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Old 11-30-2007, 04:21 AM   #1
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Shifter Gate

How would you go about making one of these?
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:00 AM   #2
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Re: Shifter Gate

assuming you don't have a mill or access to one, i'd use a drill and hole saws to make the round ends, and then a jigsaw for the rest. cut on the inside, making the slots slightly too narrow, and then file to size. it's also a good idea to make a template out of cardboard first and then trace that to the aluminum.
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:28 AM   #3
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Re: Shifter Gate

Yea i was thinking something along the same lines.

But lets say i was gonna take the hunk of metal to a machine shop to have them mill it, or drill it, or whatever they'll do, how would i measure it? Im worried that after im done measuring it wont look quite as symmetrical as that one.

I was thinking of making 6-7 different templates, one for each gear, in a big outline, and then kind of merge them together, like in the older disney cartoons. Where only one character was drawn, and the background was just a template.

Any other ideas?

I dont think its supposed to stop the weight of the shifter, just to guide it right?
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:14 AM   #4
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Re: Shifter Gate

Im almost 100% positive that someone over on ls1tech made one in his firebird. Made it from stainless plate I believe.

But for the life of me I can find the thread. Search gives 3000 results, none of which make sense... I even tried google. If I find it, Ill post it up for ya. If I remember he got it to work well, and it looked cool.

J.

EDIT: Holy crap... I finally found it. Haha. I was on a personal mission to find this thread. I dont think he ever updated the thread...and I dont know if he ever finished it off... But im sure you could PM him and get some particulars on how he figured out the spacing and all. Would be easier on a thirdgen console because its flat and plenty of ways of mounting it.

http://ls1tech.com/forums/showthread...697&highlight=

Last edited by ghettocruiser; 11-30-2007 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:41 PM   #5
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Re: Shifter Gate

Just spoke with the guy that made that plate... He was in the process of finishing it up...but the material he used was too thin.

So..it sounds like to make this work well, you need some thick material. Im going to say the best thing to use would be billet alum. And send it out with a drawing to have it milled to what you need. Something maybe 3/16 to 1/4" thick.

Also, you will need a skinny shifter lever. The pattern is tight, so in order to be able to make the gate separators wide enough to not break, the stick has to get skinnier. Plus there has to be SOME wiggle room within the gate. Still might be do-able...but its not going to be super easy.

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Old 11-30-2007, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: Shifter Gate

Thanks alot Ghettocruiser. Doesnt sound very encouraging, but ill give it a whirl, and post my progress.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:35 PM   #7
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Re: Shifter Gate

I thought about doing this before, and i'm still semi interested. Here are my thoughts:

buy a sheet of 3/8" fiberboard. Cut it out so you have just a picture frame. Then with the shifter in there, move it though the gears, and glue in pieces of wood so that it's just barely touching the shifter in different positions. Just chunks of wood to give you an idea as to where the shifter is.
Remove the picture frame (with glued on "chunks"). Set if over another piece of wood and cut it. Drill holes with a drill bit or hole saw, then use a jig saw.

Put that on and see if you can get it into all gears. You'll do a handful of iterations for this. Cut, redo, file etc until it seems perfect (albeit ugly as sin since it's fiberboard! But cheap...).

Then buy a sheet of 3/16" AL or something, and try that.

Now, the problem I can see is this. Your shifter is solidly mounted to the tranny, the tranny is solidly mounted to the engine. The engine (and tranny) are softly mounted to the car. So under hard acceleration, cornering, etc etc, the shifter will want to pull out of alignment. Also the shifter mechanism itself will probably have a bit of slop, or play it in. It'd probably have a really bad tendency to seize in gear, or you wouldn't be able to get it out/in a gear.
If you used solid motor mounts, shimmed up the shifter really tight, used all metal lock nuts on the shifter, and left some play in your slotted shifter guide, then it'd probably work. My shifter arm is notorious for coming loose from the shifter mechanism. I've used double nuts, nylocks etc. I'm going to use NORD washers and/or lockwire next time. Maybe castellated nuts...

Anyway I've put my car into reverse rather than first enough times to motivate myself into making one of these. Boy my shifter drives me nuts...

Another issue, put some thought into the material. If you've got a mild steel chrome plate shifter lever (like mine is), then a SS plate would abrade your shifter handle. Think about polishing the wear surfaces, and using a softer metal or.... Maybe put a UHMW/teflon/etc sleeve over your shifter lever if possible.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:51 PM   #8
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Re: Shifter Gate

The more i look into this, the harder i realize its going to be.

