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Article: RS Shifter Install (long)

 
 
Old 10-21-2002, 10:01 PM
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Arrow Article: RS Shifter Install (long)

I wanted to install a shorter shift, so I started by surveying the marketplace. Porsche, RUF, Weltmeister/Performance Products, FVD, and Cargraphics all have 964 short shift kits, with prices ranging from $75 to over $520! All include the shift lever and fork, and some also include a guide tube. I opted for the least cost option, the Porsche solution from the 964 Carrera RS. The two parts needed are the shift lever (964.424.015.08) and fork (964.424.017.01). I also replaced the 4 plastic sleeves (999.924.002.40) that the fork swivels on, although the existing sleeves probably could have been reused. List on the parts is $98, however, I purchased them from Reeves Porsche in Tampa for $75. When I ordered them, I figured the RS parts would have to come from Germany, however, all parts were stocked in the US. There is also a Carrera RS shift **** and skirt (964.424.075.03 color 1AJ), however, it only comes in black, and my stock shift **** skirt had enough material that it works with the increased shift lever height.

I don’t know if the Porsche RS short shift lever will work on C4’s. FVD’s website suggests the C4 installation is the same as the 90-91 C2.

The RS shifter's lever travel is 10mm shorter than the stock shifter (52mm vs 62mm), a 16% improvement. On 92-94 C2's, the shift **** is moved to the left 10mm and is 28mm higher than the stock 964 shifter, making it easier to get to from the steering wheel. 90-91 C2's would have the shift **** at the same height, as they don't have the adjustable guide tubes that were introduced in 1992. 90-91 C2’s will, however, get the benefit of the shorter shift lever travel.

Pictured below are the stock shift lever and fork on the left, and the RS shift lever and fork on the right. You can see where the 28mm additional height comes from, as well as that the fulcrum point is different on the RS parts.



This should probably be about a 2-3 hour project. However, I took longer, as I was poking around here and there. Also found a pan at the front (which has to be removed) had flaking paint and was rusting, so I prepared and painted it with POR-15. The process to swap the shifter and fork is pretty straightforward, if you have a 92-94 C2. If you have a 90-91 C2, it's a little bit more involved (see either Mike Schatz's web site at <a href="http://www.schatzmotorsport.com" target="_blank">www.schatzmotorsport.com</a> or FVD at <a href="http://www.fvd-usa.com" target="_blank">www.fvd-usa.com</a> or <a href="http://www.fvd.de" target="_blank">www.fvd.de</a> for directions).

Here's the basic procedure -

First, most of the work is done from under the car. It starts, however, in the interior, where you remove the shift ****. In order to remove it, there are about a dozen screws that need to be removed. Start at the back by the cassette holders, and then pull out the cassette holders, revealing 4 more screws. Then moving towards the front, there's a small screw under the hand brake lever. Pull the plastic piece under the lever out, and there are another 4 screws. Now at the front, pull out the two panels, revealing two more screws. At this point, you should be able to remove the console, revealing the underside of the shift ****. You'll see a 3-4" rubber sleeve extending from the **** down the shift lever. Work it up until it comes off, and with it the ****/skirt/console. Set it all aside. You're now done in the cabin, however, you may be tempted, as I was, to remove the rubber bellows to see what's below. I'll save you the trouble....



You see the aluminum guide piece, the tube it slides on, and the shift lever. Despite the picture, if you do pull the bellows out, note you'll need to use some sort of sealant when you put it back, to keep grime out of the shift mechanism. I used rubber weather seal cement.

From underneath, it's pretty straight forward. After removing the metal tunnel cover, unhook and turn the rubber cover to the side, and separate the guide tube from shifter. Then remove the rubber cover from the guide tube (note: I'd leave it on the gear shift rod that disappears into the transmission). Disassemble the gear shift rod from the fork. Remove the 4 bolts in the aluminum guide piece, and the shift lever assembly will drop down. Replace the stock parts with the RS parts. Use a light coat of lithium grease under the plastic sleeves. Before putting it back, look on both ends of the metal tube, and you'll see a yellowish rubber gasket holding each end (92-94 models). You'll need to turn both 180 degrees to move the tube up higher, which keeps everything aligned. Just about done. Put the bottom of your 964 back together. Now back into the cabin. Put the shift **** rubber sleeve on the shift lever and work it down until the shift **** is on solidly. Note it won't go down as far as the stock shift lever, due to the additional height of the RS shift lever. Put the console back together, and you're done!

How's it feel? Tighter and stiffer. After all, it's replacing a 10 year old shift that was well bedded in, and shortening the shift range also increases the shift effort a tad (no such thing as a free lunch). We’ll see now it does on the track this weekend and early next week.
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:32 AM
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Hey! Great work Bill and really nice to have a project descriptions here.

It piqued my interest so I did a parts list search looking for the differences in shifter parts between the 3.8 RSR and the Euro RS to see if Porsche made an even shorter shifter and found the only difference in the RSR to be the shift lever, part number 964.424.025.01 R. The "R" indicates it is a racing part. All the other parts in the system (including the fork 964.424.017.00) are the same as a '92 standard non RS car except the shift rod which is the same as '93 and later standard non RS car. Anybody know the differences here, I find it curious the RSR does not use the same system as the Euro RS or a system that is much more different that the standard car, Porsche works in strange ways sometimes!

The 3.8 RSR shift boot is the same as the Euro RS, 964.424.075.03 color 1AJ black, which by the way is curiously the same part number as used in the 964 Speedster where the boot is available in L29 guards red, G55 maritime blue, 2XR pearl grey and U28 speed yellow.
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Old 10-31-2002, 09:56 AM
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Update after the track: Spent two days at Pocono this week. Probably the biggest benefit is having the shifter a bit closer at hand (+28mm higher, +10mm closer to driver). The fact that the shifts are shorter is not as noticeable as when I installed the factory short shift kit on the SC (and I think the improvement was supposed to be more with that kit, maybe 20% reduction). However, that said, I can't imagine putting the original shifter back in and having longer shifts!

The shift effort is higher than stock. Shift lever ratio is 4.0:1 on stock and 3.4:1 on the RS, so that's expected. And it feels a bit stiffer (if I can make that distinction from higher shift effort) than stock. However, my comparison point is a stock shifter with 50K miles versus a new shifter with new bushings. There may be some break-in time involved for the new shifter.
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