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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Getting rid of shifter slop - Does the SSC cables work?

:wave:

When I first purchased the Exige around 10/11, I was immediately discouraged by the shifter performance. Since then, as most have done; I've been doing all the research on what methods are available to improve the current system. After many hours of research, I've put together a cocktail of mods that I'll be soon installing - pretty common here.

One major thing that I'd like to improve is the slop or loose motion of the shifter when in neutral or in gear - that clunky, loose, wobbly dance the shifter plays: so damn annoying to say the least. I find that I double-take or have a lack of confidence in the system when driving spiritedly & downshifting from 5th - 4th. I always have to find it or think about the process in itself ensuring that I put that extra effort to engage in one click.

This shouldnt be this way, how Lotus approved & released a design like this is beyond me but I find it a lack of diligence on the engineering to the customer.

In my research of the LETSLA, ive found that the system will improve the overall experience however, it is not totally resolved. Found this video today while surfing & as you can see - a large contributor of the issue are the OEM cables. Currently going through all 30+ pages of the LETSLA thread...

My question is: Has anyone that has installed the SSC cables noticed if there is a rather significant improvement in reducing the slop? They advertise, "Teflon lined spherical rod ends eliminate slop, increase strength"

Can one get away with just the shifter cable or crossgate alone or is it a must to do both in pairs? Im thinking the crossgate cable might be more promising in reducing slop.

Even better if someone with the SSC + LETSLA can chime in with their experience. Is it worth it or just plain moot for the purpose of reducing the slop?

As seen here:
SSC Shifter Cable - Lotus Elise/Exige All - SSC-S2CABLE van Simply Sports Cars - Monkeywrench

Here is the video I found on YouTube illustrating the slop:


And as for the cocktail of parts I will be installing:

- Custom SS Weighted Shift Knob - (Work in progress)
- Stan's Spacer Mod
- Innovate 60A Motor Mounts - (already installed, probably 15% improvement)
- Sector111 re-ENFORCER
- LETSLA v2


Thanks everyone! ;)

On a side note, I wish a company like k-tuned.com would just come up with a proper shifter setup. I remember seeing an IMRP prototype that seemed to have died in the making. It was running a K-Tuned or Hybrid shifter setup incorporated in the system. That Yellow K-Swapped car has been sold :(
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This upgrade has just been installed on my car. Its a much smoother flow especially changing from second to third. The oem setup is too notchy.
Are you still experiencing the loose slop in the shifter as when it was stock & demonstrated in the video?

What kind of settings did you choose for the shifter & crossgate?

One thing im uncertain of with the LETSLA is if you adjust the settings on both the cabin side & the engine side OR just inside the cabin?
 

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Hey slightly2ned, thanks for starting this thread. I'm keenly interested in improving the function and feel of the shifter in my '09 Elise. In fact, it's the next thing I want to do to my car.

I have been thinking about getting a Sector 111 re-ENFORCER and a LETSLA, but had not really considered the idea of replacing the shifter and crossgate cables until you brought it up. Maybe doing the whole shebang will do the trick.

I'm inclined to believe that if you're going to the trouble of replacing one of the cables, it'd probably be a good idea to just do both of 'em at the same time. Do you know how big a job is it to replace the cables? Can it be done without removing the clam?

I will follow this with great interest.
 

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Cables can be done without removing clam. Remove the cover over the shifter, remove the undertray and diffuser, put the car on jack stands, pull the hair-pin at the transmission end, pull the C-Clip which attaches the cable to the transmission, Pop off the cable at the shifter (I think a 10mm open ended flat wrench works well), (Edit, remove the philips screw holding the black rubber cable locking block from the shifter, slide up and free the cable), undo the bracket (underneath the car, where the cable emerge from the cabin), unscrew the bolt which holds the emergency brake handle in place (creates more room to pull push cable out), tie a string to the shifter end of the cable, from the cabin push the now disconnected cable towards the engine as far as you can, from under the car pull the cable completely out, but leave the string you connected dangling.
Reverse the process with new cable(s), you can use the string to make it easier to pull the new cable in. First time through, the job takes about 2 hours. I had to replace one of my cables after about 2 months after I purchased the car used. The factory cable broke at about 40k miles. All of this is assuming you have a good set of tools to get in tight places between the seats and the shift tower, if this is not true, then you may end up removing the seats. Some people claim you must be "in league with the devil" to replace the cable without removing the seats first. It just requires a good tools set. Invest in the right tools, you WILL be using them in other tight places on your car.
 

