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Author Topic: MiataRoadster Short Shifter Kit - Wow!  (Read 118295 times)
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mr_hyde
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Midlife Crisis on Wheels!


« on: May 09, 2011, 09:31:36 PM »

There have been dozens of posts here and throughout cyberspace ranting about the horrendous feel and precision of the miata 6 speed.  Some of our most respected contributors have even replaced them with 5 speeds out of frustration.  I saw an '02 SE with an FMII wrecked at my last track day because the driver grabbed 6th instead of 4th entering a 100mph corner and couldn't get the torque to rotate the turn.  An inconsistent shifter isn't just annoying, it can be dangerous for you and the car - anyone ever get 3rd instead of 5th accelerating >100mph?

I give you the MiataRoadster Short Shifter Kit! http://www.miataroadster.com/miataroadster/miataroadster_short_shifter_kits/mrss6nb2t/i-412196.aspx  My initial impression is that this is the best single modification I have EVER made to my MSM (and I've done a lot!).  The feel of the shifter is simply transformed.  Period.  The only thing that remains from the original 6 speed is the pattern of the H.  It raises the fulcrum so it is a true short shifter.  The materials are top notch and the piece itself is substantial - heavy (in a good way) and beautifully machined.

There are 2 options that Bill Wilner at MiataRoadster has put together.  There is the tall version with the crook at the top that I got and a short, straight version at the OEM height.  I personally like the bend at the top because some of the challenges inherent with our 6 speeds (IMO) involves a leverage problem that is mediated by the bend.  My only disappointment is that I can't try the other version to compare without dropping another $200!  Roll Eyes

As with most modifications I do, the end of my test drive ends in Mark's ('95MSM) driveway.  laugh  I'm sure he will chime in here but I let him take the car for a quick drive and statements like "Oh my god" and "Holy cow" were streaming from his mouth.

This upgrade needs to be pushed right to the top of the list for every 6 speed owner who has ever been frustrated by the feel of the OEM shifter.  Even if you think you like your 6 speed currently, I'm confident you would feel like this is a significant upgrade.  For track duty, it is almost mandatory.  I have spent a significant amount of 'brain power' on the track concentrating on what gear I was selecting and I believe those worries will be completely into the subconscious on my next track day.  With a little seat time, it will be automatic.  If you aren't sold on the recommendation, find one to test drive.  PM me if you are in Seattle and I'll meet you for a beer and burger.  
-h



« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 03:28:13 AM by mr_hyde » Logged

2005 Black Mica #290 8/27/04 w/Factory Hard Top
BEGi Intake, FM Downpipe.  Nice and calm with an edge...

1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
Build Thread: http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24668.0.html

2000 BMW M5 - The Falcon - Daily Driver  reddevil

2003 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ambulance for towing '90MSM to play dates.

1991 BRG - Daughter's daily driver.
bigx5murf
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Posts: 2458



« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 10:27:43 PM »

The best ssk I've ever had the pleasure of using was the mazdaspeed dealer option on one my mazda3.  It had the bend just like this one. I was always hoping for something similar for the MSM.  Looks like this might be it.  I was hoping for a bend closer to stock height like the one on my mazda3 though.  But hyde's posts are usually spot on, I may have to just give this a try despite my displeasure w/ its looks.
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mr_hyde
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Midlife Crisis on Wheels!


« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 10:35:23 PM »

The photo on the website is an earlier version.  The one they are shipping has the bend closer to the top.  Take a peek at the picture of mine vs. the one online and you can see the difference.
-h
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2005 Black Mica #290 8/27/04 w/Factory Hard Top
BEGi Intake, FM Downpipe.  Nice and calm with an edge...

1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
Build Thread: http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24668.0.html

2000 BMW M5 - The Falcon - Daily Driver  reddevil

2003 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ambulance for towing '90MSM to play dates.

1991 BRG - Daughter's daily driver.
bigx5murf
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Posts: 2458



« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 10:43:42 PM »

Do you have a pic taken more from the side to show the height?  Here are some pics of the mazdaspeed ssk, for the regular mz3 I was talking about.

I had lots of people see this ssk, and reply "wait, what gear are you in?" or "your 1st gear hits 80?!"

Just about everyone commented on how they didn't like how it looked.  But those who decided to try it out all said it was the best ssk they've ever felt.  These included people who drove modified mr2, twin turbo s4, supra turbo, s2k, civic si, ms3, wrx, and even an nsx driver.



