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JTC Customs Shifter Extender

 
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:23 AM
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Icon14 JTC Customs Shifter Extender

COST: 40$

INTRO:
There was a feeler thread about this product some months back in 2009, and there was kind of a mixed bag of different thoughts on whether a product of this kind would be worth the effort. As some of you know, there have been other offerings from a lot 'big name' companies, that demanded big bucks for a tiny piece of metal, that only extended your shifter a mere 2-3. Not only was the extension minimal, but the versatility was extremely minute; either you extended it or not. For any of you, like myself, who saw these products and said “no thank you”, I welcome the all new JTC Customs Shifter Extender.

HONDA Shifter Extender : JTC Customs

WHY THE HELL WOULD I WANT OR NEED AN EXTENSION?
There are numerous reasons for extending your shifter. As many of you know, this is a popular accessory for road racing or autocrossing, mainly because it puts the shifter is a useable position; as close to the wheel as possible. It has been said over and over, that a true performance car necessitates the ability to touch the shifter with at least one finger, while in any gear, without taking the hand off of the steering wheel. Very few “sports cars” can achieve this, and this is mainly where the shifter extension is important.

For those of you who are not interested in any sort of racing, there is still a rather long list of advantages to be had from using an extension. Civic drivers will particularly gain the biggest benefit, as their shifters seem to be the farthest away from the wheel (in the realm of Hondas anyway). Comfort is the name of the game here, and with the proper extension, shifting becomes exponentially more comfortable, and requires less effort too. Having a longer shifter is like using a longer breaker bar. The required effort or force in the throw is significantly reduced. You will be amazed at the difference in drivability that a product like this can provide.

PACKAGING AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
Ok first off, let me start by saying I was extremely impressed with the overall attention to detail when it came to just the packaging that was used. I have purchased other similar small products from a boatload of supposed ‘top notch’ manufacturers, and this has by far been the best I’ve seen.



After carefully removing all of the pieces, my impression did not change a single bit when it came to the quality of the actual product. Overall, the JTC Customs product is looking rather appealing and promising, much as expected.




NOT YOUR TYPICAL EXTENSION:
As mentioned earlier in the review, I felt that every single product previously offered in this category had major shortcomings, particularly in the versatility department. These shifter extensions are not chassis specific, so I feel that it is important to offer one that will work on just about any Honda (or other vehicle with similar thread pitch and size). JTC Customs is well aware of this need, and has answered in a big way with this new brand new offering. Let me take a moment and show you a few random configurations that are possible.

Standard straight config:


Straight, angle, straight config:


Angle, straight, straight config (my favorite; used during test drive):


You will notice that with all pieces used, there is close to seven inches of extension available! Not only do we gain a lengthy amount of shift rod, but the ability to point the shifter in your desired direction is priceless. We no have the ability to basically position the shifter in our hands. Bravo JTC Customs, bravo!

What I find most impressive and exciting at this point, is the inclusion of tiny little set screws. These set screws are a delightful surprise with a product of this price. Set screws eliminate the need to finish-damaging pliers or vice grips to install the extension. All one must do to install, is simply set the pieces to their desired positions, and tighten the set screws. This is an invaluable addition, as without these you will spend countless moments trying to reposition your shifter using the standard nuts usually included with a product like this.

Set screw hole:


Set screw installed halfway:


INSTALLATION:
Installation was pretty much a cakewalk. Just pick your desired configuration, test fit, retest fit, install your pieces, and tighten your set screws. That’s pretty much it. What I would suggest is a tiny bit of semi-permanent thread locker, ON THE SET SCREWS ONLY. I cannot stress the importance of test fitting though. The main reason behind this is to work some of the powder coating off of the threads, to ensure proper fitment. Oil or grease is not a bad idea either.

UPDATE: After a few weeks of using this product, I have concluded that the use of the provided nuts is essential if you plan on using the included angled piece. The set screw tends to let go fairly easily. What I did was use a nut on both sides of the angled piece. The top nut was used to tighten/angle it, while the bottom one insured that it could be easily removed later. This is just a kind suggestion, there are numerous ways to achieve the same goal here.