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This upgrade has just been installed on my car. Its a much smoother flow especially changing from second to third. The oem setup is too notchy.
Hi Brian C...

Specifically what upgrade(s) have you made to your shifter? Did you replace one cable or both? Have you installed the LETSLA in combination with cables? Anything else?

Anything you can tell us will be helpful...thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys for chiming in. The install procedure for the cables is helpful; I didnt think the clam needed to be removed either to complete.

Willi-P, thanks for bringing that thread up. I didnt actually notice it last night when I was posting. Very good information there & practically hit the nail on the head. I've replied to the OP & asked him to give any further info.

I'd be interested in adding that spacer on the shifter the OP created in the other post to my mod list; actually will try it first with OEM cables. No, that is not the "Stan's Spacer Mod".

Here is the Stan's Spacer Mod:
Lotus Elise Gear Shift Frame Brace
 

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Nein Kinder
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I have a 2011 Elise SC with LSD. After getting a lot of shifts physically blocked by something during high-torque situations (up and down shifts), I've installed harder engine mounts, the SSC shift cable and LETSLA.

After extensive adjustments, I've concluded the real problem with bad shifts lies inside the transmission. You have to move the shift fork a *long* way fore or aft before you can apply force to the crossgate lever. It is possible to get almost out of the fore/aft travel and then get stuck between gears as you try to move the crossgate. I'm not describing a situation where you can't move the crossgate lever yet. Rather, there's a point where you can move the crossgate lever before the shift fork is disengaged - and then the transmission internals and the shift lever lock up hard on something. The only way to get unstuck is to reduce force on the shift lever, then move fore/aft again far enough before moving the crossgate.

The harder mounts should reduce windup and changes to the shift geometry. While the SSC helps with more precision and feel, it doesn't address the fore/aft problem. I've adjusted the LETSLA to speed up the fore/aft travel in relation to stock ratios to reduce the dwell time moving fore and aft. But the problem is still there and will probably remain to some degree unless the transmission is modified internally. I don't know what the lockout mechanism (between shift forks) looks like, but it feels like it has really sharp, square corners that need to be relieved so they are more gentle ramps.

Glen
 

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And as for the cocktail of parts I will be installing:

- Custom SS Weighted Shift Knob - (Work in progress)
- Stan's Spacer Mod
- Innovate 60A Motor Mounts - (already installed, probably 15% improvement)
- Sector111 re-ENFORCER
- LETSLA v2
I have the 60A mounts + the reinforcer. After you do these two, the car will shift pretty darn well. Gates are well defined and you know which gear you are getting or not getting. There will be no mistake about the 5th to 4th downshift. Shifts better than my friend's M3. I track my car all the time and no longer have any problems. I see more track people doing these first two mods than LETSLAs.

The SSC cable would be a plus and that's the last thing I may do just so I don't break the stock cable. Not a big fan of LETSLA for a variety of reasons but I just don't think the car needs a shorter throw. I understand LETSLA does a few other things as well, but I just don't think it's necessary.

Also, change your transmission fluid more often, particularly if you track.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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Has anyone tried BOTH SSC cables together ? (crossgate & shift - I know it's $800 for both just in parts...)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Has anyone tried BOTH SSC cables together ? (crossgate & shift - I know it's $800 for both just in parts...)
Looks like from this thread & Batman's combined - general consensus are just replacing the shifter cable. Would be interested in hearing results from the cross gate cables which should affect the side to side movement.
 

