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