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The ImpoSTer
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys this has been on my list of mods to do for sometime now and I finally got around to doing this before work today. I ordered my cutting die from Napa, the size is 12x1.25 and it ran me $4.55 after tax. I was able to complete this project using only the die, a wrench, a flathead, some cutting oil, and a hacksaw. The first thing you have to do is to remove the trim surrounding the shifter. Check out Twenty's review on how to do that here: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=273852&page=2. It's pretty easy and just requires a flat head and some muscle. After you get the boot and knob off put a plastic bag around the base of the shifter to catch any metal shavings. Take not of how long the stock threads are (1 inch), and mark where the stock threads end and where you want to put new threads to (Down and inch from end of stock threads). You can do more or less but just make sure the amount of threading left comes to an inch. Then you can thread your die on.

20140908_110347.jpg

Make sure you use come cutting oil to help the die go down the threads and take your time and go slow. I used a wrench but you can use a socket if you can get one that fits. The die gets hot from the friction so do a half or quarter turn at a time then go back up a half or quarter turn to break free any shavings and keeping the threads from melting or stripping. After you have your threads as deep as you want them move your die up 1 inch from the end of the new threads and use it as a base to keep your hacksaw even.

20140908_114820.jpg

After you have your thread cut you simply reattach the boot and knob and screw it back on firmly. It helps to apply downward pressure on the knob to get it to lock tight. Whala! you now have a lower sportier shifter and it only cost you ~$5 depending on what tools you already had and an hour of your time! The shift feel is much better and feels a little shorter plus the position is now perfect for me to rest my arm on the center console while shifting. Hope you guys found this useful!
20140908_121437.jpg
 

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Hey guys this has been on my list of mods to do for sometime now and I finally got around to doing this before work today. I ordered my cutting die from Napa, the size is 12x1.25 and it ran me $4.55 after tax. I was able to complete this project using only the die, a wrench, a flathead, some cutting oil, and a hacksaw. The first thing you have to do is to remove the trim surrounding the shifter. Check out Twenty's review on how to do that here: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=273852&page=2. It's pretty easy and just requires a flat head and some muscle. After you get the boot and knob off put a plastic bag around the base of the shifter to catch any metal shavings. Take not of how long the stock threads are (1 inch), and mark where the stock threads end and where you want to put new threads to (Down and inch from end of stock threads). You can do more or less but just make sure the amount of threading left comes to an inch. Then you can thread your die on. View attachment 67921 Make sure you use come cutting oil to help the die go down the threads and take your time and go slow. I used a wrench but you can use a socket if you can get one that fits. The die gets hot from the friction so do a half or quarter turn at a time then go back up a half or quarter turn to break free any shavings and keeping the threads from melting or stripping. After you have your threads as deep as you want them move your die up 1 inch from the end of the new threads and use it as a base to keep your hacksaw even. View attachment 67929 After you have your thread cut you simply reattach the boot and knob and screw it back on firmly. It helps to apply downward pressure on the knob to get it to lock tight. Whala! you now have a lower sportier shifter and it only cost you ~$5 depending on what tools you already had and an hour of your time! The shift feel is much better and feels a little shorter plus the position is now perfect for me to rest my arm on the center console while shifting. Hope you guys found this useful! View attachment 67937
I've done that and the difference is great. I did the solid shifter base bushing at the same time.
 

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Great write up! I remember doing this on my Seat Leon 1.8T 6spd MT few months ago
BTW did you leave the stick with the 1st gear on or what gear?
 

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The ImpoSTer
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Discussion Starter #5
IIRC I left it in neutral and gripped the shifter with my free hand to keep it stationary. Sorry for the late response been busy with school.
 

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That looks cool. Excuse my ignorance but what's difference between this and a traditional short throw shifter?
 

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That looks cool. Excuse my ignorance but what's difference between this and a traditional short throw shifter?
This is not a short throw shifter because the pivot point at the bottom is not moved, only the lever arm is reduced which would increase the shift effort more than the reduction in shift throws.

