If your thinking about putting a
quick-shift in your car, it doesn’t necessarily have to cost that much.You can
make the linkage yourself, instead of buying an expensive one. There are also
Short-throw sticks for sale, but they require a different knob. They are in
‘free’ not in the middle of your console and don’t like the heat shields
underneath your car. And did I forget to tell you, that you have to take the
exhaust away to reach it?
Anyway, this homemade linkage has been
tested and does not hit the gearbox, leaves the stick where it is and is in
‘free’ in the middle but it gives around a 50% reduced movement of the stick,
without being chunky when you shift gears. Just follow the instructions
carefully. The down parts of getting it in the car are coming later, but you
will forget all about that, when you’re zooming through the gears as if you own
a Ferrari F40. I’m not sure this one will work in the new Turbo-diesels. You
have to find that out yourself.
First of all: race to your dealer and order
a new original linkage with the part number CI 244988. You have to push the
warehouse manager a bit, because it is a ‘special part’, which cannot be found
in the normal system. It has to be asked for at the importer, but the number is
correct. It’ll set you back around €35
you’re very sure of yourself you can use the existing linkage already in the
car, but that’s up to you. Don’t come crying to me, if you have to go pick up
your girlfriend in your mother’s ´85 Corsa 1.0 TR, because your own car is stuck
in gear and you cannot put back the original linkage!
Secondly: find the linkage bolted very low down on the sub-frame of
the car just next to the steering rack and you will see now what the down part
is for this conversion; the accessibility, or better, the lack of it. Work
from underneath or from the top, it doesn’t matter; you’ll get scratches over
your hands and arms anyway. Or take out the engine, which gives you all the
space you need, but I think that’s a little bit drastic…
Anyway, now it is time for getting the
linkage out of the car. That brings us nicely to down part #2: the, with
tread-lock covered, long M16 bolt, to be screwed upwards, out of the sub-frame.
Be sure you eat first, have a full cup of coffee close to you, a couple of cigarettes
and a full lighter within reach, cause you’ll need it. It will take you
When there is no thread left, pull out the
bolt and you will find a washer at the top and bottom of the linkage. Be careful, you can lose the lower one easily. Now twist the linkage, to release
the small ball joint at the end of the rod, connecting it with the gearbox. And
finally remove the two nylon bushes out of the linkage, because you don’t get
them with your new one.
Now it’s time to modify your new fresh
linkage. This is difficult to explain in words, so I made some drawings to
clarify the modification. Before you do any cutting or welding, pull off the
white nylon ball, otherwise the heat from cutting and welding does it for you… Keep
in mind to stick to the dimensions as much as possible, even though I know it
is a little difficult to measure them. Don’t forget the 10° cut-out, to change
the angle from 80° to 90°, because this will put the stick back in the middle.
If want to be sure the angles and distances
are correct, just spot-weld it all first, put it in the car and see if it will
work standing still. Don’t feel the urge of going for a spin, because you will
probably be ending up stuck in 5th gear, in the middle of nowhere,
because it cannot cope with the forces and break off! And keep in mind that
the new style silent-block motor rubbers make the engine and gearbox rock a lot
more than you expect. So keep enough clearances everywhere.
After that take it out and, weld it solid.
Oh, as a pointer, the dimensions in the
drawing are in millimetres ;-).
Now it comes down to putting it all back
into the car. Why not grease the pivot-points a bit, while you’re at it, don’t
forget the put thread lock on the M16 bolt and really test-drive it.
Pointer: Bending the rods between the
linkage and the gearbox a little can make minor adjustments if necessary.
If you don’t come home with a smile, you
simply did something wrong. But the good part is (at least if you were smart
and bought a new linkage), you can always change in back to standard, so your
car is always drivable.
And you don’t have to embarrass your