Weighted Shift Knobs

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Shadow
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Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by Shadow » Wed May 08, 2019 2:47 pm

Anyone ever swap out their OEM shift knob for a weighted one? Reason I ask is because there's a guy on the Audi forums who decided to pop the top off of his OEM shift knob and fill it with lead shot. Then he poured in a bit of Elmer's glue to keep the shot from rattling around and also to add a bit more weight. He swears that it makes a really nice difference in the shift motion and feel. I've never had a weighted shift knob, so I have no basis for comparison.

I was able to find some tiny Tungsten balls, which are much heavier than lead and should add some nice weight to my OEM shifter. I don't want to go aftermarket because I love the look and feel of my OEM shifter, so maybe I'll just pop off the top and give it a try. What do you think? Worth it or not?
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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by tankinbeans » Wed May 08, 2019 3:14 pm

I've had bad luck with aftermarket shift knobs. Full stop. The one I bought tended to twirl on its stock and the boot just drooped.

I'll be curious to read others' stories though. Kinda curious about a short shift kit.
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Rope-Pusher
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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by Rope-Pusher » Wed May 08, 2019 10:02 pm

Yes, adding mass to the shift knob, shift lever, or even the lever on the trans increases the shift intertia, which makes the transmission feel like it is shifting smoother and makes the shift system feel more "Substantial" (i.e. strong, stiff, firm).

There can be drawbacks - this adds thermal inertia to the knob as well.

The knob could stay uncomfortably cold for a long time after an overnight at low tempertures.

The knob can feel uncomfortably HOT for a long time after being parked in the sunshine on a warm day.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=854Zlz5-vXQ[/youtube]

Notice at 2:03, when he grabs the hot shift knob - hot is worse to deal with than cold!
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potownrob
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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by potownrob » Thu May 09, 2019 7:11 am

as rope mentioned, they can get hot and cold, if they are the externally metal kind. i've never tried a weighted knob, but have switched to countless aftermarket shift knobs over the years. have always steered away from the metalic ones, especially the metal ball ones. eye definitely prefer the leather ones. replaced the old cracked up plastic OEM shifter on my 07 altima with a brand new one from a newer altima. newer one had the same mount (so it doesn't move around a lot - and doesn't move at all now with the help of a dosage of loctite on the shifter shaft), and it has leathery bits where the old one was all junky plastic. shows the correct shift pattern on top (which is why i looked for the right knob - g35, maxima, etc., have a different pattern), and works in conjunction with the reverse lock-out ring (many aftermarket knobs won't work since they block the reverse ring). not as leathery or soft as i'd like, but it looks nice and shifts easily and quietly (unlike the old one that made noises when moved around). i've never gotten the appeal for a weighted knob for normal driving, though it could make sense for racing and more spirited driving. i'd be more liable to go short shifter though, especially on my car with its tall shift shaft.
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ClutchFork
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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by ClutchFork » Thu May 09, 2019 7:53 am

Rope-Pusher wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 10:02 pm
The knob could stay uncomfortably cold for a long time after an overnight at low tempertures.
Cure for cold shift knob (but likely to miss a shift). I'll just wear a glove!
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Shadow
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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by Shadow » Fri May 10, 2019 1:59 pm

Well, my OEM shifter looks like this and is mostly covered in perforated leather. I really like the look & feel, so I don't want to swap it out. I can pop off the top and fill the knob to weight it and I don't think it will make any difference as far as hot or cold temps. At least I hope not...
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Teamwork
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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by Teamwork » Sat May 11, 2019 4:05 pm

Shadow wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:47 pm
Anyone ever swap out their OEM shift knob for a weighted one? Reason I ask is because there's a guy on the Audi forums who decided to pop the top off of his OEM shift knob and fill it with lead shot. Then he poured in a bit of Elmer's glue to keep the shot from rattling around and also to add a bit more weight. He swears that it makes a really nice difference in the shift motion and feel. I've never had a weighted shift knob, so I have no basis for comparison.

I was able to find some tiny Tungsten balls, which are much heavier than lead and should add some nice weight to my OEM shifter. I don't want to go aftermarket because I love the look and feel of my OEM shifter, so maybe I'll just pop off the top and give it a try. What do you think? Worth it or not?
I have with my VW GTI but I was VERY hesitant at first. Since I've done it though the only regret I've had is not doing it sooner. I went with a BFI knob which is very popular in VW/Audi culture and installed it myself. I'm sure this is more dependent on model to model but I was able to remove my stock knob and could put it back on if I wanted too. The new knob though feels very substantial and doesn't suffer from heat/cold issues because the top of the knob is lined in leather. If you get any sort of fully aluminum/billet stlye knob you will have issues no matter what any manufacturer says but really simple fix that guys do-- put a driving glove on the knob when you park. I've had this on my car since the beginning of year 2 and my car is now 4 years old-- absolutely no issues and I barely remember what the stock knob was even like (in a positive way).

My advice for anyone whose looking aftermarket though is basically just to take the time to do the research and don't cheap out. You literally have to handle this thing everytime you get into the car so if you're trying to get by with a $50 knob -- you'll get what you pay for.

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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by potownrob » Sat May 11, 2019 5:25 pm

What happened to people doing short shifter mods??
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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by Teamwork » Sun May 12, 2019 1:56 pm

potownrob wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:25 pm
What happened to people doing short shifter mods??
I did that as well as kind of an "all-in-one" project. It took me about an hour only to take off my old shift knob, replace the knob and fix up the boot > remove my old shifter piece and put in the new one and re-calibrate the links.

The task can definitely look and feel daunting but youtube and enthusiast forums really just made this a step following process.

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Re: Weighted Shift Knobs

Post by ClutchFork » Sun May 12, 2019 11:48 pm

Teamwork wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 4:05 pm
My advice for anyone whose looking aftermarket though is basically just to take the time to do the research and don't cheap out. You literally have to handle this thing everytime you get into the car so if you're trying to get by with a $50 knob -- you'll get what you pay for.
Very true. I once bought a knob from Autozone for $15. Piece of Junk!
Then I got a great idea and put a hardball on the lever. Loved it. Had a nice feel to it.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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