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demonsnake
Fourth Gear
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Posts: 292



« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 11:42:21 PM »

Thanks for the quick write-up. I saw that short throw kit a few months back and I was curious to find out more about it.
I have hated the feel of our 6-speed since I bought my MSM. So far, I have made mine feel a lot better by replacing my engine mounts with mazdaspeed competition motor mounts, replacing differential mounts with energy suspension polyurethane mounts and buying a very heavy joyfast shift knob.
Now, with your recommendation, this short throw kit has jumped to the top of my "next to upgrade" list.

Thanks Brian.

Can't wait for your "from the track" experience review.
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FMII (GT2560R | Hydra Nemesis 2.7 | 1000cc ID injectors | Turbosmart MBC)
FM 3" Exhaust
FM Frame Rails | Boss Frog Frog Arms | M2 Hard Dog Sport Rollbar
Koyo 37mm Radiator with FM Stage 2 Airflow Kit
15x9 6UL with 225/45 Hankook RS-3
FM V-Maxx Coilovers
Wilwood Front Big Brake Kit
3.63 Gears

Toy: MSM #190 (2/3/2004)
Workhorse: 2012 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x

- Vlad
mr_hyde
Global Moderator
Fifth Gear
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Posts: 7213


Midlife Crisis on Wheels!


« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 12:45:18 AM »

Do you have a pic taken more from the side to show the height? 
Here are some more.  It is in neutral in these pics.  I tried to get a straight overhead shot but it looks like I'm off center by a few inches.


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2005 Black Mica #290 8/27/04 w/Factory Hard Top
BEGi Intake, FM Downpipe.  Nice and calm with an edge...

1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
Build Thread: http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24668.0.html

2000 BMW M5 - The Falcon - Daily Driver  reddevil

2003 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ambulance for towing '90MSM to play dates.

1991 BRG - Daughter's daily driver.
davin
Third Gear
***
Posts: 212


« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 01:03:39 AM »

thank you for the review, i like the stock shifter but it could be better. I had a Nissan se-r and got the b & m short throw shifter for it, best thing I ever bought. it never gave me a problem even after 80,000 miles on the shifter and till the end still felt better then the msm. I will be buying one soon
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Blackhawk187
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Posts: 351

If you are going through hell, wear turnout gear


« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 02:10:20 AM »

Just getting use to my new MSM, I thought I must be doing something wrong as I've selected the wrong gear downshifting/upshifting. I could drive this car a lot faster if I didn't have the worry of selecting the wrong gear. That reminds me that that problem has never occurred in my BMW 330Xi six speed. This is a no brainer. Thanks for the heads up h-man afro
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2004 VR Mazdaspeed, FMLE kit, Harddog double diagonal rollbar, steel braided brake lines, Redline fluids, AC switch mod,15x7.5 6ul's silver,Magnecor 8.5mm wires, Porterfield R4S pads,M.R. short-shifter,FM stage1 clutch, Autometer boost gauge.
newold_m
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Posts: 533


« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2011, 02:49:01 AM »

Yep, it was a shame about that FMII at Thunderhill...

Your review seems in-line with everyone else who's had this shifter - looks like a really well designed kit and is a heck a lot easier than a transmission swap.  With your attention to detail, I'm guessing that metal rod won't remain exposed for long Cool
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'04 MSM: sold
mr_hyde
Global Moderator
Fifth Gear
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Posts: 7213


Midlife Crisis on Wheels!


« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2011, 02:57:00 AM »

With your attention to detail, I'm guessing that metal rod won't remain exposed for long Cool
It is actually very nicely machined and polished.  I don't have any plans to cover it up although the OEM ball looks a little out of place.  I might need to go a little more ricey than I usually do.

As a passenger with me for 3 or 4 sessions at Thunderhill, you can attest to some of the gear 'hunting' I was doing at various points around the track.  I'm very interested to try this out - I've been trolling on motorsportreg.com all afternoon trying to decide what event to hit next!
-h
Logged

2005 Black Mica #290 8/27/04 w/Factory Hard Top
BEGi Intake, FM Downpipe.  Nice and calm with an edge...

1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
Build Thread: http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24668.0.html

2000 BMW M5 - The Falcon - Daily Driver  reddevil

2003 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ambulance for towing '90MSM to play dates.

1991 BRG - Daughter's daily driver.
schmoo
MSM > Me
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Posts: 2275



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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 03:18:30 AM »

I wish there was some way to know whether the same goodness applies to the stock height version.

