Is a pistol grip shifter a good choice for power shifting/drag racing?

Manual Transmission & Clutch Discussions

  1. GONEFISHIN'

    GONEFISHIN' Well-Known Member

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    I love the stiffness of the rectangular cross-section of the pistol-grip shifter on top on the Competition Plus - no flex, just solid shifts
     
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    • rumblefish360

      rumblefish360 I have escaped the evil Empire State! FABO Gold Member

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      I just remember my Pistol Grip was hot as heck during the summer and colder than ice in the winter.
       
    • CRUZE 418

      CRUZE 418 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      I never wanted one after driving my friends T/A Challenger. They look nice, but suck for aggressive shifting. If you are going to power shift, just make sure that you have a shifter with stops in the mechanism, otherwise your brass blocker rings are the stops.
       
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      • AJ/FormS

        AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

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        IMO, I think that is not 100% the whole story, as there is a stop-pin in the detent/interlock mechanism, that prevents over-travel to a large degree. I've depended on that since forever.
        On another note;
        With oversize rods, it's fairly easy to over-power the blockers anyway, when ramming the stick. But this might not be discovered until you street-slick-shift a couple of gears, and shorten your stick to like 7 or 8 inches. With the short stick of my Mr Gasket/Bang! Shifter, relocated about 10 inches to the rear, I have plenty of leverage for the 2-3 shift, driving it off the seat-back; so much so that the blocker rings might as well not be in there. But, I do use them for about 80/90 percent of the time when I'm driving normal.
        I'll never go back to the factory spaghetti-rods. With the custom-length straight-tube rods that I was forced to fab up, missed shifts are now a thing of the far distant past.
        The ball is, IMO, the only way to go; it has a near infinite number of grip-positions, and you can wear gloves, or even mitts in winter. . I loc-tited mine on, in about 2004, and it has never moved since.
        I drilled a recess in mine and mounted a micro-switch in it, for my GVod that I use as a splitter. The switch signals a relay bypassing the computer, and this makes it shift like lightning.
         
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        • Rat Bastid

          Rat Bastid .004 light

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          The length of the shifter handle has no effect on how fast you can shift. In fact, a short throw shifter is harder to shift.
           
        • CRUZE 418

          CRUZE 418 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I broke a lot of 2nd gear blocker rings in my '69 Dart with stock factory Hurst shifter, back in '69-70. I am afraid to power shift this trans now in the '69 Dart that I have. If I break a blocker in it, I have to pull the tail shaft to repair, has the small bearing retainer. Way back when, that trans had the large bearing retainer, easier to repair.
          I have a Comp Plus mechanism, no handle or rods. One of these days before Biden has the Feds stop production of oil products, I will get it in.
           
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          • AJ/FormS

            AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

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            My record for dropping the exhaust, the driveshaft, the shifter, the GVod, and finally the aluminum boxed A833; is 17 minutes; I have witnesses.
            This was on a 4-post lift, with all the required tools on the toolcart, and no transmission jack.
            Getting the trans down, for me, was a non issue.
            I don't see the point in powershifting a streeter. But I do keep my freeplay set to a minimum, and know pretty-much exactly how far down to pedal it, to get adequate freeplay. I mean I've been driving the same type of 4 speed since 1970. Allbeit now with a Centerforce PP.
            The 17 minutes is also why I run an organic disc, and use it as my weakest link. Organic is way nicer on the street for a DD. And I can change them out every year or two; but they last a lot longer now that she is no longer a DD. Plus, you know, I don't drive anymore like I did 20plus years ago.
             
          • AJ/FormS

            AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

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            Not sure if what you wrote is what you mean.

            The factory shifter was a good 5 inches longer than it needed to be, so even Grandma, and pussy teenage boys, could shift it. And from second to third was always a little iffy, and as far as I can recall; the only shifts I ever missed with it were on the 2-3. That factory shifter was the very first thing I swapped out of my 70 swinger, just as fast as I could save up the cash, back in 70/71..
            Then, in 2001 or so, I had again had enough of it, and went in search of that old Bang! shifter, which I was pretty sure I had kept back in 76 when I sold the Swinger. And sure enough I found it in one of my sheds.
            After I switched to the shorter stick,
            and moved it back between the buckets,
            and up closer to my thigh,
            and high enough to install the top bolt from the cabin,
            and canted it backwards a few degrees,
            and with the straight tubular rods;
            I have never missed a shift since.
            and I have never had to reset the neutral-gate either.
            I am reasonably certain that I could shorten my stick at least another two to three inches, and on the street, it wouldn't cost me any muscle-power at all. The only reason I don't do it, is because IMO, it would look lame. As it is, from pivot to top of the ball is at most 8.5 inches.
            I'll guess that my shift throw from all the back to all the way forward is about half of what it was with the factory stick. You can do the math to see if it is or is Not any faster. But I can tell you this, the trans is so easy to shift fast, that my left leg is the now the hold up. But I sorta fixed that too, lol. After all, the factory clutch geometry was also designed with Grandma in mind. But that didn't mean I had to keep it that way.....
            But like I said; I street slick-shifted second and third in my trans, so I now have oodles of space for the sliders to go into, and I can easily overpower the blocker rings even at max shift-rpm. I no longer have to wait for them to do their job. And she shifts so easy, all the time. It shifts at least as easy as a top-loader ........ except faster...... lol.
             
