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Old 03-03-2014, 02:52 AM   #1
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Default Short shifter...pros/cons on the track

Im in the market for a SS kit. Im leaning towards the KG Works shifter for my 97 miata. I know a lot of guys say miata doesnt need one or it will mess up the tranny in the long run...but any facts will be greatly appreciated.

Currently, im doing weekend autox/track events.

Any track experienced drivers have recommendations they can share?



Thanks fellas!
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:14 AM   #2
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I track and dont have any requirement for one...seems unnecessary to me...
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:04 AM   #3
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MiataRoadster short shifter kits - MiataRoadster - High-performance customer service...and parts for Roadsters

I've had both the short and long angled version on my MSM and both were a BIG improvement on its 6-speed tranny.

Bill strongly recommended the long-angled version when I bought the short version - he was right, I now have the long-angled version and it's easier to use.

Not sure I'd bother on a 5-speed though, the OEM gearbox is pretty sweet (can't say the same for the 6-speed though).
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:05 AM   #4
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I'll second the MiataRoadster SS kit (on a 6 speed).

I am very happy with mine and when I go back to a stock 6 speed it feels sloppy. Though compared to most, the stock shifter isn't that bad.

The "bent raised" version is supposedly desirable on a race car because it shortens the distance between steering wheel and shifter. My car is nothing but a street car so I went with the standard height.

I'd recommend it to any six speed miata. On a 5 speed I can't speak to it's value because I haven't experienced a 5-speed with or without one.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:21 AM   #5
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never really heard anyone say a shifter will "mess up" a transmission. In any case I use the stock shifter. Getting the mazda aluminum bushing is a nice way to get rid of some of the slop though.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:25 AM   #6
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The miata roadster long shifter is probably the only one worth it, just for getting the shifter closer to the wheel. Or because it takes the 6 speed from shifting like a complete piece of garbage to being almost as nice as a stock 5 speed shifter.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
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never really heard anyone say a shifter will "mess up" a transmission. In any case I use the stock shifter. Getting the mazda aluminum bushing is a nice way to get rid of some of the slop though.
Changing the fulcrum on any lever will change the torque, I don't think it'll be an issue on the Miata since the shifter plugs directly into the transmission versus a car that has a shift linkage.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:44 AM   #8
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Changing the fulcrum on any lever will change the torque, I don't think it'll be an issue on the Miata since the shifter plugs directly into the transmission versus a car that has a shift linkage.
The only thing I can think of is shifting quicker could affect syncros if you are particularly bad/forceful at it.

Last time I posted in a shifter thread, there was a huge argument with a 1400000000 whp neon and I got a warning lol. In any case, google helps. I am sure if there is any issues with miata ss and transmissions, google can find it.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:11 AM   #9
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Ask Emilio. He goes through a fair amount of engines due to overrevs from hitting the wrong gate. I think a SS increases your chances of doing this when in the heat of battle.

My red car came with a Mazdaspeed SS on its 5-speed. I'm changing it back to stock (hated how close the gates were and the increased effort with the SS -- blown engine setup, at least for me). Will be listing it soon.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #10
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On my Jetta you just mostly have to worry about fast shifting and engaging the syncros to quickly causing them to grind.

You get used to how close the gates are over time imho. I haven't miss-shifted in a long time. From what I remember though the gates were extremely close together on my miata, and the shift **** itself is barely above the transmission tunnel, so I see it as a waste of money until I drive someones Miata with a S.S..
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:01 PM   #11
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Been using an ebay short throw for about 4 years in my track only car and my street car. They came from two sources and were slightly different, and each took some fiddling to make work right. It has done nothing but to improve the shifting in each car, with no issues at all. I like the quick positive shift the modified fulcrum provides. I would like to try the MR shifter, but can not imagine they are going to shift $100+ better.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:17 PM   #12
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Still though $100 is not a lot of money. We are so spoiled by how cheap parts are. After the brass bushings, side-to-side/front-to-front S.S., and several other parts on my Jetta, I think I have spent over $400 to get it to feel right.

Miata aftermarket is so dirt cheap compared to VW aftermarket parts.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:25 PM   #13
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To be fair, it IS a $310 short shifter he's talking about.

I'm sure it's super awesome, and would like to try one, but it's still hard to stomach.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:48 PM   #14
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Really part for part it IS expensive. That said, when I did mine my upper rubber seal was torn causing a heck of a lot of heat to seep in and destroy my leather boot. I forget how expensive the rubber parts were from the dealer but they are included in the shifter kit and do otherwise cost money.

I guess my point is that if your rubber needs to be replaced it is a good time to do the SS shifter as you will be paying part of that money either way.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:03 PM   #15
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I've had an ebay short shifter for years. When I swapped my tranny I installed the stock shifter that came with it, just because I was a little tired of the notchyness.

My experience so far is that I miss the 2-3 shift much more now. I'm not sure if it comes from me not being used to the longer throw, or if it's just more sloppy.

If you wanna play around with one, you need to do some work with the $28 ebay shifters.

1. Grind the bolt in the spacer down so it fits in the OEM bushing
2. Grind the shifter down so that OEM spacer actually fits
3. Throw the bushing on the bottom away and install an OEM one or aluminum one
4. Use RTV to seal between the spacer and transmission. A good lower shift boot will seal the top of the spacer.

I really need to sell mine for ~$50, since it really did shift nicely with these modifications. But I keep thinking that I kinda wanna switch back...
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:41 PM   #16
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5: use locktite on the bolts
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:43 PM   #17
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5: use locktite on the bolts
yes. lol. Though you can still shift the car when all the bolts back out, its ahh interesting though.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Ask Emilio. He goes through a fair amount of engines due to overrevs from hitting the wrong gate. I think a SS increases your chances of doing this when in the heat of battle.

My red car came with a Mazdaspeed SS on its 5-speed. I'm changing it back to stock (hated how close the gates were and the increased effort with the SS -- blown engine setup, at least for me). Will be listing it soon.
Had the exact opposite effect on me with the 6 speed. the Miata Roadster tall bent shifter finally made me as consistant with the 6-speed as I could get with the 5 speed. being taller is the key. Actuall throw is not changed that much but close position of the **** relative to the steering wheel and better feedback feel was a big part of it. The position feel far less vague than stock. not all short shifters have all the lenghts worked out as good as this one.

I also thought the Ebay 5 speed ones worked good with a few parts changed out with an added extension. **** close to steering wheel and resonable throws. Never could get an Ebay shifter to work good in the 6 speed. The ball positions were never right it ended up tight in right left movement with more throw for/aft and made things significantly worse in critical shift situations.

The short shifters that are just shorter and dont properly address fulcrum lenghts are Idiotic poser pieces of garbage In my opinion however.

Last edited by bbundy; 03-03-2014 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
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The short shifters that are just shorter and dont properly address fulcrum lenghts are Idiotic poser pieces of garbage In my opinion however.
I guess when I hear short shifter this is what I'm thinking of. Certainly, that's what the one on the Red car felt like . . . short, notchy, miniscule difference between 2nd and 4th.

Didn't even know the other types existed. Makes sense to raise the whole fulcrum up and add a bent lever to minimize hands-off-the-wheel time.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:52 PM   #20
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Loved the miataroadster short shift kid in my MSM. It had the longer, angled stick and it felt great.
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