Short Shift Kits
How much lower is a GFB shifter than the factory one?
The GFB Short Shifter is the same height as the factory shifter, it is the actual distance that the gear stick moves between gears that is reduced.
I've heard bad stories of gearbox damage from using a short shifter - is this true?
We've heard this concern many times, often from 'internet experts', and surprisingly even from so-called 'performance mechanics'. Read on, and you can smile to yourself knowing that when someone claims to have damaged their gearbox because of a short shifter, it's more likely they are in fact a sloppy driver.
Here's the hard truth - a gearstick is simply a lever, connecting the driver's hand to the gearbox. Any wear or damage is proportional only to the way in which it is used (or abused!), no if's, but's or maybe's about it. If you shift hard and fast (or time the clutch poorly), the synchros will wear out faster regardless of what type of shifter you have.
The GFB Short Shifter reduces the travel of
the gearstick - if you reduce the throw by 20%, there is a 20% increase in the effort required to shift gears - this is the very basic principle of levers. Whilst this increase in shift effort may give the feeling that you are stressing the ‘box more by having
to push the stick harder, you are in fact exerting the same shifting force to the gearbox.
Additionally, the reduced throw may falsely lead the unsympathetic driver to believe faster shifts can be performed - you can only shift as fast as the synchros will allow.
How hard are these units to install?
Very simple. All of the installation is done from inside the car, without having to jack it up and crawl around underneath. Only a few basic hand tools are required, and the necessary hex keys are supplied.
How much is the throw reduced?
The maximum throw reduction varies for different models. Early WRXs had a particularly long throw, so the maximum reduction with the GFB kit is around 50%, whilst on later models it is closer to 40%. In either case, it is possible to reduce the distance per gate to about 30mm. Whilst it can go shorter, the shifting force becomes too great for comfort, and some of the shift feel is lost.