K.G.Works Short Shift Kit

[10/23/2004] Reviewed by: Stephen Dempsey - LagunaRoadster@aol.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

K.G. Works short shifter kit. Comes with all neccesary components to install.

Great product, a bit troublesome due to lack of english instructions. The instructions found here help alot.

I found that it is a bit troublesome to shift into 5th, and reverse. It is somewhat stiffer to shift also. Gears are easy to find, no mis-shifting due to everything being closer. I think this unit has made my car somewhat faster, since I am not loosing as much time during shifts. I think it is definitly worth the money!! If I had second Miata, this would be one of the first items to install!

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[8/8/2002] Reviewed by: Armand MacMurray - throwaway1@mindspring.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Very high quality (JDM) short shifter replacement for stock shifter; also includes most OEM parts likely to need replacement when replacing shifter. This shifter raises shifting fulcrum and has a shorter shaft; see short shifter overview.

As noted by others, instruction sheet is in Japanese. I could figure out most of diagram, but based on my experience with the disassembled shifter & looking at online '95 parts diagram, I believe even the Japanese diagram does not show all parts that need to be reassembled on shifter. Given English instructions found in Toby Weir-Jones' review, I only ended up with 1 extra part. By looking at the Japanese diagram and the OEM shifter, I modified the installation; this also used the otherwise unused washer ring. I have included my additions to Toby's instructions in this review. Parts which are likely already broken on the car are both of the "wave" metal ring washers and the outer rubber accordian boot; get these from your favorite dealer. Now that I've got it installed, I really like the short throw action. Every now and then, I have to try twice to get into reverse, but otherwise shifting is very precise and just as short as I wanted it.

Additions to Toby Weir-Jones' installation instructions from his review: 8.5 Note: there may be a thin metal ring (or pieces of it) under and/or attached to the plastic collar -- remove it/them, too, and discard. 9.5 *Carefully* remove the upper white plastic collar/wavy spring washer combination from between the ball and inner boot of the OEM shift lever/inner boot assembly, and save for later reinstallation. (When assembly was installed, this collar/spring was sitting on top of the shift ball, with spring side *up*, against inside of inner rubber boot.) Note: if wavy spring washer shows signs of wear or cracks, replace it at this point (part # M505-17-482; an extra was not included in my kit). 14.5 Reinstall the plastic collar/wavy spring combo saved from step 9.5 by slipping it over the top of the new shift lever, with wavy spring side up. 14.6 Take the other of the two new thin-ring washers and slip it over the top of the new shift lever, on top of the wavy spring.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[12/30/2001] Reviewed by: Ross - thequietracer@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

KG Works Short Shifter from RSPEED.

Superior quality and great performance.

The installation is mildly challenge. KG Works short shifter is very accurate, precise and definitely shorten the shift gates like the manufacture claimed. However, when shifting into fifth or reverse it is difficult, especially, when using the round type shift knob, due to the center gravity of the design. I replaced mine with MOMO type style shifter and although it is longer and taller, the shift action is an absolute joy. I should point out that the round-machined plate balancer that fit on top of the shifter after the three Allen screws type installed and tie down with wire tie to the rubber boot, this machined plate makes rattling noise when shifting into third, but goes away in fourth and fifth gear. This product is a must for anyone searching to improve performance of his or her Miata.

Not an installed item

[8/9/2001] Reviewed by: Christian LoCascio - cvlocas@earthlink.net

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

The KG Works short shift kit come with a new gear lever and fulcrum. The shift throws are reduced by over 50% from stock.

I previously had a C's short shifter that I cut the neck down because it was too tall for my tastes. The KG Works shifter combines the height of the BSP-type short shifters (sit really low), with the raised fulcrum and shift throw reduction of the C's shifter. My shifting is actually smoother than stock and the shifts are so direct and positive. There is more effort than stock, but not too much. After about 2 minutes, you won't even notice it.

I wouldn't trade it for any other shifter on the market. After driving with one of these, driving a regular Miata feels terrible because the shifter is so sloppy. I know that it sounds odd, but it's true.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[4/16/2001] Reviewed by: Levi Magyar - mermann@erols.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

The K.G. Works Short shift kit is for budget minded driver who seeks JDM (Japanese domestic market) quality.

The install as with others i have read about was a little rough but the folks at Performance Buyers Club set me on the right track. The instructions come in Japanese and the diagram needs to be looked at closely to see differences. However the end result is very pleasing.

I would suggest the use of a weighted or balanced shift knob to help the throw a little as shifting does become a bit gated. You really feel the linkage pop into gear. The only gripe that I have, and know the solution to is that reverse is harder to come by. I have a 1990 and apparently two copper bushings in the trans. were too thin coming out of the factory. However this is not that big of a deal and i am very pleased with the overall end result.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[4/15/2001] Reviewed by: Ray G. - grunchr@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Short shift kit

This is an excellent product. After reviewing other shifters and seeing minor flaws in ALL of them ranging from being overpriced to poor quality I settled on the KG Works shifter. I was surprised that R-Speed included the instructions seen in this section to install this product, without those I would not have been able to install it in the time I had allotted myself for the job. With the instructions here it was a piece of cake, trust me!!! The fulcrum is raised and the knob sits lower. A new genuine Mazda shift boot and other related parts are included in this nicely packaged kit.

Not an installed item

[2/27/2001] Reviewed by: eunos roadster - eunos_roadster@miatadriver.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 +

Short shifter, short shifters reduce the length between gears.

