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Thread: UUC Short Shifter

  1. #1

    Thumbs up UUC Short Shifter

    I have installed the UUC kit in my Z8, and I am very very happy with it.

    I have read all the loves and hates on the other boards, but I have to say that my experience is very favorable. The box itself is a little notchy, but it is much improved by the short throw, and added shift inertia provided by the heavy UUC steel gear knob.

    It really does 'ease' thru the box now, and is an absolute joy at the track, as well as on brisk back road runs. Around town only the 1st>2nd is still seems a bit notchy, other than that I would say the 'sports feel' of the kit really adds to the driving pleasure of the car.

    Mark Norris at BMW Independent Workshop (818 346 9363) fitted the kit, he is an official UUC dealer, and has fitted many of them into M5's M3 etc. It seems that the problems that people have had may well come down to the skill level of the person fitting the kit, as I have a friend with an M5 who has also had it insatlled by Mark, and loves it as much as I do.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  2. #2

    Exclamation Correct installation

    In case anyone is contemplating installing the UUC Short Shifter kit in their Z8, let me pass along some words of advice. One of the options offered when you purchase the kit are roller bearings instead of the nylon bushings. I have tried it both ways and using the roller bearings makes a very noticeable difference in the precision of the linkage and I consider them an absolute necessity. If you purchased the kit without roller bearings, they are easy to retrofit. Another benefit to the roller bearings is their consistency over time. They will not wear out or get sloppy with use. All other bearings will.

    In the process of installing the shift kit, one of the critical steps is to get a snug lateral fit of the shift lever to the shift rod. This is accomplished by the use of plastic washers to eliminate side-to-side slop. Make sure you get as tight a fit as possible during this step and you will be amply rewarded with the solid feeling that results. If the stock or supplied washers don't provide a tight fit, find others that do.

    Finally, the reduced leverage, which is a natural consequence of the short shift kit, increases the amount of force required to shift gears. Fortunately, the increased precision of the UUC shifter more than makes up for this. You can, however, make the shifting even easier by increasing the mass of the shift knob. This can be done by disassembling the stock shift knob and filling its honeycomb interior with lead shavings which you compact down. I was able to triple the mass of the shifter this way and it looks completely stock. An alternative (and much easier way) is to purchase one of UUC's heavy weight shifter knobs which will accomplish the same thing. I found their stainless steel knob (they also have aluminum and titanium) to be too heavy and a little dead feeling but many people like the extra force it provides to complete each shift. I preferred staying in the 9-12 oz. range which is where their aluminum knobs fall.

    Although some people have complained about the effects of installing a short shift kit, my experience with the UUC kit, properly installed and optimized, has been a very positive one. The accuracy of the shifter has been increased noticeably, the throws are shorter and faster, and the feeling of the weighted shift knob in my hand is much more substantial, less plasticky.

    You certainly don't need to install a short shift kit to enjoy driving your Z8. But you can enhance the experience with judicious upgrades and the UUC kit is one of them.

    (posted by Grease Monkey on the Roadfly Z8 message board)
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    clauswagner
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    I can only agree. The only drawback I experienced is shifting into second on a cold morning. It can be very notchy at times.

    Claus

  4. #4

    2nd notch

    This is something that Z8 - M5 boxes seem to suffer, as I have asked around about it. As of yet it is something that no one has come up with a fix for, and two BMW specialists have suggested it is deep within the box, so not an easy fix. It would be good to hear if anyone else has anything to say about this.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
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    UUC Shifter work in the Bay Area

    I am interested in installing a UUC shortshifter as I agree that the factory shifter is quite sloppy. Amazing that for a car like the Z8, BMW would be satisfied with a shift feel like it currently has....

    In any event, I looked at the UUC website and it seems the USCE shifter is the one. My question is although the recommendation here is to include the bearing upgrade, what about the "delring carrier bushings"? Should I also get that?

    I also found A&E Performance in Campbell to install it. Any comments here about these folks?

  6. #6

    Arrow more on UUC

    I have no info on A&E Performance in Campbell, so can't help there.

    I put everything that UUC make with the kit on, and have been very happy with it. The heavier gear knob is a very big help, as I added that several months after installing the kit, and it really smoothed out the shifts a lot. I would certainly call them, as they are both knowledgeable and helpful....make sure you specify it's for a Z8.

