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  1. #1
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    Afternarket shifter preference

    I'm looking at a new or used shifter for my GTS and have a couple of options available. Hurst, B&M, and IPSCO. I know they are all significantly better than OEM, but there are nuances between them in operation and durability. Has anyone tried more than one? Why? Track rat opinions are particularly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I’ve had Hurst and Ipsco both on my Gen 2, both nice but I didn’t like the increased effort needed to engage each gear. I went back to stock shifter, removed the isolation gizmo, replaced it with a shorter bolt sourced from Jon B. I am also a huge fan of the factory leather pistol grip shifter that came stock in my 98. Probably not for everyone but it’s the set up I prefer.

    For what it’s worth, Marks piece is much nicer than the Hurst that I had.

    Good luck!
    98 GTS
    70 LS6 Chevelle
    2014 ML63 AMG

  3. #3
    If you decide to go with a shorter bolt on the factory shifter, I have one as well as a smooth ball knob that I was using with it. I coated it in rubber which made for a real good grip which may be good for track use. I stumbled into a MGW shift knob and swapped it on thus why I took it off. When I get the bushings and ball joints changed out on my car and I make it your way (after the COVID crap) I'll bring it with me. Yours if you want it.

  4. #4
    Dean, I was at SEMA a few years ago (2003?) and talked with guys at the B&M booth. B&M owned Hurst at the time and sold both shifters. I asked about the differences as they pertained to the viper. They said they were both basically the same except and that hurst was targeting the hotrod market while B&M targeted the aftermarket. He pointed out that the B&M could use the stock shift shaft and knob while the Hurst could not. The Hurst shifter requires you to use the knob that comes with it (I think). The B&M looks like the IPSCO shifter with a horizontal piece that comes out of the shifter. You bolt a shifter shaft, stock or shortened shaft, to the horizontal piece. The Hurst shifter has a single piece shift lever that comes out of the shifter and is actually sort of an S-shaped rod with a knob on top. I don't think the hurst shift knob is threaded (not sure). I'm not sure if the guy at SEMA knew what he was talking about or not but he seemed to make sense.

    Although it isn't what you asked for, I ended up installing the IPSCO shifter on my Gen2. I have been very pleased with how it performs at the drag strip compared to the stock shifter. When using the stock shifter at the drag strip, I found I needed to concentrate way too much on shifting so as to avoid missing gears and/or the dreaded "money shift". To make extremely fast shifts, I had to move my elbow and hand in different positions depending on the particular shift I was making. The IPSCO completely fixed that. It goes into the right gear, regardless of which shift I make, where my hand and elbow are positioned, or how fast I make the shift. My only circuit racing experience was with the stock shifter. I assume the IPSCO benefits will translate to circuit racing, but I'm not sure.

    As a note, the stock IPSCO came with a solid coupler to replace the stock isolator. That coupler made the shift knob lower than stock. While that might be "cool" for the streets, I found it to be impractical for racing (hand must move farther from steering wheel) . However, IPSCO did sell me a coupler that put the shift knob back to stock height if you want that (I still use the stock shaft and knob). It is also possible to use the stock isolator with the IPSCO. That may be something to consider if your isolator is in good shape and you would appreciate a little vibration reduction.
    Last edited by tagoo; 05-05-2020 at 02:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    Tag,

    That is very good information - thank you! I am rather partial to the OEM shifter location near the wheel, and I recall it being an early design decision by Team Viper. The long throws are less of a bother to me than the imprecise feel of stock, so I would be inclined to keep the location of the knob close to where it is using the B&M or IPSCO. The factory knob is comfortable and works just fine at the track because I wear racing gloves to minimize sweaty palm slip issues. Except for occasional drives in other people's cars, it's all I've known since 1993!

  6. #6
    Enthusiast Mr. Acoustics's Avatar
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    I have the B&M and it seems like a good quality shifter. I imagine the IPSCO feels very similar. I can't say I have had any trouble finding a gear out on the track or during aggressive driving. It has a very precise feel in that you know when you are in gear, there is no rubberyness or ambiguity. I don't think the throws require excessive force (a taller knob would help if you felt the force was high). I removed a "first strike" knob that was on the car when I bought it and installed the MGW race knob, it has been easy to use with a set of race gloves. My transmission has 40k miles for reference.


    Shifter.jpg
    2001 GTS Sapphire Blue w/Stripes
    Build thread HERE

  7. #7
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    I bought a B&M close to 15 years ago. Back when they were plentiful and just over $200. Long enough ago the detailed memory of what a stock shifter is like is long gone, but I do remember the difference was quite noticeable.

    With that being said my car does not shift like a Ferrari. I attribute that to T56 vs [insert better Tremec model] as well as my car is a driver and not a garage queen so it has more than 4 miles a year.

