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Old 02-12-2011, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Short throw shift kit?

Hello all,

Just purchased my first Lotus ('05 Elise). the only immediate flaw I can find with the vehicle is the shift action. My DD is a 997 C2 with the factory short throw shift kit; it feels like the proverbial rifle bolt.

by comparison, the Elise's gearbox leaves a fair bit to be desired. I'd like to shorten the throws and/or close up the space between gates.

I've searched LT, Sector 111, etc. and can't find any info about an aftermarket short-throw shift kit. Anything out there?

TIA!
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1) Search for the LETSLA kit and also visit this link:
LETSLA Install

You can shorten the throws at the expense of effort required with such a kit. I have no first hand experience with LETSLA. A lot of people love it, but then there are reviews like post #16 of this thread:
Is the LETSLA a "failed product"?

2) heavier shift knobs help

Two other mods that I've actually done have improved my shifter feel tremendously:

3) Reinforcing the shifter housing, which actually moves a bit due to the thin aluminum floor. Do a search and see that you just need some hardware, like bolts and nuts that you can try to source. Sector111 also has the parts off the shelf called the "reEnforcer":
http://www.sector111.com/track_parts/re-enforcer.cfm

4) Motor mounts. Basically prevents the transmission / engine from moving around as much. Huge improvement, especially when driving hard. But these cause a bit more vibration in the cabin. For cars driven aggressively on the street or track.
http://www.sector111.com/track/highl...trackmount.cfm

Edit: There was a shifter recall on some '05 models. Lotus replaced the shaft with something a bit more robust for fear of breakage. May want to check whether yours was ever replaced.
Elise Shifter Recall

Last edited by Vantage; 02-12-2011 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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sweet, thanks Vantage!
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GuyIncognito View Post
sweet, thanks Vantage!
No problem. Short of designing a whole new system, this car is never going to feel like the best shifting cars out there, but after the housing mod and motor mounts, I'm pleased. Vast improvement over stock.

There used to be a B&M shifter for these cars, but the new shifter after the recall made them superfluous.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This might help

http://www.billswebspace.com/ShifterReinforcement.pdf

Here is an article on how to reinforce the shifter housing to the aluminim floor. There is a threaded hole there on an 05that you just have to screw the new bolt into. It tightens up the shifter quite well. You'll have to search the threads on how to take the center console out before you do this mod. Other than that it was quite easy to do. Use these ideas if they look appropriate for you.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lots of us in LA have the LETSLA + motor mounts. Come out to a dinner meet and you can check it out.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by d-onion View Post
Lots of us in LA have the LETSLA + motor mounts. Come out to a dinner meet and you can check it out.
Yep, you can try mine: have both + oversized SS shift knob.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d-onion View Post
Lots of us in LA have the LETSLA + motor mounts. Come out to a dinner meet and you can check it out.
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Originally Posted by good2go View Post
Yep, you can try mine: have both + oversized SS shift knob.
cool, thanks guys. hopefully I'll meet you guys this Thursday.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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While participating in a track day in northern Illinois last year (Black Hawk), I met a couple of owners who had shortened their shifters. They told me they simply cut down the shaft, and I presume they did some re-threading. As I recall, their modified shifters were at least 1.5 to 2 inches shorter than stock.

I like the idea of a shorter throw, even if it takes slightly more effort. I formerly owned a Miata, and I loved shifting with tight flicks of the wrist.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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While participating in a track day in northern Illinois last year (Black Hawk), I met a couple of owners who had shortened their shifters. They told me they simply cut down the shaft, and I presume they did some re-threading. As I recall, their modified shifters were at least 1.5 to 2 inches shorter than stock.

I like the idea of a shorter throw, even if it takes slightly more effort. I formerly owned a Miata, and I loved shifting with tight flicks of the wrist.
Where this does shorten the through, it will definately increase the amount of tension that you have to use to move the shifter through the gears, which I believe could actually lead to possibly binding up the gears more.

I just installed the Letsla kit, and I will say it is a great upgrade, especially with motor mounts. But I noticed that where I have it set up on the 2nd lowest setting (the one troy ships it to you in) giving the cables a little bit more throw gave the shifter a better/more exact response. Where I am not COMPLETELY done with it yet, weather permits the final "tuning" I can say that from what I have so far, the more extra cable the shifter cables have, the better then shifter reacted as well as felt in my hands.

My suggestion is to definately get the latest letsla kit from Trueleo, as it comes with the necessary items to do "Stan's shifter mod" (you will need use a grinder to get the spacer and the bolt to your shifters specs, at least I did). And the rest of the install went well, and Troy did an awesome job helping out on the phone, even on a saturday (late into his evening as he lives on the east coast). That is what you call awesome customer support.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Shortening the shifter shaft also puts the gearshift further from the steering wheel, which isn't ideal for performance driving either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giantmcm View Post
Where this does shorten the through, it will definately increase the amount of tension that you have to use to move the shifter through the gears, which I believe could actually lead to possibly binding up the gears more.
....
I can say that from what I have so far, the more extra cable the shifter cables have, the better then shifter reacted as well as felt in my hands.
Same is true of the LETSLA (shortened throw = higher effort), right? Unless the ideal setting for the LETSLA kit doesn't really shorten the throw much if at all. Just gain precision?
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Vantage View Post
Shortening the shifter shaft also puts the gearshift further from the steering wheel, which isn't ideal for performance driving either.



Same is true of the LETSLA (shortened throw = higher effort), right? Unless the ideal setting for the LETSLA kit doesn't really shorten the throw much if at all. Just gain precision?
My LETSLA is at the shortest throw setting: it is more precise, quicker and less play or sloppiness to shift as compared to stock. The heavy SS shift knob gives it more shifting momentum and the engine mounts equal immediate response. I can certainly feel it -quick to kick in!The biggest improvement I've noticed is how quickly I can upshift and accelate getting onto the freeway. imho
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have a LETSLA kit I will sell you. Never opened, revision 2 I think. I bought it but decided I like the shifter the way it is. I did do the Stan mod though.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have a LETSLA kit I will sell you. Never opened, revision 2 I think. I bought it but decided I like the shifter the way it is. I did do the Stan mod though.
PM Sent!
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My LETSLA is at the shortest throw setting
Roughly how short is the throw at this setting?
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Mine is set to the 3rd setting and it is just slightly shorter than stock.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I did the shifter brace mod and noticed no difference at all. I was a complete PITA though.

I was really hot for a Letsla at first, but now I've gotten used to the shifter and it doesn't bother me. You can shift with the stock shifter fast enough to lunch the transmission as it is.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Roughly how short is the throw at this setting?
Very short! Roughly, maybe about half of the shift travel as before;short, quick and direct with no play.
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