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Weighted Miata 6MT Shift Knob Mod

72940 Views 190 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  Teamspeedy


I had the chance to test drive the NC shift knob earlier today. My throws are more confident, less effort and most noticeably...the downshifts from 5th to 4rth and from 3rd to 2nd, are more assuring (the stock knob seems "unsure" in feel when I engine brake, esp from sliding the shifter from 5th to 4rth notch...a feeling somewhat that it might go to 2nd). Essentially, throws overall are way smoother. Also, this solid aluminum/leather NC shift knob is more elegant and sportier in looks and feel in your hand (the buttery smooth semi-matte black leather blends very well to the leather steering wheel, etc and does not look "out of place" vs other shift knobs). It is also as I estimate, substantially 4-5X heavier than the cheaply light, hollow bodied, plastic stock shift knob.

Quality well Made in Japan (for $95, shipped to my door)..somewhat pricey for a shift knob, but well worth it. I am quite happy with this OEM mod. :)
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How tall is it compared to the stock 6 knob? I'd love to shorten the throw about 1/2 inch. Also how does the weight compare (take them to a grocery store and put them on a produce scale haha)?

I've thought about cutting down the threads on the shift lever, and modifying the boot to be able push everything lower...but this could be a much better alternative, although 95$ isn't cheap.
I checked over the weekend if I could drop the stock knob and I cannot, since the boot only can go down a very small amount without some major reworking of the shift lever, so I just twisted down the stock knob as far as it possibly will go.

I think you've absolutely found the best option available.
@solar365, thanks. Having a short shifter was also on my mind as well. This NC knob, though is shorter than the stock knob..the install height, if I'm not mistaken is nearly the same if not a tad lower than stock. The "neck" area of the stock knob exceeds (that pushes the shift boot down) that of the NCs'. In fact, I have to pull the boot up and adjust the findings to look "neat". It's a good thing the shift boot has a lot of slack. The flexibility for adjustments is desirable for a shift knob mod. :)
Oh, so to get the full potential of the drop you would need to still cut off some of the threads of the lever. Not a big deal with a dremel working inside a gallon ziplock bag. (I did it with a hacksaw on an older car for the mom polished competition knob) and it tended to catch and really yank the lever around so much I was worried I was damaging the bushings, so I won't take that approach again.)
I compared my 2001 miata shifter throws with my M6 before I sold it and my impression was the angle of throws was about the same, maybe a tiny bit less angle to the throws with the miata. The length of the throw is MUCH larger with the M6 vs the miata. The length of the throw relative to the angle of the throw is specifically determined by the height of the knob from the center of rotation of the shift lever ball.

We don't need some fancy short shifter kit to get good short throws with the 6 we just need a shorter shift lever.

That being said, Why go through the hassle of adding a spacer or fiddling with the boot, when you can cut some threads off the end of the lever and drop the knob achieving the holy grail of shifter feel similar to the miata?

There would be more than enough threads left to hold and lock the knob in place, and if you ever put the factory knob back on it would be fine too, because again still enough threads to lock rotation and it would just bottom out on the boot.

I mentioned before using a hacksaw is prety ruff on the shifter mechanism, but using a dremel with a metal curring disk should go through pretty smooth.

Of course I'm on the outside looking in on all this because I'm too cheap to spend $95 on this upgrade. I'm already over my limit on the interior with the wood trim I have on on order.
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I put the spacer under the boot, yes. I'm not sure if I prefer it there or on top; I'm going to drive with it this way for a while, ponder the chunk of rod sticking out of my lathe's chuck for a bit as I contemplate the several hours (instead of one) required to turn a TAPERED external spacer (which IMHO would be THE boss item, but it's a HELL of a lot of work on a lathe with only a LATERAL powered feedscrew) and then decide whether I'll leave it like this or go turn myself said tapered external brass piece.
That's so cool you have a lathe. I'm jealous. If you have a grinder too you could just grind the required angle on your cutter and run it straight in once or twice since the spacer isn't too tall. Still... I'd just cut the lever down and enjoy the new setup even more.
I want to see pics of the wood trim bro.
I'll make it a thread when it all comes in. I've only got the door panels in so far. The hydrographiics on the two dash pieces aren't done yet.
Yeah, I've tried unsuccessfully to purchase the knob twice. Unless you can see they have it in hand on ebay or amazon, consider them gone.

I think I'm going to chop and drop the stock knob and pot in some lead shot to give it some extra weight. I don't see anything else that I'm totally sold on.
Correction....these asses I guess don't update their website b/c they allowed me to put item in cart and order it credit card and all......and a day later send me an email saying "the part has been discontinued", update your website!
They are all in the same boat. I ordered from a website that said they had it in stock and didn't have it. There was a dealer that said there was only one left at a mazda dealer in the entire nation, but I didn't want to cold call that dealer for it, because they would probably want $200.
please weigh it before installation (maybe at a supermarket's fruit scale?). I'm curious to see how the weight compares.

I also have a redish brown wood trim, so I'm curious about the true color of it as well.
That rx8 knob doesn't look confortable. I'd never get it.
Can you take a picture of it in different lighting to see the color for those like myself that may still be interested in it?
That color is pretty close to my wood trim... Can you get a tape measure on it for height? I could be very interested in taking it off your hands if the size and price is right.

I would never buy the used leather wrapped oem knobs because once the outer finish on the leather goes...forget about it. That is the good thing about the wood that it won't wear out like the leather.
Ballsy, I can't thank you enough for turning me onto the wood version of the miata knob. I got it for $107 shipped from the website at the beginning of this thread. As you can see from the attached photo it goes pretty good with my interior setup. Also, because it is wood it doesn't get hot in direct sunlight which is really nice. And it is surprisingly heavy, I think it is a wood sleeve over a steel core with a plastic threaded insert.

I started another thread that also discusses shortening the shift lever and adding the solid bushings to the shift lever mount, which in my opinion is something people should do if they add one of these heavy knobs, as the gates get sloppier with the extra weight.


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