Best Short Shifter for the buck...
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This is a discussion on Best Short Shifter for the buck... within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I've seen 5-6 of these things on different websites all ranging from to 0. Shall I go MRT, BPM, ...

  1. #1
    Registered User BigRich's Avatar
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    Best Short Shifter for the buck...

    I've seen 5-6 of these things on different websites all ranging from $80 to $200. Shall I go MRT, BPM, Kartboy, ILM, or STI? The STI unit looks to be a whole assembly (from the pics I've seen). But the others are just the shift rod.

    -- Rich

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    Registered User WRXed's Avatar
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    From what I've read, the Kartboy has a lot of good reviews. I think, if money were an option, I'd go with that one. I am, however, going to splurge and get the factory one (STi) and then add some "aftermarket" bushings to help stiffen it up a little more. My $0.02
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    Registered User BigRich's Avatar
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    That's what I would like to do to, but I know that all STI stuff isn't worth what you pay for it. If an $80 Kartboy is better than the STI, then I'd do that...

    -- Rich

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    Registered User WRXed's Avatar
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    Originally posted by BigRich
    That's what I would like to do to, but I know that all STI stuff isn't worth what you pay for it. If an $80 Kartboy is better than the STI, then I'd do that...

    -- Rich
    In a separate thread, Dan (god) said that he would recommend the STi shifter as he thinks it is actually a C's shifter (they told him to do the STi one). That's why I'm going to go for that one (plus I can just finance it).
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    Moderating on the run! Big Sky WRX's Avatar
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    STi shifter was worth the money in my opinion. It is the entire shifter assembly, not just the shifter. The STi comes w/ stiffer bushings than OE, but not as stiff as the Kartboy bushings (poly).

    I don't have anything to compare to- haven't tried any of the others- except OE and it is a vast improvement over OE.

    If money is a big issue try the Kartboy, I know they have many loyal fans.

    Big Sky

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    Registered User phast's Avatar
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    I'll cast my vote for the Kartboy. I was amazed at how much quicker my shifts got after that thing.
    -jay
    i drive a jeep n stuff.

  8. #7
    Registered User Cuda's Avatar
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    I was totally satisified with the Kartboy shifter. The stiffer bushings need to be in place though for the best shifting.

  9. #8
    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    The STi has a longer throw than the Kartboy. The shaft of the Kartboy is significantly shorter and therefore the shift knob is further from reach, although I don't perceive this as a problem unless you are 6'5" with teeny tiny arms.

    I prefer the feel of my Kartboy, but be aware that you will have to do some very minor trimming of a metal plate that holds the gator in place. I don't think this is necessary with the STi.

    At first, it felt much different from stock (much better). Now, I don't notice it any more. I'm very glad I chose the Kartboy as the STi doesn't appear to be much different than stock.

    -Pace
    Last edited by pace; 02-22-2002 at 12:02 AM.

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    Registered User PlatinumWRX's Avatar
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    I've had the opportunity to run the Kartboy SS with bushing thru the gears a couple of times on a WRX wagon. It is a really nice part. I have no reservations about recommending highly.

    -Jim

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    Pace,

    From the pictures I have seen, it seems that the shaft is about 1" shorter. Is that about what you see and does it seem too short or unnatural? How much of a problem is the trimming? Do you think it will be necessary in any case? It somehow surprises me that the short shifter makes contact with the frame where the regular one does not, since the throw is shorter and the diameter of the shaft is thinner.

    Thanks
    Last edited by DoubleYourX; 02-22-2002 at 10:04 AM.

  12. #11
    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DoubleYourX
    Pace,

    From the pictures I have seen, it seems that the shaft is about 1" shorter. Is that about what you see and does it seem too short or unnatural? How much of a problem is the trimming. Do you think it will be necessary in any case? It somehow surprises me that the short shifter makes contact with the frame where the regular one does not, since the throw is shorter and the diameter of the shaft is smaller?

    Thanks
    I would guess the shifter sits about 1.5" lower than the OEM unit. As well as having a shorter shaft section above the pivot, the section below the pivot is longer, hence compounding the increased leverage from a shorter throw. This in turn moves the pivot upwards, and thus causes the linkage to contact the metal plate. The plate removes with 4 bolts, and you can easily trim it with snips or a dremel. You don't have to remove much material, and I've read that alternatively some people just leave the plate off altogether. Another solution is that you can supposedly just loosen the bolts and move the plate a few mm so it clears the linkage, but I still had very light contact so I decided to trim.

    Start to finish installation time was about 30 minutes, including several iterations of trimming and refitting the plate.

    The shifter is perfect for me; it just decreases the throw enough to feel the way a 'sports' car ought to, but not so much that the force required to shift makes it a chore. Quality of the item is much, much better than the OEM part also.

    If it would help out, I could probably find time this weekend to remove the Kartboy and get the dimensions for comparison with the OEM, which I still have lying around someplace. I'll post it over on the Tutorial forum if I do that.

    -Pace

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    Thanks, Pace, for the clear explanation. Don't remove the shifter for me, though. I don't want to be responsible for scratches on your interior.

  14. #13
    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DoubleYourX
    Thanks, Pace, for the clear explanation. Don't remove the shifter for me, though. I don't want to be responsible for scratches on your interior.
    Ok, well then at least let me offer an installation tip in case you do purchase a Kartboy: The instructions that they refer you to, tell you to pop the shifter down into the cup by pounding with a rubber mallet. This is an excerise in futility - don't waste your energy! The easiest method is to attach the linkage to the shifter first, then lever the shifter ball down into the cup by pulling back on the shifter.

    Good luck.

    -Pace

  15. #14
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    easy fix for the boot plate

    instead of trimming the boot plate, you can take it off, bend the two metal mystery tabs up about 30 degrees and put it back on the car rotated 180 degrees. So the mystery tabs face the dash and the slanted corner of the plate is in the lower right corner.
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  16. #15
    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    Nice solution, thanks!

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