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Registered
2000 Forester
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Been awhile since I posted, but here's some pretty golden stuff. If this belongs in the DIY section, I apologize. Everything in there seemed more legit than this project so I put it here.

Situation: Ever since I purchased my 2000 Forester L, I've noticed that the shift lever was pretty far forward for someone of my stature. I'm 6'1" and most of that height came from the legs. To sit comfortably, I need the seat all the way back on the last notch of the rails. 1st, 2nd, and 4th gear did not bother me much, but 3rd and 5th required me to lean forward slightly to shift; doing this many times in a day gave my lower back a weird tweaking soreness. I got a Kartboy GC8 Impreza series shifter in hopes that it would greatly reduce the travel necessary in those trouble gears, but there was no change. After looking around for shifter relocation kits online and asking at Pep Boys (didn't hurt to ask), I decided to rig up my own.

Problem: Shifter too far forward

Solution: Place shifter further back for less than dinner for two at Applebee's. (or less if you have bolts/drill bits laying around)

If you also suffer from longlegilitis, this small mod/writeup will save you from the sourcing headache of hardware needed. This country needs to switch to metric fasteners already. Keep the standard measurements if you only want to meet halfway, sheesh.

Materials:

1 M12x1.25 50mm bolt (45mm might work) - I found this at Lowes
3 M12x1.25 Nuts - Found these at Pep Boys hardware drawers
# 1/2" (or M12) Steel Washers (For spacing/shimming if desired) - Also purchased at Lowes
1/4" steel bar (Or a piece/pieces of hardware shaped like what I made, I could not find anything that was similar to what I needed)

Tools:

1/2" (12.7mm) drill bit (Preferably Cobalt, destroyed a Titanium DeWalt bit) - Picked these two up at Home Depot, you guys might have them already
Some kind of drill or drill press (I resorted to a 3/8" Ryobi corded drill)
A steel cutting tool of some sort (I used a hacksaw. Wish I had access to a well equipped garage here)
2 Wrenches used to tighten the nuts/bolts. (I just used adjustables I had)

As you can see from the pictures below, it's relatively simple. Grab your steel bar, drill a 1/2" hole in it about 1/2" away from the edge. Then, measure out how far you want your shifter relocated from the origin and drill your second hole. After that, cut the piece off the remaining steel bar that you won't need. At this point, if you have a grinder available, I would recommend you round off the edges of your steel bracket to prevent any shift boot punctures. (I did not have a grinder so I just left them. My boot's beat up anyway)

Once you have your bracket, remove the shift boot section of your vehicle's interior. Spin an M12 nut onto your shift lever's threads. (with a washer if desired) Your bracket should fall into place easily above the nut/washer, allowing you to complete your nut/bracket/nut sandwich. Once you have it at the desired height, tighten both nuts. Torque both to you'regonnaneedabreakerbar lb-ft (just kidding). If the bracket may move when you're tightening the nuts; if this happens, just put it back to the right angle by tightening the proper nut that tightens in that direction... You read that right. The hole on the other end of your bracket should have an M12x1.25 bolt through it with a nut, both torqued down enough so they never move again without tools. Finally, thread your new threads on your Franken-shifter's through the hole in your boot while. NOTE: My stock boot only fits because I use a shorter length GC8 Impreza short shifter, people who are using Forester specific short shifters MIGHT NOT FIT THE BOOT.


Below is "finished" bracket and all hardware necessary (except washers)


Photo of mechanical components installed/tightened.


Side view showing the nut/bracket/nut sandwich that can be adjusted for height. Wouldn't put it very low since the original rod might bump your knuckles.


Another thing, I removed the armrest/storage bin since it kept bumping my elbow during shifts; this might be necessary if you do this "mod." I Plan on making a low profile cover to make it look less broken.


Final picture with boot on and proper shift knob installed. Your project might look less lumpy since my bracket has corners.



On hindsight, this may put more stress on your shifter/short shifter. I can't be certain nor do I care. Pretty confident the Kartboy shifter I'm using is robust enough to take more abuse anyway.

Is this a pretty ghetto mod? Sure, why not.
Was there a pre-made alternative? Not that I found
Was this worth it? I'd say so!

Hope this will help at least ONE other member here!
 

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Registered
2000 Forester
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
And the edges of the bracket may rip the boot?

Nice idea though.
Thanks! I mentioned somewhere in there that the corners will rip up the boot over time. Anybody here from MD with a grinder I could use? :)
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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39,796 Posts

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,039 Posts
great mod.

The only thing I could think of to improve would be designing the connection points so that it is impossible for the metal connector (between shift and knob) to move if a screw were to come loose. This could be done with a "D" hole. Basically a circle with one side flat. Right now should a screw come loose you are screwed.
 

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Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,015 Posts
the major flaw I see in this design is if the bolts that are sandwiching the plate happen to lose their hold on the offset plate, you're just going to end up with a hand-crank for a shift knob.

If you had some method of preventing it from coming loose and spinning on the shift lever it'd be that much better. I suspect the only way to add this support would be to either weld it to a sacraficial shift lever, or add a bent bracket that would tie back into the point where the shift linkage connects to the lever.
 

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Registered
2000 Forester
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input guys, a keyed hole would be nice but I left all my tools back in California (including my files d'oh). I was afraid it would come loose when I was putting it on, but the bolt's a grade 8.8 and the shaft seemed pretty hefty too. All I had to do was torque the hell out of it and so far it's staying in place.

Maybe if I had a notch cut into the shaft and welded a small rod to the bracket in the future.
 

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2007 FSTI and X 6 MT
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22,252 Posts
the major flaw I see in this design is if the bolts that are sandwiching the plate happen to lose their hold on the offset plate, you're just going to end up with a hand-crank for a shift knob.

If you had some method of preventing it from coming loose and spinning on the shift lever it'd be that much better. I suspect the only way to add this support would be to either weld it to a sacraficial shift lever, or add a bent bracket that would tie back into the point where the shift linkage connects to the lever.
Did I say that???? :p
Yes you did.

OP, place an extra nut on each, its called a jam nut. That should do the trick. Make sure to tighten then both.
 

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Registered
2000 Forester
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25 Posts
I'm 6'4" and have had this same problem on almost every vehicle I've driven... but then I figured out that I can just incline my seat forward from the "gansta" position via this handy lever I found on the side of my driver's seat :raspberry:

resourceful mod though :icon_wink:
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,751 Posts
A more refined way to solve the reach problem would be the extension of the shifter linkage instead. A lot more work, but the end result will look a lot prettier as the shifter will simply be tilted backwrds more. With a short throw, there should not be much problem with clearances.
 

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Premium Member
2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
Radius the corners and add some sort of brace, and this is a good, solid mod. Jam nut is probably the easiest way. A tack weld would work too.
 
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