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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The arm rest in the ZX4 ST (Manual Transmission) is a travesty!

Unless one closely resembles a double jointed ambidextrous orangutan shifting gears with the arm rest down is almost impossible.

With the arm rest up the numb tingling sensation you feel after shifts to 2nd and 4th is not born of trust-ful acceleration no, sadly the sensation is pain due to subcutaneous bruising to the elbow.

So - what have others done to rework this wonder of Ford design? Is there an aftermarket replacement for this floating morass of human insensitivity previously known as an Arm Rest?
 

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I got the same car you do. I don't have a problem. Of course I'm a small guy.
 

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I've never had a problem with the arm rest either (except for it being so small storage-wise). But I'm tall. I have to kind of reach down to the shifter so my elbow is out of the way (I always keep the arm rest down).
 

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I don't care
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I've never had an issue with my armrest either. I'm 5'9", and can't say it bothers me in the least. How tall are you, Phil ?
 

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Phil, are you by any chance rich. I looked at you car list. Daaaamn.
 

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I like my armrest, I'm not saying that I would have designed it like that but I like it. I just shift with my wrist and hand. I could see a sts being a problem but I like the stock one. I'm 6'2"
 

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Rebecca
2016 Focus ST
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I have the same car and solved the problem by buying the STS, now it is perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Remnants of better economic times

I looked at you car list. Daaaamn.
Thanks but the exotic cars are remnants of better economic times. After many years on the rat race carousel I took a misstep and was thrown off.

I have no complaints. I have been very fortunate to have fulfilled many of my childhood dreams; the Italian exotic is one of them. Like most such cars it's primarily a garage queen. Unlike most mine has a considerable number of track laps and the new brakes, tires, rattles and photos to prove it.



I bought the Focus to have something more in keeping with my current income and more relaxed lifestyle.
 

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I'm nearly six foot and i've seldom had a problem with the arm rest, while shifting. Honestly I think its more of a bother when using the parking break.

S.T.S

Short Throw Shifter
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am short also

How tall are you, Phil ?
I am also 5'9" but somehow I am making contact with this Arm obstruction in the center.

In this position there is not enough room between the gear shift and the arm rest for my hand + forearm + elbow to fit. To change gears in this position I need to tuck my elbow into my rib cage and extend my hand off angle to the right.


In this position with my arm aligned behind the gear shift my elbow makes contact with upraised arm rest mount on shifts into 2nd and 4th.
 

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Position of the seat probably has a great deal to do with this. Fact of the matter if you have long legs and a short torso, the seats going to be further back, which means your elbow will be closer to the armrest. That means more bruises, instead try pushing the seat up a click or to, or drive like I do, with you arm resting on the armrest whilst you shift.

Yes, I spend a lot of time fiddling with the seat position and steering wheel tilt...
 

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i'm 5'11" and when i had my zx2, i couldn't stand not having an armrest. now i've got my zx4 and i am loving it! just prop my elbow up on there, shift with the wrist.
 

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dannybohhy said:
I spend a lot of time fiddling with the seat position and steering wheel tilt...
my seat position and tilt have been in the same place since i first drove the car home
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK - So I am alone with this problem

OK Gang. Thanks very much for all your observations, suggestions and such. It's becoming clear that I am alone in my negative assessment of the armrest.

Over the years I have become obsessive about things which create discomfort or make friction contact with me while driving. This obsession is the result of endurance racing where such repeated discomfort becomes debilitating injury.

I started to create a list of those injuries but decided it was too ugly and personal to post. Perhaps if some of you become friends I'll share the list in private.
 

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Sückn' n Blown
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You aren't alone; there are many other people that don't like the armrest since it hasn't changed from 2000.

However, I'm not one of them. I love it, either on the street or on the road course. What technique do you use when shifting? Do you hold the shifter like you are choking it, or do you cradle it from the top and shift with the tips of your fingers?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: What technique do you use when shifting?

What technique do you use when shifting?
I palm the shift knob. I place my hand over the top of the gear shift knob such that the center of the knob is in palm of my hand.
 

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br/o/stang
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I hear your pain, my wrist would pop everytime I shifted. [8] I did things the easy way seeing as I like my driving position and tilting it back did nothing for me. I took it out! pop the cover plate off the back and take care of those two screws and youre golden! It looks a little odd but Im sure theres a way to make a cover plate for the gap... either that or install an armrest free console if you can find one.

Good luck [thumb]
 
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