The MiataRoadster Short Shifter Strikes Back

New Parts!

New Parts!

Some of you might remember my MiataRoadster Short Shifter review. It was only a few months ago, and I’ve loved it every drive. But… well… it opened up a door.

See, I have this sickness for steering wheels. I have a good dozen or more posts in this blog about them. I love changing them out at random times throughout the year. Swapping steering wheels gives the whole car a different feel. I love that.

When I got the first MR short shifter, that “collect everything” part of my brain activated and I immediately ordered another one. Seriously. The same day I installed it, I emailed Bill to order another shifter. I wanted a collection.

It’s a sickness.

My new-new MR short shifter.

My new-new MR short shifter.

This is the new shifter. It’s one inch shorter than the standard MR unit. So, it’s two inches longer than the OEM Mazda shifter. It has no bend and it’s also the bootless model. “Bootless” means it’s just a thin stick with no taper and is designed to be used without a leather shift gaiter.

Also, a quick word about the little helper in this blog post – Lil’ Sharky came from a friend and customer named Kevin. He’s been quietly helping me in the shop over the past month or two. He keeps printers topped up with ink. He dusts. He helps with gauge photos. I promised Sharky that he could help with a blog post or two.

Thanks again Kevin!

Moddiction anvil shift knob.

Moddiction anvil shift knob.

I also picked up a Moddiction Anvil shift knob to go with the new stick. I actually planned on pairing the last MR shifter with a round knob, but I really liked how the Joyfast looked and felt. I held off. But since I had another stick on the way and Moddiction was running a Christmas sale, I decided to jump.

This monster is over a pound in weight. I didn’t throw it on the scale to see exactly how heavy it is, but it’s damn heavy. Monster is a good description. So is Anvil. It’s a huge hunk of metal.

Sharky and I had fun making faces.

Ready to get to work.

Ready to get to work.

Shifter vs Shifter

Shifter vs Shifter

Torquing things back down.

Torquing things back down.

Sorry for not taking more photos. I did so many with the first MR shifter review that I slacked off on this one. Everything comes apart so easily in these little cars. The whole shifter swap took only 10 minutes.

The second photo really illustrates the “bootless” feature on the thin shifter. It has a small landing area at the bottom so that the stock upper dust boot fits snug and the rest of the shifter stick is meant to be seen. And it WILL be seen.

That leather shift gaiter is going on vacation.

Underneath the shifter.

Underneath the shifter.

A Cobra shift ring and matching rubber boot.

A Cobra shift ring and matching rubber boot.

Installed.

Installed.

The shift ring I use in Sharka is a replica Cobra ring. I picked it up a long time ago… 13 years at the time of this writing. Cobras use rubber shift boots. When the idea of a bootless shifter and rubber boot came to me, I knew just the one to get.

One of the most popular questions I get is “How did you install the round shift ring?” The first photo shows it pretty well. I glued a chopped up piece of plastic (a CD tray – remember those?) to the bottom of the shifter. I used that as a platform for bondo. I then turned the square hole into a round one with a bit of body filler. Some sanding and satin finish black paint and the square hole was gone.

But that’s not what this post is about. Back to my new short shifter and awesome retro boot.

Sharka's evolving interior.

Sharka’s evolving interior.

Retro shifty goodness.

Retro shifty goodness.

Shifting nirvana.

Shifting nirvana.

And there it is. A bootless-shifter, round knob, and rubber Cobra shift boot. It’s better than I imagined.

When imagining these items together, I was really only thinking about the LOOK and not the function. I figured that the MiataRoadster shifter would be awesome no matter what. I also figured a heavy shift knob would probably be pretty good and if I didn’t like it, I could always reinstall the Joyfast. And I *hoped* that the rubber boot would look cool.

All of these parts work so well together, it’s almost unbelievable. The shorter shifter is amazing. The throw is just a bit shorter than the OEM unit’s throw. The height is perfect. It’s closer to the wheel, but not in the way of the far radio knob. And that BIG shift knob? Holy crap. It feels amazing in my hand.

It is shifting nirvana. Perfection has been reached. Going through the gears is an experience. I’ve truly never felt a manual stick to equal this combination.

Perfection. I love when that happens.

Thanks for the help Sharky!

Thanks for the help Sharky!

Get your own short shifter at miatashifter.com. Your Miata deserves perfection.

« | »
  • kevin says:

    so glad he adapted to the new home so well, one lucky sharky !!

  • Paul B says:

    Hey Adam, any chance you have photos of this particular shifter installed before you put the center console and boot on? I should be placing an order next week for one of these. I have deleted the console so just wondering how it would look.
    Thanks!

  • Jac Cottrell says:

    Adam,

    Just to be clear, this is the “5-SPEED (STOCK HEIGHT/NO-TAPER/POLISHED)” correct?

    Or is this 1″ shorter than the long one?

    Shopping and there are a LOT of options…

    Thanks!

    Jac

  • Ben says:

    Hey Adam,

    Sorry to necro this post!
    But i’m looking my ass off for one of those rubber shift boots that will fitt my miata.
    Could you tell me where you got yours?
    Love your blog btw, keep up the great work!

    Ben

    • revlimiter says:

      Not sure what you’re asking about. The lower rubber shift boots are maintenance items that any Mazda dealer can get.

      The accordion Cobra shift boot is a replica Shelby Cobra item that won’t fit your Miata without bondo to turn the square hole into a round one. I got it from a Cobra restorer website.

  • Chris says:

    Hi Adam,

    The chrome Cobra shift ring looks sweet. Just wondering does it give enough clearance if I’m using the stock shifter? Looking at the photos, I’m not sure if gears 1,2,5 & R will clear since the stock shifter is tapered with a thicker bottom. Thanks!

  • Leave a Reply