rd only has a slight reduction, if you look at the comparison in the neutral position you’ll see that 3rd should be more and 4th should be less dramatic.

Neutral Comparison:

3rd Gear Comparison:

4th Gear Comparison:
All I can say is wow – I love the feel of the new throw. I can’t wait to get back out on the track… oh wait… yeah, no engine. Haha, next year.

During this process I took the time to tighten up a few gaps by adding rubber sleeves and plastic bushings in areas that had way too much slop. This combined with the super tight fitting brass bushings on the lever and the cable linkage on the transmission side has done an enormous amount for the shifter feel. Obviously I can’t say if it works 100% because at the moment I can’t even start the car, but as soon I as do, I’ll be sure to post again.

Our next step is to solve the reverse lockout. Here’s what we have so far:
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