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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone out there have the JHM short shifter on a B5.5? They very particularly do NOT have the B5.5 listed on the fitment for the shifter on their site and I think I may have learned why. They only advertise an "early" (pushdown reverse) and "late" (no pushdown reverse) style up to 2001 (aka the B5 years...not B5.5) for the 5 speed tranny.

Because of this, and based on some comments in the forums, I bought the B6 Audi A4 shifter (5 speed) thinking...how different can they be? Well the shifter is scraping the bottom of the shifter housing and won't engage properly as a result). I have an idea for putting in some spacers (they use this for the S4 model) but wanted to see if anyone else has had an issue like this in a B5.5.

Cheers.
-gabe
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Wow....no one's put this in a B5.5? Haven't gotten a response back from JHM either.

Well I have since rectified the situation for anyone looking to do this mod on a B5.5. I picked up (4) hard nylon cylindrical spacers at Home Depot (one for each attachment point of the rails that the shifter base is connected to the housing). Due to the space constraints, it will only work with 1/4" length spacers...even then you have to drop the housing down to access and reinstall the mounting screws after the spacers are in place. 1/2" diameter works best as it matches perfectly with the housing shoulder. The ones I picked up had an inner diameter of 0.194" and had to be drilled out (1/4" drill bit) to accommodate the torx mounting screws that hold the shifter base/rails in place. The final product looks clean (not that anyone will see it) but I will repeat....its is TIGHT...the rear rail mounting screws are literally touching the body pan. I'll take some pics and post.

By the way, this setup (shifter, stabilizer bushing, and selector linkage) has a really freakin' nice feel to it. Solid. Precise. Shifts are crisp and the click into place sounds awesome. Really excited to have it in place. I will note though...with all of this in...there is a VERY noticeable increase of mechanical noise in the car. You've basically got a permanent stethoscope listening to your transmission.

Cheers to anyone who's looking
-gabe
 

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Thanks for the notes, gabe. I too like to look at the local Ace/HomeDepot/whatever for their aisle of BMW and VW parts. <g>

I'd be curious to see a picture. Perhaps the increase in noise is related not to stiffer bushings in the shift assembly, but instead to the rear rail mounting screws touching the body pan. When mechanical/body touching occurs (say, from an exhaust hanger coming loose or a rubber bush perishing), it's almost always noisy.

-David
 

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I love the JHM setup. It is very crisp, especially compared to the factory rubber. I installed their late B5 kit and didn't have any problems. My car is an early 2001 B5, so I don't know about the fitment of the B5.5, but I can't believe it would be different.

I read somewhere that if you do not use the delrin stabilizer bushing, you won't get much noise in the cabin, but for the difference in the shift feel, I got used to the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@ Roostre - I thought the same thing...how different can they be? But looking at EKTA the shifter, shifter base, and shifter housing are all different part numbers. The shifter housing are two different variations of the same part # from the B5 to B5.5...judging by the EKTA images isn't quite 100% reliable but there is some difference. The significant difference comes in the shifter itself and the base (that makes up the pivot point and sliding rails). I'm thinking that even if the housing is similar, the shifter/base combo might have a enough difference in them to affect the amount of clearance at the bottom. As evidenced by my work-around...1/4" made all the difference.

Regarding the cabin noise...I suppose I may have over-characterized its volume but wanted anyone considering the mod to understand that its a noticeable increase in noise but more like white noise. I can hear the gears turning...literally. But its easily drowned by the stereo at even low levels. Frankly, I like hearing the car. Anytime you remove damping-type materials for more performance oriented, you're gonna hear the road or car more. There was a notable increase when I went to the 034 Street Density engine and tranny mounts some years ago. I'm just saying its likely going to drive my wife crazy...but I certainly don't mind (the noise or her going crazy).

So I take your point David and you're right there's likely some propagation where the screw meets the pan but there's still a lot of damping plastic involved there...the housing itself...the shifter base...the even the new delrin bushings on the rails. It might be worth investigating putting in a thin piece of sound/vibration attenuation material in between the screw/pan but I'm not so sure that's going to make a significant difference. I think its simply the nature of the JHM package.

I need to take off the sound damping cover (first thing you see under the shifter boot) in order to get a pic of all this. I'll post something up this weekend.
 
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