    Also, because I'm tall and have long limbs etc, I retained the stock shift knob height via a custom shaft by IPSCO. That actually decreases required force but increases travel of course.

    Lastly, no problem clearing the ash tray underneath. Maybe that's the shifter or maybe just some chassis, but nothing had to be dealt with.
    /''[ ]''|[___|___]
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  8. #8
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    I had tried both the Hurst and the B&M in my 2002. The only difference between them that I noticed in how shifting felt, was that the B&M did not self center as much as I would have liked, as delivered. I changed out a spring with one I got at ACE Hardware and it then performed like I wanted it to. I think that I read that IPSCO can supply different springs for their shifter to customize the feel.
    Last edited by AZTVR; 05-05-2020 at 08:08 PM.
    Jim

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tagoo View Post
    Dean, I was at SEMA a few years ago (2003?) and talked with guys at the B&M booth. B&M owned Hurst at the time and sold both shifters. I asked about the differences as they pertained to the viper. They said they were both basically the same except and that hurst was targeting the hotrod market while B&M targeted the aftermarket. He pointed out that the B&M could use the stock shift shaft and knob while the Hurst could not. The Hurst shifter requires you to use the knob that comes with it (I think). The B&M looks like the IPSCO shifter with a horizontal piece that comes out of the shifter. You bolt a shifter shaft, stock or shortened shaft, to the horizontal piece. The Hurst shifter has a single piece shift lever that comes out of the shifter and is actually sort of an S-shaped rod with a knob on top. I don't think the hurst shift knob is threaded (not sure). I'm not sure if the guy at SEMA knew what he was talking about or not but he seemed to make sense.

    Although it isn't what you asked for, I ended up installing the IPSCO shifter on my Gen2. I have been very pleased with how it performs at the drag strip compared to the stock shifter. When using the stock shifter at the drag strip, I found I needed to concentrate way too much on shifting so as to avoid missing gears and/or the dreaded "money shift". To make extremely fast shifts, I had to move my elbow and hand in different positions depending on the particular shift I was making. The IPSCO completely fixed that. It goes into the right gear, regardless of which shift I make, where my hand and elbow are positioned, or how fast I make the shift. My only circuit racing experience was with the stock shifter. I assume the IPSCO benefits will translate to circuit racing, but I'm not sure.

    As a note, the stock IPSCO came with a solid coupler to replace the stock isolator. That coupler made the shift knob lower than stock. While that might be "cool" for the streets, I found it to be impractical for racing (hand must move farther from steering wheel) . However, IPSCO did sell me a coupler that put the shift knob back to stock height if you want that (I still use the stock shaft and knob). It is also possible to use the stock isolator with the IPSCO. That may be something to consider if your isolator is in good shape and you would appreciate a little vibration reduction.
    You are correct to an extent.

    I bolted on the Hurst on mine and it is S-shaped. But the end is threaded and the stock shifter knob bolts on.
    But with the stock knob it sits extremely tall, which I myself absolutely love. The extra length in the shift-stroke means very little, what means a lot is that I barely have to move my hand from the wheel while shifting.
    It feels absolutely perfect when you're within a corner to simply just grab another gear and keep going rather than move you hand all the way down to the consol, shift, and move it back up again. I can honestly say that I can shift 1st to 4th without letting go of the wheel.

    It's all done to preferences, but I absolutely love my shifter standing that tall. And yet, I can shift it quickly because I'm obviously great at it
    Honestly, what limits us from shifting any faster is the length of the clutch stroke, not the shifter in my opinion.

  10. #10
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    XSnake's Avatar
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    Love the Hurst. Had it in 2 Vipers. Took out an Ipsco in favor of the hurst in the X. I didn't like it that much.
    Last edited by XSnake; 05-08-2020 at 07:53 AM.
    ACR-X #26 - 1992 RT/10 - Demon PCP - Ram TRX

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Acoustics View Post
    I have the B&M and it seems like a good quality shifter. I imagine the IPSCO feels very similar. I can't say I have had any trouble finding a gear out on the track or during aggressive driving. It has a very precise feel in that you know when you are in gear, there is no rubberyness or ambiguity. I don't think the throws require excessive force (a taller knob would help if you felt the force was high). I removed a "first strike" knob that was on the car when I bought it and installed the MGW race knob, it has been easy to use with a set of race gloves. My transmission has 40k miles for reference.

    Mr. Acoustics - Who did your center bezel? That's some pretty good custom work.
    Last edited by 98RedGTS; 05-06-2020 at 10:13 AM.

  12. #12
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
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    SVS, SVP, MGW, B&M, HURST, IPSCO.


    The Answer for several good reasons is:


    IPSCO $333.00 at PartsRack.com


    Thanks
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~ JonB@PartsRack.com


  13. #13
    I have never used the IPSCO shifter but had MGW's in 2 corvettes and absolutely loved them, but don't think they make them anymore.