    As stated earlier you must make sure that your guys have experience fitting the kit, as if it isn't done perfectly it can be the cause of great unhappiness. Not everyone has loved this kit, and thus the only variable is those fitting it. Mine, and two others I know of, work a charm, so they can be a huge plus to the joy of the drive.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  7. #7
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    Smile UUC going in on monday....

    Well I made the date and the Z8 is going in at AE Engineering on monday to get the shortshifter. Al there did not know about the delring part but agreed about the cartridge bearing upgrade.

    One question: does anybody know the right way to take the shift boot off without damaging it and anything else?

  8. #8
    clauswagner
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    Francois,
    You probably saw my post earlier. In the meantime I installed a Racing Dynamics knob on top of the UUC short shifter kit which made shifting a lot smoother due to extra weight. Still cold mornings can make shifting into second a little difficult.

    I attached a pic

    Claus
     
    Last edited by macfly; April 22nd 2003 at 02:33.

  9. #9
    francois
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    What are the odds of two individuals named Francois to own a Z8 and live in California?

    siliconvalleyman, I admire your taste in cars as well as your parents' taste in names. To avoid confusion, I'll note that II always sign my name in lower case.

    All the best,

    francois

  10. #10

    Thumbs up UUC knob

    I used this UUC knob on my car, and have been very happy with it, the extra weight makes for smooter crisper shifts, and in fast driving on the street and at the track it is a great addition to the short shifter kit.

    (It seems that only replacing the CDV will cure that notchy shift to 2nd though.)
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up What a difference a shifter makes....

    Got the UUC Short Shifter and I love it! Reminds me of my FM racecar and a Ferrari 328 car I just sold. Not too notchy and satifyingly precise shifting. Highly recommend!

    I will see if the shifter stays solid and does not develop a slop over time.

    A&E Engineering in Campbell did the job. No issues but in my enthusiasm, I forgot the original parts that I will ask to get back.....

    And francois, you are only the 2nd Francois I have met in Cal....maybe we will meet someday in a Z8 event.

    Francois

  12. #12
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    Clutch

    I am a proud owner of a 2002 Stratus Grey, 9K; I have been experiencing some slippage in my clutch especially when I am down shifting quickly from 6th to 5th while flooring the pedal. My RPM goes in the red zone and the car does not engage. After couple of visits to my dealer I was able to convince him to change my clutch under warranty but they were not willing to go with the UUC unit, otherwise the warranty will not cover the parts or labor. I remember while reading one of the threads, someone discussing how soft should the clutch be, now I know what this meant upon driving my baby on its return from the clinic. The dealer assured me that the clutch still had 60% of its life, but the pressure plate got spotted and the disc was sticking to the shaft and he attributed that to lack of usage. They ended up changing the disc and the pressure plate and they asked me to keep my RPM below 4000 for the next 1000 KM which honestly is one of my biggest challenges.
    I will definetly try the UUC unit on my next problem which I am hoping that it will not be soon

  13. #13
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Uuc Ev03

    Among other things, I added the UUC EV03 short shifter this week. I had the opportunity to test the previous version, the EV02, on a friend?s car, and I was impressed with the improvement over the stock shifter. You can read about the technical improvements of the EV03 on the UUC site. Primarily it's smoother than the EV02 (effort similar to stock) while still providing reduced shifter travel and more exact movement through the gates compared to the stock shifter. Additionally, the height of the shifter is adjustable, and the UUC uses a metal cup in place of the stock plastic mount, providing for improved life and protection from the elements.

    From two days of use, the EV03 lives up to UUC's claims - it has an effort similar stock, but it allows for gear changes that are faster.

    The attached pic shows the stock shifter and the UUC EV03.

    --thegunguy
     

  14. #14
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    Uuc

    I've had the UUCevo3 for 3 years and I love it. Just purchased a M5 and the difference is night and day. I have the new evo for the M5 in the garage as well as the wsr but am waiting to change it out when I do the clutch. The stock M5 feels like an 80's 911 in terms of through. anxiosly awaiting the change, Although even with a lift it is rough on the neck. Oh well, the price we pay for perfection. Jonny
    Jonny

  15. #15
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    UUC Shifter install - technical question

    Hey

    Anyone out there do the short shifter install themselves ?? I have a technical question related to the install regarding the bolts that go from the headers to the catalytics (to drop the exhaust to attain access to the lower part of the shifter). These are truly frozen. I can get a few easy turns in and then get a lot of resistance. Then I snapped a bolt. OK - replaceable - but is there a trick ? Or did the heat of the exhaust just warp/weld these together ??

