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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Verdict: GT-4 with Raceseng Traction heavyweight knob.

TL/DR:
After 6 months of using the base, S and GTS standard shifter I installed the Numeric version. After several weeks I then re-installed the OEM shifter after lopping off 1.5 inches from the stalk to turn it into the equivalent of the GT-4 shifter. Here are my impressions:

OEM:
I will describe the other shifters in relation to the one that comes in the car. I was extremely satisfied with the feel of the shifter except for how high the knob sits. If it weren't for that I probably wouldn't have started messing around in the first place........

Numeric:
I tried this first because I figured if I was going for it, might as well go "big". For those that don't aren't familiar with the piece, the stock assembly is mostly plastic. The Numeric is entirely made of metal.

Shifts became much more notched in. Mounting a 375g shift knob smoothed out the notchiness almost completely. Doing so reduced the "rumble-like" feedback that is felt as the knob is moved into gear. The knob comes to a hard "stop" at the end of the throw--there is no give whatsoever. There is also a sense that the lever itself is more rigid even though side to side play when in gear is hardly any different. Everything about a shift tells you the mechanism is much more solid overall.

OEM with shortened lever:
I decided to see what the GT-4 shifter would be like. Aside from the length of the lever it is supposedly identical to the OEM unit. I therefore simply modified my lever by lopping off 1.5 inches. That also cut off the slots that center the stock knob on the stalk. The Raceseng knob mounting adaptor is an open cylinder with no slots and held in place with set screws. The design also allows about 1.5 inches of adjustment. Saved me buying a GT-4 shifter unless/until I decided I'd prefer the stock knob.

Before putting the stock shifter in I measured the height of the OEM knob and what I'd get with the Raceseng. The latter was 0.5 inches shorter than the former at its lowest point and 1 inch longer at its highest. By taking the lever down the 1.5 inches I could lower the knob height between 0.5 and 2 inches (pictures showing measurements below). I only tried it at its lowest position which put my forearm almost level with the center cubby lid.

No surprise, it fit right between the others. The throws seemed shorter as expected. They were also notchier but less so than the Raceseng. The "rumble" remained pretty much unchanged from stock and the stops at the end of throws were ever-so-slightly cushier than the Numeric's.

I put the stock knob on to see what that would feel like despite it wanting to rotate around on the stalk. Compared to the Raceseng, the notchiness increased another notch (sorry, I couldn't resist that one). Though the shift effort itself decreased so too did the sense of connection to the mechanism.

So far I've tried to be as objective as I could. My personal feelings:

I think everyone would find the lowered knob an improvement. The arm angle is more natural. The throws feel more direct--Probably a function of them being shorter but can't make that call without having a stock car to compare.

Being the baby in my family I proved true to form and preferred the "Goldilocks" option ie, the cut off stock lever with the heavy knob at its lowest position. I liked the greater "rumble" feedback over the amount I felt with the Numeric and the increased direct feel over stock. The heavy knob makes a big difference, too. Without it, the shifter felt a little "flimsy"--Subtly so in that on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd still give OEM a solid 8.5.

That solid stop on the Numeric bothered me. In 3rd gear my preferred grip had it irritating my carpal tunnel. Interestingly, there was more to this than just it being steel vs plastic in construction. The stock unit has very small white bushings that cushion that impact. Most of all I missed that rumble. Of all the things that make up shifting "feel", that's highest on my list.

Overall, what I'd say is that leave it to Porsche to get it (almost) right. While the stock shifter is too high everything else about it matches the car. It's tight but not harsh. A heavy knob heightens the experience as well by tightening things up another notch.

Numeric caters to track/racing aficionados and it shows. If you participate in those events and/or like the stiffer set-ups that go with that it would might better match your preferences.

Hope this helps people decide what they'd choose if they are considering making a change.

Now for the comedy routine: If this helps you, you can pay me $5 in tuition for the course. If I get 200 of you I'll become a not-for-profit educational institution. Also, it's more penance for my out-of-left-field rant over what turned out to be a simple tire inflation issue.

Musical instrument Light Automotive tire Gas Wood


Raceseng high vs low
Hand tool Ratchet Tool Metalworking hand tool Wood


The stock bushings
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Gas


The final choice
Gear shift Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle Audio equipment
Gear shift Vehicle Automotive design Audio equipment Personal luxury car
 

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Interesting write up - I have (pre-emptively) bought a Numeric shifter and have a Raceseng knob (~ 400gm) for my future CGTS

some of the items that will be different between the OEM is the upper part of the shifter all plastic / nylon bushings in a plastic frame - which will have a different feel
-more flex and play and with time, more clearance with plastic parts wearing

I've had experience with aftermarket shifters in my other vehicles - and they're more 'mechanical' and effort is higher; but the payoff was the more precise, shorter throws and direct feel. There's more NVH that comes with it, but way more satisfying than the OEM units.
-occasionally I'll work on someone's vehicle that has OEM shifter and its a reminder of "oh, that's what it used to feel like".

