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Old 02-16-2013, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Shortened shifter

I saw this picture if a 1994 S4 for sale. The shifter has been shortened. Looks nice, although not sure if the increased leverage required would make it difficult to use. Has anyone done this? Comments on how it was done? Comments on the operational results?
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If the gear selecting cables are in good order, and the front and rear translating mechanisms are in order, it seems pretty feasible that this would not cause much increase in leverage needed. Perhaps if your right arm has a palsy of some type and isn't normal strength, then perhaps you wouldn't be able to select gears. The sleeve and shaft would need to be cut down and a new collar attached to the tube, but as long as the lift collar got the reverse lock out mechanism high enough to clear the lockout, then it should work like stock.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The '94 shifter is a bit different, but it is possible to shorten both the shift rod and the reverse lockout tube... But it ins't easy.

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you're after a shorter throw and not necessarily a shorter shift lever, it's really easy to accomplish. The cable adjustment rod ends are bolted to the translator from the bottom. These can be bolted into the translator from the top instead, and it gives a much shorter throw (front to back...side to side stays the same). I had to make a few adjustments to the shift linkage, but nothing drastic. It's much easier if you pull the boot so you can get to it from the top or bottom.

The level of effort to shift after I got everything adjusted isn't much different from stock, and I find it much more crisp and enjoyable, plus it can be put back to stock at any time.

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dalefield View Post
If you're after a shorter throw and not necessarily a shorter shift lever, it's really easy to accomplish. The cable adjustment rod ends are bolted to the translator from the bottom. These can be bolted into the translator from the top instead, and it gives a much shorter throw (front to back...side to side stays the same). I had to make a few adjustments to the shift linkage, but nothing drastic. It's much easier if you pull the boot so you can get to it from the top or bottom.

The level of effort to shift after I got everything adjusted isn't much different from stock, and I find it much more crisp and enjoyable, plus it can be put back to stock at any time.

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Using the drawing you posted, which parts do you undo and put where?
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Using the drawing you posted, which parts do you undo and put where?
The arrow for Cable Adjustment is pointed almost directly at the rod ends that are bolted into the Translator, which is also identified with a label. From the top side of the Translator, remove the nuts holding each of the Cable Adjustment ends that are bolted into the translator. Then remove the Ends from the Translater from below, loosen the lock nuts and turn each of the Cable Adjustment ends 180 degrees and retighten the lock nuts so the bolts are now facing down, and put the bolts back into the Translator from above, then the nuts will need to be put on from below. This, plus the adjustment, is why it's WAAAY easier with the boot removed.

I had issues when I first did it getting into reverse. I made some adjustments that fixed reverse, but then I couldn't get into 5th. Then I quit trying to adjust it with the 4 degree angle offset or whatever the manual says...don't remember exactly. I figured that was correct for the stock configuration, but it wasn't working for me. Instead, I loosened the pinch bolt (just under the label Translator Tie Rod) so the Cross Shaft Extension could move freely, put the transmission in 5th by hand using the Translator at the gear box , put the gear lever in 5th, and tightened the pinch bolt in place. The pinch tries to move when tightening, so I used pliers to block it from sliding down the shaft while I tightened the pinch bolt. Everything lines up perfectly now. I think it's the best it's shifted in years.

Did that description make any sense?

PS. That was just what I had to do...if you try it, I wouldn't adjust anything at first. I'd reverse the Ends on the Translator and see how it shifts. I suspect mine gradually drifted out of adjustment anyway prior to doing this, and I was just so used to it after all these years, that I didn't notice.

Last edited by dalefield; 02-19-2013 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Guys, That was my car i sold over the holidays. I upgraded to a 1998! what a difference!
anyway......it was simple. I used the lower portion of the stock shaft only.

