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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:05 am 
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The shifters in our vehicles operate with a shift linkage to move the selector forks inside the tranny, and an extension rod to provide a fixed reference point for the shift lever to move regardless of engine movement. The shift lever pivots at the shifter housing, and the extension rod is fixed to a guide plate. The shifter housing and guide plate are joined together by a molded rubber bushing. This was likely a decision made by Suzuki to increase operator comfort, and it works wonders to isolate engine vibration, and it cushions the shifter a bit if you push on the lever too hard. However those same rubber bushings also enormously dull the tactile feedback from the transmission, and probably even delay your shifts slightly as well.

I was first introduced to this mod a few years ago, when I helped a friend of mine install a bushing delete kit on his DSM. The DSM's shifter bushings come out easily with a couple screws, and then machined steel disks can be easily inserted to complete the mod. The Suzuki's shifter housing is nothing like the DSM. In fact, this mod is both messy and labor intensive to perform. :razz:


Performing the mod:

Step 1: Remove the shifter housing with guide plate from the car. The shifter housing is attached to the floor pan with four 12mm nuts, the guide plate is attached to the extension rod with four 10mm bolts.

Step 2: Strip the shifter housing down completely (the snap ring can stay). This is what it should look like once it's stripped:
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Step 3: Make a note of how the guide plate is positioned in relation to the shifter housing. You might want to make some template of some kind to line things up. I ended up just eyeballing everything. Now take a knife and sever the bushings that link the two pieces together.
Image

Step 4: Use a wire wheel and strip all the rubber off. This will get messy, you'll be spraying rubber debris all the place, some of it may melt or burn.
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Step 5: Weld some steel brackets onto the shifter housing. Again, I eyeballed this with some scrap I had on hand, so improvise as necessary. The idea here is to link the shifter housing to the guide plate with solid metal. These parts will be subjected to torsional forces, so go crazy on the welds. I didn't care how ugly my welds were, as long as I got good weld penetration. No one is ever gonna see this once it's assembled.
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Step 6: Now we do some test fitting. My brackets were too big, so I used an angle grinder to shave them down. This is also the stage where you can fine tune the position of the parts. I eyeballed this too! :mrgreen:
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Step 7: Once the pieces fit, finish welding the pieces together. Again go crazy with the welds.
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Step 8: Clean the metal up, and prime it
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Step 9: Paint
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Step 10: Install. I discovered that all my eyeballing yielded a part that wasn't completely straight, but fortunately the factory slotted screw holes were forgiving enough to overlook my sloppy metalwork. :wink:


Conclusions:

Words cannot describe the improvement to shifter feel. If a short shifter is Stage 1, this is certainly Stage 2, as this mod improves feel by at least the same order of magnitude as upgrading from a stock shifter, to a short shifter. There is a markedly improved sensation of precision. Whereas before when you pushed on the shifter, you felt the spongy resistance of the bushings being compressed, you are now welcomed by the distinct feeling of one metal part slotting directly into another. There is no rubbery ambiguity of what's going under the car. The shift starts the moment you touch the shifter. There's a satisfying 'CLUNK' when you change gears. The shifter stops dead after you engage a gear. Also you can now get a tactile sense of what the engine is doing. You'll be able to feel the rhythm of the engine through the shifter. Every blip of the throttle, even that minor idle glitch, all now pulsate in the palm of your hand.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:08 am 
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That is a very interesting mod. It sounds like something everyone would like if they don't care about comfort. Are you thinking of making some more and selling them? If not maybe you should talk to Jard and get him to make some light weight aluminum shifter housings through Turbine Tech. I really need to buy a welder and do this stuff myself someday......

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:23 am 
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The car picks up a frequency range of sound, some quiet, some deafening, depending on rpm. The other rod (not the linkage one, but the other rod that goes from your trans to your floor now) transmits all it's vibration through it to the floor, no longer insulated from the body.

Lihtan's mod does work, and it works well, but it won't be suited for your girlfriend to ride in very often.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:36 am 
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Perhaps this is another place for a polyurethane bush or simply filling in the voids as some folks have done with the engine mounts.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:35 am 
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Lihtan wrote:
I didn't care how ugly my welds were, as long as I got good weld penetration.


While I couldn't be sure from just these pictures, those welds don't look like they have good penetration at all. In fact, they look like they are completely porous. Did you not have shielding gas? The crap on the exterior of the welds gives a good indication of whats at the interface of the filler material and base material (ie, not good).