I know for example, in my freind 03 mustang v6, when he started the engine cold, it's shifter would vibrate a little bit during cranking. Not sure why but it was a new car, and it did it.

Im thinking maybe im going to scrap this idea, but i thought of something that will still help me accomplish what i want.

I basically dont want an ugly old shifter boot surrounding the shifter.

So i think i may go this route. Get some ABS plastic, and put it on flat under the console. So when you look at the shifter, you only see the lever, and not the internals of the console, and no matter where you move the lever, thats all you see.

Kind of like the way our camaro auto shifters work. Know what i mean?
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:29 PM   #9
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Re: Shifter Gate

thats an interesting idea,kind of like a joystick bottom, that might be trick.

i dont see the advantage to having gates tho, not hard to hit each gear if youre used to your car
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:50 PM   #10
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Re: Shifter Gate

its strictly for esthetic appeal.

I just hate the look of a "boot", its so ugly, and usually reminds you of an import or something. They annoy me when you clean the WHOLE car, but cant get at the dirt/dust in betweem the stictching and seems.

Im gonna see what i can do with the joystick idea after i get the T56 in there. Will keep you updated. Hopefully i can use stainless steel for bling factor.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:23 PM   #11
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Re: Shifter Gate

lol ya id definitly take a look at the mechanism in a joystick, if you could get that 3 way movement built so that it looks nice, that would be really sweet, never seen that before.

edit: im just realizing they dont make joysticks like they used to, i was thinking something along the lines of the old school ones
Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 12-03-2007, 09:14 AM   #12
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Re: Shifter Gate

i like the idea, it sounds pretty slick. it obviously works. i'd look at making it out of 1/4" plastic and attaching thin aluminum over that, just a bit smaller so the lexan can act as a wear strip. probably glue a sheet of rubber to the bottom as well, slotted for the shift lever.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:14 AM   #13
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Re: Shifter Gate

Like the other guy posted over on tech...it is entirely possible to make the gate work. You need a skinny stick ( like a ferrari has), and you need thick material or atleast stainless so its strong enough while being thin.

As for making the gates, you could measure as well. Just as long as you measure from and to the same point each time, you could map it out on paper. and get pretty close... Then file/shape/trim to fit.

I kinda dig the joystick/auto shifter idea. I think that would be much easier in the long run, and would work much better as the gated shifters take a bit of getting used to.

Be interesting to see a couple of you guys produce some ideas on this...see where it goes.

J.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:07 PM   #14
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Re: Shifter Gate

Ive got one in the planning stages and and almost dimentioned out. I plan to make the mock up out of .375 T6 Aluminum. Problem is I dont have a stick in the car anymore.

Ive got full access to having them waterjeted or cnced. Just who knows when I'll have a T56 in the car. (cant make up my mind T56 or the Th400 I have)
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:29 AM   #15
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Re: Shifter Gate

It comes down to price really. I gotta say, i was the least excited about spending money on the T56 upgrade. I havent installed it yet, but instead of OH BOY A 6 SPEED, i had a "i get THAT for a THOUSAND dollars???" lol. Might be cuz it was half the price of the whole car... but anyways.

Ill let you know if i really felt it was worth it, but right now i definately feel they are over priced.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:18 PM   #16
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Re: Shifter Gate

Im not sure if I want one because I know I'll prob have to dump $$ into it to survive behing my 383 with turbo. (see sig)

the Th400 is fully built its not gonna die thats for sure.
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Old 12-05-2007, 08:56 AM   #17
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Re: Shifter Gate

yeah, i had two stock 4th gens with 6 speeds, and i loved those trannies. but to drop the coin to convert my 92 rs to one? no thanks. my local salvation army just auctioned off an LT1 6 speed T/A this past saturday. i wonder what it went for (had to work, no money to spend). that would have been the way to go.
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:07 AM   #18
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Re: Shifter Gate

the decision for me was easier than that. I got the car for 2k, and it has a very potent motor. I had the choice between rebuilding my 700R4 to handle the motor, or spend the same amount on a used T56.

