Improved S1 Shifter
By: Tom Patten
In addition to other progress I've made on my rolling S1 resto, I also modified my shifting linkage. I now have a short throw full bearing linkage. No play and at the right speed it's an easy flick of the wrist to shift. Reverse....no problem!
Parts for the new and old shifter
I have a ball joint cut from a heim joint welded to a BIG washer (3", 1" hole) as a shift pivot and a ball bearing rod end at the tube clevis. Since the shifter lever (half inch bolt) theads into a coupling at this rod end, I can adjust the amount of lever throw. This is accomplished by loosening the lever and screwing the coupler up or down the ball bearing rod end. The result is either increasing or decreasing the distance between the ball joint pivot and the center line of the rod end bolt at the tube clevis.
Four bolts (original bolts if you like) hold the BIG washer and ball joint to the Frame and another BIG washer inside the frame; four mounting holes drilled in each washer. These two washers and some homemade rubber disks sandwich the frame tunnel. The large rubber disks isolate the BIG washers from direct contact with the frame to help vibration dampening and noise (ha, ha). I know what you are thinking...and yes the bolt shift has a shifter knob on the end so one cannot tell it is actually a bolt.
The key element of this mod is the lower heim joint which is a bearing that will only rotate around the mount bolt hole. That is to say, it is not a ball rod end. The shifter tube clevis is gently bent out and back around the bearing to accommodate the add'l thickness whithout dragging on the body of the heim. Then the clevis is bolted TIGHTLY to the bearing. This completely eleminates the clevis as an active element of articlation. It is now passive and is only used as a clamp. All rotation at this point is now within the bearing which is much stronger and smoother then the tang to clevis connection. Oh and no more nylon spacers. The result is smooth solid shifting.
The nice part is that all my origanal shifter parts have not been damaged or modified so thay are nice and safe in a parts box should I choose to go back to the days of bent shifters, worn plastic bushings and pushing my car backwards because I cannot shift into reverse.