With just about 4,000 miles on my '99 Mallett 435 C5 with a six speed trannie, I decided to see how the car did at the drag races.
During the runs at the drag strip, I found that when shifting to 3rd gear at high RPMs, the shifter would jam, leaving the car in no gear and getting into another gear a real problem.
At normal driving RPMs, the stock shifter ( with a Mallett shifter handle) was OK.
The Mallet handle has a metal knob that is a little larger the a quarter. This not only gave you less grip, but also very cold to the touch.
The problem seemed as the shift gates were not acting correctly and the bias spring, allowed the shifter to return to the 3rd/4th rail, but if any movement to 5th/6th gate and shifter would not return to center.
I yanked the console hoping to find the shifter out of alignment, but no such luck.
I decided to replace this shifter all together with a Kirban shifter that I purchased from Ecklers.
This custom shifter has bump stop adjustments , shorter shift throws and is designed to take more abuse. Much better design then stock unit is.
Installing it was very easy, yank the console ( about 8 screws/nuts, another 4 nuts for shifter boot and then 4 bolts that hold the shifter to a shelf brace.
The brace is Z shaped attached only to the drivetube, thus shifter is really only mounted to that brace on the right side, leaving movement since left side is un-supported. Lousy design.
I installed the Kirban, adjusted the bump stops, replaced the console and used a stock C5 shifter knob.
Now it was time to test. After engine was at normal operating temps I began my tests.
The gates are more notchy then stock was, the throws are about 20 percent shorter but shifts at normal RPMs were nice and firm.
I then began using higher RPMs for shifts of 2nd to 5th gears and found no problems with the shifts into 3rd jamming and thus the stock shifter/Mallett handle was indeed the failure point.
The Kirban, is not for someone who wants soft easy shifting, it is a man's shifter, meaning you have to use more force to shift, but the end result is a shifter that can handle quick shifts or power shifting at near redline RPMs.
Having the adjustible bump stops assures each gear is properly aligned and can save syncro failures over time.
Back to the drag strip in a few weeks and by then shifter should be broken in and I'll see what differences it has over the stock unit.
Team ZR-1 Teamzr1.com
[This message has been edited by teamzr1 (edited 01-28-2001).]