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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Gang,

Planning ahead for the springtime delivery of my Classica. I do woodturning for a hobby, and for my last manual transmission vehicle I turned a homemade gear shift knob. It was a simple threaded fitment of the knob to the top of the gear shift lever. Is that the case for the new 124 Spiders? I saw plenty of options for sale for old cars, but I really couldn't find anything that verifies the mounting of the knob to the lever in the new cars.

Has anyone installed a new gear shift knob (or made one yourself)? If so, is it threaded, and do you recall the thread diameter and pitch? (Assuming metric.) Any problems removing the factory shifter knob?

Thanks,
Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Okay, no replies, I guess I'm out on the frontier on this one. If I successfully make (easy-peasy) and install (could be the challenge, won't know until I try "lefty loosy) a new gear shifter knob, y'all here will be the first to know.

Steve.
 

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Okay, no replies, I guess I'm out on the frontier on this one. If I successfully make (easy-peasy) and install (could be the challenge, won't know until I try "lefty loosy) a new gear shifter knob, y'all here will be the first to know.

Steve.
Threads potentially relevant to your interest:
https://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=600040
https://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=603134
Both fits, ND has 10x1.25 threading so any one that has the same threading will fit.

Presuming the same shift knob threading, even though there are different ratios in the gearboxes themselves...
 

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I've got a mahogany shift lever enroute from a Japanese MX5 supplier... should arrive in the next week or so. Less weight than the surprisingly heavy stock knob, and a bit more than I was hoping to spend... but it looked perfect to me. Will post pics and a review when it arrives. Should complement the incoming black/brown Coco Mats for some vintage vibe. (Unfortunately they don't have a matching handbrake lever yet)

FWIW, the stock knob just rotates right off... no hidden set screws or anything. Same mount as the ND MX5.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey, thanks for this info. Time to hit the workshop. Hmmm, sugar maple, walnut, cocobolo. Last one I made was from an old growth lilac pruning, wonderful for the 10 years I owned the vehicle.

Steve.
 
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I bought the Raceseng Sphereology. Great design. It used a threaded on part for teh shaft first, this allows you to adjust the rotation so that the shift gate image is perfect. It h has a great weight to it as well, and being Delrin on the outside means it never gets to hot or cold. Plus you can get a clever shift boot retainer. I will try and post a photo later.
 

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As knobs go, the OEM unit on the Abarth is quite nice actually!

I won't be looking to swap it out, but good luck with the project! :)
 

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Warning ...partial thread theft ....does anyone have instructions on removing an automatic gear knob? ....I read one somewhere. Could have been on the Miata forum.
 

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I bought the Raceseng Sphereology. Great design. It used a threaded on part for teh shaft first, this allows you to adjust the rotation so that the shift gate image is perfect. It h has a great weight to it as well, and being Delrin on the outside means it never gets to hot or cold. Plus you can get a clever shift boot retainer. I will try and post a photo later.
Here is a photo (not good I know), of the shift knob, and the leather alcantara pieces to go with my Recaro seats. You can see the aluminum part already installed in the shift boot that keep the boot pressed up against the shift knob. The little black part is what is installed first onto the shift rod to adjust shift knob height and angle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bulldog, that's a good looking kit, should be a nice upgrade for you.

My skillset stops at wood, no metal or leather skills.

Steve.
 

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Bulldog, that's a good looking kit, should be a nice upgrade for you.

My skillset stops at wood, no metal or leather skills.

Steve.
Well I am a product designer by profession, but these are not mine. Thanks though!

Raceseng Shift knob and leather work by:

http://www.redlinegoods.com
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, I have not taken gouge to wood yet, I'm trying to locally locate a coupling nut (looks like a regular nut but longer, +/- an inch long) in the M10x1.25 size to serve as the threaded insert into a wood shift knob. Everybody and his brother has M10x1.5, nothing local for the 1.25mm thread pitch. I can find them online from various sources. Fastenal does not show that size on their website, I'll call a local Fastenal shop tomorrow.

I am assuming the threaded end of the manual gear shift lever is more than just 4-5 threads long to resist the lateral loads placed against it from pushing and pulling the lever. Anyone recall how long that threaded portion of the shift lever might be? I'd guess somewhere at least 3/4" (19mm) or so.

I have staged multiple standard length nuts together on a threaded rod and then butter the outside joint of the nuts with epoxy to make a homemade coupling nut, but the genuine article would be much preferred.

In the meantime, think I might goof with some scrapwood on the lathe today to try some shapes.

Steve.
 

