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What Is A Short Throw Shifter?

Created by Jay Walling
Date Created: 5/22/2019
Last Updated: 11/22/2022

Ever get tired of the distance between shifting each gear? Check out LMR to browse our Mustang short shifters to give you the driving experience you need!

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What Is A Short Throw Shifter? - What Is A Short Throw Shifter?

A short shifter is a popular upgrade in the performance world because it serves two key purposes: first, it shortens the distance the gear lever needs to travel between each gear. This is done by reducing the angle that the shaft travels. So, of course, quicker shifts mean better performance. The second benefit of short-throw shift kits is the improved driving experience. Even if performance isn’t your main goal, a short shifter can be very beneficial because decreasing your shifting distance will make it to where there is that much less work.

 

What Is A Short Shifter? - What Is A Short Shifter?



PROS AND CONS


Pros

  • Reduces the shift throw distance the hand needs to move to engage the next gear
  • Improved performance and heightened shifting experience
  • More custom look
  • Most aftermarket shifters are made with aluminum and last longer than the factory.
  • Added protection for internal manual transmission parts like shift forks and synchronizers


Cons

  • Tend to have more NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) compared to stock shifters
  • It can be more difficult to drive smoothly than stock, so not ideal for new manual drivers
  • Can void the manufactures warranty (Always double check before installation)



HOW DOES A SHORT THROW SHIFTER WORK?

 

First off, let's clear the air on this topic. Just because the height of the shifter knob is at a lower spot than stock, this misconception does not make you have an actual short throw shifter. A true performance shifter will correct the shifting geometry by providing a reduction of the angle between the shifter pivot point and the transmission compared to the OEM counterparts. In many cases, this will also lower the height of the shift knob, resulting in performance styling. This improvement reduces long throws, provides less time or faster shifts between gear changes, and provides added durability and performance benefits to your manual gearbox.



HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A SHORT THROW SHIFTER?

 

For most of us who have owned performance sports cars like Mustangs, you can normally tell the difference based on driver experience. But with used performance vehicles, shifting effort and throw length can vary from model to model. Normally, access to a manual transmissions shifter is quick and easy through the shift boot. Once you have this removed, you can look for distinguishing characteristics like some of the following bullet points below.

  • Billet aluminum or billet steel construction
  • Adjustable positive stops
  • Aftermarket shifter handles or gear knob
  • Aftermarket branding or stamps

 

What Is A Short Throw Shifter? - Gear Position



It all depends on preference and what you find more important. Many people like the traditional long shifts because they feel more connected to their car. Still, a short shifter is a way to go if you are looking for an alternative that decreases shift distance and leads to potential performance gains. Shop at LMR to browse all of our short throw shifters!

 

INSTALLATION LINKS


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About the Author

Jay has written content for Late Model Restoration for over 10 years, producing over 120 articles. Jay has an extensive 25-plus-year background in automotive and is a certified Ford Technician. Read more...