          • Rat Bastid

            Rat Bastid .004 light

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            That’s what I mean. The handle can be 5 feet or 5 inches long. It won’t make you a better or worse shifter. And those short throw, short sick shifters are actually harder to shift.
             
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            • AJ/FormS

              AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

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              Now you say
              but you said;
              which is why I wrote;
              You kindof made my point.

              I've always been a "good shifter", but now, I'm also lightning quick.
              While I won't argue that reducing the lever ratio, won't increase the effort; that is the physics of if levers. But the fact is that the factory ratio was already excessive. It was designed that way, so that the ball would come up over the bench. I don't have a bench. I've never even seen a 68/69 Barracuda that had one. Not saying they don't exist.
              But;
              What little extra effort my short stick might take, is made up for by me eating my Wheaties every morning, and so on. I find the new position actually easier......
              Many people complain about how hard the A833 is to shift. But it doesn't have to be that way. The blockers are more than adequately sized for the job. You just gotta make it so they can actually do their jobs. Then it becomes a lovable transmission.
              In reality, my blockers worked too good, and I had to reduce the bite just a bit.

              Getting back to the Pistol-grip in an A-body, and to the OP;
              Install one and see how you like it. It's very hard to argue against opinion. A guy just likes what he likes.
              As for me and Pistol Grips; not a chance would I ever install one in my Barracuda; not even if I had it given to me. My opinions are;
              1) that it is out of scale for an A-body
              2) it has an awkward fixed grip
              3) it has no flexibility in useage under various conditions
              4) it gets stinking COLD
              5) it gets too close to the dash and too far away in Third gear
              6) You more or less have to have buckets to get Second gear, and a passenger to get the trans into Fourth for you
              7) the shift throw is like for a semi-tractor or a grain-truck
              8) it is heavy, and bolted onto the trans, so if your engine has a vibration, so will the trans and the handle. I hate it when they buzz or rattle
              9) it is too tempting to "fondle"; the shifter is Not an armrest.
              10) did I mention how cold it feels as the summer season wanes?

              These are my opinions;
              I may have exaggerated, just a lil, a time or two..........
               
              Last edited: Nov 23, 2021 at 8:28 PM
            • Rat Bastid

              Rat Bastid .004 light

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              I meant the length of the handle (5 feet or 5 inches or even if it’s on the column) makes no difference in how fast anyone can shift or how easy it is.
               
            • dirty white boy

              dirty white boy 50 yr old Juvenal delinquent

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              a shifter is just a fulcrum lever, if built right length wont effect throw! slick shift mods are worth the time or money X's 3!! if playing this ruff with 4 speeds often, hope yall infesting in quality scatter shilds!!
               
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              • AJ/FormS

                AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

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                Agreed! One of the best things I ever did to mine.
                 
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                • dirty white boy

                  dirty white boy 50 yr old Juvenal delinquent

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                  i wouldnt go power shifting without it!!
                   
                • 1969383S

                  1969383S FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Hurst RamRod! Oh I miss those days!
                   
                • funnykarman

                  funnykarman Well-Known Member

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                  Hurst push down shifter . Short throw , had to push the shifter down to get reverse gear . Used with the bracket that moves the shifter up and back toward the driver .
                  First pic without sheet metal around trans and shifter , second shifter is in first gear , third shifter is in 2 nd gear . Perfect shifting angle sitting straight and all the way back .
                  IMG_1671.JPG IMG_2689 (1).JPG IMG_2690 - Copy.JPG
                   
                • 19DART66

                  19DART66 Well-Known Member

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                  This what I like in my Dart, pistol grip on a Hurst Ram Rod bolted to a DR-4 Jerico. 1224150827.jpg 1224150828.jpg
                   
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