B&M Shift Kit Owners - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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B&M Shift Kit Owners

Please let me know how you like your kit. Wanted to know (1) how much the shift length has been shortened, (2) the overall feel of the unit, (3) do you have any concerns about finding gears under hard acceleration and (4) if there's any truth to the rumor that the shift plate seems to move access to the gears about an inch to the right.

Don't want to get into a debate over the GMM vs. B&M, etc. Just what you like/dislike about the B&M -- and how it can be improved. Was waiting for Pro 5.0 to develop one -- but they're not going to.

Thanks in advance for the help...
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 10:20 PM
 
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I'll chime in here....

I like my B&M. If you have been reading about the problems some people have had with bolts loosening, etc.. I have circumvented most of that stuff.
First, Loctite everything together.
I have also used bolts with the proper threads to secure the lever, (stick) to the shifter. I used nylock nuts on the back end of the bolts to prevent them from coming loose. The funky screws they give you look nice because the are countersunk into the peices, but I believe that the flared shoulders on them contribute to the problems people have had with them backing out.
I recommend drilling another set of mounting holes on the stick that will mount the stick so that the knob sits lower in the console. Mount the stick on the side of the shifter that is closest to you. Those two changes position the knob much more to my liking than if you just put it in the way the instructions are written. Suit yourself, though.
The only real "Problem" I have had with shifting, is that when I went out with the G-tech to practice for running @ the 1/4 mile track, I had problems finding 4th from 3rd on a hard run. I think the fact that I had just driven over 240 miles home from Seattle and the car/trans. was hot was more to blame than the shifter, however. I was pretty tired at the time as well. I have since discovered that I am not the only one who has had that problem, I don't think all the parties discussing it had the B&M shifter. I think it has more to do with the trans. and possibly the fluid used at the factory than anything else.
Overall, I'd say 9.5 out of 10, with the way I have it put in. I have had some people say that the pattern is pretty tight, but when you're bangin' gears, it feels pretty good if you ask me.

Maximental
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-28-2005, 09:03 AM
 
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I may be in the market myself for an aftermarket shifter. Until Tuesday I was pretty happy with the stock unit.

Tuesday I was on a wide two lane country highway in Kansas. I slammed it into third and I believe on my shift to 4th I got a surprise when I let out the clutch.....it was really 2nd! I immediatly pressed the clutch again once the rear wheels started skidding. The car veered fairly hard to the right and I was actually on the shoulder a little, so thank God for the wide road or I could have been in trouble. This is a scary experience at 90 mph

I've done this before in my 96 WS6 but I never felt out of control like I did with the GTO. The excess body roll and unresponsive steering don't help either...
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-28-2005, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Maximental -- so the complaints of the shift pattern moving to the right is the result of the overall pattern tightening up?

That would make sense -- because the factory pattern is awfully large from side to side. If that were the case -- then 1st and 2nd would move a little to the right, 3rd and 4th would stay the same, while 5th, 6th and reverse would come to the left a little bit. From what I read in a couple places -- the whole pattern 1st through 6th and reverse -- seems to move around an inch to the right. That just doesn't make any sense -- and I'd sure hate to burn a bunch of time putting this unit in only to take it back out.

Also, you're looking at something like a 25% to 30% reduction in throw length -- say the distance in 1st gear to 2nd gear?

Again, thanks.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-28-2005, 10:54 PM
 
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Shift pattern, etc.

The side-to-side range is definitely tighter. I measured the travel between 1-3, and 5-6. I came up with less than 1 1/2 inches Left to Right. I also measured the travel between 1st and 2nd. That was 3 1/4 inches Front to Back. I do not have measurements for these taken with a stock shifter, thus I cannot give you a %age.
I have the knob mounted as low into the console as I felt was reasonably possible. If you leave the knob in the position that it would be without modifying the kit, you would have more travel in every aspect of the gear pattern, as the knob would be further up from the pivot point. Does that make sense?
I believe the shift pattern as a whole is still centered in the same place relative to the driver. Because the 3-4 shift is a straight, in the center of the pattern shift, that is "neutral" in the side to side sense. Reverse is way to the right of the 1-6 shift pattern. So, I would think that you have the right idea about the whole shift pattern not moving as a unit one direction. I would agree that the 1-2 shift has probably moved to the right a little, and also as you have suggested, that the 5-6 and reverse have actually moved a little closer to the driver.
When you get the boots and stuff off to look @ the trans., you can see that the stock stick that you shift with has a "rowboat" looking arrangement that sits directly behind the peice that goes into the trans to actually move the shift forks in the trans. The stock shifter uses many more peices to accomplish what the B&M does. Replacing the stock shifter with the B&M does not change the side to side alignment of the shifter relative to the trans.. If you look in my pix gallery, perhaps the pix of the two shifter assemblies will help you see what I'm talking about.
As I said before, I mounted the lever, (stick) that the knob goes on, on the drivers' side of the shifter instead of the other side as the directions suggest. This moves the center of the entire shift pattern over closer to the driver by about 1/2 an inch. If you wanted to get it closer, you could always add shims to move the shifter lever closer to the driver. Does this help?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2005, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the clear description. I'm sold. Some folks were writing that the entire gate moved way the heck over to the right -- which didn't make any sense at all.

Will place an order with GTODEALER when he gets back in next week -- as the flubbery, rubbery feel of the factory unit really stinks.

Greatly appreciate the help. BTW, what did you do to shorten the length of the B&M stick? Suppose I can just machine a completely new replacement...

Last edited by b_a_betterperson; 04-29-2005 at 12:46 AM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2005, 10:43 AM
 
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Short stick

All I did was file the sides of the stick to make a flat surface which mates to the shifter, and drill another set of mounting holes through the stick, closer to the handle, which moves the knob lower into the console.

Maximental
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2005, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again, man. Read about your trip to the strip. Sounds like a blast! Like anything, improvement comes with repetition -- but your times were fantastic right out of the box!
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