Best Short Throw Shifter: Our Top Picks

Evan Williams
by Evan Williams
Here is your guide to the best short shifters and some of the best brands in the business.

Is the gearstick feeling tired in your sports car? Tired of long throws, wobbly gearknobs, and a feel that’s more commuter penalty box than performance-encouraging precision? Sounds like what you need is a short shifter or short shift kit. These replacement gearshifts give you a shorter throw and a more precise feel. Here is your guide to the best short shifters and some of the best brands in the business.

1. B&M Performance Shifters

B&M Performance has been building high-performance transmission parts for trucks and off-roaders for decades. While they might be better known for their automatic trans parts, they also make a serious short-throw shifter for many car and truck applications. They offer short shifters for sport compacts like golden-age Honda and Acura models as well as popular off-road 4x4 models. The Precision SportShifter has a CNC billet aluminum case for rigidity, strength, and lightweight , helping make your shifts more exact every time for years to come. It also reduces shift throw by 26 percent, and that reduces the effort to change gear while also helping free up interior space (some of these factory truck shifters with throws measured in yards). More ergonomic thanks to the limited throw, the shifter is also designed with significantly increased pressure to slot into each gear. This makes it harder to pop out of gear, it also gives the vehicle a stiffer shift feel. B&M's shifters come with a lifetime warranty.


  • Wide range of car and truck applications
  • Billet aluminum for strength and lightness

2. MGW Short Throw Shifters

MGW makes highly-rated short-shifters for Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Chevrolet Corvette, ranging as far back as 1982. All of their shifters are designed and built in-house, helping to make sure they meet the company's strict quality requirements. The company was created as a firearms parts manufacturer before moving to stick shifts, so if you want that rifle-bolt shift feel, where better to find it? The company holds patents on several of its designs, showing that it is offering products that stand out from the crowd. It also says it uses aircraft-grade fasteners and components. Their 5th-gen Camaro shifter reduces the long throw of the stock part but also solves the rubbery feel of the original and the insufficient return spring action that can lead to missed 2-3 power shifts.


  • Aerospace fasteners
  • Holds multiple patents
  • Firearms-level precision

3. Hurst

Hurst is one of the original aftermarket gearshifts, famous for more than 60 years of producing legendary stick shifts and automatics. Many of their parts have even been used by the automakers in volume and special edition models. Their chrome stick and white knob are an icon, though optional pistol grip sticks aren't far behind. Hurst offers short-throw shift mechanisms for nearly all muscle cars, old and new, reducing shift throw by up to 35 percent for better performance, quicker gear changes, and even helping you win on the drag strip. On top of stock replacement shifters, Hurst also offers models that are made specifically to let you install transmissions in vehicles that were never meant to go together. Let your hot rod shift cleanly with adjustable shifters for three speeds and more.


  • Massive fitment range
  • OEM-supplier experience
  • Models to fit your hot-rod transmission swap

4. Kartboy

Kartboy has focused on Subarus and have ran with it. The company specializes in performance parts for nearly all Subaru models, and that includes short-shift kits that are highly regarded for every Scooby with a stick. The company founder has worked in manufacturing including for the aerospace industry as well as CART, NHTA, IMSA, and the SCCA. The company offers short-shift kits for most Subaru models, including both the short shift lever as well as replacement bushings that help give the gearchange a better feel and less slop by replacing soft (and likely worn-out) factory rubber bushings. Up to 40 percent shorter throws are possible, along with a lower shifter height, getting you in gear even more quickly for better performance feel and helping shave a few tenths from your commute.


  • Subaru specialist
  • Aerospace and motorsports experience
  • Includes bushings for complete new feel

5. Ford Performance Short Shifters

Ford Performance is the part of Ford that makes OEM-grade parts to make Ford vehicles go faster. They offer shifters for a wide range of Fords both old and new including the Focus RS, the current Ford Mustang, and even vintage Mustangs. Plus carbon fibre paddles for the F-150, if that's up your alley. The Ford Performance Focus RS shifter cuts the factory throw by more than 10 percent, but is also an exact visual match for the original part. Their Mustang shifters cut throw even more for increased feedback and feel, and are offered for four, six, and V8-powered piny cars. They offer features like keeping the factory reverse lockout. They also include everything needed for installation, like thread locker (if needed), a shift knob jam nut, grease, bushings, and complete instructions. Importantly for many buyers, these parts will not void your factory Ford new vehicle warranty.


