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shifter cable issues when install 997 Short Shift Console

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Hey all,

I finished a DIY install yesterday and took the car for a test drive. It drove fine but there's a few things I wasn't sure about, hopefully someone who's more experienced will be able to enlighten.

The instruction here ( http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=7371 ) which indicated that I should have followed the B&M instruction to step 16, then swap the cables over with the ends attached. To do this, I had to actually follow to step 20 which covers removing the cable tabs from the console and removing the actual console to switch the new console over.

Then, since my new console came with the green alignment tool, I left it on while I connected the cables ends back in. To do so, I had to "pull" on the cable a bit to "stretch" it to fit in at the mark. On my test drive, I noticed that the shifting is tougher to get into gear, as well as sometimes the gear feel that its not completely in although I pushed the shifter as far as it will go. Also position of 3rd is slightly changed. Previously, shifting from 2nd, it felt like it was at 12:05 ( directly above and very slightly to the right of 4th ), now it feels like its at 11:55 ( directly above and very slightly to the left of 4th ).

Someone at 986forum suggested that I should not have stretch my cable to get it to the markings, but instead the cable ends should just drop in with the alignment tool on the shifter.

I tried this approach too, but its not so simple for me.

With the alignment tool on, the black cable ( which I think controls the forward backward motion) can slide right in, but the blue cable ( which I think controls the side to side motion ) is about 1/4" too short to drop in directly.

Taking the alignment tool off and pushing the shifter slightly to the left ( toward driver ) pushes the cable end attachment back enough so that blue cable can just drop in. Doing this though leaves the shifter slanted to the left instead of aligned in neutral.

Does anyone know whats going on ? Am I dealing with a huge issue here ?

PS, I also have a similar topic posted at 986forums but just posting here in hope of getting as much advice as possible.

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This first picture is the cable with the alignment tool off, and the shifter slightly tilted toward the driver side, the threaded cable end falls pretty easily into the threaded groove.


This second picture is with the alignment tool on, so the shifter should be perfectly neutral. The cable is not long enough and the threaded cable end does not fit completely into the groves. Most of it would fit, but the will be about two threads sitting on top of the non grooved parts.


Edited by vijen6
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The problem is it wont simply 'drop in'.

Hope I'm describing it clearly here, but at the very back of the grooved connector ( the side that's part of the console ), there is a little outdent that smaller than the threaded cable end. Its the size of the cable shaft, so I'm guessing to help top the cable from sliding around, but it also prevents the threaded cable end to sit all the way down on the groove.

If I want to put it in with the tool in place, I have to 'pull' the cable end a bit. At the very least 1/4" or about 3 groves for it to just fit in. If I want it to come back to where the mark was, I have to 'pull' it up about 7 or 8 grooves.

From what I've read, you're not supposed to pull the cable at all. This is why I'm confused. Thanks for any help.

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  • Admin

Ok - if you have the proper alignment tool and it still won't drop into place then it might be good to check the connection on the underside - at the transmission.

It is not too uncommon to see one of the shifter arms (where the cable attaches) get bent by people backing over something or hitting a road hazard. So I would check that too - because it really should just drop into place with the tool.

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Thanks Loren. Let me pick your brain a bit more.

1. If the problem is indeed the underside connection at the transmission, would this mean that my previous shifter was also experiencing issues but I just didn't notice. I got the car used, but got a new transmission from the dealership ( under CPO ) about 7k miles ago, wouldn't this bent shifter arm be some thing that they would have caught ?

2. If its possible to catch and bend the shifter arm by backing up, I'm assuming that its in a pretty expose position. Could I simply jack up the car myself and do a visual check ( if someone could point out where to check of course ) ?

3. What ill effect would there be if I simply 'pulled' the cable up 3 notches to fit in. Would the main problem be that I have to deal with the shifter not being perfectly neutral ? Or does that cause other more major issues down the line such as premature wear of the transmission?

If its just a case of adjusting my shift to the slightly different shift position, I might be able to deal with that until the next time I need some other major work done. However, I wouldn't want to risk it if it can cause other damage.

Thanks so much for all your help.

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  • Admin

1. Yes, usually you would have seen some shifting problems or a change in shifting.

2. Please do a search as others have posted images here of bent shifter arms. You do need to run over soothing tall, hack into a high curb (which might damage the engine first), or spin off the track into the rough.

3.You would have to try that - either the shifter will work normally (you can shift into all gears - including reverse) or it won't. Take it for a short careful test drive before re-installing the center console.

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I reconnected the shift cables today with the alignment tool on. The black cable dropped straight in, and tried to stretched the cable a little as little as possible to drop it in. I ended up having to pull it the 1/4" ( about 3 grooves ). Took it for a short test drive, and still noticed the position change issue a little bit though definitely not as bad as last time when I stretched to cable to where the original mark is. All gears engage without issues, even reverse.

Though I'm still missing the 2nd to 3rd shift sometimes, I think its more 'driver error' until I get used to the new position.

Overall, I still LOVE LOVE the much shorter throw and the 'gated' feel. Porsche really should have added the extra $100 or $200 ( difference in cost for this shifter vs the OEM 986 shifter ) and sold this as a stock 986 part.

I have to take the car in for service soon ( need new starter, old one is making noise on cold starts ) so I'll have the mechanic take a look at the connection on the tranny side too.

Thanks for all your advice Loren. I +1'ed on your rep though that might not mean much given that you're admin. LOL.

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You might consider checking your drive line mounts(ie trans, motor). I had similar issues awhile back when doing the 997 shifter install, and found I needed to replace all(3) of the mounts, as they had collapsed. There was also a "break-in" period of about 500-1000 miles where the shifter then really smoothed out. Shifts are very positive, precise, and more direct now. You might keep the original scribes on the cables until you replace the mounts putting the motor and trans in it's original alignment position. You'll find the cables should just drop right in, or be off a thread either way. You can adjust to see what works best for you. Best of luck.


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