Megan Racing short shifter rattle & metal shavings

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Last November, I installed a Megan Racing SS and new aftermarket shifter bushings onto my Protege5. There was always a small bit of slop and a rattle sometimes, but it's gotten significantly worse since installation about 8 months ago. Of course, there is some slop in the bar that connects the shifter to the transmission, but most of the slop that I can see is in the actual 'joint' or 'pivot-point' of the shifter itself, and it's really bothering me as it gets worse.

I took things apart this afternoon to investigate, and this is what I found:

IMG_20200713_181734514.jpg

IMG_20200713_181723406.jpg


...and after cleaning the metal shavings...

IMG_20200713_182455026.jpg


Soooo...that doesn't look particularly amazing. It looks to me like the snap ring has been rubbing or vibrating on the top of the shifter. Does anybody have thoughts on what's causing this and how I can fix the rattling and slop? I suppose I can file a warranty claim with Megan Racing, but this also doesn't help me much as I daily drive my car and can't just ship them the old shifter without having another one to install. I'd also like to understand and fix the underlying issue instead of trying to fix what it causes.

Thanks,
Ben
 
:
2001 Mazda SP20 323
Eeeeeek, that's probably not meant to look like that

Definitely send Megan Racing an email and let them know about it. Even if they can't fix it the feedback is always good

Did the kit come with any grease or lube? Packing it full of grease might help with the slop and rattle
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Eeeeeek, that's probably not meant to look like that

Definitely send Megan Racing an email and let them know about it. Even if they can't fix it the feedback is always good

Did the kit come with any grease or lube? Packing it full of grease might help with the slop and rattle
Thanks for the feedback, LankyKiwi.

I filed a warranty claim with them. If that doesn't go anywhere, I will also send them an email. I bought the shifter on eBay from CircuitSpecR, which appears to also have their own store, so I may contact them too.

I had to put the shifter back together of course so I could drive the car today, so I did put as much grease on it as I could. I also tightened up and greased the bushings under the car. There is less slop now but the rattling is just awful, and I have no idea what the longevity is going to be like long-term.

At this point, if I did get a replacement, I'd probably sell it and buy another short shifter kit from a different brand. The tolerances in mine are huge and could have obviously been lowered in development.
 

323

(u_u) ...zZzZzzz
Moderator
Dang, I would've sent you a stock spare one but unfortunately I don't have any of them anymore. I've used the TWM SS since around 2010 and have been happy with it. No slop but I did have to trim the heat shield that sat right under the shifter since it was making contact and ended up flopping around at highway speeds. The TWM SS does use the stock bushing (purple piece on your shifter). I think it's called a bushing.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Dang, I would've sent you a stock spare one but unfortunately I don't have any of them anymore. I've used the TWM SS since around 2010 and have been happy with it. No slop but I did have to trim the heat shield that sat right under the shifter since it was making contact and ended up flopping around at highway speeds. The TWM SS does use the stock bushing (purple piece on your shifter). I think it's called a bushing.
My local junkyard does actually have a protege with a shifter that I could grab. Maybe I could try swapping parts around between my Megan Racing shifter and the stock one. I actually sold my stock shifter on eBay for basically nothing, when it looks like I should have kept it around.

I'll try that and see what I find. I think the metal shavings were coming from the top snap ring rubbing on the shifter bushing holder thing. Not sure how one would fix that though.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Only took two months, but finally received some help from MR support, and they went straight ahead and refunded me (yay!) I'm still stuck with a rattly and sloppy (but free) shifter though.

I don't want to go back to stock but I'd really like to see what other options are available to me. I'll be looking to get some spare OEM parts to see if I can fix up the MR SS, but I'm not sold on that as a long-term fix.

Does anybody have suggestions for new/used options I can look into? eBay has the typical no-name cheap brands, as well as some more expensive used options. Overall though, I'm not having a lot of luck in my search - feedback is appreciated!

Ben
 

323

(u_u) ...zZzZzzz
Moderator
Yep. Never heard anyone having issues with their TWM. Other than needing spacers for the exhaust shield which didn’t work for me (shield rattled at highway speeds) so I ended up trimming the shield itself to not hit the bottom of the shifter.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
@pcb, @323,

Thank you both for your suggestions. I had similar issues with my heatshield rattling even with my current SS, so it's good to know but not something I'm extremely worried about. I have also heard good things about the TWM shortshifter, but my problem there is sourcing one.

I did some digging and it appears that TWM as a company no longer exists. Their website is not online and all of their social media seems inactive. It sounds like they went up for sale a while back (iirc, like 2 years ago) and then stopped responding to purchase inquiries because presumably nobody purchased them. I could be completely wrong but that's what I found.

Anybody know how I can get my hands on a used (or new) one and how much it might cost? I am not opposed to paying more for quality, but this is only my daily driver and I'm on a budget.

Thanks :)
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
I'm just gonna casually update this for continuity's sake and because a few things have happened...

It took a few months of back and forth emails but I finally got a full refund for the shifter, no questions asked. I bought it off eBay through CircuitSpecR, so I had to contact both them and Megan Racing. I'm happy with the end result but also a bit annoyed that it took so long for them to even notice me. Anyways...

I had a problem to fix and money to spend! But, instead of buying something high quality, I decided to be lazy and take a risk by buying the cheapest no-name Protege short-shifter on eBay!! I paid a whopping $33 shipped, aaaannnnnnd...it's better than my Megan Racing SS. Now, I've heard good things about the Megan Racing SS, so I'm almost assuming mine was a dud, but it's still the product they sent me. Anyways, 90% of my rattling and slop have been eliminated by the proper tolerances in the cheapo shifter.

Side-by-side, the two shifters have differences in design, but are the same length and generally of the same design. No shift knob, branding or retail packaging with the eBay model but that doesn't matter to me.

1601958832928.jpeg

s-l1600.jpg


I don't usually like to buy cheap knockoff junk on eBay, since the brand-name quality parts usually last in the long run, but I think this is an exception.

I'll just have to see how it hold up to the test of time. And now I have an extra Megan Racing short-shifter if anybody wants it! 10/10 excellent condition no issues no lowballs I know what I have.
 

323

(u_u) ...zZzZzzz
Moderator
Well that's good news. Hope it lasts without issues for you. Maybe give it some good lubing in the bushing area
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Well that's good news. Hope it lasts without issues for you. Maybe give it some good lubing in the bushing area
Yes, me too. I did in-fact give it a good greasing in addition to the little bit of grease that was on there - both on the ball-joint of the shifter and on the bushing under the car. When I reinstalled my MR SS for the second time (after discovering the issues), I put tons of grease on it improved the feel slightly.

I've put some more miles on the car, and I do admit that there is still some rattle at particular speeds/RPMs. At 60-70MPH on the highway, it makes a whirring/humming vibration that gets annoying. This all happened with the MR shifter, but it's much better here. I do have solid bushings in all three shifter links and the other (stabilization?) bushing is polyurethane, so this is likely more of the culprit here. It really just sounds like the snap-ring that holds the shifter down is rattling. Maybe I'll replace it with something else to keep the shifter in-place.
 

323

(u_u) ...zZzZzzz
Moderator
If all else fails, try removing the heat shield completely that's right under the shifter. That'll help you eliminate that being a cause.
 
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