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Alternative shifters

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:36 pm
by dunstan
I was wondering if the type of shifter found in the LJ (especially the LJ10) has a particular name?" onclick=";return false;

I know it's a manual 4-speed, but all the manual 4-speed shifters I see out there look incompatible.

Even if it doesn't have a particular name, are there other shifters that I could replace it with, if I wanted a different look, or feel?


Re: Alternative shifters

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:38 am
by stevec
The shifter you see from the driver's seat is just the lever you move to change the gears - the actual shift case of the transmission is about 10 inches forward of this. You can put a different one on if you don't like the look, but the detent balls are all in the shift case of the transmission, so it won't change the way it feels.

Re: Alternative shifters

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:39 am
by dunstan
Well that's a helpful clarification, thank you Steve. It's good to know that it won't change the feel at all.

If I did want to put in another stick – basically replace everything on this page" onclick=";return false; – where would I look? All the units I've seen so far seem to be specific to makes and models of cars. Does the Samurai use the same setup as we do?

I guess I was hoping someone would say "There are four main kinds of manual shifter setups in the world, and the LJs use the XYZ system. Just search for XYZ and you'll find things that can be swapped in."

Re: Alternative shifters

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:11 am
by stevec
LJ's are going to be somewhat unique in that the gear shifter is separate from the transmission. On Samurai's, the shifter fits right into the top of the shift case on the transmission, whereas on LJ's there is a shaft that connects the shifter to the shift case on the transmission.

In my opinion, the "feel" of a shifter isn't as important on a manual transmission anyway. On an automatic transmission, different shifters can make the transmission shfter harder or softer, at a specified rpm, etc., whereas on a manual tranny, that is all controlled by the driver. As long as the gears are easy to find and engage, and you can feel when that gear is engaged, the only thing that could "feel" different is if there is slop in the shifter. This would be remedied by replacing bushings in the linkage, not the linkage itself.

Re: Alternative shifters

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:36 am
by Myers
Someone on the forums described the LJ shifting as being vague, which is about as accurate description as I have heard. This results in the driver’s frustration being taken out on.....what else? ....the shifter..... which soon makes matters only worse.

When I first got Miss Alice, the shifter had so much slack I would sometimes shift from 3rd to 2nd instead of the 3rd to 4th as I had intended. This proved the shifter as crap but spoke well for the synchronized tranny. I found the bushings Stevec referred to were gone..... completely not there.

Believe Stevec still has the originals for sale. A pretty easy installation and they will work ok IF you picture the letter H in your mind each time you shift.

I have started handcrafting mine out of a hard rubber plumber’s plug and then cut it into two halves. Considerably more effort but I can make them tight enough the two halves have to pressed in with a shop press. This provides the movement needed but with a much better and tighter feel plus last longer. Strangers to the vehicle can get in and have no problems shifting.

Re: Alternative shifters

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:03 pm
by zukimoo
When I first started to drive my LJ I found myself in 1st rather than 3rd and it showed itself really fast. Once you get used to the way it feels then it's alot of fun. You can't just slam the shifter into the next gear. Looked for a spare tranny for a while before realizing that reverse wasn't broken but I was just not finding it. We pushed that thing back all around the yard.