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:49 am 
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I did fill mine with urethane. A few years ago. It did improve the feel. I have been thinking of making an adjustable height mount. To adjust the shifter up when doing a short throw. So the clearence to the exhaust will be better. Plus the over all height at the top will not change.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:39 pm 
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Roy Dean wrote:
Lihtan wrote:
I didn't care how ugly my welds were, as long as I got good weld penetration.


While I couldn't be sure from just these pictures, those welds don't look like they have good penetration at all. In fact, they look like they are completely porous. Did you not have shielding gas? The crap on the exterior of the welds gives a good indication of whats at the interface of the filler material and base material (ie, not good).


I'm gonna guess he used an innershield (gasless flux core) wire? Horribly messy stuff with all the dingleberries and not to mention it smokes like a crack head-

Just curious, what wire did you use?

I think I'm going to pull my shifter apart and do the same...... thanks for the tip Lithan!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:27 pm 
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I never would've thought of this. Interesting mod, thanks for the how-to!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:04 pm 
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Great write-up!

Thanks for sharing that with us.

Philippe


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:35 am 
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airwerks wrote:
Roy Dean wrote:
While I couldn't be sure from just these pictures, those welds don't look like they have good penetration at all. In fact, they look like they are completely porous. Did you not have shielding gas? The crap on the exterior of the welds gives a good indication of whats at the interface of the filler material and base material (ie, not good).


I'm gonna guess he used an innershield (gasless flux core) wire? Horribly messy stuff with all the dingleberries and not to mention it smokes like a crack head-

Just curious, what wire did you use?

I think I'm going to pull my shifter apart and do the same...... thanks for the tip Lithan!


I'll be the first to admit that this isn't my best welding. I'd say about half the welds are kinda sketchy looking. Usually on stuff like panel seams, I'll grind it down afterwards, and reweld any pinholes. The welding was perfomed with fluxcore wire.

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...can you inlighten me about lihtan's
( miracle pour hole)
maybe a picture Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:33 pm 
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Ah hah! Flux core it was! :) In Lithan's defense, flux core before cleanup does look mighty nasty compared to a solid or dual shield wire.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:31 pm 
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I was thinking of polying everything I can in my car when I get a tube of it, this will be one of the things I will do. I dont feel like welding it, but good write up

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:23 am 
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I'm revisting topic because I've found that after this mod, there is vert little play left in the extension rod, to accomodate transmission removal. If you need to remove your transmission, the extension rod needs to be disconnected from the guide plate at the shifter housing.

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jaguar,vettes&sprints wrote:
...can you inlighten me about lihtan's
( miracle pour hole)
maybe a picture Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:33 am 
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im curious though lihtan, if I were to take it all apart like you had, and rather than cut and weld, fill the voids with poly, do you think there were be a noticable difference there, or is the stock rubber the spongy part and it wont do much? even if its 50% as solid as yours, anything is better than stock

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:28 pm 
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Based on my experience with poly and filling motor/tranny mounts, I would guess you would gain at least 50% stiffness. There is a fair amount of empty space in that bushing.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:02 pm 
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martinq wrote:
Based on my experience with poly and filling motor/tranny mounts, I would guess you would gain at least 50% stiffness. There is a fair amount of empty space in that bushing.


yeah but how would it feel as compared to what he did? Ive done my fair share of poly mounts so I know what its like and how useful it can be, but when there isnt that much force going into moving it does it really matter? (ie the shifter housing)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:00 pm 
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swift13b wrote:
yeah but how would it feel as compared to what he did? Ive done my fair share of poly mounts so I know what its like and how useful it can be, but when there isnt that much force going into moving it does it really matter? (ie the shifter housing)

All it takes is a bit of time, dirt, and glue to try it out. I'm sure it will improve the feel (more direct) and increase the vibration / noise. Whether you like it or not depends on you. You might want it more solid, or you might not like it.

Alls I can say is, 'try it and see'.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:33 pm 
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I filled my shifter bushing in with a solid urethane casting compound and it works wonderfully. There is a great improvement in shifter feel. I also had a homemade short throw shifter.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:50 am 
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So are these shifter housings the same on G10's aswell as GTi's?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:30 pm 
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yes I believe so, or atleast very very similar

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:01 pm 
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The extension rod is apparently different between 3 and 4 cylinder vehicles.

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jaguar,vettes&sprints wrote:
...can you inlighten me about lihtan's
( miracle pour hole)
maybe a picture Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:50 pm 
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Lihtan wrote:
The extension rod is apparently different between 3 and 4 cylinder vehicles.

i can confirm this, it's due to the shorter engine.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:53 pm 
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i know its old and a sticky, but just a hint to help keep things lined up. use a 2x6 piece of wood with a hole saw and 1/2' drill bit.

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