Short Shifters

By: Eric Amador -

Replacement Shift Lever to Shorten Shift Throw.

I'm adding my observations to several other reviews, because I have some thoughts and suggestions that may be helpful to people trying to decide between this kit and the type of short-shifter that the Dealer Alternative, C's, and MazdaSpeed offer (I'll call that type the "C's" shifter, and my type the "BSP" shifter). The C's shifter is more solid and higher-quality; but the BSP is cheaper and makes the shift knob sit much lower on the center console. The shaft in the BSP shifter is thin metal (aluminum?) and simply reduces the lever's length relative to that of the OEM and C's shifters. The BSP kit has the same fulcrum as the OEM shifter, which is lower than the C's shifter. The BSP's shorter length substantially reduces the shift throw, but the angle of the lever at each throw is identical to that of the OEM shifter, because the fulcrum is identical. The C's kit has a long beefy milled shaft, like the OEM shifter, but raises the fulcrum substantially. Consequently, the knob sits up high (same height as the OEM?), but the angle of each throw is much smaller. This raised fulcrum on the C's design increases the shifting effort, but not to an annoying extent. As compared to the OEM shifter, the BSP kit also has less leverage and is thus notchier than the OEM shifter. I'm not sure which is notchier, the BSP or the C's. Adding to its notchiness vis--vis the OEM kit, is the fact that the BSP kit does not have a rubber damper built inside its shaft. I believe that the C's-type kits (except maybe the MazdaSpeed) also lack this internal damper. One other observation: Since the BSP design incorporates a skinny shaft, the shift boot can droop down it, which it can't do with the OEM or C's design. I solved this problem easily, just by sliding a few rubber bushings (Pep Boys Ford suspension bushings) down the BSP kit's shaft. Works absolutely perfectly by holding up the shift boot, for only a few bucks.

I like the low cost of the BSP kit (although I suspect even it includes a huge mark-up) and the fact that it drops the shift knob deep into the shift boot, for an excellent appearance and feel. But if you want top quality and don't mind the price or high shift knob, then get the C's.
Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Back to Product Reviews 15 December, 2001