Test fitting the pieces:


TEST VEHICLE:
1994 Honda Civic EX Coupe with 184k miles, and approximately 15-20k on a somewhat recent h22 swap from a JDM Accord.


TEST DRIVE:
As mentioned earlier in this review, you will be amazed at the difference an extension can make, and amount of advantages, regardless of application are absolutely endless. I was literally blown away at the difference! I no longer have to reach for the ground to shift. The shifter is right where I want it, and both of my shoulders remain properly aligned while driving. I no longer have any back or shoulder pain after extended trips! Simply put, enough cannot be said for this product. If you don’t believe me, purchase one, and you will not regret it!

Shifter position in neutral:


What most impressed me overall while test driving the shifter extension was how unbelievably easy the shift throws have become. Each and every gear basically falls into place, with very little effort needed from the driver.
After a fair bit of driving around town, I began to notice that the shifter was now so comfortable, I literally did not want to take my hand off of it. While in 5th gear, the shifter now sits nicely in front of the radio, making it easier to browse the tracks without missing a beat. Wow, simply wow.

Here are some shots of my hand positions while using the extension:

1st gear:


2nd gear:


3rd gear:


4th gear:


5th gear:


I suppose the most important question now, at least to the driving enthusiast, is; does it pass the finger test? Or rather, can I touch the shifter with one finger in every gear without removing my hand from the steering wheel? Answer: you most certainly can.

Touching the shifter in neutral:


What's more, is that I was easily able to keep the shifter in an 'aggressive position', keeping the shifter very close to steering wheel, while still retaining a fair amount of distance from the dashboard. Plenty of room for those of you with large hands. Your hand should not hit the radio when properly configured.

Distance from the steering wheel in neutral:


Distance from dashboard in 3rd gear:


Distance from dashboard in 5th gear:


All of these results will vary greatly depending on configuration, so be sure to set your extension to tailor to your own needs.

Prelude/Accord owners listen up:
My test vehicle had the all too familiar “5th gear grind”, that is a very common quirk found in the Prelude/Accord transmissions of certain generations (92-01). I am proud to announce that I no longer have this grind! Amazingly enough, it appears that the hub and slider issue that plagues these trannies has now met a temporary fix at least. I stress temporary, because the true solution is to have your tranny serviced according to the official Honda TSB posted in accordance to this factory defect. In addition, I make no guarantees that this will reduce or eliminate your 5th gear grind, as this was only tested on one vehicle.

Few more random shots before the conclusion:



CONCLUSION:
Overall, I am extremely impressed at what such an inexpensive product has accomplished in regards to drivability. This has been, by far, the most significant single modification I have done to my car. Dollar for dollar, it has made the biggest improvement in my everyday driving alone, and will most definitely be a winner at the track. This is not just a racing product, it’s perfect for daily driving, and will undoubtedly raise your comfort levels, regardless of your application or activity.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:39 AM
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Re: JTC Customs Shifter Extender

Very nice. Guess this helps push me in the direction of JTC vs PSPEC for short shifter + shift extender. Rash looks like you need a short shifter though. It may just be me but those throws look HUGE
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:48 AM
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Re: JTC Customs Shifter Extender

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadLeprechaun View Post
Very nice. Guess this helps push me in the direction of JTC vs PSPEC for short shifter + shift extender. Rash looks like you need a short shifter though. It may just be me but those throws look HUGE
Haha yeah I do. I already have a 5th gen shorty shift from JTC on the way. Will be installing that this weekend.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:21 AM
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Re: JTC Customs Shifter Extender

Oh man your soooo close to punching that faceplate. Lol.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:28 AM
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Re: JTC Customs Shifter Extender

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the desired throw supposed to be shorter? No offense, but if it challenges you to make the throw (strength wise), then you are incredibly weak. A longer throw would mean more time wasted between gears. Also, My shifter is perfect where it is at. I can easily rest my arm on the armrest and still shift without much movement. In what application would this benefit (abnormally short arms do not count)?
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