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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Shifter mods

Well, i finally took the plunge, and being tired of working on the engine and drivetrain, decided to do the interior work and shifter install before going back to tuning and tweaking the stroker. I got the power leather seats out of a nice 300 installed, and decided I wanted to do something different than the OEM center console. The car started out with the column shift, which has gotten quite boring by now. So, I decided to install the B&M Hammer shifter. It not only fits, it works, and it looks and works great. I like it way better than an autostick. I contacted Hurst and B&M both to make sure it would work with our transmissions, and they are virtually the same as a 727/904, which is what most aftermarket shifters are set up for. Had to tweak a few parts, and use the Ford pan bracket instead of the Mopar one or the stock one which was considered. Also, instead on running it up the firewall and out the stock hole, I drilled thru the floor right below the shifter and ran it under the trans tunnel. My only concern there (and if you've melted a shifter cable on your headers, you know where I'm coming from!) is the heat but theres a good 5 or 6 inches betwen the cable and the pipes. So without further ado, here's a few pictures of the new shifter. I love being in control of the stroker monster, the ratchet shifter makes shifts sure and fast and just a bunch of damn fun!



Here's a few pics, I wil get more up tomorrow. If anyone want more details let me know and we can get together and git er done.

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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 12:31 AM
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That looks fantastic nice job!!!

Do those shifters work like a regular automatic or is strictly manual control?
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 12:37 AM
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That is an original and very cool mod!
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 12:46 AM
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Nicely done.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 01:08 AM
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nice ! i like it
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all. It works like a regular shifter in that you can put it in drive and let it shift on it's own, or ratchet it back to low, shift to "3" which is second, and then it will upshift to third when it hits the shift point. If you hit cruising speed and want to allow it into overdrive you ratchet forward to "D" and you are good to go. It has a reverse lock out to keep you from overshifting into neutral or reverse, you pull the spoon lever up in drive and it slides forward to neutral, reverse or park. Same thing coming out of park, you have to pull the handle. Once I get the trans built, it will really come into play as I will get a lot more bang out of the trans when it shifts, and doing it one click at a time will be a thrill.

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypt keeper View Post
That looks fantastic nice job!!!

Do those shifters work like a regular automatic or is strictly manual control?
What did you ever end up doing with yours? I know you were experimenting with different handles and boots.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 05:19 PM
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Very nice. You don't have the control that you would on downshifts that you would if you had autostick, right?
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Very nice. You don't have the control that you would on downshifts that you would if you had autostick, right?
Thats correct, it's the same as if you had a regular floor shifter, drive, 3 and low, and it won't down shift unless you are on the throttle and it kicks down.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 06:16 PM
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What did you ever end up doing with yours? I know you were experimenting with different handles and boots.
Mine is finished or untill i come up with another idea lol.

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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dodgebob68 View Post
Thats correct, it's the same as if you had a regular floor shifter, drive, 3 and low, and it won't down shift unless you are on the throttle and it kicks down.
But overall you prefer it to A/S? Would replacing the cluster with an A/S one and getting a used Puttstick to use the cruise control buttons for "manual" shifting not have any appeal to you for more complete control (and still keep the manly man's appearance with that shifter even though you wouldn't be using the shifter itself for the shifting)?

Last edited by peva; 04-08-2012 at 06:25 PM.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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But overall you prefer it to A/S? Would replacing the cluster with an A/S one and getting a used Puttstick to use the cruise control buttons for "manual" shifting not have any appeal to you for more complete control (and still keep the manly man's appearance with that shifter even though you wouldn't be using the shifter itself for the shifting)?
The action on a ratchet shifter, especially these newer ones, is really crisp and precise. I just enjoy the feel of the gearshift as it clicks into place, the a/s I drove felt kinda sloppy, I guess because it was on a first gen, and a car with over 180K on it. Or maybe they all feel that way. I like the looks of mine, it does have a very sporty flair and it accents the interior well I think. I suits me, from both an aesthetic and functional point of view. I'm not looking for total manual control, just yet, maybe after the trans is built, but even then I think I wil stay with a standard valve body. I don't know if our valve bodies can even be made to operate in full manual mode.

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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dodgebob68 View Post
The action on a ratchet shifter, especially these newer ones, is really crisp and precise. I just enjoy the feel of the gearshift as it clicks into place, the a/s I drove felt kinda sloppy, I guess because it was on a first gen, and a car with over 180K on it. Or maybe they all feel that way. I like the looks of mine, it does have a very sporty flair and it accents the interior well I think. I suits me, from both an aesthetic and functional point of view. I'm not looking for total manual control, just yet, maybe after the trans is built, but even then I think I wil stay with a standard valve body. I don't know if our valve bodies can even be made to operate in full manual mode.
FWIW, some of the people who have Puttstick say that it shifts quicker with it than when using the A/S shifter (I wouldn't know because all I've had experience with is the Puttstick on my Concordes - no experience controlling A/S with the A/S shifter to compare as I left the non-A/S shifter in both of them).

