B&M shifter - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-04-2019, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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B&M shifter

This isnít much of a modification, however I havenít seen too many write ups or reviews of this shifter. And to be clear, this is of the shift lever itself, not the short shift kit that replaces the shift mechanism.

The reason this all came about was not due to a need for performance; I was driving to work when the knob spun in my hand. I thought, ďno big deal, just a loose knob.Ē However, that wasnít the case and the entire lever was spinning. This caused a problem because the lever has a bend to it, and when it would spin, you would think you were shifting into third (manual transmission, to be clear), but you could be lined up with first or fifth depending on orientation. It became a requirement to look down and make sure the know was upright so you knew where you were shifting to.

Searching for a quick oem replacement, I found it easier to locate a B&M shifter. I tore the old one out and found that the shift lever uses a rubber sleeve to join the transmission shift stub, which I assume is there to quell vibrations and notchiness. The rub sleeve had been vulcanized to the surrounding metal sleeve from the factory, but had separated on mine. Decision made: I wanted that crap out and ordered the B&M.

Install was easy and I took it for a test drive. WOW!!!! All the rubberiness and indistinct feeling to the shift is gone. The weight and feel is very good, direct without being overly heavy. The shift detents are crystal clear and driving is more enjoyable. May sound crazy, but itís well worth the minimal effort to replace the sloppy oem part with this high quality piece. Cheap improvement to the driving experience!

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-04-2019, 08:51 PM
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Thank you for posting that. I had just been looking at the B&M shifter after seeing a YouTube install some months ago. The YouTuber had mostly praise for the shift mechanism while pointing out a couple things that had to do with the "body gasket".
I can't recall if he also used the B&M shift lever, but it sure sounds like you made a good choice combining it with the OEM shift mechanism...saved yourself $400-$500!

Is the new lever different in length and does the bend in the lever put the knob in a different place relative to your seating?
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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The new lever is a slightly different length but the bends in it place it easily in hand. It is an improvement in location, throw, and feel.

I saw the YouTube video about replacing the whole shift mechanism...and Iím glad I did not. After replacing the lever only, you do not need any further shift throw reduction or changes. Most of the poor shift quality is due to the oem shift lever and that terrible rubber isolator. Once that is gone, itís a whole different experience!
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 09:28 AM
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Sweet. Thanks.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFDUB View Post
This isnít much of a modification, however I havenít seen too many write ups or reviews of this shifter. And to be clear, this is of the shift lever itself, not the short shift kit that replaces the shift mechanism.

The reason this all came about was not due to a need for performance; I was driving to work when the knob spun in my hand. I thought, ďno big deal, just a loose knob.Ē However, that wasnít the case and the entire lever was spinning. This caused a problem because the lever has a bend to it, and when it would spin, you would think you were shifting into third (manual transmission, to be clear), but you could be lined up with first or fifth depending on orientation. It became a requirement to look down and make sure the know was upright so you knew where you were shifting to.

Searching for a quick oem replacement, I found it easier to locate a B&M shifter. I tore the old one out and found that the shift lever uses a rubber sleeve to join the transmission shift stub, which I assume is there to quell vibrations and notchiness. The rub sleeve had been vulcanized to the surrounding metal sleeve from the factory, but had separated on mine. Decision made: I wanted that crap out and ordered the B&M.

Install was easy and I took it for a test drive. WOW!!!! All the rubberiness and indistinct feeling to the shift is gone. The weight and feel is very good, direct without being overly heavy. The shift detents are crystal clear and driving is more enjoyable. May sound crazy, but itís well worth the minimal effort to replace the sloppy oem part with this high quality piece. Cheap improvement to the driving experience!
How much clearance do you have left at the console? I went through two of these shift levers and returned them to B&M. It is not clear that B&M designed the lever to work *without* their shift tower.

What I found was that in 2nd gear or reverse, the lever banged into the console. It also puts the shift lever very close to the transfer case lever. Off-road, i found this to be a nuisance. Kept grazing the transfer case lever with my fingers when shifting the transmission.