  • Factory appearance
  • Factory warranty
  • Upgraded shift feel

6. Megan Racing

Megan Racing offers short-throw shifters for nearly every make and model offered with a stick. Don't believe us? How about a late-year Chevy Cavalier, a Ford Probe, or a 1990s Honda Accord? On top of shifters for a wide range of modern (and vintage) classics, they also offer short shifters for many brand new vehicles. Megan generally sells just the shift lever itself instead of the entire housing and bushings, which can help cut the cost of the product. It also lets you pick your own bushings if you don't want to add more NVH to go along with your shorter shifts. Some of their shifters offer lower height and all give you a much shorter shift throw. Many lower-cost options are made from low-grade aluminum that can be prone to breakage, while Megan uses steel for its levers for extra strength.


  • Low cost
  • Wide range of applications

7. Porsche Short Shift Kit

Want to make your Porsche even sharper every time you swap cogs? Porsche actually makes its own accessory short shift kit that adds precision and sporty feel. The factory short shift kit cuts the throw of the factory part by up to 35 percent depending on the model. It will also fit on nearly all 996 and 997-generation 911s as well as the Boxster and Cayman 986 chassis. That's more than a decade's worth of Porsches that can benefit from the part. It's essentially the part from the GT3 race car, offered for non-GT3 models, to give their owners the track shifting experience. Less slop, tighter movement, and less side-to-side play are all part of what you'll get with this factory upgrade for your Porsche.


  • Factory components
  • Upgraded feel
  • Uses original Porsche shift knob

8. BD Diesel Shift Kit

Love your Ram HD pickup with the last of the manual transmissions offered in a commercial pickup here? You're not alone, but you might not love the extra-long shift throw that comes with the factory lever on the six speed. BD Diesel offers a short-shift kit for the six-speed Ram HDs as well as the older five-speed models. The short shift kit offers 20 percent less shift lever travel, reducing fatigue and making it easier for many drivers to drive their trucks. It's been tested for more than 1.5 million shift cycles and offers a one-year warranty. The kit includes a billet aluminum shift plate, a forged steel shift handle, and high-strength fasteners, all of which help add durability to the short shift kit. Make your Cummins diesel or Hemi V8 a more pleasant drive, especially if you're towing through the mountains and making loads of gear changes.


  • Made for RAM HD pickups
  • Cuts throw for diesel drivers
  • Billet aluminum and steel construction

What is a Short Throw Shifter?

Your factory gearshift is a series of compromises aimed at being not the right fit for anyone but close enough for everyone. That means long throws between gears, weak self-centering, soft bushings that don't transmit vibrations but do give you a mushy feel, and plenty more similar decisions along the way. A short shift kit is designed for buyers who know that they want something with more precision and more feel, even if it takes a bit more effort to move the lever or if it transmits a bit more vibration. A short throw shifter puts its emphasis on requiring less hand movement to change gears. That means quicker shifts (useful in performance cars), less movement, and can even give you more space if you're driving something like a pickup truck with a floor shift and a bench seat.

How does a short throw shifter work?

Your shift lever, the part that sticks up out of the floor, is a simple lever. There is a ball or pivot point close to the bottom, with a long part that sticks up for you to grab and a short part under the ball that is hooked to the shift linkage.

A short shifter doesn't just cut the length of the part that reaches to your hand, it changes the side under the ball as well. Make the arm under the ball longer and you get more shift cable movement with less hand movement. Add a more precise mechanism that doesn't need to be quick and cheap to mass-produce and you've taken even more play out of the system, for even less hand movement. What's the point? You move your hand less distance to change gears. That lets you get into the next gear more quickly. That can make you faster on track, whether the strip of a road course. In your street car, it gives you a sharper snap when you shift, adding driver engagement and just feeling cooler than a standard stick.

What to look for in a short shifter?

The most important part is to find one that is made for your vehicle. Even if it looks close enough, this is way too important to play around with. Look for a steel shift lever and aluminum frame, the former won't break in hard use, the latter is better and lighter for the surround. Look for a short shifter that also includes bushings, as unless your car is nearly new, the bushings that handle your gearchanges are probably well worn and due for a swap. Lastly, look at the height of the shift lever. A short shifter doesn't have to be physically shorter, you can even get one that is longer or angled toward the driver to make it easier for you to use.

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Feature Photo by alexkich/

Evan Williams
Evan Williams

Evan moved from engineering to automotive journalism 10 years ago (it turns out cars are more interesting than fibreglass pipes), but has been following the auto industry for his entire life. Evan is an award-winning automotive writer and photographer and is the current President of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. You'll find him behind his keyboard, behind the wheel, or complaining that tiny sports cars are too small for his XXXL frame.

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