thoughts about transmission shifters

Rod Midkiff

True Classic
I have been poking around thinking about the Honda motor swaps. focusing on the transmission shifters.

many people are making cable shifters work as using the direct linkage(going under the trans and then building a coupler thing)

? has anyone thought about tearing the transmission apart and drilling the case to run the shifter shaft the other direction out the case?
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
I've never looked at a Honda trans, but most of the units that I have gone through seem like it would be rather difficult to do that. Typically there are a lot of other parts in the way and it would require a bunch of specially machined parts at the very least. Plus getting everything to work just right may not be easy. I think the external work arounds are more practical and much more cost effective. But I'm just speculating.
 

Rod Midkiff

True Classic
It's just a thought I had, so I am tossing it out for pondering. I have found a 96 Acura Integra with b18c1, thinking about it $1700. But I have so many projects right now and no room for another car.
 

carl

True Classic
Using a Honda motor and trans opens up another option that X owners never had, an automatic.
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
If I were to do a Honda engine swap, I think the "B" series makes more sense financially (and installation wise). And using the trans that it comes with (especially if it has a cable type shifter) also makes more sense for the same reason. So I would imagine that adapting the cables rather than re-engineering the trans would follow that same logic. But as I said, I really do not know anything about Honda's, these are just my impressions.

Purely out of curiosity, awhile back I looked at the prices for some donor Honda's. I feel buying a complete car is better than getting all of the individual components separately. If the Acura is a sound running/driving car with all of the components needed (and in good shape), I'd say around $1500 would be a good price. I'm sure you could recover $500 of that after you pull everything you need. So by doing the swap yourself, I imagine it could come in under $2000 total (unless you opt for big upgrades).
 

Rod Midkiff

True Classic
If I was not so far behind
on projects I would jump on this. Still thinking about it. but.. oh so many projects already!!
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
Ya, I've had to pass up on a few deals lately for the very same reason. If it helps any, it seems decent Honda deals come up often. So you should be able to find another one when you are ready.
 

autox19

True Classic
I originally did the rod under the engine/trans and was not happy with the results. it was very vague. could be how I did it, who knows. but I did NOT like it at all. I ended up do a cable conversion. I used a Porsche spyder shifter (it was before Midwest offered their cable shifter they use for the k20 swaps, I would have went with that if they would have had it). then routed the cables to the back and made an adapter for the push-pull of the shaft going in and out, and the other cable I made an adapter to move it clockwise and counter. I followed what subie people do to put the subie motor and trans midshift. but I still did like the feel. so more googling, I came across 914 cable shift converters. they did one thing different that I followed. What I have (and I can take picture after work) is 2 cables. one short for the push pull of the rod. this one goes straight under the engine/trans to a bracket connected to the shift rod. The other for the twist is much longer and goes upwards and around the front of the engine (cam gear side) then drops down the the same bracket. the pull of this one moves the rod clockwise and the push of it moves it counter. It feels awesome. no vagueness at all. almost notchy.

Odie
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
I came across 914 cable shift converters. they did one thing different that I followed. What I have (and I can take picture after work) is 2 cables. one short for the push pull of the rod. this one goes straight under the engine/trans to a bracket connected to the shift rod. The other for the twist is much longer and goes upwards and around the front of the engine (cam gear side) then drops down the the same bracket. the pull of this one moves the rod clockwise and the push of it moves it counter.
That was how we used to do it on off road buggies using a VW transaxle mounted mid-ship. There are kits for that application available.

But I think even easier (and less expensive) for the Honda swap would be to use the stock Honda cable shifter and extend the cables to allow them to reach from the X's shifter location around to the back of the trans. I don't recall which models and years of Hondas had the cable type but someone discussed it in another thread. Another reason to get the complete donor car rather than piecing things together.
 

autox19

True Classic
That was how we used to do it on off road buggies using a VW transaxle mounted mid-ship. There are kits for that application available.

But I think even easier (and less expensive) for the Honda swap would be to use the stock Honda cable shifter and extend the cables to allow them to reach from the X's shifter location around to the back of the trans. I don't recall which models and years of Hondas had the cable type but someone discussed it in another thread. Another reason to get the complete donor car rather than piecing things together.
depending on the donor car. most (not all) b series dont use a cable shifter. cost wise, when I did my porsche, most honda cable shifters were around 200-250 bucks the porsche I actually got for $70 on ebay. the custom cables were about $50 each. yes it si very much like mid engine VW conversions. (i.e similar to the 914 I saw) the issue I had with running it over the trans side was there was not a direct shot to the shift rod on the trans. the only way I could figure out (others may be able to) was to put the lever out to the engine side for the able to move. at that point the easiest way was to come from the engine side. remember the push/pull that creates the rotation needs to be at a right angle to the rod. anything else would cause the that action to also want to push/pull the rod in or out.