I realize you can find a used 700R4 for about half the rebuild price, but its subject to availability. And i wont have time to do the swap except over the winter, or over the summer. I dont want my car out of commision for 2 weeks over the summer, so T56 it was for me.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:52 PM   #19
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Re: Shifter Gate

i can get a gate made for u pretty cheap by my my friends work, they have a cnc and they can do pretty much anything
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:09 AM   #20
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Re: Shifter Gate

Quote:
Originally Posted by online170 View Post
It comes down to price really. I gotta say, i was the least excited about spending money on the T56 upgrade. I havent installed it yet, but instead of OH BOY A 6 SPEED, i had a "i get THAT for a THOUSAND dollars???" lol. Might be cuz it was half the price of the whole car... but anyways.

Ill let you know if i really felt it was worth it, but right now i definately feel they are over priced.
everything ends up costing as much if not more then the cars worth, i bought my car for 7000 and still ended up spending more then that into the motor. trans cost me 6000 all said and done.

cars are expensive, and t-56's are a lot of fun, you wanna play you gotta pay
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:40 PM   #21
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Re: Shifter Gate

Im gonna revive this thread.

As school is winding down, and exams are finishing up (next 3 weeks YES!), and ofcourse spring is coming, we are all itching to get back on the road. However, because of not wanting to screw up my grades, i have been abstaining from working on my car, and am only getting the time now to get back to it.

While in electricity class today, i divised a plan for making my centerconsole work, WITHOUT a shifter boot.

Bare with me, because its not 100% accurate. The more i look at the console, the more i realize how hard it is to eliminate the boot, but i am determined!!!

A few problems you will notice, is that the hole in the shifterplate, is almost right against the SIDE edges of the console, and same for the front and back.

Click the image to open in full size.

However, here is something i divised, and i think if i iron it out a little, it could work.

The pic is pretty self explanitory, but i will add a description. My original plan was to take a flat "plate" of material, probably ABS plastic, and put it on the stick, perpendicular to the shifter. It will be suspended by a few strategically placed 90* joints, screwed onto the consoles, inner side walls. When the shifter moves, the plate will move with it, because it acts as one unit.

However, because of the close side edges, a single plate with 1 hole, will not work, because the stick cannot move side to side. Enter plan B. Two plates, with slots cut in it, that accomodate each location of the T56. See the pix, feel free to post any critique. Just remember, its a hypothesis, i dont know if its going to work, but im confident if i iron out a few kinks, it will!

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-29-2008, 03:09 AM   #22
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Re: Shifter Gate

It'd be cool if you could make sure they woudln't bind on each other, ever. Or get stuck, or fall out or something.
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:24 PM   #23
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Re: Shifter Gate

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfernalVortex View Post
It'd be cool if you could make sure they woudln't bind on each other, ever. Or get stuck, or fall out or something.
Those are exactly the kinks im talking about, that need ironing out.

For example, what if i wanted to go from 6th to 1st??? There would be a heck of alot of binding.

I need to divise a plan to allow them to slide easily. Will keep you guys posted.

P.S.

My batteries ran out, so i couldnt take a pic, but i threw my console and shift plate back on today, and noticed, the T56 with a B&M shifter will work just fine in the "auto" shifter plate, completely unmodified. The only gear that comes close to hitting the shift plate is 5th, but it just touches the plate, not binding. I may sand down that part of the shifter plate, but i think ill stick with this shift plate.
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:02 AM   #24
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Re: Shifter Gate

That should work, the Toyota van I drive at work has almost exactly the same system.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:52 PM   #25
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Re: Shifter Gate

Fabbing it is simple. These guys are making it way too hard. Getting the shifter to work? You're on your own. I've never had the pleasure of driving a manual camaro to know anything about how the manual shifter would fit.

I'd take a plate of stainless or whatever material you're using. Mark an evenly spaced set of holes where you want the shifter to come to "rest". Use a center punch where the center of the shifter would be, and drill a hole. You should have 6 holes then for the 5 speed (5 gears, reverse) or I guess 7 holes if you wanted to try this with a 6 speed. Rule of thumb? High speed for steel. When cutting stainless, low speed, high pressure (push hard with the drill on a low speed setting) The magna drill we had at work would have been great for this.

Then use a cutoff wheel or plasma to cut out the tracks. You could even get away with a jigsaw if you used thin enough material, but it would just get wrecked when you shift. Use a scribe to mark out your lines first, or soapstone, even a marker. Cut off wheel could be difficult depending on the material thickness. Plasma would work best after some practice. Depending on what grade stainless, you might even be able to get away with an oxy-acetylene torch. A good sheet metal shop could burn the whole thing out for you on their table in relatively short order, btw. Probably wouldn't charge you much either.

Some sanding and filing will clean it up nicely, and then polish.

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Old 06-23-2008, 07:52 PM
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