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Aspiring Mad Scientist
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

A few months ago I started getting very fed up with my Mazda3's ergonomics, how the steering wheel was too far away and the shift knob is too close, causing me to "chicken-wing" uncomfortably when reaching to shift. To deal with it I ended up designing my own shift knobs that move the end out on an angle, and effectively adjust where the shift pattern sits in the car. This idea alone isn't new, but I figured out a clean design that subtly hides the angle and looks completely natural.


(Customer picture -- thanks @razerer)

Since then I've gotten a lot of interest from other Mazda3 guys, so I thought I'd put this up as a group buy, and put in an order with my machinist for as many knobs as I can generate interest for. General product details:

  • CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Ball dia. 1.77" (45mm)
  • Shaft dia. 1" (25mm)
  • Height 4" (100mm)
  • Total horizontal adjustment ~1" (fore/aft/left/right)
  • Total height adjustment ~0.5" (up/down)
  • Fitment: Auto or Manual (any Mazda)
  • Weight: 200g

Specs aside the picture should really speak for itself, you're looking at a "tall ergonomic" style shift knob that, coupled with the angle adjustment, you can use to place the knob closer to the steering wheel to improve your driving comfort. As it is taller than a stock knob, you can also use it to reduce shifting notchiness (manual trans) without throwing an ton of weight onto the shift lever a la TWM. The horizontal adjustment is noticeable, but not massive, so if you want something 2" off from the stock position, you'll have to look somewhere else, but if you just need that little bit more before the car's perfect, this is the knob for you.

Pricing is going to be $65 + shipping for M3R, M3F and MOCC members, and I intend to let this thread run through December 15, 2013. After that, I will take the order to my machinist, receive the batch by the end of January and ship out accordingly.

Note that in the picture, there's a gap between the shift boot and the prototype knob for manual-trans cars. I am looking into making a simple black-anodized collar to take up the extra space, it will be an option for manual owners and I'll try to keep it as inexpensive as possible.

I am also looking into producing a steering wheel spacer for my OEM steering wheel, however since I haven't finished the design on this part yet (AND it comes with a safety disclaimer -- I can't realistically crash-test this part) please let me know separately if you're interested in seeing this happen.


So to wrap this up, the group BUY is for these shift knobs that I've already prototyped and tested to work. Additionally you may opt to take INTEREST in additional copies of the steering wheel spacer I am making for myself. Btw, if you're interested please put down what transmission (auto/manual) you drive. Thanks!


Buyers' list:
1) My spoon is too big - manual
2) MattGentle - auto
3) mazDane - manual
4) finaldrive - auto
5) 3i2011 - manual

Steering wheel spacer interest list:
1) color0
2) warlord
3) tastic
 
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Aspiring Mad Scientist
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah, nice catch Mike. The knobs are 200g, give or take a few (thread size difference).
 

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I'm interested in the steering wheel spacer if it comes to fruition. I've played endlessly with steering wheel position and have never found a position that suites me. When the clutch, accelerator, and shifter are perfect the steering wheel is always just out of reach. I can't lay my wrists over the top of the steering wheel.
 

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dat gap between boot and shift knob.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, that's definitely something I'll be addressing when the full batch of knobs is made. Unfortunately, the angling of the knob doesn't allow me to lower the bottom edge of the knob much/any further, so my plan for now is to include a spacer with the knob to hold the shift boot higher.

Thankfully, shift boot removal isn't crazy on the 3...
 

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Da belle of da ball.
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It would probably cost more, but how about a finishing piece of aluminum to go in top of the boot under the knob that would make the transition from the width of the boot to the with of the base of the knob?
 

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Remove a couple of inches of bones from right forearm and surgically attach them to left forearm. Both problems solved. ;) Sorry, just caught the end of a documentary about strange elective cosmetic surgeries. Carry on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It would probably cost more, but how about a finishing piece of aluminum to go in top of the boot under the knob that would make the transition from the width of the boot to the with of the base of the knob?
Could certainly do that. Just a black-anodized collar that slides on (secure via set screw) before the jam nut and knob go on. That'd force the cost up a bit but I think it should be affordable to both y'all and me. :)
 

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Count me in too. Just realized how low the placement of it when driving on manual mode

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When you say "when driving on manual mode" do you mean you have an auto? If so, FYI auto shift knob thread is 8mm X 1.25, whereas it's 10mm x 1.25 on manual.

As an aside, I'm interested in seeing what comes of the steering wheel spacer.
 

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Could certainly do that. Just a black-anodized collar that slides on (secure via set screw) before the jam nut and knob go on. That'd force the cost up a bit but I think it should be affordable to both y'all and me. :)
If you do the collar count me in, manual
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, the pic in the OP is from Razerer. ;) As I mentioned in the spec it doesn't matter if you drive auto or manual, the guys I'm working with quoted me no difference in price or time involved so I can order exactly the number of each that is needed.

So as far as the manuals go, yes I'll whip up a collar design for you guys. I should be able to get it to the point that you can't see the set screw once everything is installed. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mmk, post-Thanksgiving bump. I'll be grabbing some more pictures for you guys, hang on to your horses. :blush 1:
 
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