Odie
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
Odie, just to be clear I wasn't saying what you did was good or bad, only expressing my thoughts...and I have never even seen a Honda trans, so take it with a grain of salt. ;)
 

autox19

True Classic
Odie, just to be clear I wasn't saying what you did was good or bad, only expressing my thoughts...and I have never even seen a Honda trans, so take it with a grain of salt. ;)
I was not taking ANY offense. Almost impossible to offed me. I hack things together. its what I do ;) unfortunately it means I do things 2 or 3 times. but over 50 years I probably wont change. I will post a vid tonight showing. I was totally amazed that the spyder shifter was cheaper than the honda on ebay. the reason I would go with the midwest one if I did it again, is it bolts on (more or less) to the stock tunnel. I have to chop mine up a bit (and put it back together) because the spyder fits on the floor with the levers for the push pull above it. not like midwests that bolts on the top and the levers are below.

Odie
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
I was totally amazed that the spyder shifter was cheaper than the honda on ebay.
I'm surprised as well. I figured any Honda stuff would be about as cheap as you can get. Maybe there are enough people doing various things with the Honda engine/trans that cable shifters have become "desirable" (i.e. expensive). I think one advantage to a cable system is the flexibility (literally and figuratively) it offers in mounting, routing, and connections.


Really quick. (And dirty) vid.
That is the same concept as we did with mid-engine VW buggies back in the day. It worked well. So that does not use any cables, all solid rods?
I recall some guys tried to get too simple with their buggies and have only one rod all the way from the shifter to the trans input. On those trans the input is straight out the back (when mounted mid engine), and on a buggy you have plenty of space in every direction. So the single rod did both the "in and out" and the "rotation". But it was problematic. Sometimes simple is not necessarily better. Eventually the aftermarket began providing cable shifters for buggies and that replaced all of them; much smoother shifting and less problems.

Here are a couple examples:

download.jpg
download (1).jpg
denunzio2.jpg


And look who else decided to join the party:

PBS-type-1-shifter.jpg

PBS got into the transaxle game with the "Rancho Transmissions" (a big player in the off road VW stuff), and designed a cable shifter for them. I understand PBS later went to the "Mendeola" trans market (aftermarket high performance VW transaxle replacement).
 

autox19

True Classic
I'm surprised as well. I figured any Honda stuff would be about as cheap as you can get. Maybe there are enough people doing various things with the Honda engine/trans that cable shifters have become "desirable" (i.e. expensive). I think one advantage to a cable system is the flexibility (literally and figuratively) it offers in mounting, routing, and connections.



That is the same concept as we did with mid-engine VW buggies back in the day. It worked well. So that does not use any cables, all solid rods?
I recall some guys tried to get too simple with their buggies and have only one rod all the way from the shifter to the trans input. On those trans the input is straight out the back (when mounted mid engine), and on a buggy you have plenty of space in every direction. So the single rod did both the "in and out" and the "rotation". But it was problematic. Sometimes simple is not necessarily better. Eventually the aftermarket began providing cable shifters for buggies and that replaced all of them; much smoother shifting and less problems.

Here are a couple examples:

View attachment 23533 View attachment 23534 View attachment 23535

And look who else decided to join the party:

View attachment 23536
PBS got into the transaxle game with the "Rancho Transmissions" (a big player in the off road VW stuff), and designed a cable shifter for them. I understand PBS later went to the "Mendeola" trans market (aftermarket high performance VW transaxle replacement).
No rods. 2 cables. One that runs the front to back, the other comes around the engine then goes down for the twist.
My original had the single rod. I tried both modifying the x19 shifter and rod and the second i used the honda rod. Both kinda sucked.

Odie
 

TonyK

True Classic
I will weigh in here with the Abarth Swap shifter.

Although the Midwest shifter looked good, for this application it would too have to be modified. Seeing that I was purchasing in Canadian Dollars to US dollars I felt that modifying a 1993 to 1996 Honda Accord shifter to be a better solution to the problem presented. The Abarth uses a 2 cable shifter design. The clocking of the shifter cable mount needs to be reversed. Starting at the shifter the stock cables are used and extended with 6MM rods. This installation is on my car, Bob Martin's car uses a slightly more robust design that leaves the shifter much like shifting a motorcycle.
IMG_0828.JPG


There were some interference issues with the power window buttons that needed to be resolved in this design.
Here is the stock transmission selector.

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This is facing the rear of the car. What is needed is that it faces the front of the car. So a custom mount and shifter button were made and installed.

SAM_5354.JPG



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SAM_5356.JPG


Here is the new button that needed to be installed to change direction.
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What you can see here is that the cables go fairly straight into the tunnel and are short.

SAM_5363.JPG


No bell cranks, short cables extended by rods. The cables are wrapped with header tape because they are close to the CAT on the exhaust system of this engine.

TonyK.

Grimsby Ontario Canada.
 

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