I’m not going to try getting real technical in this write up but, but lets talk about shifters for a moment. How does a short throw shifter work, you ask? Well, the pivot point on the shift lever is known as the fulcrum point. The most effective, and proper way to shorten the shift throw is to raise the fulcrum point on the shifter, therefore giving the mechanical throw to the shift linkage more travel engaging the gears sooner with less movement of your hand/arm.


The other way to essentially “fake” a short throw shifter is to simply cut down the shifter on top of the fulcrum point. While this does not increase the mechanical throw to the shift linkage on the shifter, it still does reduce the actual movement of your hand/arm.


Any time you raise the fulcrum point, or cut the shifter above the fulcrum point, you are reducing the mechanical advantage of the shifter… This is what makes your shifting experience feel more “positive” or if you go too far, notchy. For example if you take a shifter that has a 4″ upper movement of the hand/arm, to give the shift linkage a 1″ movement to engage the next gear, this would be a 4:1 ratio… For easy math sake, let’s say that this 4:1 ratio takes 10 lbs of force from your hand/arm to shift gears. Say you want a 25% reduction of shift throw (movement in your hand/arm), you would need a 3:1 ratio, your hand now moves 3″ to make the linkage move that 1″ to engage the next gear… That’s great, nice quick shifts now, right? But since you have lost 25% of the mechanical advantage, it now takes approximately 25% more hand/arm force to shift gears.
http://jacfab.com/diy-short-throw/
 

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@suss
So... It's not a good idea or what?!
As long as you're comfortable with the increased shift effort it is not a problem and is the least expensive way of making a shorter shifter.

It only is a bad idea if you go too far and get to the point where you can't reach all the gears.
 

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As long as you're comfortable with the increased shift effort it is not a problem and is the least expensive way of making a shorter shifter.

It only is a bad idea if you go too far and get to the point where you can't reach all the gears.
I installed a JBR heavy shift knob and shortened the shifter arm. Best combo IMO.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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Discussion Starter #11
I'd say it's worth it. My shifts are still pretty easy to make, definitely not a struggle. Also I prefer the look of the shorter shifter. I've lowered mine an inch and a half more since this thread was posted and still have easy throws with no problems getting it into gear.
 

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I'd say it's worth it. My shifts are still pretty easy to make, definitely not a struggle. Also I prefer the look of the shorter shifter. I've lowered mine an inch and a half more since this thread was posted and still have easy throws with no problems getting it into gear.
I removed 1 1/4 inch from stock and I might remove .5 to 3/4 inch again.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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Discussion Starter #13
Go for it. I'd say 2 inches lower than stock is the perfect spot.
 

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I've done that and the difference is great. I did the solid shifter base bushing at the same time.
where did you get the solid shifter bushings?
 

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After reading this post. I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I gave it a try. The lower height plus some JBR solid bushings made for a great combination. I decided to start at 1 inch first and see how it goes. Big thank you to TheBlueOval for posting this originally.
 

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After reading this post. I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I gave it a try. The lower height plus some JBR solid bushings made for a great combination. I decided to start at 1 inch first and see how it goes. Big thank you to TheBlueOval for posting this originally.
I did 2 inches with a 600+ grams shifter. Feels awesome.
 

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Well, looks like I found my next mod.
Edit-after riding in the car I'm not sure I would like lowering it at all. I have the front/back cup holder arrangement and find that my forearm is perfectly level when shifting. Lowering the shifter would also cause obstructions with waters, sodas, etc. The factory shifter doesn't seem that obnoxiously low to begin with really. I think the bushing swap sounds very beneficial though.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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Discussion Starter #20
After reading this post. I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I gave it a try. The lower height plus some JBR solid bushings made for a great combination. I decided to start at 1 inch first and see how it goes. Big thank you to TheBlueOval for posting this originally.
No problem! Glad people are getting use out of this writeup. I have a couple more floating around the forum.

Well, looks like I found my next mod.
Edit-after riding in the car I'm not sure I would like lowering it at all. I have the front/back cup holder arrangement and find that my forearm is perfectly level when shifting. Lowering the shifter would also cause obstructions with waters, sodas, etc. The factory shifter doesn't seem that obnoxiously low to begin with really. I think the bushing swap sounds very beneficial though.
I have the same cup holder layout and don't run into a problem hitting beverages while shifting.
 
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