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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently decided I wanted to reduce my manual transmission shift throw, but in researching the transmission mounted TRD Quick Shifter, I decided it wasn't a good choice for me (reports of notchiness and other shift issues). Since I have no problems with my OE shift mechanism, I finally decided to shorten the shift lever by about 3/4".


(original)


(shortened by about 3/4")

I could have dropped the knob by 1", but I found 3/4" worked better for me personally so I added a couple nylon spacers.


(raised by 1/4" from maximum drop)

The result is a much shorter shift throw and a much more comfortable reach to the knob. Looks sportier too :D! Personally, I'm very pleased with it.

What I'm now wondering is if there are others interested in having a shorter shift lever as opposed to going the TRD Quick Shifter route ($116 plus ship from TRDsparks). Since the xB2 shifter cannot be mounted on a lathe, shortening is a fairly long and labor intensive activity (takes me several hours due to the need to reduce the shaft shoulder before cutting the new thread), but if there's sufficient interest, I'm thinking I could start shortening OE shifters for people. Personally, I think about 3/4" off is about right, though it may depend to some degree on the knob.

Any interest? Any discussion (price, length reduction, whatever)?

PS. Should probably mention the only shortened shift levers I've found available for a Scion is specifically for the tC -- a very different design. The cheaper of the two costs $120 before trade-in and is also shortened from OE, though it doesn't have the tall xB2 shoulder. Both tC shortened shift levers have to be installed in the cage by the purchaser.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The view count is up to seventy now, and yet not a single viewer has posted a comment or question. I'd really appreciate input on this MT guys, even if it's only to tell me the whole thing is a waste of time because nobody wants a shorter shift lever (or whatever the reason might be).
 

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I have a Manual Tranny and I also have the TRD shift kit which shortens the shift throw. I like my stick the length it is. I don't see what is gained by just making the shift lever shorter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
boblamb58 said:
How long did this take you?
It took me approaching four hours starting with the OE shift mechanism. It's hardened steel and reducing that shoulder for clean thread cutting is very slow going :(!

Phobic said:
I dont see why people wouldnt want this, but personally I own an automatic. If I had a manual Id be down for a shirt shifter.
gr8scape said:
I have a Manual Tranny and I also have the TRD shift kit which shortens the shift throw. I like my stick the length it is. I don't see what is gained by just making the shift lever shorter.
Thanks both :)!

If you're satisfied with the TRD Quick Shifter, that's great -- no particular reason to change horses. If you weren't satisfied, then there might be :)!
 

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Was the point of this an alternative to the TRD quick shift thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Chrevis said:
Was the point of this an alternative to the TRD quick shift thing?
The point was that I wanted to shorten my shift throw, but my research into people's experiences with the TRD Quick Shifter told me I wouldn't like it. Since I like the shift behavior of the OE linkage (non-notchy, reliable gear behavior), I wanted to preserve it, and the only way I could do that was to shorten the lever. So, that's what I ended up doing. Yes, it's an alternative, but the significance is that it provides an alternative shift behavior.
 

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TrevorS said:
Chrevis said:
Was the point of this an alternative to the TRD quick shift thing?
The point was that I wanted to shorten my shift throw, but my research into people's experiences with the TRD Quick Shifter told me I wouldn't like it. Since I like the shift behavior of the OE linkage (non-notchy, reliable gear behavior), I wanted to preserve it, and the only way I could do that was to shorten the lever. So, that's what I ended up doing. Yes, it's an alternative, but the significance is that it provides an alternative shift behavior.
As a "performance issue" the TRD QuickShift kit works....I'm not sure what a shortened shift lever will do except change the ergonomics related to the driver's position, etc. The only issue I've had with my TRD QuickShift is occationally getting it in to reverse....which can occure with the OE linkage as well....beyond that shifts have been flawless (and fast). :yes:

Brewski
 

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As one of those who viewed and didn't comment before, I'll do that now. I am quite happy with my shifter as it is. I don't even think I would like it to be quicker or shorter because it's not that much of a throw now. Hubby got the URD short shifter for his XRunner, but his is in the floor, not on the console. My 4Runner had the shifter in the floor, so I can see the difference and like the one I have on the console.