  14. #14
    I just installed the IPSCO shifter and it's a huge improvement over the stock shifter and it's super well built.

  15. #15
    VOA Mamba Member
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    10PISTNZ's Avatar
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    I installed the IPSCO shifter 3 years ago. At first I felt it was too tight so I called JonB who suggested I be patient it will work itself in.
    It did, within the first month or so it was perfect. Still is to this day.
    2001 RT/10 - Race Yellow
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  16. #16
    Enthusiast Mr. Acoustics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98RedGTS View Post
    Mr. Acoustics - Who did your center bezel? That's some pretty good custom work.
    Honestly no idea. I assume some local shop in Massachusetts where the previous owner lived and I bought the car from.
    2001 GTS Sapphire Blue w/Stripes
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  17. #17
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    Would love to hear from someone that has tried a hinson shifter. A friend of mine has one in a camaro and it is the shortest throw I have ever seen on a T-56. They make one for viper as well. The only concern and reason I did not go with it when I chose the IPSCO, was that it does not have a centering spring. I felt given the problematic tendency for 2-3-2 shift on Vipers, that a lack of a centering spring could promote that mistake. Otherwise, it is a very appealing option.

    https://hinsonmotorsports.com/collec...-throw-shifter

  18. #18
    Enthusiast Old School's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BK99GTS View Post
    Would love to hear from someone that has tried a hinson shifter. A friend of mine has one in a camaro and it is the shortest throw I have ever seen on a T-56. They make one for viper as well. The only concern and reason I did not go with it when I chose the IPSCO, was that it does not have a centering spring. I felt given the problematic tendency for 2-3-2 shift on Vipers, that a lack of a centering spring could promote that mistake. Otherwise, it is a very appealing option.

    https://hinsonmotorsports.com/collec...-throw-shifter
    I considered it, but was concerned that the nut on top, that attach the lever, might cause some interference.

  19. #19
    I'd like to see an old time pistol grip shifter....
    1996 Nextel CupCar FS - Sold
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  20. #20
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    Don’t know if anyone else had this issue with Hurst (mine had it, when I bought it), but I’ve had a ton on problems down shifting into third on a road course. It’s been extremely frustrating as it simply won’t go in half or more of the time even with proper rev matching. There’s no grinding or popping; rather it feels more like a reverse lockout

    Was thinking of putting in an IPSCO unit to see if that helps. Have no idea how old my Hurst is, but wondering if it’s worn. It’s has nearly 25k miles with me and possibly another 25+ with someone else.
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  21. #21
    I have MGW and really like it. It's too short for some, but for me it's perfect.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetalonguy View Post
    Don’t know if anyone else had this issue with Hurst (mine had it, when I bought it), but I’ve had a ton on problems down shifting into third on a road course. It’s been extremely frustrating as it simply won’t go in half or more of the time even with proper rev matching. There’s no grinding or popping; rather it feels more like a reverse lockout

    Was thinking of putting in an IPSCO unit to see if that helps. Have no idea how old my Hurst is, but wondering if it’s worn. It’s has nearly 25k miles with me and possibly another 25+ with someone else.
    Are you sure it's not the synchros going out?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperTim View Post
    Are you sure it's not the synchros going out?
    Definitely not 100% sure. I haven't noticed any issues with any other gears (ie 1,2, R), so was wondering what the likelihood of 3rd synchro going bad 1st with no grinding side affects.
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  24. #24
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    I don't believe there is any short throw shift kit that compared with the MGW ,since George Ciamillo had a zillion Vipers himself and he was always working to improve it for track rats. I don't believe he still makes one due to a conflict with MOPAR --- George had a legitimate reason!! We had alot of experience with Hurst , as well as IPSCO , and without MGW having a kit, I would agree with Jon Brobst. Woodhouse built 4 Hurst/Woodhouse Editions and though a decent unit the MGW system was better ( made in Augusta , GA. ) . I believe the IPSCO is all American made and sad to say but some of the Hurst/B&M stuff was sourced overseas.

    Call Jon, and no worries, it is not Monday, ha,ha. Plus you are supporting the VOA , as Jon is a long time site sponsor!
    Retired and time to get back on track ---literally!

  25. #25
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    Thread update - My motor is back in and the driveline is hooked up, so I stopped by to have a look at progress this morning. I screwed the stock knob assembly down onto the IPSCO shifter (Thanks JonB!) adapter lever and rowed through the gears. Nothing touched metal, but clearance was very tight. I've run an aftermarket urethane trans mount almost since the car was new and the shifter only clears the console top recess by about 2mm. I can't wait to be on the road again!
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    Last edited by GTS Dean; 10-19-2020 at 11:36 AM.


 
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