MPMOTO SHIFTER EXTENSION
I've been driving around with the Torque Solution 3" Billet Shifter Extension for a few days now and my initial feelings about it have definitely changed. 3" is too tall in this car. It looks somewhat clownish/boy racer/ricer which isn't at all what I'm going for. Additionally, it feels sloppy. It feels like the whole shift lever is flexing, and while the reduced shifting effort is still kind of nice, it's also extremely vague and reminiscent of *insert any large truck name made prior to 1975* in terms of floppiness and precision.
I spent a couple hours searching for 2" shifter extensions since the best middle ground for what I was looking for was somewhere between the stock shifter and a 3" extension, and the only options I found were from one unknown eBay seller, who is on vacation according to eBay, a company in Australia who wants $40 for shipping, and one from Raceseng who's charging $70 for a thick black rod (that's what she said). Options were limited, so I decided to make my own.
This presented a number of challenges. The 12x1.25 threads of the stock FR-S/BRZ/86 shifter aren't very standard outside of automotive, so hardware store materials won't cut it. I own no metal working or fabrication equipment of any kind. I also possess no metal fabrication skills, so proper equipment wouldn't make a difference anyway. I'd have to get creative with random things that vaguely resemble shifter parts...
For the 1 or 2 of you out there that follow all of my little write-ups, you'll recall that my initial goal way back a few weeks ago was to achieve a modern but retro look with my shifter and shift knob setup. It started with picking up a Mustang shift knob (it's not weird, it actually makes a lot of sense). Step two was adding the 3" shifter extension to enhance that thin long shift rod look (that's what she said x2). The shifter extension was a fail, so that's why we're here- making shifter extensions out of random things to achieve that initial goal, and for anyone thinking you can't achieve that in an FR-S, joke's on you (even though you're pretty much right), because even Google recognizes the possibilities in the screenshot below with the search term "Lamborghini gated shifter"...
The shift knob normally covers the small gap between the top of the reverse lockout and the bottom of the shift knob threads. With a raised shift knob, the white plastic on the reverse lockout is exposed. I was going for a modern but retro look, so I used a polished cap from an unlikely source- a faucet. I found the part at Menards in the kitchen/plumbing section. It does have a pretty classic/retro automotive look to it if you ignore that it's normally a sink part.
Since the 12x1.25 threads are such a problem, there is no available coupling nut that I could find. To get around this, I used an automotive part, but not for its' intended purpose- a lugnut. Specifically, a Gorilla Automotive Short Mag Open End Lugnut.
I thought this particular lugnut would do the trick because it looks like a nut with the base of a shift lever coming out of it already, and it had the correct 12x1.25 threads. The overall height of the lug nut is 1.125 inches. The plan was to thread about 0.5 inches of the lug nut onto the stock shift lever and then screw a 2-inch wheel stud into that to extend the overall shift lever length. After receiving the lugnut in the mail I realized that only half of the total length is threaded, so the best I could do was 0.25 inches onto the shift lever and 0.25 inches onto the stud- which didn't overwhelm me with confidence in the solidity of my expertly crafted design.
Technically my plan worked, but not really how I'd intended. It does look retro. It does raise the shift knob by about two inches. Unfortunately, it gives me that feeling that there's something half-assed and cheap on my car which makes the whole car feel cheap... I've already reverted it back to the usual shift knob onto stock shift lever setup that normal people tend to go with.
It felt reasonably good while driving. The effort was higher than it was with the 3" extension, but less than the stock shifter height, so that worked. Nothing fell apart while driving, so that's another win. In the end, I just don't want to drive around gripping onto a random collection of wheel fastening technology and sink parts as I shift from gear to gear. It was a good try, ish, but I'm gonna chalk it up as a fail.