The information and the ideas are handy, clever, and appreciated though, so keep at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Brewski said:
TrevorS said:
Chrevis said:
Was the point of this an alternative to the TRD quick shift thing?
The point was that I wanted to shorten my shift throw, but my research into people's experiences with the TRD Quick Shifter told me I wouldn't like it. Since I like the shift behavior of the OE linkage (non-notchy, reliable gear behavior), I wanted to preserve it, and the only way I could do that was to shorten the lever. So, that's what I ended up doing. Yes, it's an alternative, but the significance is that it provides an alternative shift behavior.
As a "performance issue" the TRD QuickShift kit works....I'm not sure what a shortened shift lever will do except change the ergonomics related to the driver's position, etc. The only issue I've had with my TRD QuickShift is occationally getting it in to reverse....which can occure with the OE linkage as well....beyond that shifts have been flawless (and fast). :yes:

Brewski
Hellen4Wheels said:
As one of those who viewed and didn't comment before, I'll do that now. I am quite happy with my shifter as it is. I don't even think I would like it to be quicker or shorter because it's not that much of a throw now. Hubby got the URD short shifter for his XRunner, but his is in the floor, not on the console. My 4Runner had the shifter in the floor, so I can see the difference and like the one I have on the console.

The information and the ideas are handy, clever, and appreciated though, so keep at it.
From reading threads, some are happy with what's on the market, and some aren't. I don't know what causes that variability, but something does. In any case, what matters is that people are able to identify something that works for them. The shortened shift lever has been successful for many (specifically tC owners), but they are a different group of people. If the xB2 community sees no advantage, then there is little point in pursuing it.

Speaking for myself, a shortened shift lever is an optimal solution :)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hellen4Wheels said:
As one of those who viewed and didn't comment before, I'll do that now. I am quite happy with my shifter as it is. I don't even think I would like it to be quicker or shorter because it's not that much of a throw now. Hubby got the URD short shifter for his XRunner, but his is in the floor, not on the console. My 4Runner had the shifter in the floor, so I can see the difference and like the one I have on the console.

The information and the ideas are handy, clever, and appreciated though, so keep at it.
Hi Helen, I just want to specifically thank you for your kind remarks. To give a more complete picture of my situation, I recently reduced my clutch pedal height and that resulted in the OE shift seeming relatively awkward. So, I investigated options and found there weren't any -- it was the TRD or nothing. Since I wasn't comfortable with the Quick Shifter feedback, I took a shot at a shorter shift lever and it's working out very well for me.

As always, different strokes for different folks, so there's really no reason for me to presume anyone's looking for alternatives to the TRD, but I thought it possible (since I did), and that led to this thread. Again, thanks very much for your thoughtful response :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thinking of the difference between the TRD Quick Shifter and a shortened shift lever.

The TRD Quick Shifter reduces the "linear" shift throw (fore-aft), but doesn't reduce the "angular" throw (left-right). Shortening the shift lever reduces both, though not as much linear reduction as the TRD. Although the angular throw reduction is at the cost of increased resistance (as it is for the linear for both shortened shift lever and TRD Quick Shifter), removal of the shift lever angular centering spring tames that (the transmission itself needs no assistance centering the shift lever).

In addition to reducing both angular and linear shift throw, reducing the shift lever height also lowers the shift knob. From both ergonomic and appearance considerations, I find this a worthwhile step (the knob feels much more comfortable to hand than previously and the appearance is easily more sporting).

Regarding the notchiness often attributed to the TRD Quick Shifter, I really don't know what causes that (too short a shift throw at the transmission for the OE design parameters?). However, I'm certain I'm not experiencing anything even vaguely like that with the shortened shift lever. It's doing an excellent job of preserving the OE behavior.

Also, if you particularly want greater mechanical gear entry feel, you can add a nonyielding bushing to the linear front cable at the transmission (IMO changing the rear cable bushing only contributes stiffness, not feel). I'm running a Lithium greased Delrin bushing on the front shift cable and it works very well and doesn't introduce any notchiness. The OE bushing is just fine on the rear cable.

