^^^ 02 and most 03 models had inferrior cable ends,
and for the most part are the ones experiencing the problems with the cables popping off.
The part was re-designed, and most likely the new ones you bought are the updated parts.
This mass prevents it being able to dissipate the oscillations up the shifter and out of the transmissions -
hence in theory - one could argue that removing the damper would be better for the synchros!
I thought so...as, this is what I wrote a long time ago in this thread:
I've been thinking about the weight and it's purpose for quite some time now.
Frankly, I think it's a detriment to the synchros.
It's meant to smooth out the shifts, by basically forcing it into gear with the weight on.
That's why (with the weight) if you miss that 1-2 shift, you can't get it back into gear because it's so far off the gate.
I rev-match ALL the time, and try not to brutally force it into gear.
Again, I can't help but believe that's exactly what the weight does...brutally force it into gear, at the loss of synchro life.
If you're gentle on the shifting, and most importantly properly rev-match when shifting,
this mod is extremely rewarding due to the much lighter shifter feel.
I'm keeping the weight off my linkage for good...period.
I really appreciate you stepping in here turbodave