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To quote from thine enthusiast’s bible, “To shift is human. To install a short-throw shifter is divine.” In this verse, we’re delivered the importance of a short-throw shifter to enthusiast wrenchers everywhere, a fact that cannot be understated. 

Although the vast majority of the population of gearheads knows the basic premise of what a short-throw shifter does, what goes on underneath the shift boot is a bit more mysterious and unclear. How is a short-throw shifter mechanically different than a regular shifter, and why do they make every driver feel like Dominic Toretto? 

Well, fine cinephile, has Car Bibles got the guide for you! Below we’re going to answer all your questions about short-throw shifters and, hopefully, entertain you along the way. Hit the NOS, let’s get after it.

Inside the cockpit with a short-throw shifter.
Inside the cockpit with a short-throw shifter. Toni Scott

What Is a Short-Throw Shifter?

A short-throw shifter is a mechanical device that shortens the throws of a manual transmission’s shifts. The throw is the motion and action of your hand moving the stick between two gears. In other words, it shortens the time it takes to shift from one gear to another. 

How Does a Short-Throw Shifter Work?

Ashort-throw shifter works  by reducing the angle the shift lever has to travel in between gears. By doing so, it reduces the distance required to travel through the car’s gear. 

What’s the Difference Between a Regular Shifter and Short-Throw Shifter?

A regular manual transmission shift lever is set from the factory with a specific distance between each throw. This is usually longer than it’d need to be due to wear and tear factors caused by untrained drivers. 

As described above, a short-throw shifter is a mechanical part that reduces the distance between each shift throw to speed up the shifting process. 

What Is a Short Throw Shifter and How Does It Work?
Not a short-throw shifter on a Veloster N that should be a short-throw shifter on a Veloster N. Jonathon Klein

The Car Bibles Glossary for Short-Throw Shifters

Welcome to Bible school! 

Clutch

A clutch is a mechanical part of a transmission that engages and disengages power sent through the transmission from the engine. In relation to any manual shifters, short-throw or regular, the driver is required to depress the clutch each time changing gears is required.

Double-Clutching

Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about granny shifting, not double clutching like you should

Shift Boot

The shift boot is the cloth or leather cover that wraps around the shift lever and protects the internal parts from dirt, debris, and old french fries. 

Sequential Manual

A sequential manual transmission is a type of manual transmission that you shift forward for up shifting, and rearward for down shifting. Motorcycles also have sequential transmissions. 

The Questionnaire

Car Bibles answers all your burning questions.

Q: How much do short-throw shifters cost?

A: Cost will depend on your application, with a range between $150 for a cheap kit up to $500 for a well-built, name-brand one. 

Q: Are short-throw shifters worth it?

A: What you get is a shorter shift throw, so it really depends on what you want to get out of the short-throw shifter. Do you want quick shifts? If so, it’s worth it. If you don’t care about the few milliseconds it takes to shift from 2nd to 3rd, then probably not. 

Q: How long does it take to install a short-throw shifter?

A: That will depend on your car, though the majority of short-throw shift kits take an average of 2-5 hours. 

Q: Can a short-throw shifter damage your transmission?

A: No, they can’t.

The Short-Throw Shifter Video Tutorial

Car Bibles’ editors understand that not everyone is a text-based learner. For those kinesthetic people out there, we have your back with a video showing you exactly how short-throw shifters work. We pulled it from one of our favorite, and most trusted, sources and it’s a great additional resource.

Comments Are Open, Come Speak Your Piece

It’s easy to make an account and we really do want to chat! Writers (and other readers) will answer questions and comments whenever they can!

You can buy tools to install a short-throw shifter at almost every auto parts and home improvement store. As well as online stores like Amazon. But why deal with the hassle of searching when you can just listen to us! Such as this HINSON Short Throw Shifter for a C5 Corvette 1997-2004, Megan Racing Chrome Front Short Throw Shifter For 00-05 Eclipse 3G/02-06 Lancer, or this Skunk2 for an 88-00 Honda Civic.

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