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TMODcustoms performance shifter box install & review

 
Old 08-18-2018, 03:35 PM
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Kracka
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Default TMODcustoms performance shifter box install & review

To start, here is the part being discussed: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...ter-boxes.html

In stock form I was not happy with the C7's shifter. I liked the throw, ****, and effort, but not the vagueness often associated with a stock overly-rubbered shifter. Back in 2016 I went with Redline D4 ATF fluid and some ZIP Corvette polyurethane bushings, along with a proper shifter alignment to factory spec. These things all helped and I was happy with the overall feel of the shifter; not aftermarket precise, but good none the less for a stock unit. This info is detailed in the threads below:

fluid - https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...d-service.html
bushings - https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...7-shifter.html

Always wanting more/better, I stumbled upon Tom's (TMODcustoms) thread linked to above selling these performance shifter boxes and decided to give one a try since it seems to make good sense in theory. Already having polyurethane bushings I ordered the box with his Delrin bushings so I could compared the differences firsthand for myself.







Everything arrived looking fantastic and nearly new. The Delrin bushings are incredibly rigid basically like a hard plastic and snap right into place. Also note that this sealed billet cap which replaces the stock black plastic cap eliminates the stock shifter alignment pin; the alignment pin hole also doubles as an air vent (more on this in a bit).

Instructions on how to remove the C7's shifter assembly can be found here: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...k-shifter.html

Once my stock box was removed I cleaned the shifter ball & cup and greased it with red Mobil 1 grease and also applied this same grease to the new box's shaft & cup. I then put a thin bead of black silicone around the mating flange of the new box to seal the two halves together. I then did another thin bead of black silicone on the lip of the new box that holds the stock rubber foot, the bead of silicone here will basically glue the rubber foot to the box plus dampen any potential vibration between the pieces once installed.

During install I was having a hell of a time getting things to feel right and kept ending up with a squishy/spongy/springy feeling in the stick. What I ended up doing was reinstalling the performance box with the stock plastic cap and alignment pin so I could measure the exact distance between the box and shaft clamp. This step is very important in my mind and I highly encourage anyone installing this box to first set their factory alignment and measure the gap so you can target it when installing the new box without alignment pin. Instructions on how to perform a factory shifter alignment can be found here:

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...procedure.html

Here is a picture of the measured & set gap:


Much better...but still a little springy feeling in the stick... With the sealed billet cup and no alignment hole there is no way for any air movement in or out so as the you move the stick forward or back the shaft is either under a vacuum or pressurized. What I did to cure this, much to Tom's dismay I'm sure, was drill a vent hole in the end of the billet cap. The stock alignment hole is 5/32" but I went one size smaller to 1/8", I likely could have gotten away with smaller yet. The smaller the hole the less chance there will be for debris to enter into the greased bearings so if I were to do it over again I'll likely go down by another bit size or two. It is my assumption that this modification will void his lifetime warranty, but I got everything buttoned back up and now love the way it feels! Smooth and precise with nothing weird going on no matter the movement or gear selected.

I was not wild with the way the Delrin bushings were crushing under the torque tube bolts, even with large/fat washers on them, so I ended up retaining my ZIP Corvette polyurethane bushings which reuse the factory metal bushing sleeves. Doing it again, or for anyone else out there thinking about ordering, I'd skip the Delrin and either go with the available polyurethane bushings option or solid metal if you don't care about NVH.







Now this is how the shifter should have come from the factory! Zero slop, very precise, and only a tiny bit more drivetrain vibration coming through the stick into the ****!

Last edited by Kracka; 08-19-2018 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:04 PM
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Beyond amazing customer service! After 44 emails in the past week, and my modifications to his billet cap, he's still going to cover it with a lifetime warranty. He also gave a few further suggestions I may try. Incredible, especially in this day & age.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:07 AM
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I decided to drive the car to work today and took a route that I knew would lead to more shifting and I will say how incredibly impressed I am with the precision in the shifter now! Smooth and direct, almost machine-like. No extra effort and a minimal change in vibrations. I am definitely glad I stuck with my polyurethane bushings, definitely helps keep things "streetable" if you will. Money and time well-spent. I wish it would have been a little cooler outside though, was pretty brutal out there in the garage (and is part of the reason I was out there working @ 6am Saturday morning)!
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:23 PM
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Happy to help, glad your getting to put some miles on it, enjoy!
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:29 PM
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I just got home from work and seriously, the more miles I put on it the more I absolutely love it!
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
I just got home from work and seriously, the more miles I put on it the more I absolutely love it!

