Improving Shift Feel in Your Porsche 997 Can Be Easier Than You Think

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Porsche 997

Metal bushings and upgraded shift cables can bring a new satisfaction to those dedicated to saving the manuals.

Porsche typically gets a lot of things right. Out of any car on the market, they are one of few that can be driven every day on the road, and then blast around the track on the weekends. But for early 997 owners, one thing can certainly be improved, and that’s shift feel.

One reason for this is because of the hardware that Porsche implemented in their shift mechanisms. It’s not particularly bad hardware, and it works just fine, but plastic bushings, and the stock shift cables don’t exactly give a perfect shift feel.

Thankfully, Porsche owners have options. They could be as extreme as semi-solid engine and transmission mounts, or as simple as metal shift bushings, and a weighted shift lever.

Since our forum members enjoy tinkering with their cars, many of them already have these mods on their car and can offer feedback. That feedback does come with some warnings, though.

shift mechanism

Obviously, if you’re just looking to improve shifting feel, there’s no reason to change the mounts on the engine or transmission and introduce unwanted harshness to the rest of the car. Instead the main improvements, especially regarding 1st-to-2nd shifts, come from replacing Porsche’s OEM plastic shift bushings, and getting those aforementioned shift cables.

Numeric Racing cables, which are highly recommended by many of our forum members are carried by our good friends at SharkWerks. So is their precision short shifter kit. Put both of them together and the little bit of slop normally experienced by stock bushings and cables is all but eliminated. Top it off with a weightier shift knob, and you’ll have a transformed car.

There are some “extras” that come with the conversion, specifically, a bit of extra noise. It will be a bit more lively, but we think its very much worth it.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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