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Considering Glen's and Vantage's comments, maybe it'd make sense to install the Sector 111 Re-ENFORCER, the Stan's Spacer Mod (BTW slightly2ned, thanks for that link), and both SSC cables while retaining the OEM shifter mechanism?

I'd be nice to get feedback from somebody who has installed both SSC cables!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I hit up Troy at LETSLA to see what the status is of his shifter/cross gate cables. He's been saying its in development but that was back in 2009. Im wondering if the project has been abandoned?

There is one member Ive seen chime in quoting that he has Troy's kit; would love to hear from him. I think his name is Michael Mann.
 

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if its Michael Mann.. I think he's in the Bay Area as well... never met him though.
 

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Hi Brian C...

Specifically what upgrade(s) have you made to your shifter? Did you replace one cable or both? Have you installed the LETSLA in combination with cables? Anything else?

Anything you can tell us will be helpful...thanks!
Hey guys, I has SSC's do my shifter cable so I cannot answer your technical query, only to say the factory cable set up sucks. The SSC's cable upgrade is a must do. It was only one cable that was changed on my car plus the small spacer/ adaptor thingy they sell. I think labour cost was 2 hours plus the component.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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Could you elaborate more technically on the small spacer adaptor thingy? Who sells it? S111?
 

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Hey guys, I have Troy's cables. He and I went through it as the first test install. It was such PITA he decided not to sell them! Or at least that's what I last heard.

I have LETSLA, replaced both crossgate and shifter cables with Troy's cables (which look identical or very close to the SSC ones to me), and the S111 shifter reinforcer.

Wow... what a job the cables were. Partly because I was working with Troy to help refine his instructions, but this is not an easy job. For me it wins as the easiest-sounding yet most-PITA job I've ever done on any car (if anyone happens to have replaced the zippered rear window on an M Roadster, it's close to that, but a much bigger job). The problem is you think "cable" means bendable. The upgraded ones are very rigid. Getting them in through the center console is a real PITA, at least if you do both.

Furthermore, if you change the crossgate throw to be shorter, you have to shim up the reverse lockout bar, or your shifter will have more spring bias to one side than the other (in order to overcome the reverse lockout bar with a shorter side throw, you have to bias the spring left, which was unacceptable to me, or shim up that reverse lockout bar). I was going for OEM quality, though, so maybe others have gotten away with less.

The results? I'd say the improvement gets a B-. Yes, it's better. Does it feel amazing? No. It never will be anything close to an S2000 shifter because there are long, bent cables running a long way to the transmission. The S2000 has a short linkage to a longitudinally-mounted transmission right near the shifter.

I did everything all at once so hard to isolate the improvements. I think the LETSLA easily makes the biggest difference though. I'm glad to have the cables, but if I were to do it again, I'd start with just the LETSLA.

The re-inforcer does help the shifter feel less janky, but I wasn't 100% happy with the design of the re-inforcer. It's totally fine and works well, but I wasn't entirely comfortable with it pressing up against the bottom panel of the car with nothing backing it. On my list is to make some sort of spacer so the pressure as you tighten the reinforcer down isn't just stressing the bottom chassis pan. I think Eric at Suspension Performance mentioned he did this improvement, too. Seriously though I'm sure it's fine as-is--I'm an engineer and just super anal about these things.

One thing to point out--the hollow sound of the shifter housing doesn't help. A couple sheets of damping material like dynamat or VBMax in there go a long way. Part of it is a perception issue when you hear that hollow sound. Next time I have the console out I'm going to put some sound-absorbing foam in there too. Sounds silly but it makes a difference in terms of how the shifting "feels."

If I was to do it again, I'd start with just the LETSLA. I'd shorten the shift (fore-aft) throw by one notch, but then leave the cross-gate throw stock. I went one notch shorter and I find it's harder to find the gears on the track. Furthermore, you won't have the deal with the reverse lockout bar shim I mentioned above. Plus the LETSLA is about an order of magnitude easier to install than new cables, at least if you do both cables.
 
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