1. Cut off the upper part where its get smaller.
2. Drilled out the opening to a larger diam.
3. Purchased a ford focus short shifter. ($25.00 Ebay)
4. cut the lower portion off.
5. fitted into the stock lower and used a new pin to hold in place.
6. used the outer reverse from the ford shifter and modified to attach the the reverse lockout of the lotus.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey Guys, That was my car i sold over the holidays. I upgraded to a 1998! what a difference!
anyway......it was simple. I used the lower portion of the stock shaft only.

1. Cut off the upper part where its get smaller.
2. Drilled out the opening to a larger diam.
3. Purchased a ford focus short shifter. ($25.00 Ebay)
4. cut the lower portion off.
5. fitted into the stock lower and used a new pin to hold in place.
6. used the outer reverse from the ford shifter and modified to attach the the reverse lockout of the lotus.

John G
How was the shifter action after this modification?
How much higher was the effort?

Also, what color did you powder coat the wheels on it? Thinking about doing mine the same color when I get a set of Saturns I am working on acquiring..
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Shortened shifter

It was not that much harder. It just felt more notchie! It was much more comfortable than the original.

As far as the wheels I painted them myself. I sprayed them with a flops black and then used a gold from plasticolor and finished with a clear coat

If your interested, I'm looking sell my saturns on my V8


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Old 02-20-2013, 06:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some points about this mod -- it's only for pre-'94 cars with the cables routed to the left side of the transaxle, and if anything in the mechanism is worn, the shift effort will be horrible. The cables, translator, and cross shaft support are the main culprits. Also, you may need to fettle the muffler bracket to avoid interference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalefield View Post
If you're after a shorter throw and not necessarily a shorter shift lever, it's really easy to accomplish. The cable adjustment rod ends are bolted to the translator from the bottom. These can be bolted into the translator from the top instead, and it gives a much shorter throw (front to back...side to side stays the same). I had to make a few adjustments to the shift linkage, but nothing drastic. It's much easier if you pull the boot so you can get to it from the top or bottom.

The level of effort to shift after I got everything adjusted isn't much different from stock, and I find it much more crisp and enjoyable, plus it can be put back to stock at any time.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sanj View Post
Some points about this mod -- it's only for pre-'94 cars with the cables routed to the left side of the transaxle, and if anything in the mechanism is worn, the shift effort will be horrible. The cables, translator, and cross shaft support are the main culprits. Also, you may need to fettle the muffler bracket to avoid interference.
actually, it's pre 93.5s that have the cables routed to the left side of the transaxle. 93.5s have the same setup as the S4.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The one this was done to is a 1995 do the posts on only pre 94 are confusing
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The one this was done to is a 1995 do the posts on only pre 94 are confusing
Sanj was carifying my post. I failed to mention the applicable years that the shift action can be shortened by just altering the configuration of the cables rather than modifying the shifter as in the OP.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sanj View Post
Some points about this mod -- it's only for pre-'94 cars with the cables routed to the left side of the transaxle, and if anything in the mechanism is worn, the shift effort will be horrible. The cables, translator, and cross shaft support are the main culprits. Also, you may need to fettle the muffler bracket to avoid interference.
Sanj, are you sure about that? I've done it to a couple of 94 and 95 cars with the cables on the right and it sure shortened the shift...
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I had a bit of a brain-fart, I guess I was responding based on the accompanying picture. Of course, it would work the same on a right-hand cable car, too.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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is this the type of Focus shifter you used? What knob did you use? The one in your picture looks like a stock knob that's been recovered.

Short Shifter Ford Focus 02 03 04 05 06 ZX3 ZX5 | eBay

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Old 02-25-2013, 09:05 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, that is the same one i used. I also did re-use the stock and covering it wit a carbon fiber vinyl film. Was planing on replacing it with a new one, but sold it before i could.

I also had to tap the knob so that i could just screw it on.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Someone needs to do this and document the process! Or build a kit with instructions, etc. I would pay for it!
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:26 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I will be doing this for my 98 soon. I will take photos of the process and share.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:21 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I will be doing this for my 98 soon. I will take photos of the process and share.
Excellent! I'd be glad to pay you for your modifying the Ford short shifter for me... Open to doing this?
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