I think using both of the B&M pieces or just the shift tower (not only the lever) would eliminate this problem.





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post #6 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some pics

2hi - 1st gear



2hi - 6th gear



2hi - reverse



4lo - 2nd gear



And same as above and pushed as close as possible to the transfer case lever (still doesnít touch)

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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In the above pics, nothing touches. It comes closest in 4lo - 2nd gear is closest but doesnít touch. And no contact with the console at all. Mine works quite well.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 01:20 PM
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In the above pics, nothing touches. It comes closest in 4lo - 2nd gear is closest but doesn’t touch. And no contact with the console at all. Mine works quite well.
The levers did not touch on mine either. It's just that the clearance there is tight - apparently same as yours. And when driving off-road and shifted into 4-low, it is my fingers that hit the transfer case lever, not the shift lever. For me, that's a distraction and a nuisance. Might not be an issue for folks with smaller hands.

As far as the B&M lever hitting the console, I tried to shift it around but nothing worked. IIRC the screw holes on the plastic console were somewhat slotted, allowing for a little adjustment. I was getting a solid thunk shifting into 2nd and had numerous incomplete shifts into reverse.

FWIW, the only thing I could think of is that the Rock Hard transmission cross member that I installed at the same time lowered the back half of the transmission just enough to cause the contact at the console above.

I think that if I were to install the B&M shift tower in addition to the lever, that would reduce the throw enough to eliminate the contact. But that's not really an option for me either, IMHO.

Aside from the contact at the console, I found that the B&M lever (even with its minimal bushing) still transmits a lot of transmission noise and gear gnash that was not evident before. That floppy rubber OEM busing is what eliminates that.

I had to learn my lesson the hard way but if I were to re-attempt a short shifter on my jeep, I would get just the shift tower and NOT the lever. This would shorten the shift throw without the other side affects.

Last edited by White13JKUR; 01-05-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 03:38 PM
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I just replaced the whole thing in my Jeep, 2008 JKU. And let me tell you itís a whole new experience, in a great, wonderful, exciting kind of way. If you think the man pedal equipped Jeep is fun, the B&M shifter multiplies that feeling ten fold. The reduced throw and the crispness of the new shift tower is amazing. It may not be worth the money to everybody but to me it was, and boy was I right. If your Jeep pops out of gear a new stick wonít fix that, but the new tower will.


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post #10 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco08jk View Post
I just replaced the whole thing in my Jeep, 2008 JKU. And let me tell you itís a whole new experience, in a great, wonderful, exciting kind of way. If you think the man pedal equipped Jeep is fun, the B&M shifter multiplies that feeling ten fold. The reduced throw and the crispness of the new shift tower is amazing. It may not be worth the money to everybody but to me it was, and boy was I right. If your Jeep pops out of gear a new stick wonít fix that, but the new tower will.


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Funny how just improving the shift quality transforms the whole driving experience! A lot more satisfying!
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by UFDUB View Post
Funny how just improving the shift quality transforms the whole driving experience! A lot more satisfying!


You ainít wrong my friend! My shifting is so short, crisp and direct, itís like shifting a friggen race car compared to the stock one. Very enjoyable and satisfying. I know the price is steep for what it is but I would NOT hesitate to buy it again.


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post #12 of 12 Old 01-05-2019, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco08jk View Post
I just replaced the whole thing in my Jeep, 2008 JKU. And let me tell you it’s a whole new experience, in a great, wonderful, exciting kind of way. If you think the man pedal equipped Jeep is fun, the B&M shifter multiplies that feeling ten fold. The reduced throw and the crispness of the new shift tower is amazing. It may not be worth the money to everybody but to me it was, and boy was I right. If your Jeep pops out of gear a new stick won’t fix that, but the new tower will.


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Only heard good things about these, on the long, long list of upgrades and I’m sure to be just as happy to do away with that stock sloppy mess of a shifter
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