That's what I like to hear!!
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:25 AM
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I gave the car a proper workout over the weekend with 629 miles of driving across 2 days, 3 national forests, numerous trips to 150+, and countless hilly twisties constantly going up & down through the gears and I will say that this shifter box is exactly what I've been missing! Shifts were spot-on and precise the entire time, zero slop in the stick, with a nice positive engagement without harshness or excessive effort.

Last edited by Kracka; 08-27-2018 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
I gave the car a proper workout over the weekend with 629 miles of driving across 2 days, 3 national forests, numerous trips to 150+, and countless hilly twisties constantly going up & down through the gears and I will say that this shifter box is exactly what I've been missing! Shifts were spot-on and precise the entire time, zero slop in the stick, with a nice positive engagement without harshness or excessive effort.

Awesome! I love hearing stories like this from everyone, makes my day!
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for posting..
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:29 PM
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Not trying to bash THAT brand shifter. Full disclosure, I have '16 Z with MGW shifter I installed. Seems you had to do WAY too much modifying to get satisfactory results with "feel" & alignment of shifter. The cobbling together of things, drilling holes, NOT using their delrin bushings, etc, should not be necessary. Should be a 5-8 on the difficulty scale without all the drama of gnashing of teeth, cussing, to get things correct. Again, only speaking of my install, which was very straight-forward & is great also. I did have to read & re-read instructions, watch video several times stopping at various points to take notes so when in car it made perfect sense. I had it on computer to also read/watch while installing to not screw anything up. BUT, there was no need to modify anything. Sorry, I don't get why this is a GOOD review for that particular product. Don't rip my ***, JMHO.
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:38 PM
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All good my man, to each their own for sure. I like the stock shaft height and throw. One of only 2 sports cars I've owned that I haven't thought needed a completely new shifter (C7 & S2000), only some tweaks to the stock equipment. I put this thread together to save the wasted hours and frustration for others much like the MGW threads/videos you relied upon. My gap measuring technique solves the same problem as MGW's alignment tool and my dislike for Delrin is why I suggest others go with either his polyurethane or metal bushings instead. Tom doesn't agree with my air vent mod, but it worked well for me which is why I passed it on for others to consider for themselves. I've modified all sorts of aftermarket parts if I think i can find room for improvement so its nothing out of the norm for me (especially going back to my DSM/Evo days).
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Old 09-08-2018, 09:04 PM
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I should add that a few things...

The resistance / springy feeling was air. The seals I use, they are factory seals, seal the shsft and are air tight. That's the way its supposed to be. Overcoming that "air lock" does not translate into requiring more force to move the stick. It's the same concept as burping a Tupperware container. Your shifter will move easier and more smoothly with my box.

Drawing a line with a marker at the front of your box, before you pull it will give you a good idea of where the new box should be That's a great idea however many people's boxes are possibly pretty far out of alignment prior to removal so that should be used as a guide, not "the way".

Delrin vs. Poly vs. Solid is about a 50/50 split between Delrin and Poly based on customers I've had. Personally I like the stiffer feel of the Delrin but that's why I offer the multiple options.

If anyone has any questions shoot me a PM or email, I'm happy to discuss anything and help with anything I can. No matter what option works best for you I certainly recommend everyone who drives an M6 or M7 car spend the money on upgrading their box, I think it's the best money you can spend on the car. Thanks for reading

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Old 09-08-2018, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TMODcustoms View Post
No matter what option works best for you I certainly recommend everyone who drives an M6 or M7 car spend the money on upgrading their box, I think it's the best money you can spend on the car. Thanks for reading
Regardless of aftermarket Vendor/Manufacturer that has been mentioned on our Forum.
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