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post #36 of (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 15:48
Scarlet Fever
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Near Stansted Airport
Car: MGF
Posts: 5,476
Blog Entries: 9
Standard gear change (even on a TF) is rubbish. Fs are worse, but they are all sloppy from the factory (relatively speaking) and get worse over time/use.

Issues are the plastic bushes mainly, but also the play in the cable connections and the length of the gear lever.

Bushes wear resulting in a shift that feels like you are stirring pudding and the long throw doesn't help at all.

TS kit replaces all the wearing parts with new (OE spec) and also adds rose joints to the cable ends (for precision and longevity) , i believe they also replace the bell crank and they also add a shorter gear lever (to add weight and shorten the throw). The real trick though with the TS kit is the far tighter tolerances they work to when setting it up - these guys really know thier stuff and this is what you are paying for ultimately, thier expertise.

Mike Satur's SSK is a completely redesigned, precision engineered gear selector, bell crank and rose joints. It is therefore a DIY prospect for installation as it comes complete and it is just a matter of exchanging elements in the mechanism. SSK replaces plastic bushes with phosphor bronze ones removing the wear issue, has a shorter gear lever reducing the throw and also utilises rose jointed cable ends.

There is also a Moss kit, but this only replaces part of the gear selector and the bell crank - it is generally regarded as only marginally better than OE (probably equivallent to the TF OE gear change IMO).

Finally, you can improve the feel of the change simply by shortening the gear lever. Remove gear knob, take one hacksaw and apply elbow grease! If you have a screw threaded gear knob, you can take off approx half the thread on the lever. If you have a grub screw attached gearknob (MOMO wooden ball for instance) then you can go lower. You can also go lower if you are handy with a tap and die set.

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Issues...

TS kit is generally very well regarded. For me it was a bit light (heavier than the OE shift though) and there is the questionmark over the plastic bushes - eventually they will wear as in the OE set up, although that said, i have yet to hear of this happening yet.

SSK has had a bit of a protracted gestation period and i believe it is on the fourth generation now. SSK1 (which i have) is noticably heavier than the others, i have also had issues with snapped rose joints, although i am of the opinion that this is unique to my one (it was one of the very first). SSK2s have a reputation for sheared gear levers - the thread at the lower end sheared off in a few cases. SSK3 and SSK4 appear to be trouble (and maintenance) free so far.

My preference is for a heavier, more precise shift. For me the SSK delivers this in spades. TS kit is also very good indeed and well worth considering, but lack some of the precision of the SSK and there is still the wear questionmark for me. Moss kit is not worth it i feel and good results can be had by simply shortening the lever. If you do this though be aware that you are affecting the lever arm of the throw, the shorter the lever the more effort (weight of shift) is required to change gear.

On a track the shorter throw and more precise gear change will shave some time off - an SSK or TS shift makes the car easier to drive fast - it improves you as a driver rather than the car and so it is tricky to qualify any tangible gains. But driver skill is probably the most important thing on a track for lowering lap times and anything that makes the job easier will produce results.

Last edited by Scarlet Fever; 11-04-2007 at 16:11.
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