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