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Here's the ND/Fiat wood shift knob from Arrive Japan that I ordered through Rev9... (more to come when my black/brown Coco Mats arrive tomorrow to round out the interior vibe)

This only weighs about 80g compared to the surprisingly heavy stock knob... personally, I prefer the lighter shift action with this. At $139 it was a bit spendy for what it is... but I like the fit and finish compared to everything else I've found out there so far. I just wish they had a matching handbrake lever, but (at least as of yet) they don't for the ND/Fiat.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
jconli1, that is a very nice piece of woodwork there! And I saw the other thread with the new floor mats. It really makes the interior of the car look that much more special. I'm stoked about making a couple different knobs to try them out myself. Just need to order those pesky coupling nuts. And get a car, of course.

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Could I beg a small favor from anyone willing to help a future Spider owner? (Classica arrival is later this spring.) On the manual gear shift lever, I know the thread is metric, M10 x 1.25. I need to know the length of the threaded section of the shift lever itself, and if possible the depth of the hole in the manual gear shift knob. I'd do this myself, but my car is being built right now...

For my mock-up knob I'm stacking 2 or 3 of that size nut on a bolt, then buttering 2500psi epoxy around the outside of the nuts to make a longer nut similar to a coupling nut, which has proven nearly impossible to get, only one source out there and they are expensive. Anyway, the nut assembly then gets inserted into the bottom of the homemade knob. I want to make a sample knob or two before the final version(s).

Thanks in advance for your help!

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've got a prototype gear shift knob coming off the lathe, made from a piece of old maple. "But it looks like a doorknob!", you may be thinking. Yep, there is a reason doorknobs look like doorknobs, because that shape has been proven for its intended purpose for a long, long time. I didn't intend to make a doorknob shape, per sé, but I did intend to create a shape that fits in the natural shape of my hand and permitted my fingers and thumb to lock around the knob, assuring a positive grip on the shift knob during the pushing, pulling, and lateral movement of the gear shift lever. The knob will be parted off from the scrap base somewhere near the narrow end of the taper. It was already drilled up through the bottom (see photo where I'm holding the knob) to accept my prototype... err, homemade coupling nut built from three M10x1.25 nuts that were all epoxied together. A "keeper" shift knob will get the real thing, a genuine coupling nut, anchored into, oh, any number of different species of wood. (Well, the last time I made a stacked nut like that for a shift knob, it lasted over 10 years before the vehicle was junked.) I'm using Waterlox tung oil based penetrating wiping finish on it, viewed in the 1st photo.

Now, I just need the next couple months to go by quickly so I have the darn car to fit it to!!!

I brought it to work and showed it to a couple guys who drive stick. "Nice doorknob," until I explained what it was, and they agreed the shape works. What do you think?

Steve.





 

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I need to know the length of the threaded section of the shift lever itself, and if possible the depth of the hole in the manual gear shift knob. I'd do this myself, but my car is being built right now...
I should be able to take care of this...just need to remember to bring home my micrometer.

I'm particularly interested in what you end up doing. If you end up with a workable prototype, what are the chances you might make a second?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I should be able to take care of this...just need to remember to bring home my micrometer.

I'm particularly interested in what you end up doing. If you end up with a workable prototype, what are the chances you might make a second?
Thanks, Seamus, I sure would appreciate that! (And check your private message folder, I just sent you a message.)

A second prototype... mmmmmmay-beeee...? I've thought for a moment or three about making a few, oh, extras, but I want to get through the first one, first. Stay tuned, though.

Steve.
 

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Okay, I have not taken gouge to wood yet, I'm trying to locally locate a coupling nut (looks like a regular nut but longer, +/- an inch long) in the M10x1.25 size to serve as the threaded insert into a wood shift knob. Everybody and his brother has M10x1.5, nothing local for the 1.25mm thread pitch. I can find them online from various sources. Fastenal does not show that size on their website, I'll call a local Fastenal shop tomorrow.

I am assuming the threaded end of the manual gear shift lever is more than just 4-5 threads long to resist the lateral loads placed against it from pushing and pulling the lever. Anyone recall how long that threaded portion of the shift lever might be? I'd guess somewhere at least 3/4" (19mm) or so.

I have staged multiple standard length nuts together on a threaded rod and then butter the outside joint of the nuts with epoxy to make a homemade coupling nut, but the genuine article would be much preferred.

In the meantime, think I might goof with some scrapwood on the lathe today to try some shapes.

Steve.
stevet:

Google McMaster-Carr they have coupling nuts in the thread you need. Cheap too. A good source for all sorts of project materials and hardware.
 
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