Some shots of the OEM unit
Gas Auto part Machine Machine tool Engineering

Gas Composite material Wood Machine Hardwood

Numeric shifter (for comparison)
Automotive tire Gas Motor vehicle Automotive wheel system Machine

the working end:
Tool Gas Bicycle part Auto part Rim
 

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Well now I do not know what I want to do! Have the OEM Short Shifter on the list of parts to get this winter. My GTS cost S (I love my options...) arrives in December.
the Boxter / Cayman T, Cayman GT4 and Spyder all use the shorter OEM shifter as standard equipment

you might run across someone that has one of those models that you could try it out to see what your impression is
 

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Excellent and helpful comparison writeup! I moved away from aftermarket "short shifters" fairly early in my driving life, as I started in 915 equipped 911's and on that platform the reduced throw and increased effort also masked the gear that was being selected. Wevo eventually changed my mind and experience there. I did find the stock shifter in the 997 GT3 to be just about ideal (the trans has something to do with this of course). For 986 and later cars I have always swapped in the factory 997 short shifter. My understanding is that the factory short shifter for the 718 is the stock shifter with a shorter shift knob level and no other changes like bushings. Interesting to see someone take on modifying the stock shifter to get the same effect. I'm with the OP - other than the height of the knob, the stock shifter is "A-OK" with me. I really don't want any more shift effort, so leaving things alone might be the path for now until I can get a chance to try the shorter option in another car.

Thanks for putting this comparison out there. Good payback for that "other thread" LOL
 

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I considered the Numeric shifter, but instead went with the GT4 shifter in each of my cars and am totally happy with them. The shifter in the Boxster has an aftermarket Raceseng weighted shift knob and the 911 has what is basically an OEM CF shift knob but ordered from DFB Carbon with matching red stitching on the boot and red shift pattern and numerals on the CF knob. Both feel much better in terms of shifting action and height vs the original shift assemblies height.
 

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I considered the Numeric shifter, but instead went with the GT4 shifter in each of my cars and am totally happy with them. The shifter in the Boxster has an aftermarket Raceseng weighted shift knob and the 911 has what is basically an OEM CF shift knob but ordered from DFB Carbon with matching red stitching on the boot and red shift pattern and numerals on the CF knob. Both feel much better in terms of shifting action and height vs the original shift assemblies height.
There is confusion on my part which shifter this really is - I've read it is the same as the T shifter. What part number did you install?
 

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There is confusion on my part which shifter this really is - I've read it is the same as the T shifter. What part number did you install?
I saw on a review site that the short shifter has a different linkage than stock. I cannot confirm this.
Fits quite a few cars and of different generations. Short Shift Kit
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I saw on a review site that the short shifter has a different linkage than stock. I cannot confirm this.
In my case, cutting the stalk/heavy knob was "free" since I already had the knob. I knew before I started my journey that with either the GT-4 or Numeric there was a Raceseng in my future. I figured I'd cut the shifter and, if I wasn't OK with that I'd get the GT-4. No need as I'm smiling with every shift.

If you're taking your first shot sure, go with the GT-4. You can always follow with the knob. But if you don't think you'd go back to stock, or you believe reviews that say the notchiness is bothersome, get the knob and cut the stalk. You might save yourself the cost of the shifter.

Why am I such a shill for the heavy knob? When I short-shifted my Golf R I loved the throws, hated the notchiness. Forum research led me to trying the heavy knob. Shifts became like warm butter.

it's not a widely known trick. My very competent shop guys didn't know about it. They wondered why I was treating my Cayman like it was a Honda by throwing a mod in there. Well, I took THEM to school. Had them compare the stock knob to the Raceseng on the Numeric and they were vary impressed with the improvement.
 

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Just checked. I don't recall that the earlier description said anything about being "spring loaded". The price is up $30 too.

Wonder if it's simple supply and demand or they raised the price because they added the spring?
I spotted that as well for the price increase on the OEM part
 

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Just checked. I don't recall that the earlier description said anything about being "spring loaded". The price is up $30 too.

Wonder if it's simple supply and demand or they raised the price because they added the spring?
The stock shifter has a spring as well. This is the same old GT4 shifter that some of us have installed in our cars ............................ just $30 more because they can change $30 more.
 

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I just installed the GT4 shifter in my GTS last night. Horrible day at work; my son was my partner in possible disaster. Ended up being pretty straightforward- thinking of the FF knob instead.

This post has me thinking raceseng. Great write up. I agree - stock is quite good. But well worth the mod.
 
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