Will a short shifter damage my transmission?

In fact, a high quality short shifter should actually extend the life of your gearbox.

To explain further we need to discover “what is a short shifter” and “what does a short throw shifter do”. The basics are – a short shifter is a shifter with the pivot point raised higher than the normal OEM position. The effect of this revised pivot point shortens the shifter throw for the driver. This has the effect of actually reducing the amount of leverage the driver has when changing gears and so lowers the strain on the transmission. More than that, a good quality shifter makes the shifter “H” pattern gate more defined, so the driver is a lot less likely to select the wrong gear. Selecting the wrong gear at the wrong time can be very bad for your trans. For example, imagine you are barrelling into your favourite corner, looking to select 3rd gear and accidentally try to select 1st! That grinding sound you can hear, is the gears in the gearbox grinding against each other, which is as bad as it sounds for the life of your gearbox.

The myth that a short shifter is bad for your car seems to have evolved out of the modified car scene. Normally by default the cars we modify most are older, including all of the mechanical parts and or course the transmission. We buy these cars then add more power, more grip, better handling and then drive them hard…….really hard! All of these things increase the strain the gearbox (which may of never been rebuilt…or serviced), the gearbox then fails and then people say, “oh my trans broke because of the short shifter I installed” Not true!

To explain further. When the manufacturers design and build a car, they will use a transmission that will last a reasonable amount or time under “average” driving conditions, with the designed amount of grip and power. Say you change just one of these factors. In this case we will talk about grip. With a standard wheel and tyre combo on a stock performance car, you can often make the car brake traction (i.e. fun and smoke!), but if you add wider and stickier tyres it takes a lot more aggressive driving to break traction or given enough grip it may become impossible to get the tires spinning. So previously with the stock tires the weakest link was the tyre grip, but with increased grip the weakest link will be somewhere else in the drivetrain i.e. the diff, tailshaft, GEARBOX or clutch. Then if you add more power…..I think you get the idea.

A quality short shifter, such as the type we make at CUBE Speed will not damage your gearbox.

Check out the following excellent article from Ron Celestine (SpeedHunters) on his thoughts around changing to a CUBE Speed shifter. 

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