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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning to install a B&M shifter this weekend. I've read in old posts that an older model had a habit of breaking but that the newest version has corrected this problem. I don't know if it will make it easier for me to find the gates (especially while on the track) but looking forward to shorter throws. This may be simple-minded but is there any additional effect on shifting with this kit vs. just getting one of the shorter knobs? I've read that some people find that the combo (short shifter and shorter knob is too short...not enough leverage). Also, the instructions indicate that you can either use their upper billet lever or the stock lever but there may be a little more vibration with the B&M lever due to no rubber isolation. Any feedback from anyone who's installed this product would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Installed the B&M shifter today. Took more than "an hour" though. Definitely an improvement. Don't think I'll add a short knob though, it's good with the stock one.
Next project is the 10 qt. baffled oil pan since I take the car to the track. Is this also an "hour" job? Anyone done it themselves?
 

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I have the B&M and a shorty MGW knob. I've never missed a shift on the track. The stock is way too tall, get rid of that monstrosity!

The oil pan is a snap. I did the oil pan/windage tray/aluminum gasket (well, my mechanic did that one). No rocket science, just drop it and replace it.
 

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Yeah, there's a re-usable aluminum gasket you can use for the oil pan. Its aluminum with like a silicon bead around the edge on both sides. If you talk to JonB I'm sure he'll sell you one.
 

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Where did you find the B&M shifter... and what was the price range??? I too have missed several shifts on the track and I am hoping that a shifter change will help.

I have the MGW short shifter lever (I guess it's a lever not just a knob)....

BTW... mine is a 1996 RT.

Thanks,
Lance
 

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The trick setup for racing is the B&M with the stock knob. B&M + MGW knob simply doesn't give enough leverage for snappy shifts.

I've tried every combination out there. Stock, stock shifter + MGW, stock shifter + momo, SVSi + stock knob, SVSi + momo, SVSi + MGW, B&M + momo, and B&M + MGW, and of them all, the best IMO is B&M with the stock knob.

If you just put an MGW knob on the stock shifter, it will give you 80% of what the B&M will give you. You will be removing the "dampened" feel of the stock knob, BUT, you still have the somewhat sloppy and dampened shifter. The B&M will "click" into the gears more than the stock + MGW will. The B&M shortens the throw, but it also gives a more positive feel, and is harder to move from the 1-2 gate to the 3-4 gate (stiffer springs), so you won't be wondering if you're going into 3rd or 5th, etc. It helps with the 2-3 shift also.

The B&M isn't too hard to install. They say you need to drill out the bottom of the ashtray compartment but you don't really need to. I f-ed up the measurement and the hole was 1/2" off where it was supposed to be - rather than drill another hole or enlarge it, I just used all the u-joints, extension bars I had in 1/4" size and I was able to tighten it just fine from the stock shifter cutout. In retrospect I wish I never drilled out that ashtray area in the first place.

Only thing to BE SURE is to put that little plastic thing on the ball of the B&M. I didn't notice that mine had come out and the grease stuck it to the bottom of the stock shifter. Put it all back together and it felt REALLY sloppy.. thought I f-ed up the install but I had to take it all apart to put that stupid plastic thing in.

I ended up breaking 2 of the B&M's - so I had to do the shifter install so many times. I bet I could do it in 1/2 hour now. I was the guy that discovered the problem with the shifters, according to B&M. When I called them they said they never heard of the problem before, and so I sent my shifter back, I worked with one of their engineers for a few weeks to identify the problem - which was a weak bond between the upright bar and the horizontal bar coming out of the shifter. They had used some sort of chemical weld shit - like JB Weld or something and it just wasn't strong enough. That area gets a LOT of rotational force when you slam the gears, and it would break.

Supposedly it's fixed 100% now.
 

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SRT Mike said:
The trick setup for racing is the B&M with the stock knob. B&M + MGW knob simply doesn't give enough leverage for snappy shifts.
I have the b&m and the shorty mgw knob, I wouldn't have it any other way. But user preference may vary. Try it with the stock knob, then change to a short one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lance,
I got my B&M from Atlantic Speed Warehouse. Just stumbled on them thru search engine and took a stab since they were the cheapest I could find ($249.95 + $7.95 S&H). PN BNM 45055, it should be same for your car. They sent it out the next day and I got it 2 days later. I have only driven the car on the street so far but there's no doubt that I shift more confidently. I did drill out the holes in the transmission tunnel and it all went in smoothly. Be sure to have 4 drill bits to drill out the rivets though (unless you have the aluminum variety). I have the stock knob on so far as I'm afraid it might take two hands to put it in reverse if it gets any shorter (less leverage)! Then again, I might need some weight training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lance,
BTW, the instructions say that you can either use the B&M lever or your stock lever as the stock lever has a dampener in it and their lever may have more vibration. Use the B&M lever, if there is any more vibration (which is practically nonexistent) I don't feel it. Their lever is also shorter so it seems like it would defeat the purpose to use the stock one.
Ray
 

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mgw is not 80% of b&m. Its not even comparable IMO. A knob just reduces the height of the stalk. It doesn't do anything for shifter feel. I had the MGW knob first, then added the b&m.
 

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FAST? said:
mgw is 80% of what the b&m shifter does. is the 20 % difference worth the swap?
Totally depends on you I guess. For me, it's worth the difference in price. I have to disagree with Mark, the stock knob with it's overall leather covering (I'm talking 98 and earlier) damps a lot of shift feel. The MGW adds a lot of shift feel, and shortens the shift - same things a B&M does, only the knob alone doesn't do it as well.

The B&M is firmer and has less slop although it adds a hair more vibration (not bad at all, IMO).

I still think MGW + B&M is way too short. I used to frequently bust my knuckles on the plastic surround when I had that setup, and while I felt pretty "boy racer" with my super stiff shifter, it did not help at the track because so much force was used to pull the shifter, that it was had to delicately develop the feel to add just enough side force never to miss the 2-3 shift. After a couple of thousand miles with B&M + MGW, I went back to stock knob + B&M and never looked back. I remember talking to several of the "big dog" drag racers at some events and saying how the MGW was too short with the B&M and my overall favorite was stock knob + B&M and everyone said they had reached the same conclusion. But that was among the drag racers.

Bottom line - B&M is definitely an impovement. Get it, and use the stock knob and see if you're 100% happy. If you're not, try to borrow an MGW knob to see if you like it, or maybe George has a money back thing - I think it's too short personally, but that's just my opinin.
 

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Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one! /images/graemlins/laughing.gif

The stock shifter has a rubber boot around the lower part of the shaft - the part that the stock super knob screws into. You can also keep the stock shifter and replace that piece with the boot on it. Wasn't it Rich Detert who was selling shortened pieces to replace that? (memory is going) Anyway, thats one of the reasons the b&m makes such a difference - no more spongy rubber feel.

And Mike and I agree, start with the stock knob, then try an mgw if you want. To me, its like a surgeon's scalpel when I change gears, but I'm a road racer, not a drag racer, so I can see that if I was trying to bang the gears I might want some more leverage.
 

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It just dawned on me that Mike and I are probably talking about two different MGW knobs. That little shorty snake gripper thing would be absolutely worthless with a B&M, here's the bigger one that I use. I had the composite version first, but switched to the all alum version cause it fits in your hand better.
 

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I bought a B&M last year and sent it back because it didn't have adjustable shift stops like I've seen in the photos. I bought another one from another company and still no adjustable shift stops and I sent it back. What's the deal? Can I get one with adjustable stops or not? I don't want to be smashing my gears and bending shift forks.
 
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