Quick Shifts

Fast Car - - TOP 10 FAST ROAD MODS -

A short (or quick) shift kit can make so much more dif­fer­ence than you may think. In fact, I spent a lot of my early mod­ding ca­reer think­ing ‘yeah right, what a load of bol­locks’… but then I ac­tu­ally fit­ted one and im­me­di­ately had to eat my Ed Hardy trucker cap (yes, it was a fair few years ago, OK!).

The point is that, for the money, these items ar­guably en­hance the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence more in the twisty bits than any­thing else.

The premise is pretty sim­ple: to stop your gear change from feel­ing like stir­ring por­ridge. They do this by re­duc­ing the gear-throw – chiefly the ver­ti­cal dis­tance the lever has to travel to slot in a gear – by any­thing up to 70-per­cent. Many can re­duce the throw from side to side, too. Ba­si­cally, the quicker you shift gears, the quicker you’re back on the gas. And you know what that means. There’s two com­mon types: ‘di­rect’ kits that re­place the en­tire gear­stick, most com­mon on cars with lon­gi­tu­di­nally-mounted en­gines (think MX-5, 200SX etc). More of­ten than not these fit di­rectly into the gear­box, just like the stan­dard part. And then there’s the ‘link­age’ kits which mount in be­tween the gear­box and the stan­dard link­age on cars with trans­versely-mounted en­gines (VAGs, Fords and the like). Both are easy to fi­fi­fit fit for any­one that knows one end of a span­ner from the other. They’re spe­cial­ist parts, so you won’t find them for all makes and mod­els. But don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of a supremely-weighted gear knob ei­ther. The ex­tra weight will act as a lever to en­hance a fast, pos­i­tive shift.

Top Con­tacts Direnza – www.direnza.co.uk Jap­speed – www.jap­speed.co.uk Forge Mo­tor­sport – www.forge­mo­tor­sport.co.uk

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