Shifter Solutions for Various Motor Swaps

Bobkat

1979 x1/9
Looking to consolidate the various shifter solutions people have worked out for their motor swaps. K and others.

I know there are solutions for the K swaps, everything from DIY to aftermarket. But there a lot of other Swaps the people have worked out solutions that others can be inspired by. I am working out a shifter for my 07K swap with the matching VW 5 speed and have gotten a lot of great ideas from Xweb.

I had kind of settled on a 996 Porsche billet short shifter but always looking for alternatives.

I was moving one of our track cars and forgot how nice the shifter is . Like a cocking a gun. It is a ACR SRT4 with a OEM short shifter. Dug through some spare parts and found some Neon shifters that are basically the same. The shifters are very compact. All metal and have a large aftermarket for short shifters and upgrades. Even Hurst makes one. Making a mount would be dead easy. Looks like running the cables out the back would make it perfect for the VW trans without much alteration at the trans end other than cable mount and position.

Porsche short shifter.

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Neon shifter, Very compact all metal, big aftermarket support.

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Dr.Jeff

True Classic
In general I think most used shifters from non-Porsches will be much less costly than a similar Porsche part. But I'm a Porsche fan so I'm not knocking their parts at all, just making a cost comment. Although I must admit, what Odie paid for his Boxster unit isn't that bad considering. Definitely a aftermarket Porsche shifter (like the one pictured by Bob earlier) will be rather costly - relative to other options. I guess my point is if there's a good alternative that will work well (like Bob shows here), that is widely available and affordable, then why not?

Bob, please show us more details about using that Neon shifter with a VW trans. Especially with cables to allow retaining the existing trans linkages. After numerous discussions regarding various X swap options, I'm beginning to think a VW drivetrain may be the best choice. There are several different ones to choose from and they are robust, reliable, readily obtainable/affordable, and can make LOTS of power with relatively easy mods. Particularly considering the stock axles will fit the X without having to go with custom made items. The 4-cyl units are pretty much the same size/shape as the X drivetrain so installing one should be possible without a huge amount of cutting and fabrication required. Ideally I'd prefer a all aluminum option - which VW isn't - but I think it's worth consideration overall. Naturally this all depends on the specific goals for each build.
 

Bobkat

1979 x1/9
The Billet Boxter/996 shifters are currently available for $25-$50. So a cheap option in a custom mount. Neon would be an easy bracket to make. and would be easy to customize. Aftermarket short shifters versions go from 25% to 80% reduction and are all easy to copy with simple changes. Cables would always be an issue but customizing Neon cables would be an option as once again there is a lot of aftermarket available for changing the cable ends.

The VW 1.8s and 2.0s are cheap and develop decent power. The issue with a 1.8T is all the extra parts for the turbo. NA ITB conversions are an option and still can see 200hp fairly easily. The extra displacement of the 2.5 and the long stroke makes for a nice unit NA. Simple 8lbs of boost puts it in the 375-400hp. I am confident with upgraded fuel injectors to a 390ccs from a 996 turbo a 300 NA ITB hp is possible. The Iron blocks are heavier but not as much as you think.

Fully dressed 2.5T 07k Turbo with accessories, manifolds, turbo, pans, fluids, fueling, radiator hoses, wastegate, throttlebody, ect weighing in at 349 pounds with 4 pounds worth of chain. That is dam light for 400-700hp motor. My rough calculations had the NA 2.5 VW package with Trans and only one accessory would be approx 50-70 lbs heavier than the fiat setup. The front fuel cell will help with the re-balance of extra weigh.

The VAG trans is a real bonus as you said DR.Jeff, Strong, cheap and everywhere.



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Dr.Jeff

True Classic
Wow, those aftermarket Porsche shifters are really inexpensive these days. The last time I looked into buying one (many years ago) they were outrageously expensive (in my opinion).

I am curious. I'm assuming the stock Neon shifter arrangement has the cables going forward from it. What allows for a easy conversion to use them rearward facing on the X? And will that still maintain the standard shift pattern?