As far as shift speed is concerned, I doubt there's much practical difference. The TRD has the linear throw advantage, whereas the shortened shift lever has the angular throw advantage (and perhaps ergonomics affect this as well); however, the primary slow down is provided by the synchronizers -- they function at the same speed regardless of what you do with the linkage.

My recently installed front bushing seems to be settling in nicely, so I just lowered the shift knob the rest of the way -- aprox one inch total :).
 

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TrevorS said:
As far as shift speed is concerned, I doubt there's much practical difference. The TRD has the linear throw advantage, whereas the shortened shift lever has the angular throw advantage (and perhaps ergonomics affect this as well); however, the primary slow down is provided by the synchronizers -- they function at the same speed regardless of what you do with the linkage.

Nice pictures....but, the rest of it sounds like a B.S. sales job! In my opinion it seems that the linear throw for the shorter stick will not compare to the TRD QuickShifter..and once again I've got to say I feel no "notchiness" with my setup.

Brewski
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Brewski said:
TrevorS said:
As far as shift speed is concerned, I doubt there's much practical difference. The TRD has the linear throw advantage, whereas the shortened shift lever has the angular throw advantage (and perhaps ergonomics affect this as well); however, the primary slow down is provided by the synchronizers -- they function at the same speed regardless of what you do with the linkage.
Nice pictures....but, the rest of it sounds like a B.S. sales job! In my opinion it seems that the linear throw for the shorter stick will not compare to the TRD QuickShifter..and once again I've got to say I feel no "notchiness" with my setup.

Brewsk
My personal linear shift throw improvement is 14%, obviously less than the TRD (similar to 30% as I've read). However, it also offers a 14% reduction in angular throw, plus improvement in ergonomics and appearance. As I said, I expect the effective relative shift performance to be pretty much a wash between them (ignoring the significantly higher linear throw resistance of the TRD), that much more so when you face the reality of the synchronizers. However, the question was specifically raised in this thread as to what the difference was, and so I've tried my best too fairly respond to that. That's great you experience no issues, but others have and standard advice to people trying to resolve their TRD shift behavior is to install non-yielding bushings. Clearly, something is going on. What I wrote above isn't BS, it's a fair description.

PS. IMO -- the best solution overall is the one that appeals to you best. However, as I previously said, if you've already invested in one, then unless you're experiencing issues, there's probably little point in changing horses. I'm in no sense whatsoever attempting to persuade you to do anything different.
 

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I have the TRD kit, and yes it did shorten the throw, but still I wish it was more. Would love to experiment with the two combined and maybe throw in the bushing too. I believe the combination would make for a wonderful driving experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Chaotic_Duality said:
I have the TRD kit, and yes it did shorten the throw, but still I wish it was more. Would love to experiment with the two combined and maybe throw in the bushing too. I believe the combination would make for a wonderful driving experience.
I'm just talking to a couple other guys about making shortened shift levers for them, would you be interested?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just had the opportunity to measure the maximum knob drop available using the xB2 stock shift knob. It comes out as 1-1/4". I suggest dropping no more than 1" since the angular side-to-side shift lever resistance will be increasing with further drop.

If you want to find out how much your aftermarket knob can drop, then measure between the top of the square plastic shift lever molding up to the lowest part of the shift knob that would contact it if dropped. The contact point may be higher than the lower edge of the knob skirt (as with the stock knob) so the max drop depends on the specific knob.

As an example, I shortened my own shift lever about 7/8" which resulted in a 1" drop with the above pictured TRD knob. For the stock knob, shortening by 1" would result in a 1" drop.

By the way, I've a couple shift assembly's on hand for shortening :)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just thought I'd mention there are several very satisfied owners of in-cabin short shifters at this point. Price is $99 with free shipping within continental US and APO addresses, plus I pay $25 for a good condition original equipment manual shift assembly. Typical reported install time is less than half an hour.
 

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I will vouch for TrevorS shift levor, I have installed mine and i love it! I really don't care about shifting faster, or any of that, the fact that I can adjust the ac with out reaching around or over the shifter while in 5th is what makes it worth wild for me! That was the most annoying thing ever. I love it, great product, feels very comfortable.
 
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