How was your shifting performance before this change?
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Driver-Limited Canadian 2004 MSM Track Toy in Velocity Red | FM Big Enchilada w/Hydra 2.7, FM AFCO Coilovers, 15x9 6UL Gen2 & Advanti Storm, FM Anti-Roll Bars, Carbotech Pads, FM SS Lines, FM Racing Rad, FM Oil Cooler, Momo Lesmo One Seat, Schroth Profi 2 Harness, HDHCDD M2 Hardtop with Harness Bar, AiM MXL Pro with Smartycam HD GP, Gutted Interior
[img width= height= alt=" border="0]http://www.uncommonpear.com/wp-content/uploads/avatars-signatures/IMG_5971-2-2.jpg[/img]
mr_hyde
Global Moderator
Fifth Gear
*****
Posts: 7213


Midlife Crisis on Wheels!


« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 03:26:55 AM »

I wish there was some way to know whether the same goodness applies to the stock height version.

How was your shifting performance before this change?
Let's just say I was still trying to 'learn' how to shift this transmission properly.   angel1  It was a challenge on the track.  The worst gate was in or out of 5th from 4th or 6th.  I would occasionally reach for 2nd and get 4th but I contributed that to driver's error.

I made a mistake in the first post - there is no 'long & straight' version.  Just the one I have and the short version at the original height.  I'll change the first post in a minute but I didn't want anyone confused who has been reading and didn't notice the edit.   thumup
-h
Logged

2005 Black Mica #290 8/27/04 w/Factory Hard Top
BEGi Intake, FM Downpipe.  Nice and calm with an edge...

1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
Build Thread: http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24668.0.html

2000 BMW M5 - The Falcon - Daily Driver  reddevil

2003 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ambulance for towing '90MSM to play dates.

1991 BRG - Daughter's daily driver.
newold_m
Fifth Gear
*****
Posts: 533


« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 03:59:30 AM »

With your attention to detail, I'm guessing that metal rod won't remain exposed for long Cool
It is actually very nicely machined and polished.  I don't have any plans to cover it up although the OEM ball looks a little out of place.  I might need to go a little more ricey than I usually do.

As a passenger with me for 3 or 4 sessions at Thunderhill, you can attest to some of the gear 'hunting' I was doing at various points around the track.  I'm very interested to try this out - I've been trolling on motorsportreg.com all afternoon trying to decide what event to hit next!
-h

It was a ton of fun and thanks for all the rides..!
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'04 MSM: sold
'95MSM
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Turbo clocked downward, new i/c plumbing


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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 05:54:22 AM »

I missed Brian's thread tucked over here in the "reviews", so I'm posting later than I intended.  

This shifter is remarkable.

I wish there was some way to know whether the same goodness applies to the stock height version.

The manufacturing details are the same between tall and stock heights.  I made a few shifts holding the lever at stock height and movement is obviously less than at the knob, but it isn't so tight that you get into the 1/2 alley when you want 3/4, etc.  Personally, I would buy the short version, but I suspect anyone that tracks their Miata regularly would/should get the tall one.  I think it might be totally slick to have the short version plus a thread-on bent link with jamb nut to add to the top for track use.  Just don't scrimp on the length of the threaded collar.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 05:58:17 AM by '95MSM » Logged

'05 running gear + '95 body
3.63 ring & pinion FM content: Blouch compressor mod, FM-Link, i/c & no-MAF intake.   BEGi: Stainless SGDP w/ metal core performance cat.   Custom stuff: Compressor clocked downward w/ new i/c pipe, big radius throttle elbow, 2.5" mid-pipe w/ Hushpower II, dual 2" axle-back w/ open Supertrapps, Toyota 4 pc cop ignition

245.2 whp on default FM-Link maps (with OEM midpipe)
schmoo
MSM > Me
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Posts: 2275



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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 12:35:36 PM »

Man, this is tempting. My shifts into 5th from 4th and 6th are always challenging and I've hit 2nd on a couple of occasions.
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Driver-Limited Canadian 2004 MSM Track Toy in Velocity Red | FM Big Enchilada w/Hydra 2.7, FM AFCO Coilovers, 15x9 6UL Gen2 & Advanti Storm, FM Anti-Roll Bars, Carbotech Pads, FM SS Lines, FM Racing Rad, FM Oil Cooler, Momo Lesmo One Seat, Schroth Profi 2 Harness, HDHCDD M2 Hardtop with Harness Bar, AiM MXL Pro with Smartycam HD GP, Gutted Interior
[img width= height= alt=" border="0]http://www.uncommonpear.com/wp-content/uploads/avatars-signatures/IMG_5971-2-2.jpg[/img]
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