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Is there any difference between the Short Gear Shift Kits of Novitec and Totally Alfa?
The Totally Alfa is so easy to install you wont blive it. And reversable. I dont know if the ratio is the same for both but Totally Alfa was a big improvment for me
 

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Apart from the obvious price difference, they both achieve the same result, just the Novitec one replaces the counter weight, and the Totally Alfa one retains the original.
I have both on the shelf in my garage, as personally I feel they both made the shift too notchy, especially on the GTA , but I know many use them and prefer them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Could you be persuaded to make space for your shelf for a nominal sum in respect of the Totally Alfa version?

Apart from the obvious price difference, they both achieve the same result, just the Novitec one replaces the counter weight, and the Totally Alfa one retains the original.
I have both on the shelf in my garage, as personally I feel they both made the shift too notchy, especially on the GTA , but I know many use them and prefer them.
 

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Apart from the obvious price difference, they both achieve the same result, just the Novitec one replaces the counter weight, and the Totally Alfa one retains the original.
I deleted the weights (there are two), which I think improved shift feel.

I have both on the shelf in my garage, as personally I feel they both made the shift too notchy, especially on the GTA , but I know many use them and prefer them.
I made short shift modifications on the two levers at the gearbox end of the cables, and adapted a Honda shifter (gear lever mechanism in the cabin) modified to shorten lever throw further (which enabled me to use a lenghthened gear stick lever without the shift throw becoming too long). The Honda shifter mechanism is just better designed and made than the Alfa shifter, and so more precise in its' action. I wanted to lengthen the gear stick to bring it closer to the steering wheel.

The net result of these changes is a lever throw that is much shorter and substantially more precise than the stock shifter action, with a gear knob that is just a very short reach from the steering wheel. Yes, the action is notchier than the stock shift (click click, snick snick as opposed to flop flop, wobble wobble...), but one adapts by adjusting shift technique. The sharper action rewards a more sensitive approach to shifting, made easier because of the improved tactility (better able to feel what is happening with the synchros and meshing inside the box).

Cable shifters are inherently less precise than a shift mechanism made from more rigid and more precisely located components (i.e. rods etc. as often found with RWD gearboxes), made worse if the mechanism has other inbuilt vaguenesses (flexi plastic parts, rubber bushes etc.). But substantial improvement is possible if poorly designed components ('soft' components) are replaced with more rigid parts.

I wouldn't go back to the stock set up...

Regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I deleted the weights (there are two), which I think improved shift feel.



I made short shift modifications on the two levers at the gearbox end of the cables, and adapted a Honda shifter (gear lever mechanism in the cabin) modified to shorten lever throw further (which enabled me to use a lenghthened gear stick lever without the shift throw becoming too long). The Honda shifter mechanism is just better designed and made than the Alfa shifter, and so more precise in its' action. I wanted to lengthen the gear stick to bring it closer to the steering wheel.

The net result of these changes is a lever throw that is much shorter and substantially more precise than the stock shifter action, with a gear knob that is just a very short reach from the steering wheel. Yes, the action is notchier than the stock shift (click click, snick snick as opposed to flop flop, wobble wobble...), but one adapts by adjusting shift technique. The sharper action rewards a more sensitive approach to shifting, made easier because of the improved tactility (better able to feel what is happening with the synchros and meshing inside the box).

Cable shifters are inherently less precise than a shift mechanism made from more rigid and more precisely located components (i.e. rods etc. as often found with RWD gearboxes), made worse if the mechanism has other inbuilt vaguenesses (flexi plastic parts, rubber bushes etc.). But substantial improvement is possible if poorly designed components ('soft' components) are replaced with more rigid parts.

I wouldn't go back to the stock set up...

Regards,
John.
Thanks John.

Did the Honda shifter require much work to fit? Also, I Presume the exhaust tunnel needs to be removed to access the shifter?
 

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Thanks John.

Did the Honda shifter require much work to fit? Also, I Presume the exhaust tunnel needs to be removed to access the shifter?
Dino,
I'm afraid it was a fair bit of work, by which I mean a lot of work. The shifter itself required substantial modification. The plate above the exhaust to which the cables attach also needed to be modified. The Alfa shifter was also bolted to this plate, but it now only holds the cable sheaths, i.e. the Honda shifter is not fitted to it, but to a couple of custom made brackets mounted above the central tunnel (can't be seen though because it all fits under the central plastic 'console').

The stock shifter can only be accessed from underneath (i.e. for removal). The Honda shifter can be removed from the top without needing to disturb the exhaust or the plate (but if the cables need to come out then the exhaust still needs to be dropped).

There is a long write up and two page discussion on this page:

Honda shifter conversion...

My last post on page one has a link to an attached Word doc which includes some photos. Unfortunately the photos are only of the modded shifter as installed, I didn't think to document the project from the beginning.

Regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks John this is very useful. The tunnel seems to be rather heavy. Is it possible to do away with it and protect the cables and attach the
shifter assembly by some other means? I could also perhaps re-use the thin aluminium reflectors?

