Why a short-shifter? - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 28th February 2003, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Why a short-shifter?

This is an obviously mis-informed question because I've never driven an M5 with a shortened shifter. But after driving my new beast for a couple of days, the stock shifter seems not too bad at all. And when cold (13 degrees F. this morning), I don't think I'd want to give up any leverage.

I guess my question goes out to the folks that have installed shifters. What were your motives or goals?

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post #2 of 10 Old 28th February 2003, 10:11 PM
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Re: Why a short-shifter?

Originally posted by ELEVENS
And when cold (13 degrees F. this morning), I don't think I'd want to give up any leverage.

Hey Elevens,

Mines not installed yet, but I've driven both, with and without.

With the Rogue Engineering SSK & WSR, you don't give up leverage. Thats why I bought that one.

The Weighted Selector Rod counter Balances and makes for a nice smooth shift again.

Visit www.rogueengineering.com for a better explaination. After you enter the site,. Click on the Yellow Icon that says OCTANE SSK

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Last edited by MIB; 28th February 2003 at 10:14 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 28th February 2003, 10:23 PM
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I have the Rogue Octane kit with the WSR and I love it. The throw is reduced but it's not ridiculously reduced. Effort has not significantly increased and I don't get the vibration that some other shifters seem to have a problem with. The only time there is some notchy feeling is until the beast is warmed up on a morning where it was 15 or 20 degrees F.

I think the short shifter improves the driving experience. I don't know if I can put it any better than that...it may be something that you have to experience to fully get the idea. Do you have any buddies with an M5 with a short shifter that you could try out? It's one of those things that if you never tried it, you wouldn't know what you're missing, but after having it, it would be very difficult to go back to not having it. I feel the same way about my Valentine V1. It's hard to try a radar detector without the directional arrows and "bogey" counter after using the V1!

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Last edited by XrayMD; 28th February 2003 at 10:24 PM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 28th February 2003, 11:06 PM
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The stock shifter is perfectly fine as is. I have my car for 22 months now, and still bone stock, except for a Dinan chip.

I once seriousely considered a short shifter and talked with Greg regarding his take on the subject. He told me that in stock form, the M5 shifter is probably 'shorter' and less sloppy than that in his 996tt. With this input, I was content with the M5 shifter until......

December 4, 2002, I bought a Miata with a short shifter. A REAL SHORT shifter (3"-4" total!!). The action is soooo precisce, every shift is just a tiny 'snick', and the lowered shift knob position induced a much sportier feel.

It's gotton to the point that now I feel the M5 shift knob is way too tall. It's not the shift action, just the hand position. So I'm tempted by a SSK just to lower the shift knob height. I'm sure eventually the shorter throw will feel great too.

Another point, I have enclosed garage both at home and at work, so I'd never have a real cold start, so cold-weather notchiness associated with the SSK should not be an issue for me.

I guess like Ray says, the SSK is something you need to experience to appreciate. A good parallel may be a garage door opener. I lived years without it, opening/closing the garage door manually. Then I got one, and wondered what was I thinking before.


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Last edited by chunpng; 28th February 2003 at 11:10 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 1st March 2003, 07:04 PM
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I find that the stock shifter is just fine.

I have a good feel for the gears, it doesn't vibrate, it doesn't have an excessive throw, it doesn't cost me any more money.

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post #6 of 10 Old 1st March 2003, 07:18 PM
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Because I kept pulling the shift knob off iwhen I got in the Z3! The M5 throw was so ridiculously long compared to the (stock) Z3 that I kept pulling off the knob on the 1-2 shift. After installing the Rogue kit, it's very nice, but a little stiff in the morning, even though it's in a garage that never gets below 50F. I think I'll adjust it one notch longer.
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post #7 of 10 Old 1st March 2003, 07:19 PM
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On mustangs, the short shifters had a neat feature called "positive stops". There were basically adjustable bolts that prevented you from shifting to far up or down.

So you can SLAM it from 1st to 2nd, or 2nd to 3rd without risk. I don't believe any M5 shifters have this feature. not to many gear slamming dragster M5s

a lot of aftermarket shifters will also have stiffer bushings and such to make things feel more "solid".

this not much of a performance reason to do it though.
and dealers love to find things just like shifters to blame for tranny problems.
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post #8 of 10 Old 1st March 2003, 08:06 PM
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If you have never driven a car with a really short throw shifter on it, you will never feel the need get a ssk. Once you try it though, you can never go back.


Last edited by BostonRocket; 2nd March 2003 at 01:37 AM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 1st March 2003, 09:14 PM
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Re: Why a short-shifter?

Originally posted by ELEVENS
.....I guess my question goes out to the folks that have installed shifters. What were your motives or goals?

I was looking for shorter, more precise throws -- got it with the AutoSolutions Kit. As a side benefit the wife does NOT like the SSK so never asks to drive the beast!


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post #10 of 10 Old 2nd March 2003, 04:40 AM
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Trust me, you have to try it for yourself. Go and testdrive someone's car that has a shortshifter. Then, you will be enlightened.

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