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ATP Short Throw Shifter Review

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I’ll preface this review by saying that I really don’t like most short shifters. The main reason why is simple, because they are short. I personally am of the thinking that the shifter should be positioned close to the steering wheel, so that shifts can be made by simply reaching over, not reaching down to some puny little thing. You can see this in my old shifter, which was an extended stock KA shifter. I put up with the long shift throws because I liked the position so much and I never really considered a short throw shifter.

 

This changed around late April when I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew, owner of Andrews Tuning and Performance in Chico, CA. He stopped by my house after seeing my car in the driveway. He had just finished work on a very clean SR swap for a customer. Looking over the car the first thing that struck me was the shifter. There was a very interesting bracketry around it and I asked Andrew about it. He told me that it was a prototype for a short throw shifter that he designed and made himself. He told me to try it out. Sitting in the driver’s seat I grabbed the shifter and slid it into first. My jaw dropped. The knob was in the very same position as my extended shifter, but the throw was much, MUCH shorter. Additionally, it felt much more precise and solid than the stock shifter. After a quick ride in the car (which was thrilling…I had never ridden in a 510 other than my own, let alone one with a 300hp+ SR) we came to an agreement that once production started on the shifter, he would contact me.

After a few months wait, I finally received the close to production model from Andrew. Now if you have read my build thread you can see that I usually am not one to buy “off the shelf” products, as I prefer to make things myself. I do make exceptions when it is a well designed and well made product (Byron’s camber/toe brackets for example). Installation was super easy. You simply remove all of the stock shifter assembly and then bolt the new one in place. It may require some cutting of the shifter hole, but I didn’t mind this, as I knew that it would be well worth it. Overall, installation took about an hour; with maybe another hour spent making a cover to seal around the new opening. Here are some detailed shots showing the cover I made and the excellent craftsmanship of this product.

 

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The first drive was just as I had remembered it. Very precise, with ridiculously short shift throws. The 3rd to 4th throw measures in at around 2”! For comparison my old shifter had a throw of 8” and from what I have read typical short throw shifters for the KA/SR/VG transmissions have a throw of around 4”. It is really pretty remarkable. I have been driving with it for the last week and just love it every time I slip the car into gear. Don’t be deterred by some minor cutting of the transmission tunnel, the performance of this thing more than makes up for it.

 

If you are interested in one, you can contact Andrew at ap67et10@gmail.com. The shifters run in the $400 to $500 range, depending on how many people are interested. Yes this is a bit more than what is on the market currently, but it is also a MUCH better performing product that what is currently available. He has been more than helpful with any questions I have had, and genuinely wants to put the best product out that he can.

 

I also must mention that mine is only the second one to be installed on a car. Future shifters will have the stack of washers replaced with a machined spacer. He is also considering some changes to lower the cost a bit. Regardless, for you guys wanting the ultimate performance shifter for SR/KA/VG transmissions, this is it.

 

I'll post a video shortly so you can really get an idea of how great the shift action really is.

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A short video showing the shift action.

 

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Wow that is sweet. Is the knob threaded on or is it all one piece? I will start saving my pennies...

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holy beautiful shifter batman, I need this so bad, I'm just broke as hell right now and need other parts first. :-(

 

What all comes with the purchase, is it just the shifter "stem" or is a new plate and everything like the other short shifter kits for the KA?

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what trans do you have in the car? isnt it still the 71b box from a NAPZ engine?

 

did you get any pics without the boot on? how does it interface the trans?

 

ive got lots of questions about this.. that throw... its like a rally car setup

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Hey everyone! I'm Andrew, I designed the shifter that Duke just installed. As Duke said, this is the second of hopefully many more I have made. Before I add a few pictures and answer some questions I'll go ahead and give you guy just a little background on myself and how I came up with the idea for the shifter.

 

Last year I started my business when my wife and I moved from SoCal to Chico, Ca. I have always like the old school Datsun cars, but it wasn't until my first customer that I really fell in love with them. For the last few years I have done quite a few Megasquirt swaps and builds, both installs and tuning. The 510 that was brought to me was originally suppose to be getting just some wiring repairs, and a complete Megasquirt install. Well as everybody here knows, that one install turned into many many other installs, replacements, repairs, modifications, a couple custom parts and of course the shifter!

 

In the pictures you can see the Bride seats installed in the 510. Well when I got the 510 running and driving for the first time I went for a drive (id never driven the car before this point) I absolutely HATED the stock shifter! The angle of the shifter and height practically gave my shoulder and triceps rug burn on the seat, not to mention the throw was just huge! It also probably didn't help that the shifter didn't have a knob, so it would dig into my hand every time I drove it hard. It was pretty much immediately after driving it the first time that i began talking to the customer about building him a custom shifter that felt natural, smooth and fast. Due to amount of repairs and extra things we decided to do on the 510, the owner was very hesitant as he didn't have much an issue with the stock shifter to begin with. So it was then I told him that I was going to build a custom shifter for his car whether he wanted it or not, and I would only charge him the cost of the materials, and if he didn't like it, I would give him all his money back, he just had to give me back the shifter. I also told him he would LOVE the shifter though!