Dino,
I'm afraid it was a fair bit of work, by which I mean a lot of work. The shifter itself required substantial modification. The plate above the exhaust to which the cables attach also needed to be modified. The Alfa shifter was also bolted to this plate, but it now only holds the cable sheaths, i.e. the Honda shifter is not fitted to it, but to a couple of custom made brackets mounted above the central tunnel (can't be seen though because it all fits under the central plastic 'console').

The stock shifter can only be accessed from underneath (i.e. for removal). The Honda shifter can be removed from the top without needing to disturb the exhaust or the plate (but if the cables need to come out then the exhaust still needs to be dropped).

There is a long write up and two page discussion on this page:

Honda shifter conversion...

My last post on page one has a link to an attached Word doc which includes some photos. Unfortunately the photos are only of the modded shifter as installed, I didn't think to document the project from the beginning.

Regards,
John.
 

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Thanks John this is very useful. The tunnel seems to be rather heavy. Is it possible to do away with it and protect the cables and attach the
shifter assembly by some other means? I could also perhaps re-use the thin aluminium reflectors?
Dino,
The plate is rather heavy, probably more than it strictly needs to be merely to provide an attachment for the cables and shifter mechanism (it also provides a 'clean space' for the shifter mechanism, i.e. excludes dust etc). However, I suspect that it also acts as a chassis stiffening plate.

The tunnel itself is in effect an upside down 'U' section channel, which has some rigidity, but without the plate its' stiffness would be compromised because the bottom of the upside down 'U' would be open (i.e. unbraced by anything). Adding the plate would substantially increase the rigidity of the channel, in particular its' ability to resist a twisting force. This would add to the chassis' torsional stiffness, and deleting the plate (or replacing it with something less robust) would deduct from torsional stiffness.

I can't see why it would not be theoretically possible to replace it with custom made lighter plate, keeping in mind that the lighter plate would also need to provide adequate bracing for the tunnel (possibly a carefully designed triangulated tube structure with an aluminum plate rivetted on?). However it would be a great deal of work for a very minimal gain (so minimal I don't think the benefit would be at all detectable).

As I understand it the reflectors only reflect some of the exhaust heat away from the shifter mechanism (and to some degree would also lessen heat from the exhaust finding it's way into the cabin). They also create an insulating air space between a hot thing and things you want to keep reasonably cool, so they both reflect heat and lessen heat conduction (from heated air). They are quite fragile and bend easily, and can crack where the nuts secure them to the chassis. They could possibly be left off with little significant adverse effect, but I wouldn't do that in case they are more effective than I am assuming...

They are easy to straighten if bent out of shape. If there is a crack or a broken section around a nut, then placing a largish washer on each side of the crack / broken section should hold it in place by spreading the clamping force over a larger area, i.e. onto part of the reflector plate which is undamaged.

Regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you John. I'll just focus then on copying your shifter modification!

Dino,
The plate is rather heavy, probably more than it strictly needs to be merely to provide an attachment for the cables and shifter mechanism (it also provides a 'clean space' for the shifter mechanism, i.e. excludes dust etc). However, I suspect that it also acts as a chassis stiffening plate.

The tunnel itself is in effect an upside down 'U' section channel, which has some rigidity, but without the plate its' stiffness would be compromised because the bottom of the upside down 'U' would be open (i.e. unbraced by anything). Adding the plate would substantially increase the rigidity of the channel, in particular its' ability to resist a twisting force. This would add to the chassis' torsional stiffness, and deleting the plate (or replacing it with something less robust) would deduct from torsional stiffness.

I can't see why it would not be theoretically possible to replace it with custom made lighter plate, keeping in mind that the lighter plate would also need to provide adequate bracing for the tunnel (possibly a carefully designed triangulated tube structure with an aluminum plate rivetted on?). However it would be a great deal of work for a very minimal gain (so minimal I don't think the benefit would be at all detectable).

As I understand it the reflectors only reflect some of the exhaust heat away from the shifter mechanism (and to some degree would also lessen heat from the exhaust finding it's way into the cabin). They also create an insulating air space between a hot thing and things you want to keep reasonably cool, so they both reflect heat and lessen heat conduction (from heated air). They are quite fragile and bend easily, and can crack where the nuts secure them to the chassis. They could possibly be left off with little significant adverse effect, but I wouldn't do that in case they are more effective than I am assuming...

They are easy to straighten if bent out of shape. If there is a crack or a broken section around a nut, then placing a largish washer on each side of the crack / broken section should hold it in place by spreading the clamping force over a larger area, i.e. onto part of the reflector plate which is undamaged.

Regards,
John.
 

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Dino,
Can you weld? Can you fabricate? Can you problem solve laterally? Be aware that this Honda shifter swap is not a straightforward and simple substitution of one part for another, but a relatively challenging project involving the adaptation / modification of pretty much all of the related components.

Regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That is very thoughtful John because as you probably suspected, I can neither weld nor fabricate! I was planning to give the task to a competent fabricator. It may be cheaper if there is a short shifter kit for the 156?

Regards,
Dino

Dino,
Can you weld? Can you fabricate? Can you problem solve laterally? Be aware that this Honda shifter swap is not a straightforward and simple substitution of one part for another, but a relatively challenging project involving the adaptation / modification of pretty much all of the related components.

Regards,
John.
 
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