CustomMaxima.com Adjustable STS Review
Probably the most sought after modification 5spd Maxima owners look for is how to shorten that god awful shifter in the center of their console. Here is where Custom Maxima (a CustomEnterprise division) comes in. It is not only the mere fact of a 5" pole protruding from center console, it is also that you need to move it 3-4" back and forth in your daily drive and consequently, at the track! Derived from aerospace grade 6061-T6 aluminum this shifter is surely able to withstand the g-forces when slammed into the next gear. To make things topnotch, CE has decided to powder coat the rod itself a stunning anodized black finish.
What we liked most about this short throw from CE, was that it is an adjustable product. What that means is that you may adjust the throw length and shifter height by rotating the pivot ball down the threaded shaft. When installed we were quite surprised at how much shorter the shifter was, leaving us a little bit giddy
Obviously, a shorter throw, no more "rowing the boat".
It is much lighter than the factory unit, which makes it easier to move during fast shifting.
Looks are considerably improved over the previous "flag pole" shifter.
None found as of yet.
*NOTE* Although having a really short shifter looks very nice from the interior, two problems arise from this. If the pivoting ball is set at the top-most, 1st- You will not have enough leverage to shift gears and you will find yourself having to force the shifter in and out of gear. 2nd- The upper heat shield will have to be banged so much that the indentation might make direct contact w/ the catalytic converter. Metal-to-metal contact WILL let u know of any vibrations in your system. If you're careful, it is possible to make this indentation without having it touch the catalytic converter.
*The shortest throw WILL NOT be comfortable.* Like previously mentioned, you WILL have to force it in and out of gears. (Mine is set 2/3 - 3/4 of the way up and feels great there).
CustomMaxima.com will provide a $10 discount off this short throw kit
when you mention this review
The finished product:
95-99 Nissan Maximas
96-99 Infiniti I30s
Part Number Information:
Adjustable Short throw Shifter
Where To Purchase:
Adjustable Short throw Shifter
CustomMaxima: (800) 806-5798
Tools Required for Installation:
Sockets and Wrenches
Air tools if available*
Installation Process: Removal
What we have to do first is unscrew the shifter knob with some turns to loosen and remove it from the shifter shaft. Once the shifter knob is removed grab hold the inner edge of the shifter frame and tug outward, it should snap up, but do not pull out yet. You need to disconnect the 12v power to the cigarette lighter and you may then remove the panel and set it aside.
Get underneath the vehicle and remove the lower shield which protects the catalytic converter from the harsh roads you drive on. It will come down after removing the 4 screws securing it in. Once that is out of the way, you will see the now exposed catalytic converter, and oxygen sensor *viewing from the driver side of the vehicle*. Unlatch the oxygen sensor by removing the clip securing it to the metal bracket farther down. Remove the oxygen sensor which may still be hot and allow it to hang, but be sure to not damage it when removing as that is vital to your cars proper operation. Remove catalytic per the bolts (2 on each end) connecting it to the ypipe, and rear straight section of piping. You may remove the bracket on the driver side of the cat for easier access to the bolts if it is in your way. Carefully place the cat and the two gaskets aside as you will be reusing those. Using wd40 and an air gun would be wiser when removing those bolts. Once the cat is out you will notice another heat shield which needs to be remove via another 5 bolts.
When the heat shield comes down it should expose the shifter rods that you are going to be working on next. You will need to disconnect the shifter from the control rod via the nut (farthest inward in our sample picture). Disconnect the spring from the control rod (Metal "C") and what you need to do is remove the nuts from the support assembly and from the inside lift the shifter and turn slightly counterclockwise and push down. The shifter should come right out with pivot ball.
Side by side the shifters are visibly of different lengths and you WILL need to get to your upper heat shield and bang the center line out just a tad so that when you are shifting through the gears, the rod will not get caught up resulting in very stiff shifts. Remove the dust boot from the original shifter (it is flexible enough to slip over the pivot ball) and replace on the new shifter. *note* Depending on your situation you may have to shave down the pivot ball to remove the boot as it may rip if stretched too much. Lower the pivot ball to your desired height and lock into place with the provided allen wrench.
Grease the pivot ball with the grease provided and replace the C bushings around the ball and swirl it around to lube up the bushings adequately. Install the new delrin bushings to the lower end of the shaft and begin to reinstall the new shifter. Reinstall is the reverse of uninstall do so in that order, and make sure that the shifter does not collide with the heat shield. Metal-to-metal contact WILL let you know of any vibrations, if such a case occurs, remove heat shield and proceed to bang out the trouble areas. Lower car to the ground, and go for a drive. :)