 

The rest is history really, because the owner completely LOVES the shifter, and now so does Duke. This project has progressed and changed so much, and is now finally at the point where only a couple small changes are left to make it a final product ready for anyone with the SR/KA/VG trans can install. I have designed this product to be 100% complete and I supply EVERYTHING (except the stock shifter boot, which you should already have) you will need to install the shifter.

 

The shifter is basically made of 4 pieces. I refer to them as the Base Plate, L Bracket, Stick, and the Knob. It has a series of bearings which are very high quality (expensive!) and the best hardware I can get. Basically when doing an install you remove ALL the guts of the stock shifter assembly. This leaves the round stock shifter pocket in the top cover plate on the transmission completely open and empty. You will then remove the 2 passengers side rearward bolts of the 6 that fasten the trans top plate to the trans. Once the guts and 2 bolts are removed you simply take the fully assembly shifter assembly (how you receive it from me, you do not assemble the shifter) and slide the stock shift boot onto the bottom of the shifter. Then slide the ball socket on the bottom of the shifter stick into the shift mechanism inside the trans and use the supplied bolts to bolt the Base Plate to the 2 RH rear bolt holes. The biggest modification, like Duke said, is that you need to clearance the floor to allow the Base plate to go through and fasten to the transmission. Simply slide the boot over the trans top plate and torque the Base Plate bolts down, and that's it!

 

The biggest change I will be making to the shifter is to modify the stick dimensions to accommodate the stock style shift knobs. I currently have about 4 Sticks setup for the shift knob you see in all the pictures, and those shifters with include the knob they are designed for. But by offering the shifter without the knob, and the stick dimensions changed slightly I can offer a setup where you guys could still personalize the knobs to your liking. This allows me to lower the price some since those won't include the knob.

 

Sorry for such a long post. I think I answered the questions, but if not, ask away and I will answer them. I have not set an exact price on this yet, because as you all know, the more I do the cheaper they are to make. I'm trying to get the price to just under $400, but these are extremely expensive to make. At this point I try not to add up the amount of money I have invested in design, prototypes, aluminum wasted, hardware wasted and time. I am a one man shop where I do a few custom builds, efi swaps, tuning and also general auto repair work for a living. I never expected to sell a custom part, but I'm just rolling with where this seems to be going, and hopefully if I can offer an awesome product to people that they love, and make my money back in the process, then for me, that would be more than enough to justify the work!

 

 

 

 

Thanks,

Andrew Peterson

 

 

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This is the original install of the 1st shifter I made. This car has carpet and the transmission tunnel was very close to the transmission, so the Base Plate sticks up into the passenger compartment much more than on Dukes car. It also has carpet, so no cover plate was made like Duke did. Some of the parts are slightly different, but are going to be replaced with the new parts that are the final product design like Duke's.

 

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so this is for the C series nissan trans..

 

poop, was exited to see a trick shifter for the older 71c box...

 

this thing kicks ass man! hope things go well go your venture.

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Awesome shifter. Too bad I'm a cheap-o. :D

 

Genius how you designed the higher pivot point in such a small, convenient package. Very cool. And looks great to boot!

 

:thumbup:

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I’ll preface this review by saying that I really don’t like most short shifters. The main reason why is simple, because they are short. I personally am of the thinking that the shifter should be positioned close to the steering wheel, so that shifts can be made by simply reaching over, not reaching down to some puny little thing.

 

Duke that's exactly how I feel too. Shortening the shifter is retarted..... looking, and no way to shift a transmission. The shifter should be just right of the steering wheel and perhaps down slightly so it's not in the way of the dash wiper, radio etc. controls. You should be able to comfortably hold the shift knob even over in 5th, arm extended but elbow bent with shoulder back against the seat.

 

A short video showing the shift action.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGaB65a3jnE&feature=youtu.be

 

Moving the fulcrum point upwards keeps the length but shortens the throw. Shortening effectively does the same thing but you loose the length. In both cases mechanical advantage is lost and the shift requires slightly more effort. A small price to pay I say.

 

When I was driving my 620 I had to replace the 5 speed... all I had was an early zx. Nothing special it had the same ratios and shifter. I swapped a Z24 and 5 speed in and retired the zx. When I got the 710 I wanted the 5 speed so I pulled it out of storage. Remembering the 'long' shift I decided to try shortening it by swapping an '85 720 diesel tail onto it. The fulcrum point is higher on it and with an early 720 shifter was able to keep the length but noticeably shorten the throw. Not that short, but much better.

