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Join Date: Jan 1999
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914 SHIFTER

I have a 74-1.8 which should be ready for the road in a couple of months. Everything I have read talks about the poor shifting of these vehicles...actually everything from "horrible" in the older models to "bad" in the later years. My current daily driver (since 1986) is a 74 Alfa Spider. I have never driven a 914.My question is...what exactly can I expect as far as shifting goes??
Old 11-22-1999, 06:27 AM
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I have a 75 Side Shifter, and the shifiting is really not that bad. The tail shifters were a lot worst. The trick is to make sure the bushings are in good shape. Look at the 914 Technical articles on this site there is a good run through of how to correct
shifting problems.
Joe A.
Old 11-22-1999, 07:12 AM
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I have a 74 including the side shift tranny. It really is not bad once you get used to it.
The only problem I had for the first few days of driving was a tendency to hit reverse when going from first to second.

I had a chance to drive an 80 something Alfa Spider a couple of weeks ago on a very twisty road. The shifting was not an order of magnitude better than my 914.
Old 11-22-1999, 11:16 AM
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None of the early Porsche transmissions were ment to be "speed-shifted" like the American Borg-Warner 4-speeds that we have gotten used to. Their design precluded this, although they can be shifted quickly and accurately as long as the shifter bushings are in good shape and the clutch releases cleanly. What I see at most autocrosses are the first-to-second shift done too quickly trying to get off the start real fast and you get that famous "knicking" sound. The best way to prevent this is practice-practice-practice so you are used to this type of shift pattern.
Old 11-22-1999, 01:32 PM
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My suggestion here is to get all new plastic busings. This'll tighten it up real good, to a very respectible shifter.

I agree that htis is not a "quick-shift" trans. You time it well and ease through your gears. The car's meant to go fast throught the twisties, it'll NEVER out accelerate anything, so why push it?

Ian

BTW Actually it WILL out accelerate a Triumph Spitfire. I love dusting some of my old Spitfire buddies around town. Man now that is a SLOW car!
Old 11-23-1999, 07:13 AM
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Ian and the others are right. Get the right bushings and the trans will shift very smoothly. I have a 70 with a side shifter. Until I got the conversion bushing for the fire wall, I alawys nicked reverse on the way to second. Very embarassing after a good launch at the autocross starting line.

After I spent the big bucks on a Quaife LSD, I needed to protect my investment. I got the bushing in, the shift to second was VERY smooth. I only use two fingers with a gentle push to shift. The Welmeister short shift also is very nice....the other racers can't believe how smooth it is...
Old 11-23-1999, 08:35 AM
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You might wabt to get the heavier spring from Automotion (I don't think PP has them) and that with the new bushings will keep you out of reverse.
Old 11-23-1999, 10:15 AM
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BTW-The heavy reverse spring came with the short shift kit...
Old 11-23-1999, 10:36 AM
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I just put a rebuilt tranny in, replaced all bushings and I need to "ride" the spring for reverse to find 2nd. Is this normal?
Old 11-24-1999, 04:01 AM
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Yes, no, sort of.

Dig out your Haynes manual, and look up the procedure for adjusting the shift linkage. You can modify that procedure to move the position of the gears relative to the position of the spring. Mess with it for a little while, you should be able to get it moved to your satisfaction.

--DD
Old 11-24-1999, 06:25 AM
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One thing that helps me is to paint a line of "white out" on the linkage before I start to mess with it. The rear linkage lines itself up with the cone shaped set screws, but the little angled peice under the shifter attaches to the forward shift rod with splines. One or two splines off can make a difference. The line helps me find my starting point so I don't end up re-attaching the linkage in the same position, also if I royally screw things up I can at least go back to where I started.

It can also help to have a second person manually shift the trans into a gear at the trans while you match the splines up front and tighten the nut.

Sorry i'm not that desciptive but you'll understand once you get into the center tunnel. My theory (oh no here we go again) is that if the car has ever been totally striped for sand-blasting the shifter wasn't marked before removal, or adjusted after installation. I say this because the two 914's I'v had that were completelry re-painted had shifters that were out of adjustment.
Old 11-24-1999, 07:40 AM
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Some may consider the solutions I employed disconcerting, but everything deserves mention at least.

I grew tired, literally, of the yank over into First in my 71 (that's a fairly heavy pull, I think). Stop and go in-town traffic was a drag, mostly across the outside edge of my right thigh with that shifter. So after the installation of all new bushings and a short shift kit I went two steps further: I cut at least an inch off the top end of the shifter and put the knob back on, which both shortened the throw a little further and saved me from having to move my leg every time I went into First. I then used a dremel cutter to cleanly remove some of the length from both the springs that return the stick to center, and reinstalled them in the mount. This reduced the effort necessary to bring the stick over and down into low gear.

I find my stick much more comfortable these days, I've never accidentally hit R, and I never nick any gears. Actually, I can jam into second in an instant, which for some reason is easiest when I gun it and run high revs in First before the shift.

As usual, I don't recommend my methods. Just adding spice to the pot.

--john
Old 11-25-1999, 12:08 AM
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I have a problem getting the shifter into reverse as well as first. This may very will be from an improperly aligned shifter at the spline connection, but could be an internal problem with the trans. (or clutch cable or...) After I rule out all the external repairs, can anyone tell me if reverse is as easy to repair as first gear?
Old 11-25-1999, 05:56 AM
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My clutch cable snapped on Monday. Luckly it happened 100 feet from the driveway. Thing is for the week or two before (I should have known to at least look into the cable) it was getting harder to shift into 1st at a light and I was nicking gears (I blamed it on the "cold" weather).

So tighten up the cable, see how much adjustment is left. Or better yet replace the cable now and keep the old one as a spare.
Old 11-25-1999, 09:24 AM
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JP, I noticed that when I replaced my clutch cable, that I had reverse, and no first at all. It was kinda funny, I got into the car and drove backwards out of the driveway only to find myself with no first. Anyway, I was just a clutch cable adjustment. And in having the adjustment so far off it was nice to see how it all reacted. I might even suggest trying it out, might.
Old 11-29-1999, 04:11 AM
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