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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to deal with the increased harshness of springs and that I'm too cheap to do a full coilover.
As a result, my attention has turned to other areas of my car that could use improvement. Obviously, the shifter is the first thing that comes to mind that I can actually do something about. (The throttle and clutch come first, but what can you do?)

So... Comments on installation and function of the shifter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And what's going on with xi swaybars?
 

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Now with Nano
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personally, I don't understand the need to make an already fairly short shifter even shorter. it's not like we're in the old days where even sports cars had shifters that were so long that one was tempted to replace the shift knob with a coors beer tap handle. back then, when I had my old mazda rotaries (including a 79 RX-7) it was actually very easy and cheep to shorten the shifter yourself. you simply remove it and cut off the excess to the point where the shifter widens with a hack saw. then drill and tap the hole, install a stud using some lock-tite then put your shift knob back on.

though the shifter in my subaru is indeed longer than in my BMW, I still don't see the need to shorten it any further.

personally, I'm not into "looks and feel" mods with the exception of my "230" M3 steering wheel.

what do you see the net benefit to you being for spending the $200-300 plus labor (even if you do it yourself, your time is still worth something)? can the benefit of a short shifter be measured with something like a reduced quarter mile time? :dunno: if so, keep in mind that it would be an extreme condition and if any reduction in time is measured, it will be miniscule.

the shortest stock shifter that I can recall is that of the mazda miata. while it does add to the car, it's certainly something I could live without on my bimmer. I suspect that it's a must have for the miata, though, because you sit so low in that car in realtion to the transmission (shifter pokes directly into the trans - no linkage) that there's really no other choice.
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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I've been reading about some problems with the xi version of the SSK (which has to be TOTALLY different than the normal ones).

But I have the 'regular' one in mine, and it was definitely worth the $200.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My objection is that I often feel like I'm stretching to reach fifth and third gears. I'm six feet tall and I'm most comfortable quite far forward in my seat. The slop also bothers me. A BMW should NOT be sloppy. As far as I'm concerned, it just doesn't feel right.

Issues with the xi version, OTOH, are a good reason not to get one. I'll have to find out about that.
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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I'm sure you've read plenty of reviews, and both mine and HACK's are in the archives here.

Costwise, the quality of the materials lives up to the cost, especially considering how some inferior kits cost more.

As for the worthiness of a short shift kit to begin with, I love how crisp and solid the shifts are, the shorter throws (I don't have to lift my arm off the armrest if I don't want to), and the lessened lateral slop when in gear.

I've said in the past that its not for everybody. Shift effort is a little higher (although it gets better after a few months as the parts break-in), and because of this, some people will characterize it as 'notchy' but others will call it 'positive'
 

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admittedly, I've been somewhat interested in short shifters and contemplate buying one every now and then. it's too easy to talk myself out of, though. I could always find a better use for the $200+ and I don't see any benefit like getting through my favorite back road any faster.

I think good service is hard enough to get with a stock car so if I ever go to a short shifter, it will be when the drivetrain warranty espires.
 

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desmoquattro addict
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SSK is one of the best mods i've ever done

This is a case of "don't knock it till you try it".

My long list of mods on my E36 ti include a supercharger, clutch stop, x-brace, short shift kit, and H&R/Bilstein sports suspension. The short shift kit is one of the mods that appreciate most, every day, every shift. It brings the quality of the shifter up to par with the rest of the car. I think most of us appreciate a tight/firm suspension and tight/firm steering. So why settle for a loosey-goosey shifter? Sit in a car with an SSK and you'll see what all the fuss is about!

I'm so happy with my E36 SSK that I already have a UUC SSK sitting on my desk for my new E46...and I don't even have the car yet! :thumb:
 

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Re: SSK is one of the best mods i've ever done

hantavirus said:
This is a case of "don't knock it till you try it".
well, you got me there but I have been around cars (and modified cars) for a long time, possibly even longer than you. :dunno: besides, I'm not really "knocking" it, just questioning it. the stock shifter is at least reasonable to begin with. it's not like we're comparing the difference here between the SSK and some old american made truck with a worn out shifting mechanism and a yard long shifter. maybe it betters the feel of the car and is preferable to some people. like I said, I've even contemplated installig one on my own car. what I question is the net benefit other than improved feel. admittedly, I have a mod that is more for "feel" with the M3 steering wheel but I am open to being convinced otherwise with respect to the SSK.

do any of you track hounds out there have a SSK? if so, what are your impressions of it? does it add anything measureable like decreased lap times?
 

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method to my madness?
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I'm gonna chime in with another "aye" vote for the SSK. I have the UUC SSK (w/ the cartridge bearing and delrin bushing upgrades, a given) and i was pretty skeptical at first, but i gave it a shot and i must say that in addition to making "spirited" driving a little more fun, ironically i've found the biggest benefit to come when sitting in traffic going back and forth between gears... It definately feels a little notchier at first, but that gets better. I also added a UUC shift knob which has much more mass than the stock knob and that, much to my surprise, made an incredible difference in the shifting effort. (of course, the physics makes perfect sense so i shouldn't have really been surprised)

Personally, i think that a good option may be to put a heavy knob on the shifter if you're just looking to change the feel or effort involved with shifting, and then if you want to actually shorten the throw significantly, install the UUC kit. I'm very much a satisfied customer and i don't, nor do i plan to, drag race around town. :D
 

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so there's this whole comparison thing that I once read on the UUC site. anyway, by the time I finish reading it, I'm left thinking that UUC is the best and all others are junk. I'm sure the UUC is good but isn't it like $300-$400?

kaz, which SSK did you get for $200?
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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31st330i said:

kaz, which SSK did you get for $200?
I got the UUC with full options (bearings, really, since the carrier bushings became standard right when I got mine) for $194 shipped from last year's Fanatics/pIX GB.

325s need the StreetEVO kit, which is cheaper than the CompEVO due to tranny differences.
 

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Now with Nano
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I'm thinking about heading down that way with the wife some time durring the summer. when I pass through, perhaps we could meet up and drive each other's cars.
 

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31st330i said:
personally, I don't understand the need to make an already fairly short shifter even shorter.
I don't know. I hardly consider the standard Bimmer shifter short in any respects. Its one of the farthest throws I've ever driven. It actually shocked me the first time I got into one. I expected it to be a lot shorter.
 
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