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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. So I've been spoiled by the amazing transmissions in my first-gen Miatas, and the Focus seems a bit lackluster in comparision. Of course, a FWD cable-shifted trans is never going to feel like a RWD trans, but there's got to be some room for improvement. I know there are shifter plates available for the mk3 cars that are supposed to provide a nice improvement in feel in addition to a shorter throw; is there anything like that available for the mk2? I don't mind the long throw it has, but the stock lever just feels like a plastic stick moving around in a box of plastic vagueness, nothing like the tight, precise, metallic feel of a good RWD shifter.

Do any of the STS kits do anything for shift feel? Are there any bushings along the linkage that can be replaced with stiffer variants?

Thanks!
 

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Old Phart
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44,596 Posts
Don't know the miles on yours, but you might want to look at the shift mech. in the car now to see if it's in good condition (at the inside shifter) first. Worn out bushes can make it sloppy.

Nothing like a direct stick into a box as on the Miata, but they are pretty decent for a FWD setup when correct. I've had worse that had a direct rod shifter for FWD.

Should locate to center well, with spring loading to each side and a decent feel forward & reverse into the gears.

Shifter base is rubber mounted, so there are special washers avail. to replace the rubber setup to stiffen the whole assy. if it's loose. Short shift levers tighten it up by reducing movement only, no actual change in any slop.

You can get a small reduction in throw just by moving the fore & aft cable attachment point up on the rod, check for interference with the surround at the front. Slight trimming there can give more movement of that type.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, it definitely still functions like new, only 20k on the car and it's mint. I might have been exaggerating a bit, there's no problem finding gears or anything. The best way to describe it is that the whole assembly just feels like it's made of plastic. But, I've never driven any other FWD cars with a well-regarded trans (Civic Si, etc), so I really have no basis for comparison. Just would love to find a bit more of that solid, 'snick-snick' feel, if there's a way.

I'll mess with the cable adjustment when I get a chance, and take a better look at the assembly's internals.
 

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Between the STS and some solid aluminum shifter bushings, you can clean up the feel quite a bit.
 
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