Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shifter shortening, for sure!

The stock BRZ shifter is one of the tightest and most direct-feeling I've experienced, so I was kind of skeptical about putting a short shifter in it.  Does it really need to be any shorter?  Still, my friend Tom at Kartboy assured me that his short shifter would be an improvement.  I figured I could always take it back out if I didn't like it, so why not?

The Kartboy shifter is beautifully made.  Almost every part is a custom-machined of metal.  It's hefty and solid in the hand.  All the moving parts are pre-greased, and an additional syringe of grease is included for the install.

Installation was straightforward.  (There's a nice do-it-yourself guide over on the FT86club forms.)  We did install the included rear shifter stay.  We had previously installed Kartboy's transmission mount bushing, too.  The stock shift knob fits right on, or you can use any other knob that fits the stock shifter.  We already had a black Kartboy Delrin knob on there, so we transferred that one over.

I hopped in the car after it came down on the lift, and put it in reverse, then drove out into the neighborhood around the shop.  Hey, what do you know?  The feel is tighter, click-ier, more precise feeling.  I know it's a cliche, but it feels like a bolt-action rifle.  No slop, no give, just a tight, mechanical, direct connection to the gearbox.  The slightly (0.35") lower shift knob height feels just perfect to me.  The reduced throws make the shifting feel quick and sure.

So, to sum up, I'm sold!  It's an improvement over the stock shifter.  Good job, Kartboy.

Kartboy short shifter for FR-S/BRZ

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