As far as manual shifting, the shifting is by the energizing of the tranny solenoids. You could force whatever you wanted by hijacking the wires between the PCM and the solenoids to force the solenoids to whatever gear you wanted. The only problem with that is that the PCM will throw codes and possibly go into limp mode when it doesn't see the input/output speed ratios that it expects to see from the gear commands it thinks it's putting out (but that wouldn't be reaching the solenoids because you will have cut those wires). All limp mode means is that the transmission control relay gets denergized, which cuts off all power to the tranny solenoids, which is the failsafe design to default to 2nd gear (IOW, they designed it so that when you're normally in second gear, all solenoids are de-energized - that was intentional so that if power is lost to the tranny controls, it is automatically in second gear - clever, eh?).

You could bypass the tranny relay to prevent limp mode, though the codes would still be thrown. You'd be into new territory as far as actually doing that, so while we could guess that in theory there'd be no problems, there would be some risk and experimentation involved. By risk, I'm thinking more in terms of things temporarily not working 100% while your trying it, with no actual irreversible damage. It could work without a hitch, but no guarantees. I'm not saying do it or don't do it - just telling you the possibilities in case you are willing to try it.

On the other hand, A/S gives you more or less "full manual" control *but* with the protections of honoring the red line in case you did something stupid in forced (i.e., true fully manual) shifting. IOW - when/why would you want to over-ride the safeguards programmed into the PCM (other than maybe lock out OD at higher speeds if you were doing a timed track or dyno run)?


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Last edited by peva; 04-08-2012 at 09:16 PM.
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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FWIW, some of the people who have Puttstick say that it shifts quicker with it than when using the A/S shifter (I wouldn't know because all I've had experience with is the Puttstick on my Concordes - no experience controlling A/S with the A/S shifter to compare as I left the non-A/S shifter in both of them).

As far as manual shifting, the shifting is by the energizing of the tranny solenoids. You could force whatever you wanted by hijacking the wires between the PCM and the solenoids to force the solenoids to whatever gear you wanted. The only problem with that is that the PCM will throw codes and possibly go into limp mode when it doesn't see the input/output speed ratios that it expects to see from the gear commands it thinks it's putting out (but that wouldn't be reaching the solenoids because you will have cut those wires). All limp mode means is that the transmission control relay gets denergized, which cuts off all power to the tranny solenoids, which is the failsafe design to default to 2nd gear (IOW, they designed it so that when you're normally in second gear, all solenoids are de-energized - that was intentional so that if power is lost to the tranny controls, it is automatically in second gear - clever, eh?).

You could bypass the tranny relay to prevent limp mode, though the codes would still be thrown. You'd be into new territory as far as actually doing that, so while we could guess that in theory there'd be no problems, there would be some risk and experimentation involved. By risk, I'm thinking more in terms of things temporarily not working 100% while your trying it, with no actual irreversible damage. It could work without a hitch, but no guarantees. I'm not saying do it or don't do it - just telling you the possibilities in case you are willing to try it.

On the other hand, A/S gives you more or less "full manual" control *but* with the protections of honoring the red line in case you did something stupid in forced (i.e., true fully manual) shifting. IOW - when/why would you want to over-ride the safeguards programmed into the PCM (other than maybe lock out OD at higher speeds if you were doing a timed track or dyno run)?
You are right, anything may be possible with the electrically controlled solenoids, but in order to get the best shift, the valve body, and actual valves have to move faster in the valve body, this is what gives a manual valve body the high performance zip, the shift is extremely quick. This is done by moving or removing various check balls, lightening or strengthening (longer or shorter, more or less pressure) springs and opening passages, as well as increases in line fluid pressures and fluid capacity all contribute to shift quality. Time, energy, acceleration and forward motion are lost when the transmission is between gears, and some trans are more sluggish than others. They are made that way to absorb the shock of the shift, and provide a soft shift so grandma doesn't get all riled up when her neon slams gears! I have to get with my transmission guy and see what he can do as far as the valve body itself, he told me he is aware of some electrical mods from the tcm to the solenoids, but we didn't get into specifics. There may be advantages to being able to over ride the safety net of the pcm redline, if the engine builder (me) knows the capabilities of the engine and how it's built, it may be able to go to 7500 or 8000 rpm's safely. Or not, but I can tell you that if my valve train will hold up, the cams will go to 7500 rpm. I doubt the hydraulics will stay effective and I know the valve springs are too soft so it will go into valve float around 7000 rpm anyway. I'm not familiar with the solenoid controls, but I will be by the time we're done, and hopefully can pass on some good info on here. I'm not putting down an autostick, it's just that I decided to do something different and again (with a lot of my mods) go old school, because I know what works from the old school, but the fun is making it applicable and workable on "new school" vehicles! And not be called a tuner!

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Last edited by dodgebob68; 04-09-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 01:11 PM
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I like the idea of the ratchet shifter. Cool idea going old school like that. I'd be interested to find out what can be done to quicken the shifts, I know that my car in autostick mode is down right terrible for shift - slap the shifter right, and it takes 3-5 seconds to complete the shift sometimes.
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