I imagine either using the Neon cables that match the shifter on one end, or the VW cables that match the trans linkages on the other end, would be the easiest approach to modifying them.
 

dherr

True Classic
Watching this as I am about to order the Alfa 164 engine and transmission for the 77 Scorpion. So keep it coming with the how to on getting the shifter modified for rear mounted cables.
 

Bobkat

1979 x1/9
Wow, those aftermarket Porsche shifters are really inexpensive these days. The last time I looked into buying one (many years ago) they were outrageously expensive (in my opinion).

I am curious. I'm assuming the stock Neon shifter arrangement has the cables going forward from it. What allows for a easy conversion to use them rearward facing on the X? And will that still maintain the standard shift pattern?

I imagine either using the Neon cables that match the shifter on one end, or the VW cables that match the trans linkages on the other end, would be the easiest approach to modifying them.

On both the with the shifter oriented in its normal position but having the cables feed from the back not out the front, The orientation is proper for the VW. Push the shifter to 1st pushes the cable back pushing the trans to 1st. As I remember the SRT cables are very stout so may have to look for a set of those. Modifying the end of the cable like Janus did on his mazda 6 cables would be easy and have adjustment. There are a lot of custom cable ends available so I don't think that would be and issue. Even using spherical bearings would make it even more solid.

The after market for VW trans end short shifter is also big. This is a replacement that offers shorter throws but at the trans not the shifter.

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Bobkat

1979 x1/9
Rather than try to re-engineer the shifter, I used marine cables that are incredibly flexible. It allowed me to run the cables forward, then loop back on themselves and into the engine bay.
so what shifter did you use? And I have always found marine control cables very soft and vague. I have been purposely looking for really solid shifter cables like the ACR cables. How is the shifter feel with the softer cables. It may be an option for looping in the engine bay if people need to do that.
 

Bobkat

1979 x1/9
So it seems that the OEM short shifters that came on the ACR srt4s were actually on the manual pt cruisers. A longer straight arm and a kewl ball. Other than motor swaps this would be a good candidate for even a stock trans upgrade. Shorty on top.
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dherr

True Classic
I used a ksport shifter in my punto gt/Alfa 156 gearbox conversion
It's a work of art
I really don't want to reinvent the wheel here, so will be very interested in what you all recommend for a rear cable exit 5 speed shifter that would work with an Alfa 164 5 speed in my Scorpion. Since I am putting a front wheel drive drive train in the back, I must need to make changes at transmission side as well as find a rear mounted cable solution or are you recommending using a custom longer cable set and the stock mounting on the shifter and transmission?
 

Bobkat

1979 x1/9
Because PT Cruisers are high performance sports cars that need fast shifts. :p
Hey don't knock the potential of that motor even in the PT. (one of the ugliest vehicles ever built) but right from the dealer you could option one up with Turbo Toys stage 3 to 340 wheel HP and 320 Torques. $1500 option. It has taken a long time for OEMs to come up to these figures for the turbo 4s in. But I think the short shifter with a long leaver was just to compensate for the high seat position.
 

Bobkat

1979 x1/9
I really don't want to reinvent the wheel here, so will be very interested in what you all recommend for a rear cable exit 5 speed shifter that would work with an Alfa 164 5 speed in my Scorpion. Since I am putting a front wheel drive drive train in the back, I must need to make changes at transmission side as well as find a rear mounted cable solution or are you recommending using a custom longer cable set and the stock mounting on the shifter and transmission?
Depends on the trans layout at the back. What I am finding is the a FWD shifter with the cables running out the back rather than the front will be push/pulling in the proper orientation. If not flipping the shifter 180 degrees does the trick. What you do loose a lot of the time is reverse lockout. But there is a lot of ways to make a manual RLO just like most of the old Italian performance cars. I will be doing a gated shifter so RLO will be relatively easy to do.
 
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