This is the best short shifter on the market, I replace the B.S.P. s.s.k. with the K.G. Works unit, there's a huge difference between the 2, the B.S.P. unit wears out, since the fulcrum ball is made of all plastic, and the K.G. unit is all metal.

I highly suggest this short shifter if you are in the market for one, super high quality and excellent feel. It's only available in the U.S. throught www.rspeed.com

Under 5 minutes to remove

Reviewed by:Anonymous

Replaces stock shift lever with a unit having essentially the same design, but different proportions. Also the shaft itself is thin type unlike stock shape - similar to the one in Ferrari.

The fulcrum is raised, and the length of the shifter above the fulcrum is slightly longer. When laid out side by side, the whole assembly appears to be equal length to the stock, and when installed, it sits ted bit taller than the stock when used with the stock shift knob.

But the throw is reduced substantially, while effort is increased only marginally. I shift holding the shift knob in the palm - mine is a special titanium version smaller than Voodoo knob - and the distance between the neutral and the first is dramatically shorter.

Instructions were in Japanese only, and it is very important to study the illustrations very closely. Some of the parts where the shifter pivot ball rests need to be removed and relocated to the middle of the new parts you're installing. The kit includes the new plastic housing inner piece, flat springs so you do not have to buy anything extra.

For JPY19000, I think it's a great value when considering other similar kits are twice more expensive. All in all with the ball type shift knob it looks great and works a treat. One thing to mention is because the shaft itself is thin the hole in the inner rubber boot is too big for the shaft and you will have to get another rubber boot to match with the new shaft - try Lancia's old rubber boot or ask Kitagawa san for its optional kit .

Installation Instructions - by Toby Weir-Jones

I recently purchased the KG Works Short Shift Kit from Performance Buyers Club. The single page of directions that come with the kit are in japanese and feature some rather fuzzy line drawings. There are notes in the miata.net reviews that suggest the directions could be better -- it's true. I've written up the following as an aid to future purchasers; these steps are accurate for the kit as I received it.

  1. Remove shift knob.
  2. Remote center console piece (5 Philips screws).
  3. Remove insulation material around shifter, if present (sort of like carpet underlay).
  4. Remove white plastic split-ring retaining collar from top of large rubber boot, if present.
  5. Remove primary shift boot assembly (4 10mm bolts) and lift off shifter.
  6. Remove existing shifter assembly (3 10mm bolts) and lift carefully out of shift turret. Don't drip transmission oil in the car!
  7. Verify presence of tranny oil in shift turret -- if it's missing, dirty, or low, drain and replace it.
  8. *Carefully* remove white plastic collar from inside shift turret -- you don't want to damage the walls of the turret or the collar, though the collar itself is not re-used.
  9. *Carefully* remove the plastic locating piece from the main fulcrum ball of the OEM shift lever. You can pry it out with a small flat-head screwdriver. Note its orientation, it is slightly asymetrical. Put it on the new shift lever in the same place with the same orientation.
  10. *VERY carefully* remove the nylon bushing from the ball end of the OEM shift lever -- this is the piece that actually moves stuff around inside the gearbox, don't damage it. It is very snug and will require some careful force to get it off the shifter. Attach it to the ball end of the new shift lever by placing it on a hard surface, locate the new shifter on top, and tap the top of the new shifter gently with a small hammer. Cover the top of the new shifter with a towel or other soft thing.  (the next several steps address assembling the new parts supplied with the KG Works kit)
  11. Locate the pair of concentric metal rings -- you will notice the inner ring has a notch machined into it which is slipped over the protruding pin on the inside of the larger ring. Slip the inner ring over the pin protruding from the wall of the shift turret.
  12. Using one of the new thin-ring washers, place it atop the ring inserted in the turret in step 11.
  13. Position the paper three-hole gasket atop the holes on top of the shift turret.
  14. Attach the wavy spring washer to the white nylon bushing -- the three small arms on the spring washer correspond to notches in the sides of the bushing.
  15. Dab your little finger in the gearbox oil in the turret and rub the inner neck of the replacement small shift boot.
  16. Slip the replacement shift boot over the top of the new shift lever. Push the lever most of the way through the boot. Rotate the lever so that the plastic locating piece is facing the front of the car while the holes on the boot line up with those of the turret.
  17. Orient the outer concentric collar (with the inner protruding pin) such that the pin is located further from your face (as you look into the collar piece). Slide the collar up the botton side of the shifter so that its inner pin slots into the plastic locating piece on the shifter's fulcrum.
  18. Take the combined collar/spring washer assmebly and slide it up the bottom of the shifter such that the small round notch mates with the protruding pin -- i.e. so that the spring washer is facing away from the fulcrum.
  19. Insert the whole combined assembly into the turret. Make sure that the nylon collar on the bottom of the shifter slots into the gates in the gearbox -- jiggle it gently until it drops into place.
  20. Secure the shifter with the supplied allen bolts, washers, and lock washers.
  21. Temporarily replace your shift knob and verify that you can successfully engage every gear. Shift effort will be higher, this is normal.
  22. Remove the knob again.
  23. Take the two-tiered machined aluminum collar and insert it on the inside of the large rubber shift boot. Its smaller tier will be facing upwards and is held in place by the tension of the rubber boot itself -- you will need to stretch the boot very slightly to get the collar in place.
  24. Replace the large shift boot piece, ensuring that the machined aluminum collar slips completely down the shift lever.
  25. Replace the plastic center console assembly and your shift knob.

Back to Product Reviews 1 February, 2008