    If anyone out there has any ideas/comments on this or other aspects of the install I would appreciate the help.

    Dave

  16. #16

    I'm not certain that this will help....

    as those threads get all the muck off the road combined with the heat of the exaust working on them, so they may be 'gone', but you could try using a thread lubricator spray like WD40, 3 in 1, or any similar brand your local hardware store carries.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  17. #17
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Reply to Dogsbreath

    While I had my UUC installed in a shop by a technician, I was present during the full installation process. During the removal of the exhaust system behind the headers, we too experienced several "seized" bolt/nuts. The tech explained that this is not uncommon with the German makes due to their material choice, which I cannot remember. I'm not too particular about exhaust bolts. So, I just had him strip the heads and replace them with new hardware.

    I can understand if you want to proceed with caution, but I wouldn?t get to worried about having to replace a bolt to two.

    Have fun with the new shifter - it's a great upgrade.
    thegunguy

  18. #18
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thanks Andrew and GunGuy

    I did try oiling/WD40'ing. The rest of the bolts broke too. I bought new bolts from the 'Nevada Bolt Company' if you can believe such a place exists. They have more bolts than I have ever seen. They seconded your comment GunGuy that BMW bolts are not particularly strong. The nuts were actually welded (by heat) to the flanges. I replaced them with stainless bolts. I coated them with never seize as well.

    Thanks both

    Dave

  19. #19
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Glad you got it sorted

    Thinking back, I believe three of eight (???) were seized on mine. I guess I'm glad to hear the info on BMW bolts is true.
    thegunguy

  20. #20
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    Smile UUC Shifter

    I own an 03 Silver on Black Z8 and recently installed the UUC short shifter. I am very happy with it, it is solid, crisp and does not rattle or do anything "bad."

    I did loose a bolt in the header and needed to instal a keensert in the manifold. I used plenty of anti-siez when I reinstalled the exhaust system.

    This is a few hour job on a friends hoist.

    Hap

  21. #21
    Z8 Madness
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    I have an EVO3 on order and am looking for a good shop to perform the installation. I prefer a place in OC. Does anyone have a recommendation?

    Andrew, if you had to do this again, would you go with The Bmw Independent Workshop Inc or do you know of a better shop in LA area? If nothing turns up in OC, I'm willing to drive to LA.
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  22. #22
    Check out the thread on long term service and care, all our fav spots are there!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  23. #23
    Z8 Madness
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    Thanks for the pointer! I'll start calling around as soon as the stuff arrives.
    2016 Porsche GTS/MT

  24. #24
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    UUC Short Shift/Knob question

    Just (finally) got the short shifter. Can I still use the stock knob, or would I need to go after market? Will it need any extra weight? I think I would prefer to stay stock. Thanks.

  25. #25
    It doesn't need anything, the extra weight upgrade once described by GM was one solution, and as you know I used the heavier steel knob, but you can easily use stock. The weight of the heavier ones can just make it flow a little smoother, but honestly if you like stock you'll never have a problem. The UUC is a little notchier that stock, but very little, and the heavier knob makes it a little smoother, but also very little.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  26. #26
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    Just (finally) got the short shifter. Can I still use the stock knob, or would I need to go after market? Will it need any extra weight? I think I would prefer to stay stock. Thanks.
    Works great with the OE knob.
    thegunguy

  27. #27
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll stay stock for now.

  28. #28
    What all is necassary for the install. Can anyone share past install costs? Considering this mod for my next 100,000 miles. Did a short shifter mod in my Boxster many years ago and loved it. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  29. #29
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musta10000 View Post
    What all is necassary for the install. Can anyone share past install costs? Considering this mod for my next 100,000 miles. Did a short shifter mod in my Boxster many years ago and loved it. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    I did this quite a few years ago. Its pretty easy to do yourself even if you are not mechanically inclined. You just need strong fingers