Bending Shift Lever ?? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-05-2019, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Bending Shift Lever ??

Newbie here. First Jeep, '08 JK 'X'. I searched every forum I could think of for the terms: "Shift lever", and "Shifter', but all I got was depressed. Seems like there are too many problems with the JK transmission, shifter, you name it.
So far, I'm having zero problems with mine, so I'm looking at ways to make it more comfortable for me. I've been driving sticks since 1970, although never had a six speed manual in a four wheel vehicle before. (A few bikes had 6, and the Allison in my dually has six, but that's a whole different thing). I've decided that for my taste, the shift knob/lever is about 3 inches too far to the right, in every gear, all the time. I'd love to take it out and bend the shaft about 1/3 to 1/2 way up from the bottom, to move the knob closer to me. I think that shifting into 5th, 6th and reverse would all be smoother and easier if I didn't have to reach so far. I can't see any thing on the left that would interfere with the shifter if I modified it.
So, here's the question: Has anyone on this forum ever done that? Is the shift lever malleable steel, or hardened? (In other words, can I bend it, or just break it off if I clamp it into the vise and torque on it?)
I'm thinking about buying a shift lever from a wreck and playing with it first, but that's 30-50 bucks I'm hoping you guys can save me with good advice. I've looked into the B&M lever, which has a different curve and maybe a bit of adjustment in the way it mounts, but that's even MORE money and I can't tell if it would give me the desired relocation.
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-05-2019, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBarber View Post
. . . I've decided that for my taste, the shift knob/lever is about 3 inches too far to the right, in every gear, all the time. I'd love to take it out and bend the shaft about 1/3 to 1/2 way up from the bottom, to move the knob closer to me. . . .

So, here's the question: Has anyone on this forum ever done that? Is the shift lever malleable steel, or hardened?
Disclaimer: I did not do material analysis nor hardness testing, but my experience says "plain ol' mild steel".
Disclaimer 2: this post does not constitute professional engineering advice, so don't sue me if you fawk yourself up


I bent my shift lever a few times (to bring it over to the left) with zero problems.
I bent it cold and I don't remember excessive springback - it bent like mild steel.
The bend you need to make is pretty minor, so my take = "go for it"


I also cut the head off and drilled/tapped, and it acted just like mild steel.

If that^^^ looks odd, it's because I put a big piece of heat shrink tubing over the shift lever.


I also cut the isolator apart and welded to the shift lever with no issues (but I do not suggest doing that).


If you are comfortable bending mild steel rod, this should be a cake-walk.


JUS DOO EET, MANG!

Oh, and . . . dibs on your stuff if you die from doing this
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-05-2019, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response. I was also leaning toward mild steel, just because hardening is expensive and why would they need to do it. Think I'm gonna pull it tomorrow and give it a shot.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-06-2019, 06:22 AM
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Interesting, mine's apart right now and and will probably bend it a little and give it a shot. Exwrench, why did you take out the Isolator and weld it, and not recommend it? I see the B&M shifter has set screws to solid mount it so I was also thinking of drill tap and bolt mine to be solid, but I think I'll pass on that. Otherwise I have zero complaints about my 6 speedshifter.

Bert
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-06-2019, 07:08 AM
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Hey OP, if you ever upgrade to the B&M just get the shifter base. You absolutely will not like the B&M stick. Good thing is B&M made the base to accept the factory stick so your custom bend will work. I do however highly recommend the B&M base when funds allow. Shifting is a lil sticky at first but when it breaks in it’s F’n awesome.


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post #6 of 9 Old 04-06-2019, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBarber View Post
Thanks for your response. I was also leaning toward mild steel, just because hardening is expensive and why would they need to do it. Think I'm gonna pull it tomorrow and give it a shot.
You're welcome, hope it goes smoothly


Quote:
Originally Posted by boboborino View Post
Exwrench, why did you take out the Isolator and weld it, and not recommend it?
Here's what I did and why.

I don't recommend it because I did it for a specific need and accepted all compromises.
Also, so anyone who does it is forced to take full responsibility for their decision.



Quote:
Originally Posted by boboborino View Post
I see the B&M shifter has set screws to solid mount it so I was also thinking of drill tap and bolt mine to be solid, but I think I'll pass on that. Otherwise I have zero complaints about my 6 speedshifter.

Bert
I now have the B&M stick and it definitely is isolated.
It was perfect for me because it replaced my home-fab unit ~1:1 but with an NVH isolator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
I wasn't bullshitting you when I said the B&M shift lever positioned the ball right around where mine did:

I'd removed the isolator so I could reposition the shifter to accommodate a 1" BL, but solid mounting transmits a lot of NVH.
(NVH = Noise, Vibration, and Harshness in case anyone doesn't know)
B&M's isolator is much tighter / less floppy-dong-ish than the factory shifter, but much more isolated than solid mounting.
After years of driving with the factory noodle and years w/ the stick solid mounted, I fully appreciate B&M's isolator.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco08jk View Post
You absolutely will not like the B&M stick.
Apparently you know OP far better than I do.

The stick alone was a good purchase for my oddball combination of needs, but I did reposition the shift handle before it was "perfect" for me.
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EDIT: I did add the B&M shifter after installing the B&M stick - I'm happy with both.
(but that does not guarantee anyone else will be happy with either )

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Last edited by ExWrench; 04-06-2019 at 11:01 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-06-2019, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
You're welcome, hope it goes smoothly









Here's what I did and why.



I don't recommend it because I did it for a specific need and accepted all compromises.

Also, so anyone who does it is forced to take full responsibility for their decision.










I now have the B&M stick and it definitely is isolated.

It was perfect for me because it replaced my home-fab unit ~1:1 but with an NVH isolator.




I'd removed the isolator so I could reposition the shifter to accommodate a 1" BL, but solid mounting transmits a lot of NVH.
(NVH = Noise, Vibration, and Harshness in case anyone doesn't know)
B&M's isolator is much tighter / less floppy-dong-ish than the factory shifter, but much more isolated than solid mounting.

After years of driving with the factory noodle and years w/ the stick solid mounted, I fully appreciate B&M's isolator.








Apparently you know OP far better than I do.



The stick alone was a good purchase for my oddball combination of needs, but I did reposition the shift handle before it was "perfect" for me.

Attachment 336310


Sorry ExWrench, I didn’t mean to step on any toes. I said that cause the OP is wanting the shifter closer to him and not having to reach as far. I have the B&M stick in mine, it is significantly shorter than stock and is not bent the way he wants so I just assumed he wouldn’t like it.



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post #8 of 9 Old 04-06-2019, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco08jk View Post
I said that cause the OP is wanting the shifter closer to him and not having to reach as far. I have the B&M stick in mine, it is significantly shorter than stock and is not bent the way he wants so I just assumed he wouldn’t like it.
Gotcha - I found the B&M to be further left than my stock stick (good for OP) and a couple inches lower (unknown +/- to OP).
I had shortened & re-bent the stock stick and B&M put the handle in the same place I'd arrived at, so they get my vote.
After adding the short shifter, I moved the shift knob up, over and back, and now I'm done screwing with it . . . probably
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post #9 of 9 Old Yesterday, 10:15 AM
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Bump for SC20K . . . here's the thread

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