 

http://s138.photobuc...peedswap217.mp4

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Moving the fulcrum point upwards keeps the length but shortens the throw. Shortening effectively does the same thing but you loose the length. In both cases mechanical advantage is lost and the shift requires slightly more effort. A small price to pay I say.

 

I like to think of the change in effort compared to throw similar to that of power steering vs manual. The easiest steering vehicle I can remember driving has got to be 80s era Chevy trucks. You could drive with your pinky finger everywhere! Super nice trying to parallel park, but do you want that on a performance or race car or even a street driven 510? Not a chance! You want something you can feel. You want to feel like you can be forceful and know you have precise control. I have driven quite a few cars where I felt like I would break the shifter if I tried to shift too quickly, because quick shifting is very forceful, whether the shifter requires that extra force or not. So I wouldn't even consider the added effort as a compromise, but rather another benefit. You get a much shorter shift AND the stability and precise feel created by the added effort required.

 

 

Andrew

 

 

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For sure, it was only an observation.

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Has anyone tried to swap the tailshaft from a C series trans onto the B series late 81-83 close ratio ZX box?

 

That short shifter looks amazing, probably awesome to drive.

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The problem is the mainshaft length on the 71B. Most 71C trannys are longer and it's all in the tailstock. The tail may hang out over the end of the driveshaft spline. The shortest 71Cs are in the trucks and I've never measured one to know for sure.

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The problem is the mainshaft length on the 71B. Most 71C trannys are longer and it's all in the tailstock. The tail may hang out over the end of the driveshaft spline. The shortest 71Cs are in the trucks and I've never measured one to know for sure.

so it sounds like someone needs to do this!!! atleast measure and test fit

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ugghnn... i guess i need to find a KA trans for when i install de' zed24...

 

:lol:

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As stated I put an '85 diesel tail on my '79 zx 5 speed. Here's what I was after...

 

zx control arm pin position...

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Control pin location on the diesel 5 speed...

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Raising the pin height means nothing unless the length of the shifter is also longer below the pin. A longer shifter length below the pin means that the top doesn't have to travel as far to to move the striker rod the same amount.

 

Because I hardly ever throw shit out I had several 720/S110 shifters and the one on the left seems like it should do the job.

 

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If I was to drill a new pin hole higher and cut and weld a longer shifter I should be able to shorten the throw even more. Naturally the effort to shift increases.

 

 

 

.

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I love the true short throw shifter. If you haven't already, put this up on hybridz. There are a number of people who use the newer transmissions.

 

Here is a link to my version of the short throw for the late 5 spd zx transmission.

 

http://s30.photobucket.com/albums/c301/dlh2460/transmissions/

 

datsunmike, those type of shifters are also on the 280zx although the shape the lever itself is some what straighter. The plastic and spring can be flipped over in the lever and you will come up with the same fulcrum distance. The longer is for a 4 spd, the shorter is for the 5 spd.

 

If you look in my hybridz gallery, you will find pics of the levers with the plastic part disassembled.

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I love the true short throw shifter. If you haven't already, put this up on hybridz. There are a number of people who use the newer transmissions.

 

Here is a link to my version of the short throw for the late 5 spd zx transmission.

 

http://s30.photobuck.../transmissions/

 

datsunmike, those type of shifters are also on the 280zx although the shape the lever itself is some what straighter. The plastic and spring can be flipped over in the lever and you will come up with the same fulcrum distance. The longer is for a 4 spd, the shorter is for the 5 spd.

 

If you look in my hybridz gallery, you will find pics of the levers with the plastic part disassembled.

 

Yeah I tried flipping the plastic and spring around. Good stuff

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This sounds like a real quality product. I appreciate my Rat feel of my Ratsun though, and shifting is a pretty large portion of that feel.

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Bump for another batch of awesomeness.  I heard there will be a hand full of these available soon...

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DBA9EB1E-26EB-47BA-906A-D3DAF8CD7990-391

 

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http://s404.beta.photobucket.com/user/doitinadatsun/media/GOPR0890_zps0ae2e24c.mp4.html

 

 

 

I love this shifter.  Andrew is a boss for making this.  Everyone that has a Nissan FS5W71C transmission in their vehicle should find a way to buy one.  It is so good. 

 

I wish I could more effectively articulate how impressed I am with this piece.  I just told Andrew, and am now proclaiming to all of Ratsun, this was the best $$$+ dollars I have spent on my 510.  The driving experience has been transformed.

 

The shifter arrived fully assembled with grade 12.9 hardware and was extremely well packaged.  Detailed instructions are also included.   It was shipped insured, and very promptly once the transaction was complete.

 

Andrew is a top notch guy and a true professional, I am so grateful for this creation of his.

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